As the world enters the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) is deeply concerned about the push to “get back to normal.” Government safeguards have failed. Moreover, political leaders have broken promises on police reform, civil rights and public infrastructure. This is jeopardizing decades of progress on urgent issues, from ending criminal fines and fees to the school to prison pipeline.
Despite these significant challenges, EBCLC continues to provide urgent, holistic care to historically and currently underserved communities:
- While we witnessed the damage caused by the ending of the federal eviction moratorium during the Delta variant wave, EBCLC upheld the longest and strongest eviction moratorium in the country in Alameda County;
- We supported clients who spoke about insufficient federal stimulus payments and the expiration of the child tax credit by directly distributing cash assistance. Through this effort, we helped clients secure $1.3 million in public assistance;
- We saw inaction on the lack of safety structures for people in prison, and represented and freed incarcerated youth, and liberating their families from the harms of incarceration;
- EBCLC worked with business owners of color who were largely excluded from the Paycheck Protection Program and responded by launching regular legal counsel for women of color entrepreneurs; and
- When our clients informed us about the structural barriers to COVID-19 medical care, EBCLC hosted our own vaccine clinic.
On this significant anniversary, we honor our clients and our collective victories. EBCLC will continue to center women of color and the resilient communities that women of color sustain. Together, we will push for justice that transforms pre-pandemic normal.