Some advocates for homeless people in Berkeley have lent some support to Whitson and her neighbors. Osha Neumann, a lawyer with the East Bay Community Law Center, told Berkeleyside earlier this week that he’d begun exploring the RV residents’ rights, and whether homestead laws could apply and prevent them from being towed.
In the News
Oscar Lopez, attorney at East Bay Community Law Center’s Education Advocacy Clinic joined us to talk about the mission of EBCLC
The racial justice work churning within Berkeley Law is expansive and inspiring. Yet the people leading that work—clinic leaders, student advocates, faculty scholars—acknowledge that confronting racial inequities in America demands confronting them in its legal institutions. “Racial justice work is disingenuous unless it’s connected to that acknowledgment,” says Tirien Steinbach ’99, director of Berkeley Law’s East Bay Community Law Center (ECBLC). “People talk about leveling the playing field, but very few legal entities actually do it.”
Second ‘Tuff Shed’ Homeless Camp Opens in Oakland, but Some Criticize Closure of the Surrounding Encampment
Osha Neumann, a homeless rights advocate and attorney, questioned why the city has chosen to close an existing, self-organized camp to accommodate its own Tuff Shed program.
“We need housing,” said Osha Neumann, an attorney and advocate for homeless people who designed the 1976 mural depicting the history of the park and Telegraph Avenue that is painted on the side of Amoeba Records near the park. “We need housing for students. We need housing for people who are homeless. I don’t think we need it there.”
Osha Neumann, who has fought efforts to transform People’s Park in the past, said there are plenty of other sites where housing can be built and that he would oppose any effort to do away with one of the last pieces of open space in the city where “the homeless have been allowed to be.” “It’s a part of Berkeley that is fast disappearing” given the city’s rapid gentrification, he said.
With the recent uncertainty surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and undocumented people generally, “we’re seeing fear and confusion within the entire immigrant community,” says Linda Tam ’00, who directs the East Bay Community Law Center’s Immigration Clinic. “This work has become more important than ever.”
If the Trump administration does not provide an adequate justification for rescinding DACA within the next 90 days, the government will have to accept new DACA applications, under D.C. judge John D. Bates’ ruling. The judge’s ruling does not “change anything immediately,” according to Linda Tam, a lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Law and the director of the immigration clinic at the East Bay Community Law Center.
Jael Myrick of the East Bay Community Law Center said the group has helped people whose license applications were rejected simply because they had been arrested, without ever being convicted.
Kate Weisburd and her students in the Youth Defender Clinic at UC Berkeley’s East Bay Community Law Center began representing young people in juvenile court in Alameda County in 2013. Almost immediately they observed that parents and guardians of their clients were being charged fees totaling several thousand dollars per family.