In the News

Criminal Fines and Fees ‘Ad Nauseam’ Help Fund California’s Justice System. A State Supreme Court Case May Lighten the Financial Load for Poor Defendants

Monday, April 5, 2021 |

It was 2018, and one of Asher Waite-Jones’ clients was making minimum wage working part-time in a warehouse when he was assessed about $2000 in fines and fees for a DUI conviction. To pay those, the client, a young man in his 20s, dropped out of school so he could pick up additional work hours. But not long afterward, he was laid off.

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Monday, March 29, 2021 | ,

“It is EBCLC’s privilege and responsibility to center the dignity and power of Women of Color,” says EBCLC Executive Director, Zoë Polk. “Our vision, our leadership, our staff, and, now, our home represent this investment. I am particularly humbled to present this gift to the South Berkeley community. They have inspired our pursuit of justice and peace. Through this mural, I hope they recognize that their lives and their stories are bound up in EBCLC’s vision.”  

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School’s East Bay Community Law Center Helps Advocate for Cutting Ties With Oakland School Police

Thursday, March 25, 2021 |

Last June, Oakland’s school board voted to disband its $6 million school police force, believed to be the country’s first district to do so. It committed to redirecting the money to trained staff like counselors and mentors to better support all students, but especially Black students, who studies show are much more likely to be arrested and disciplined by police of all kinds.

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Opinion: Turning crisis into opportunity: Why Berkeley needs TOPA now.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 |

No policy is better made for this moment than TOPA, a policy that will level the playing field by providing tenants, who already call Berkeley home, the first chance to acquire the rental property they live in when it comes up for sale. TOPA requires owners seeking to sell a rental property to give current tenants notice of intent to sell before marketing the property to other purchasers.

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Police Presence on BHS Campus Proves Controversial

Sunday, February 14, 2021 |

“The very presence of police in schools, in and of itself, is part of the school to prison pipeline,” said Oscar Lopez, the Interim Director of the Education Advocacy Clinic at the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC). “Feeling like you’re being watched all the time, knowing that a little mistake can land you in the juvenile legal system — that is the school to prison pipeline.”

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State lifts suspensions of half a million driver’s licenses

Friday, January 29, 2021 |

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.

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

Friday, January 22, 2021 |

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!

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