OAKLAND — According to a lawsuit filed today by civil rights groups, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is violating the constitutional rights of homeless people by confiscating and destroying their property in ongoing sweeps.
California tenants have a new arrow in their quiver: a law to protect them from being unfairly placed on rental blacklists that jeopardize their credit ratings and shut them out of the housing market. Signed this week by Gov. Jerry Brown, the measure is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.  Unpopular with landlord groups, the bill was a squeaker in the Legislature, narrowly passing through the Assembly in May and the Senate in August.
Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill Number 2819! A California law to protect innocent tenants from damaged credit and blacklists if eviction actions are resolved in their favor.
Thousands of low-income Alameda County families will no longer pay juvenile probation and public defender fees. On July 12, 2016 the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to end the assessment and collection on all fees charged to parents and guardians with children in the juvenile justice system. The repeal, which is the first of its kind in the state, ends all fee assessment and collection, offering immediate relief to more than 2,900 families with outstanding debt and shielding thousands of families who pass through Alameda’s juvenile courts every year from future financial hardship.
While working with the Housing Program at the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), Hernandez assisted clients who suffered from what he calls “a big flaw in landlord-tenant law.” Under existing rules, a tenant must win an eviction suit within 60 days—or else the court records become public and end up on the tenant’s credit report.
Some defendants will even pay a wrongfully assigned debt off because the amount of the debt is less than the money it would cost to fight the matter in court. Sharon Djemal, director of the Consumer Justice Clinic at the East Bay Community Law Center – which is assisting Christy in her case – tells Consumerist that the Center sees at least one person each week dealing with these same unfair debt collection scenarios.
Press Release: EBCLC and its Partners Win Key Legislative Victory for California Worker Cooperatives
Governor Brown signs AB 816, an EBCLC sponsored bill that would facilitate the creation of worker-owned businesses in California.
The Great Recession devastated the financial health of families across California, especially the working poor families of Fresno and the surrounding San Joaquin Valley. Millions of Californians are still struggling with unemployment or underemployment, living paycheck to paycheck, barely able to make ends meet.
EBCLC’s Director of Programs, Elisa Della-Piana, is featured in Berkeley Law’s story covering the report “Not Just a Ferguson Problem – How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California” on the need for traffic court reform.
East Bay Community Law Center Executive Director Tirien Steinbach says the new law, which passed in November, helps bridge a disconnect between old values and modern technology.