Jerome Dees Announces Candidacy For State House
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2017
Birmingham attorney and activist Jerome Dees announces for Alabama House District 54
As a life-long community servant and progressive policy advocate, Jerome seeks to take the skills and relationships that he’s developed over the years and utilize them in a greater capacity as one of the state representatives for Birmingham, Alabama. Understanding that no issue facing our communities exists in a vacuum, Jerome will take a fresh, comprehensive approach to tackling the problems that affect us all from reforming our criminal justice system to jumpstarting economic growth in overlooked neighborhoods to revamping our failed model for educational success.
After graduating from LAMP High School In Montgomery as a National Merit Semifinalist, Jerome attended the University of Florida. While in Gainesville, Florida, which had one of the country’s highest homeless populations per capita, Jerome organized dozens of homeless shelter food drives and established a mentoring program with one of the local elementary schools. During his junior year, Jerome was one of twelve students selected for the University of Florida’s inaugural Legislative Internship Program in the Florida State Capitol. There Jerome truly began to develop his policy skills by analyzing bills ranging from fair banking regulations to educational lottery legislation review and actually presenting proposals before the senate on enhanced hate crime protections.
Upon graduating with honors, Jerome returned home to attend law school at the University of Alabama. During his three years there, Jerome developed the trust and respect of his peers as well as his professors. He was elected Associate Justice to the Honor Court, President of the Alabama Law Democrats, and President of the Black Law Students’ Association.
After law school Jerome worked with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office - first in the White Collar Crime and Public Corruption Unit and finally as the assistant district attorney overseeing Jefferson County’s Drug Court Program. In that latter role, Jerome quickly developed a reputation as a prosecutor focused on seeking rehabilitative justice and reducing recidivism.
Jerome now works with the Maxwell Law Firm as a civil rights and criminal defense attorney utilizing the insights he gained as a prosecutor on behalf of clients throughout the state.
Jerome believes that, while, over the past decade, many of us have been continually disappointed by our selfish state legislature, he is, also, enduringly hopeful that, if people of action stand up and speak out, we can show the officials in Montgomery that there is a Better Way forward.
Jerome will stand and fight alongside his community for a statewide, living, minimum wage; a health care system that truly provides access to those who need it most; a criminal system that is finally worthy of the term ‘justice’; a government that treats all of its citizens as equals under the law; and, an educational system where success outcomes are not largely predicated on the incomes of our parents.
Jerome lives in Birmingham. When not working to improve his clients’ lives he is actively involved in the community as the Co-Chair of the University of Alabama School of Law’s Public Interest Advisory Board, Nominations Co-Chair for the Birmingham Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, on the Greater Birmingham Humane Society Young Professionals Board, the current Chair of the Alabama Young Democrats and former President of the Birmingham Young Democrats, and occasionally as a guest speaker on topics such as the role of religion in race and civil rights advocacy.