Hunter spoke with Diane Lozano, the Wyoming State Public Defender
Today, Hunter spoke with Diane Lozano, the Wyoming State Public Defender, to discuss how she’s been able to secure support for Public Defense in the challenge political landscape of Wyoming. With more than a decade at the helm of the state’s public defender system, Diane’s use of data and public advocacy has allowed her to maintain support through multiple state Congresses and Gubernatorial administrations. Despite the turmoil that comes with changing faces of a constantly rotating political body, Diane found a way to build the necessary relationships and compile the necessary data to make convincingly and consistently make the case for people to care about public defense. This task is even more impressive when one considers that her position is a direct Gubernatorial appointee!
Yet her victories are always in a precarious state. As with all states, funding for public defense is always at the whim of an ever-changing political body, but in Wyoming, it’s also tied to the success of the fossil fuel industry. Despite victories both in and out of the court room, the boom bust cycle of the fossil fuel industry often leaves her offices and the support services their clients need, in a precarious position. What can be done to shore up a more consistent funding stream? What can we learn from the story of Public Defense in Wyoming? All that and more will be answered by the end of this excellent conversation!