May 23, 2015. New Orleans, LA. After spending 21 days on the road, Gerhardstein & Branch partner and civil rights attorney Al Gerhardstein and his daughter, juvenile justice advocate Jessica Gingold, arrived at Washington Square Park in New Orleans at Noon on May 23, 2015. They traveled 1,350 miles on their tandem bicycle, having left Washington Square Park in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 2, 2015. They are promoting criminal justice and police reform and have been blogging and dialoguing with many people along the way including folks in Ferguson, Missouri. See www.pedalingjustice.com.
Jessica, a third-year law student at the University of Michigan, will be working in New Orleans this summer on juvenile justice issues. She said, “At the core, this ride is about human dignity. When our schools, courts, and public servants respect the individual strengths and obstacles of young people and their families and treat them with respect, we have vastly different outcomes.”
Through this ride, the two are raising money for two Midwest criminal justice organizations, the Ohio Justice & Police Center (www.Ohiojpc.org) and the Children’s Law Center (http://www.childrenslawky.org/). Al Gerhardstein, who has litigated police reform cases for 38 years, stated, “The nation is more focused on police reform now than at any time in my career. We are trying to point to model reforms like the twelve year old Cincinnati Collaborative and suggest that there are ways to build trust, achieve police accountability, reduce arrests and increase safety.”
The two report that they found many people very receptive all along the way. Both acknowledge that riding 1350-miles is not easy, but as Jessica said, “the opportunity to spend three weeks on a bike with my dad is incredibly specialthe adventures we had along the way will fuel us both for years to come.”