Making Contact

70 Million – Reform Activists and a New DA Find Common Ground

Activists in Houston were galvanized by events in Ferguson in 2014 following the death of Michael Brown. First, they took to the streets in protest. Then they started organizing. Not long after, they found a kindred spirit in the most unlikely person: a candidate for the DA office. 70 Million reporter, Ruxandra Guidi, chronicles how activists and reformers are succeeding in cutting the jail population, diverting drug arrests, and increasing accountability for local police.


 Durrel Douglas, co-founder of Houston Justice; Shekira Dennis, co-founder of Houston Justice; Kim Ogg, Harris County District Attorney; Sandra Guerra Thompson, legal rights advocate at the Criminal Justice Institute – University of Houston; Terrance “TK” Koontz, organizer with Texas Organizing Project; Debra Schmidt, Assistant Chief at Harris County Sheriff’s Department; Joseph Gamaldi, Houston Police Officers’ Union.


 70 Million is made possible by a grant from the Safety and Justice Challenge at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

 Reporter: Ruxandra Guidi

 The 70 Million podcast is a production of Lantigua Williams & Co.

 Editor: Jen Chien

Audio Engineer: Luis Gil

Associate Producer: Oluwakemi Aladesuyi

Marketing Specialist: Kate Krosschell

Resource Guide Writer:  Amy Alexander

Production Assistant: Paula Mardo

Creator and Executive Producer: Juleyka Lantigua-Williams

Series Host: Mitzi Miller.


Making Contact staff…


Executive Director: Lisa Rudman

Staff Producers: Anita Johnson, Monica Lopez, Salima Hamirani

Host: Monica Lopez

Audience Engagement Manager: Sabine Blaizin

Outreach and Distribution Assistant: Dylan Heuer


Image Credit:


Ruxandra Guidi.


Image Caption:


A bail bonds agency welcomes business next door to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. A federal judge recently ruled the county’s bail practices unconstitutional.


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