Director's Corner

April 7, 2020

In the midst of this spring, EBCLC is open. We have remained open for our new and existing clients. We have been open to explore and implement new strategies that ensure the health and safety of our most vulnerable communities. And we are open to all of the possibilities that have and continue to arise in the wake of COVID-19.

The past month has created unprecedented openings to center the values that EBCLC has always held: that housing, economic justice, and community health are all inextricably linked. With your support, we have created and taken all opportunities not just to disrupt business as usual, but also to bring along new allies, lay the groundwork for better systems, and bring new vision to 2020. Our long-term collective impact continues to grow:

  • We successfully urged our local court to halt eviction proceedings, protecting families from displacement during the crisis and preserving the health of tenants, landlords, attorneys, and court staff who would otherwise be packed into crowded courthouse hallways.
  • We worked with Oakland’s City Council to enact a strong eviction moratorium, and yesterday, our statewide coalition of tenant advocates ushered in a massive extension of these protections across California.
  • On March 27ththe California Franchise Tax Board agreed to our demand to pause court-ordered debt collection, so that no one becomes destabilized during this pandemic over a years-old speeding ticket or juvenile justice system fee.
  • And of course, because of your partnership, we’ve been able to ramp up our direct services and provide deportation defense, public benefits advocacy, and youth education defense at the time when our clients need us most

I know that these policy wins are indicative of the victories we will continue to accomplish together. Holistic care is not just our approach but our mandate. I hope you’ll join me and the entire EBCLC team in remaining open to all that’s ahead.

Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy spring


Zoë Polk

Executive Director

East Bay Community Law Center