“Berkeley has one of the most progressive school discipline policies I’ve ever seen. They’re really trying,” said Bay, who represents families from Oakland and Hayward too. But she said there’s still work to be done, and black students are vulnerable to “the biases we carry.” The students she’s seen in special day classes are subject to “hyper-surveillance” in her view, where their every move is written down and their behavior “pathologized.”
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An Open Letter to the Mayor and City Council Regarding the Raids on Homeless Encampments in Berkeley
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL June 3, 2018 Dear Mayor Arreguin and City Council Members Another unnecessary disaster is in the making. This is becoming exhausting. And sad. We get turned into broken records. We don’t even want to hear ourselves repeating the tired phrases. But we have no choice. On […]
“Does the City have any idea who’s living on Second Street?” Neumann wrote. “It’s mostly people who have been homeless for many many years for reasons too numerous to mention, but which include the fact that they have significant mental and physical disabilities. They are people with difficult lives who do not deserve to have their lives made more difficult by us. If we can’t help, at least let us do no harm.”
The clinic is run by the Center’s Clean Slate Practice, which focuses on “the decriminalization of poverty,” according to Brandon Greene, one of its lead attorneys. Some of Greene’s colleagues do post-conviction work, helping to seal arrest records, reduce probation, and help people who’ve been denied employment because of criminal backgrounds. But Greene’s clients are facing a particular set of issues: court-ordered debt related to things like traffic violations and parking tickets.
On May 24, Krasner moderated a livestreamed panel of youth justice experts at Berkeley Law’s East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC). Co-hosted by the Justice Collaborative Engagement Project, the event focused on reforming juvenile justice in Alameda County and across California—and on prosecutors’ role in achieving that reform.
“This system perpetuates a cycle of debt and poverty that disparately affects people of color; people of color are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system in California and this involuntary debt can affect the building of intergenerational wealth.” Theresa Zhen, Staff Attorney, East Bay Community Law Center.
“What they are essentially saying to these people — families, disabled people, veterans — you can’t be here and we are not telling you where you can go — basically just get out of town,” said Osha Neumann from the East Bay Community Law Center.
“A lot of (prison) programs actually train people how to do these jobs, how to have a career in this, without telling them they’ll be banned from getting the license,” said Jael Myrick, a Richmond city councilman and program coordinator of the Clean Slate Program at the East Bay Community Law Center, which is sponsoring the bills. “That’s the issue we’re trying to fix.”
Over the years, we realized that there was enough consumer law work to fill another clinic at the East Bay Community Law Center. They already had immigration law and landlord tenant and other clinics. But this one would focus on consumer law defense. They called it the Consumer Justice Clinic. And it is thriving.
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.