State lifts suspensions of half a million driver’s licenses

Many Californians can’t afford a day off work to plead their case to a judge. But when they don’t pay and don’t show up at court, the fines increase, their licenses can be suspended and if they are caught driving on a suspended license, they face criminal charges.

“It’s the criminalization of poverty,” said Asher Waite-Jones, staff attorney and clinical supervisor at the East Bay Community Law Center.

Preventing Displacement & Creating Homeownership Opportunity: A Community Conversation on Berkeley’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) Proposal

EBCLC’s Community Economic Justice Clinic is hosting an upcoming community forum with the City of Berkeley’s Mayor, Jesse Arreguín. We will be discussing the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), an anti-displacement housing policy created by EBCLC, in close collaboration with our partners, including the City of Berkeley. We hope that you can join us!

EBCLC’s Women of Color-Centered Platform

As a woman of color-led and centered organization, EBCLC is and will be pursuing, with unapologetic clarity and focus, our Women of Color-Centered Platform.   “When we invest in the vision, strategies, and solutions of women of color, we center dignity, uplift families, and advance systems-change work that transforms communities. These impacts are clearly reflected […]

EBCLC’s Statement on the U.S. Presidential Inauguration

The East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) celebrates today’s inauguration, and perhaps more importantly the end of the previous administration. We must also acknowledge that calls for unity and healing are both superficial and deadly for our communities and the clients we represent. In the wake of the violent, attempted coup at the Capitol, and in the wreckage of all we have endured and lost during the last four years, we must all center anti-racism in our practice. We must hold each other accountable and recognize that whitelash is deeply entrenched in our country’s history. Our commitment to a world in which race does not matter requires daily work.

12/10 Debt Free Justice California Webinar: Ensuring Relief Under a New Criminal Administrative Fee Repeal

In September, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1869, which repeals 23 criminal fees and eliminates all outstanding debt related to those fees. The law goes into effect July 1, 2021, but actions can be taken immediately to help people who have been charged these fees.

This free MCLE training will give an overview of the relief provided under this new law, and include presentations from a public defender about how to navigate new and existing fees ordered by the court and a legal service provider about what to do about outstanding fees between now and July 1, 2021.

Berkeley City Council must fully protect tenants during COVID-19 pandemic.

Stakeholders such as the Berkeley Tenants Union, East Bay Community Law Center and Eviction Defense Center have spent months working to strengthen the city’s law suspending evictions and delaying rent during the pandemic. On Oct. 28, the 4×4 Committee on Housing — composed of four council members and four rent board commissioners – unanimously approved a suite of crucial amendments to protect tenants and homeowners from eviction and financial ruin.

Electronic monitoring of youth, and data sharing, widely used in California’s juvenile justice system

As today’s report shows, electronic monitoring technology is widespread in the California juvenile justice system, with some 90 % of counties using the technology to track young people. This technology tracks young people wherever they go, typically through a GPS-enabled ankle bracelet that cannot be removed. Although it is now widespread, the impact of electronic monitoring on the juvenile justice system is poorly understood.

State Agency Orders City of Oakland to Evict Union Point Park Homeless Encampment

“The City of Oakland is caving in and maybe they’re using the BCDC as an excuse to do what they want to do anyway, which is to remove that encampment,” Neumann suggests. Neumann points to a parallel situation in Berkeley last year, where that City’s Council contemplated installing a permitted RV encampment in a Marina parking lot area. He says Berkeley’s City Manager was unenthusiastic about the idea, and ultimately used the argument that the BCDC’s threat of a lawsuit in Oakland meant Berkeley would be challenged at the Marina, as well. The argument was effective, and Council abandoned the idea.