Paul K. Sonn

State Policy Program Director


Paul Sonn is NELP’s state policy program director, and is the director of the NELP Action Fund, NELP’s 501(c)(4) partner organization.

Before joining NELP, from 1999-2008, Paul was the founder and co-director of the Economic Justice Project at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. From 1994-1999 he was a Skadden Fellow and then assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He has also been a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School.

Paul has years of experience advocating for employment policy reform at the state and local levels across the United States. He has been a leading policy advisor to the minimum wage and living wage movements, helping to design and successfully defend the first city minimum wage laws in the United States, and supporting many campaigns to raise state minimum wages, including the Fight for $15. He also has extensive experience around worker organizing policy, fighting preemption of local government power, local economic development, employment benefits, targeted hiring, state and local ballot initiatives, and policy strategies for turning low-wage work into good jobs with a pathway to the middle class.

Paul has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, and many other television and radio outlets. His work has been profiled in the New York Times Magazine and he has been widely quoted in the print media. He has written for The Hill, CNBC, Newsweek, the American Prospect, the New York Daily News, and other publications.


J.D., Yale Law School
A.B., Dartmouth College



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