Thursday, October 20th, 2022
Save the Date! 

Our 50th Anniversary Gala will be at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. We’d like to see you there for this very special event. Sponsorship opportunities are available today!
As we countdown to this special evening, we are sharing stories from Public Advocates alums, partners and staff and spotlighting pivotal legal and advocacy battles that positively influenced history in California and beyond. See these stories and more on The First 50 Years – Making Rights Real, celebrating our history as a social justice leader. The most recent story is a Snapshot from our Legacy: California’s Fair Housing Law.
Creating Permanently Affordable Housing Through Ownership 

Public Advocates is excited to co-sponsor AB 2710, authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra. The bill would keep families in their homes and preserve at-risk rental housing as permanently affordable. It would level the playing field for community investment, giving tenants, public agencies, and mission-driven nonprofits a first opportunity to purchase at-risk rental properties that could otherwise easily end up in the hands of speculators when owners choose to sell. The Stable Homes Act would also give tenants and eligible entities the right to match an offer made by a third party. Similar legislation has been successful in other parts of the country, and with your support, the Stable Homes Act can become the law throughout California. Read the recently published bill.
Community Voices in Local Housing

The East 12th Street Coalition is proud to celebrate an important victory after seven years of organizing paid off. On March 1, 2022, the Oakland City Council cast a decisive 5 to 3 vote denying a 6th extension to the stalled development proposal for predominantly luxury housing on a prime piece of city-owned land, the East 12th St Remainder Parcel. This clears the way for an affordable housing development that the community desperately needs. The East 12th Street Coalition writes, “it took a lot of us for us to get here, including neighbors, organizers, union reps, legal teams, journalists, architects, landscape architects, planners, radical developers, students, movement chefs, artists, & entertainers, and city council members.” Public Advocates is proud to have supported this grassroots community effort. Public Advocates became involved to provide legal support to the community when the City of Oakland violated the Surplus Land Act in 2015. Most recently, we sent a letter reminding the City of its legal obligations as the community successfully lobbied the Oakland City Council to stop extending the deadline for the current developer and instead commit once and for all to maximizing affordable housing on the site. For seven years community voices insisted on using public land for the public good, and they won.

In other local housing news, Bay Area cities and counties are required to update their local housing action plans – the “Housing Element” – by January 2023. As part of these plans, cities and counties must: 

  • Identify land where sufficient affordable housing can be developed;
  • Commit to actions that address the housing needs of all economic segments of the community;
  • And study and take affirmative steps to undo housing inequality for people facing systemic barriers to opportunity, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people.

Public Advocates and our Bay Area housing justice allies have recently published a Housing Element toolkit to help advocates, organizers, and community members use the process to win action from local governments. These local housing action plan updates are a critical opportunity to prevent displacement, preserve existing housing, increase affordable housing, and reverse segregation in the Bay Area.
Racially Just, Relationship-Centered Community Schools

Thanks in part to strong advocacy from Public Advocates and the California Partnership for the Future of Learning, California is making an historic 7-year $3 billion investment in Community Schools to support school transformation in partnership with students, families, and educators. A “Community School” is a public school with strong and intentional community partnerships ensuring pupil learning and whole child and family development. To be prioritized to receive grants, school districts must involve students, parents, school staff, and community partners in the planning process and commit to shared decision-making. Public Advocates is working with school districts, legislators and community groups to lift community voices, ensuring they are aware of the eligibility requirements, the timeline and who will be prioritized for grants, so that the transformation to racially just, relationship-centered community schools can happen through community involvement, and alignment with the community schools framework, as the law requires.
Public Advocates is Staffing Up

Public Advocates is excited to welcome six new staff members, five since the beginning of the year! 

Tina Greco, a human resources veteran with over 20 years of experience and leadership, joins us in the inaugural position of Director of Talent; Alfie Maguire, who comes to Public Advocates with over 10 years’ experience at high profile, global corporations, will support the Education Equity Team as Executive Assistant; Natalie Henry, who brings years of accounting experience across several industries, including nonprofits, joins us as Finance Manager; Ines Rosales, who most recently worked at the Alliance for Children’s Rights, joins us as Legislative Coordinator; Kelsey Hunkins, a student leader currently also pursuing her B.A., joins us as Administrative Associate; and Will Lowry, who previously worked at Ploughshares Fund, joins us as our new Senior Communications Associate. A warm welcome to all!
Public Advocates in the News

Stanford Lawyer profiled Fred Alvarez, a member and former Chair of the Public Advocates Board of Governors…..The Oakland Post News Group published “Pioneering San Francisco Law Firm Turns 50” on the website of the NNPA, the trade association for America’s Black-owned media companies…..EdSource asked observers, advocates, students and legislators their take on the governor’s budget for 2022-23, including Sbeydeh Viveros Walton, director of higher education…..John Affeldt, director of education equity, released a Statement on Education Funding in Governor Newsom’s Budget.

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