Jonathan Stein has pursued a 50-year career as an anti-poverty legal aid lawyer at Community Legal Services since 1968, following graduation from Columbia College, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a year at the London School of Economics. He has been one of the nation’s few exemplars of his generation still actively working as a legal advocate for the poor, and presently is Of Counsel at CLS.
Stein was among the first to advance the rights of broad numbers of low income people via class-action law suits and law reform advocacy, which through US Supreme Court cases and Congressional legislation have had national impact. He has been at the forefront of reform in such areas as Social Security and SSI disability; welfare and Medical Assistance; school lunch and breakfast; rights of disabled and the blind; low income health insurance; childhood lead paint poisoning; utility termination protections; civil rights housing; among others.
He has also had a long-standing interest in all the arts, and since the 1970s-80s has pursued modern dance and contact improvisation with inspiring teachers including Alice Forner, Madeline Cantor, Susan Deutsch, Leah Stein, Steve Krieckhaus, Eric Schoefer, Karen Carlson, and David Brick. Since 1989, he has appeared in two dozen dance performances in the works of Asimina Chremos, Stephan Koplowitz, Leah Stein, Megan Mazarick, and in Headlong Dance Theater’s Cell in the 2006 Live Arts Festival, and 2007 International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, and in Jerome Bel’s The Show Must Go On, Live Arts Festival, 2008, at the Kimmel Center.
Stein has been a writer and editor for tD since its 2011 founding, including serving on its Board of Directors as Chairperson as well as writing dance and theater reviews for a period for BroadStreetReview.com. He got the itch early for writing as Features Editor at the Columbia Daily Spectator in the early 60s and in the last historic days of letterpress (hot metal typesetting) printing.