In the News
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.
“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.
Berkeley and Oakland are working on a policy to preserve affordable housing that would be the first of its kind in California.
Caltrans agreed in February to pay $5.5 million to settle claims that the agency illegally removed and destroyed the belongings of homeless residents camped on its land — including $1.3 million directly to the people affected. Since then, more than 720 people potentially eligible for payouts have contacted the lawyers on the case, and the legal team has completed at least 300 claims.
“We’re engaged in this monumental process trying to get compensation to all these homeless people,” said attorney Osha Neumann of the East Bay Community Law Center, who represents the homeless plaintiffs in Sanchez v. Caltrans. “I think it’s unprecedented. I’ve never heard of anything similar happening.”
Oscar Lopez, at the East Bay Community Law Center, in Berkeley, Calif., is another recipient. He has directed the Skadden grant money to make sure students get access to adequate education.
Legal issues sparked by Covid are layered on top of other educational problems such as students who have been unable to resolve pending disciplinary proceedings that could hinder attending school.
On Monday, September 28, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 2463 (Wicks), effectively stopping the unjust practice of forcing the sale of family homes over small, unsecured debts. East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) celebrates the passage of this long-overdue legislation, which will prevent a statewide foreclosure crisis by expanding consumer protections for all Californians.
AB 1869 eliminates 23 adult criminal fees, cancels $16 billion in existing debt, and divests our state’s precious resources from an inherently violent criminal legal system.
Breonna Taylor lived as a beloved family member, an essential healthcare worker, and a community builder. Photos of her reveal how much she had to offer the world. The mural tributes of her in downtown Oakland and across the country evince that she has changed it.