With our final newsletter of 2021, we thank you very much for being with us on this journey and for supporting our work. On behalf of everyone at Public Advocates, I wish you the very best for a healthy and happy holiday season!

In Justice – Guillermo Mayer, President & CEO
A Big Welcome to Suzanne Dershowitz and Michael Robin!

Our housing justice team is excited to welcome Staff Attorney Suzanne Dershowitz and Digital Communications Manager Michael Robin. Prior to joining Public Advocates, Suzanne served as a Housing Policy Attorney for Legal Aid of Sonoma County where she managed the organization’s state and local housing policy advocacy and led campaigns that supported community power building, resulting in meaningful policy change, including a stronger eviction moratorium and a $1.4 million right to counsel pilot program. Michael most recently worked with the Metropolitan Tenants Organization as a social media specialist designing their digital and visual identity and expanding their digital outreach to underserved communities.
Do’s and Don’ts for Community College Students: What to Know When Signing Up for Classes

There are a few things you should know before you sign up for next semester’s classes, especially if you want to transfer to a four-year college. Students have frequently been placed in remedial pre-transfer classes, often to their detriment. Read the blog post by Student Engagement and Policy Associate Karina Paredes.
Forming a Coalition for Social Housing

85 organizing, labor, affordable housing and policy groups that joined Public Advocates and our community partners in a letter to the Assembly Select Committee on Social Housing have now formed a statewide coalition. Social housing is publicly or socially owned and permanently affordable to residents of all income levels with protections against unjust eviction. Our coalition has established working groups that are focused on state policy and budget advocacy and supporting local organizing for social housing. We are requesting a significant investment of the state's large budget surplus to create a new social housing fund, to publicly acquire market housing, and produce new housing, that will begin to reach the scale California needs to overcome the affordable housing and homelessness crises.  
Photo by Alison Yin, EdSource
Op-Ed: Community Colleges are Still Wasting Black and Latinx students’ Time

Generations of students who could have succeeded have had their lives derailed because they were trapped in a never-ending cycle of remedial classes. In this op-ed by Senior Staff Attorney Jetaun Stevens, we call on the Chancellor and the 116 community colleges to uphold students’ rights under AB 705, and ensure the promise of the California Dream.
Blog: Recruiting More Teachers and Diversifying the Profession

There is a record investment being made in teacher recruitment, preparation, and trainingand it couldn't come at a more important time. So if you are interested in becoming a teacher, or recruiting fully credentialed teachers, this is the right place to start the journey! Learn about four programs that you can tap into into our blog post!

In addition, there is $1.5 billion available to school districts in Educator Effectiveness Funds. These funds must be spent on professional learning for teachers and administrators, as well as paraprofessionals and classified staff who work with students.
Frontline Transit Workers Deserve Hazard Pay

Throughout the pandemic, bus operators, mechanics, and other frontline transit workers put themselves and their families in harm's way. While their bosses worked from home, they kept our buses moving so that other frontline workers and residents could provide and access other vital services. Yet, with $4 billion in federal emergency funding to the Bay Area, these workers have yet to receive hazard pay. Public Advocates has supported rank-and-file members of ATU 192 and ATU 265 in their fight for fair treatment. Click here for footage from the hazard pay rally at Oakland City Hall earlier this month.
Newsom Signs Bill Creating New List of 2,000 Schools For Annual Inspection Required by Historic Williams Lawsuit

We're delighted with the signing of AB 599—a long-awaited revamp of how California ensures its lowest-performing schools provide basic educational necessities to all students. Since a settlement was reached in 2004, the state’s county offices of education have annually inspected 2,000 of the lowest performing public schools. The list of schools was supposed to be updated every three years but has been frozen in place since 2014. This new legislation means that the annual inspections list will be updated every three years from schools that are identified as needing support under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and schools where 15% or more of the teachers are not fully credentialed.
Public Advocates in the News

The Desert Sun and EdSource feature Public Advocates in a story about remedial coursework reform in community colleges…..Senior Staff Attorney Jetaun Stevens has an op-ed in EdSource on AB 705 implementation…..EdSource mentions Of Counsel Liz Guillen in a story about $13.6 billion in federal COVID relief funds…..The Voice of San Diego interviews Managing Attorney John Affeldt in a story about regulating a local charter school…..Senior Staff Attorney Nicole Gon Ochi is interviewed in the LA Times in a story about removing police from schools…..Deputy Managing Attorney Angelica Jongco is interviewed by EdSource in a story about drops in public school enrollment …..KQED Forum speaks to Public Advocates about regional affordable housing requirements.....Managing Attorney John Affeldt is interviewed in an EdSource story about a possible 2022 ballot measure that would challenge tenure protections and limit education spending.  
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