Fair Share Housing Center

About Us

Staff

  • Peter J. O’Connor is Fair Share Housing Center’s founder. Over the last four decades, O’Connor has been a tireless legal crusader for the rights of low-income families in New Jersey to live in high-opportunity neighborhoods with decent jobs and good schools. When he’s not battling in the courtroom, O’Connor is busy developing housing for the poor in South Jersey where he heads Fair Share Housing Development, which has developed and manages 656 units of affordable housing, including Ethel R. Lawrence Homes.

  • Adam M. Gordon is Executive Director at Fair Share Housing Center. He joined the organization as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in 2006. In his work with FSHC, Gordon has litigated at the New Jersey Supreme Court and Appellate Division and worked on state and federal policy issues including very-low-income housing in high opportunity communities, Low Income Housing Tax Credit allocation, and statewide fair share allocation. Gordon is also co-founder of the magazine Next City, which the New York Times described as a “subtle plan to change the world,” and a non-resident fellow at the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy where he has worked on several initiatives on reshaping federal housing policy to focus on sustainable and inclusive communities. A New Jersey native, Gordon holds a B.A. and J.D. from Yale University.

  • Rev. Eric Dobson is Fair Share Housing Center’s Deputy Director. Eric joined Fair Share Housing Center’s as Director of Community Engagement in 2012 and is an ordained minister, a community organizer, outreach specialist and social entrepreneur. He holds a B.A. from Temple University in Religion. He has extensive experience working with diverse audiences and communities and specializes in interfaith outreach. Eric is the Co-Founder of Open Communities LLC, a racial integration consultant firm that works to resolve simple and complex conflicts of race, ethnicity and socio- economics. He also founded a non-profit focused on youth development and education, Planting Seeds of Hope, and in 2008 served as the PA Clergy Outreach Director for the Obama Campaign.

  • Joshua D. Bauers is a Staff Attorney at Fair Share Housing Center. A graduate of Rutgers University, he joined the organization in 2015 as the Inaugural Maida Public Interest Fellow. His fellowship through the Rutgers University School of Law focused on redevelopment and affordable housing. As a student at Rutgers, Bauers was a recipient of the Mary Philbrook student public interest award, the Dean’s Pro Bono Publico Award for Exceptional Service, and the Eve Biskind Klothen Pro Bono Distinction Award. Focusing his advocacy on redevelopment, Bauers is involved in all of the Center’s legal work.

  • Donna Gomez joined Fair Share Housing Center in 2014 as an Administrative Assistant. Donna has had over 25 years working with human resources management and general bookkeeping.

  • Ashley Lee is a Staff Attorney at Fair Share Housing Center. She joined the organization in 2021 and is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School. Prior to joining FSHC, Ashley served the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, MA as a student prosecutor. She also has experience in family law and serving the veteran and youth communities. She is involved in all aspects of the Center’s legal work.

  • Rachel Lokken is a Staff Attorney at Fair Share Housing Center. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and Oberlin College, she joined the organization in 2021. Rachel is an accomplished litigation attorney with extensive experience providing strategic representation to individual and corporate clients in all phases of complex commercial litigation and business matters. Prior to joining FSHC, Rachel worked for Am Law 100 law firms where she successfully represented her clients’ interests at the state and federal level. Rachel’s work ethic and dedication to those she serves is manifest in her ability to spot issues and develop persuasive arguments. Rachel is passionate about her pro bono work. She has a longstanding history of service as pro bono counsel in the areas of child advocacy, musical arts, and domestic violence. Rachel serves on the Supreme Court of New Jersey District X Fee Arbitration Committee as an appointed volunteer attorney and received her certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace from the University of Southern Florida. She is involved in all aspects of the Center’s legal advocacy work.

  • Katherine Payne is the Director of Land Use at Fair Share Housing Center, where she works to further the organization’s goals on affordable housing advocacy, disaster recovery, and Mount Laurel enforcement. She joined the organization in 2021. Katherine holds a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and an A.B. from Dartmouth College.

  • David T. Rammler joined Fair Share Housing Center in 2012. Following years of low-income tenant advocacy as a practicing Philadelphia attorney, Rammler worked from 1998 through early 2006, with federally assisted housing residents and resident organizations in South Jersey as managing attorney of the landlord-tenant and public benefits units at the Camden office of South Jersey Legal Services. Building on this direct representation experience, David pursued resident supportive federal housing policy in legislative, regulatory and funding arenas as Director of Government Relations in the Washington, D.C. office of the National Housing Law Project from 2007 to 2011. David brought this knowledge of federal housing law and policy to the Fair Share Housing Center Sandy Recovery struggle, helping Fair Share and their allies across the state understand the avenues and opportunities for fair housing and lower-income resident advocacy in the design and implementation of federally funded recovery programs. David continues, today, to collaborate with the network of disaster response and recovery resident and community advocates from across the country and Puerto Rico that Fair Share has helped to build.

  • Laura Smith-Denker is a Senior Staff Attorney at Fair Share Housing Center. She joined the organization in 2010. Smith-Denker is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and Florida Coastal School of Law. She is involved in all aspects of the Center’s advocacy including litigating before the Appellate Division and testifying at Legislative hearings. Ms. Smith-Denker also assists in the administration of the organization.

  • Alex Staropoli is the Director of Advocacy and Communications at Fair Share Housing Center. Alex most recently worked as a policy consultant and strategist in New Jersey, with clients including Salvation and Social Justice and Newark Community Street Team. Alex has spent her career working to dismantle systems of oppression and has primarily worked at the intersection of public health and criminal justice. She has previously held positions at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Drug Policy Alliance, the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention, and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice. Alex completed her Bachelor of Science in Family Science and her Juris Doctor at the University of Maryland.

  • James C. Williams IV is FSHC’s Director of Racial Justice Policy. He joined Fair Share Housing Center in 2019 after working for Philadelphia Works and previously New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Williams attended Fayetteville State University in North Carolina where he received both his B.A. and M.S. degrees. He has been an advocate for civil rights and social justice throughout his career.

  • Zoey Chenitz is a Staff Attorney at Fair Share Housing Center. Prior to joining FSHC, she served as Senior Policy Counsel for the New York City Commission on Human Rights which enforces one of the nation’s leading anti-discrimination laws in the areas of housing, employment, public accommodations, and bias-based policing. Zoey helped lead the Commisison’s legislative and regulatory work as well as the adjudication of discrimination cases filed with the agency. Zoey also previously served as Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, Special Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey, and a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Zoey is a former chair of the Civil Rights Committee at the New York City Bar Association and is a committed advocate for civil rights.