In the News

To Stop The Spread Of Coronavirus, California Officials And Attorneys Call For Eviction Bans

Friday, March 13, 2020 |

“We are already in a housing crisis and now we have a housing crisis colliding with a public health crisis,” said Meghan Gordon, housing director of the East Bay Community Law Center, a nonprofit legal aid group in Oakland.

On Wednesday, at the Alameda County State Superior Courthouse in Hayward, Gordon was one of dozens of attorneys standing shoulder to shoulder in a hallway with nearly 100 tenants and landlords during the court’s Wednesday conference day, a mandatory mass meeting judges make renters and landlords attend to try to settle eviction lawsuits instead of taking them trial. Gordon said the daily operations of eviction courts in urban counties create exactly the kinds of mass gatherings which can spread contagious diseases.

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East Bay Community Law Center’s Statement on COVID-19

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 |

EBCLC represents more than thirty years of disrupting the impoverishment, incarceration and destruction of lives. We lean on this history of resilience and resolve during this time of flux. Moreover, we are voicing the concerns of our broad community, and recommending that our government partners take sensible, compassionate steps to advance long-term change in our legal system and value the safety of all people.

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Encampment Sweeps Take Away Homeless People’s Most Important Belongings

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 |

“People are only given a short amount of time in which they have to move everything, and if they can’t, people lose everything,” said Osha Neumann, consulting attorney for the East Bay Community Law Center, who just helped win a $2 million settlement against the California Department of Transportation for destroying homeless folks’ property. (In 2019, I profiled Neumann’s work for the San Francisco Chronicle.) “People are simply cleaned out,” he said. “The day begins with them having what they need to survive, and they come back and don’t have a home.”

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City of Berkeley officials organize Interstate 80 underpass cleanup

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 |

There is currently a class action lawsuit against Caltrans to prevent it from moving people and to get compensation for those who lost their belongings, according to Osha Neumann, an attorney at the East Bay Community Law Center. Neumann added that the insistence of the homeless community to stay in that area sparked the “Where do we go?” campaign in Berkeley.

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Rents march upward across the Bay Area

Friday, February 21, 2020 |

Seema Rupani, an attorney with the East Bay Community Law Center, said rents in places like Oakland and Berkeley have risen as more people have left San Francisco for the East Bay, pushing out longtime residents, particularly African Americans. “The rent is just impossible,” Rupani said, adding that displacement has also meant “loss of community.”

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Caltrans to pay up to $5,500 to each homeless Bay Area resident affected by camp cleanups

Thursday, February 20, 2020 |

“It has been forever that the property of homeless people has been considered garbage,” said Osha Neumann, an East Bay Community Law Center attorney representing the plaintiffs. “The people are considered garbage and their property has been considered garbage, and that’s not OK. This says they have the same constitutional protections as anyone else.”

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