BY LAUREN LINDSTROM
Charlotte NC-As Toussaint Romain settles into his role as Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s new chief executive, the clients he represented for a decade as a criminal public defender are never far from his mind. When clients used to walk into his office, he could anticipate all the economic and civil matters that might have led them to his door. A past eviction, revoked driver’s license or unresolved immigration issue often lingered in a client’s history, threatening their economic stability.
Romain joined the nonprofit legal firm and advocacy organization in mid-May as its new CEO, a role he was drawn to as a way to tackle these upstream legal issues that often trap low-income people in cycles of poverty and thwart economic mobility. “Folks are desperate. They have criminal records, can’t get jobs, don’t have housing,” he said.
Romain, who was most recently deputy general counsel for Appalachian State University and spent a decade as a public defender in Mecklenburg County, said returning to Charlotte for this role continues the work he’s fought for his entire career — providing essential access to legal representation and resources for vulnerable residents to achieve upward mobility. “We’re really trying to break that vicious cycle by providing the resources, legal information and legal advice” that people need, he said.Read more at: charlotteobserver.com