CJE was founded in April 2006 by a group of concerned Marin County residents who believed that community involvement will strengthen our judiciary. What began as a small, informal discussion with a handful of people has grown into an effective public education and advocacy organization that helps provide a voice for abused children and protective parents at the local, state, and national levels.
Stephen Burdo brings many years of nonprofit management and strategic consulting experience to the CJE Board. He served as a key consultant to CJE for eight years and was instrumental in the development of the organization’s bylaws, in many of our public policy wins, and in our fundraising efforts from 2007 – 2015. Stephen joined the Board in 2018 and now works as a Public Information Officer at Contra Costa County.
Marivic Mabanag is the Executive Director of Broadview, a center for spiritual healing in Los Angeles. As a nationally recognized policy leader, activist, and social entrepreneur, she has served on the staff of four Mayors, as the Chief Executive of the California State Domestic Violence Coalition, and she has started programs for homeless young women and worked on statewide youth violence prevention initiatives.
Originally from the Philippines, Marivic Mabanag came to the U.S. when she received a scholarship to Wellesley College in Massachusetts and where she was selected as the Commencement Speaker.
Marivic is the Co-Founder of the Filipino-American Democratic Caucus of the California Democratic Party. She continues to be involved in various national initiatives for the empowerment of minorities, women, and youth.
Katie Burke has practiced law in San Francisco for nineteen years. She is the owner of Burke Law. Katie conducts workplace investigations, drafts and reviews premarital and post-marital agreements, represents individual clients in family law matters, and mediates family law disputes.
Katie earned her B.A. in Psychology from Fairfield University in Connecticut, her Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University, and her law degree at the University of San Francisco School of Law after graduate school. Katie is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators; the Employment Law, Family Law, and Solo & Small Firm sections of the Bar Association of San Francisco (“BASF”); ProVisors San Francisco 9; the ProVisors Bay Area Lawyers Group; and CouncilONE San Francisco 1.
Katie has contributed attorney and judicial profiles for San Francisco Attorney, BASF’s quarterly magazine. She has reported on California cases for the Daily Journal, The BASF Bulletin, Legal by the Bay, and Trial Insider. Katie wrote Noe Kids, her monthly column featuring Noe Valley children for The Noe Valley Voice, from 2019 through 2021. In April 2020, she published Urban Playground, her book of interviews with San Francisco children. Katie is currently writing a book of interview-based profiles of women and nonbinary people who surf.
Darrel Riley is a protective father in Seattle, WA, whose two daughters were forced into Family Bridges reunification camp in an Ontario, CA, hotel in April 2016. Since then, Darrel has spent countless hours researching reunification camps, and he has served as a strategic supporter to countless parents who have faced potential reunification camps or “threat therapy” placements.
Darrel has written powerfully about the historic racism that his African American and Native American ancestors endured and how his daughters were raised to appreciate the sacrifices made by their ancestors. He also speaks about how Family Bridges tried to convince his daughters that their African American and Native American father was a “pathogen,” the term used to dehumanize Jews before they were exterminated by the Nazis.
Darrel has participated in numerous meetings with United States Senate offices in D.C. about his family’s reunification camp experience to educate lawmakers about the dangers of “threat therapy.” His efforts helped ensure that Kayden’s Law’s reunification camp provision remained intact when it passed the Senate and became federal law as part of the Violence Against Women Act in March 2022. Darrel also participated in a filmed panel discussion about Protective Parents with Kathleen Russell and the producers of the HBO mini-series Allen v. Farrow. Darrel hasn’t seen his younger daughter Madeleine since 2016, when the court ordered her to Family Bridges, while his older daughter Arianna emancipated before she turned 18 and returned to live with him, where she still resides. Darrel is a longtime employee of King County and an active Board member of the Center for Judicial Excellence.
Mary Lee Strebl, Founding Board Member & Angel Benefactor
It is with great sadness that we report the recent passing of CJE’s Angel Benefactor and one of our founding board members, Mary Lee Strebl.
Mary Lee never wavered in her commitment to our social justice work, and without her support, none of CJE’s victories would have been possible these past 17 years. We will never forget Mary Lee’s kind, gentle, and compassionate way in the world, and we will continue to work every day to honor her legacy on behalf of America’s most vulnerable children.
Jean Taylor, Board President, Emeritus
Jean Taylor was a steady and pivotal leader of the Center for Judicial Excellence during the organization’s formative years, serving as our Board President from 2006 through 2016. Jean’s fierce dedication to child safety, to human dignity, and to community service was infectious, and her leadership resulted in her receiving the County of Marin’s Martin Luther King Human Rights Award. She was also inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame. Jean retired from the Board in early 2017 to deal with some health issues, but her legacy lives on in the work we do each and every day. We would not be where we are today without Jean’s steadfast commitment to family court reform.