EBCLC Reflects on Community Advocacy during COVID-19

March 30, 2021

Cristiana Baik, Director of Development & Communications 

"While onboarding and working remotely has brought on its own set of challenges, I don't feel distant or removed from our work. If anything, I feel the sheer urgency and importance of the services we provide. For example, seeing the inequitable access to COVID-19 vaccines (with Black and Brown residents being disproportionately impacted and under-inoculated), and knowing that a significant number of our clients are women of color AND essential workers, makes me more determined to help EBCLC secure the resources we need to be able support our communities of color. Grateful to be doing this work."

Leticia Bautista, Immigration Unit Program Coordinator 

"The impact of our efforts makes working through a pandemic, and confronting the limitations and difficulties head on, all the more worth it. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the communities we seek to serve. Therefore, it is especially important to keep providing our services and continue making them accessible during these unprecedented times. The gratitude and relief a client exhibits when we help them demonstrates the importance of the work for our community. This is why I choose to join EBCLC, to continue advocating and serving the communities who have been hardest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic."

Milo Manopoulos Beitman, Health & Welfare Staff Attorney & Clinical Supervisor 

"The pandemic forced many of us to reckon with our current lives, take stock, and if privileged enough to do so, take leaps to make necessary changes. I am so grateful that the timing in the universe aligned and I can now call myself a part of the EBCLC team and a legal community committed to justice."

Taylor Boutelle, Provisionally Licensed Health & Welfare Staff Attorney & Clinical Supervisor 

"When I began working during the uncertainty and fear of what we now know were the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine, only months after I had finished law school with no graduation or sense of what was coming next, joining the Health & Welfare Team was a life raft. I went to law school with the hope to work with marginalized and over-policed communities in the East Bay, and to work with immunocompromised and otherwise vulnerable communities at the site of a global pandemic really helped me to feel less impotent, and give some structure to my days and feel like I was a legal advocate in the way I imagined (with some unexpected changes). Every person I've met at EBCLC has shown such a profound commitment to this work, and to the people, as well as an acknowledgement of the need both for every-day solutions and broad structural change for the myriad of injustices our clients face every day. I feel lucky to be here, working with inspiring and thoughtful folks, and just hope I can keep working with community members to aid in what they need now."