We Must Stop the Coming Surge of COVID Evictions

With an unemployment rate approaching 25%, wide swaths of the economy shut down, and millions looking but unable to find work, it is inhumane and counterproductive to our state’s economic recovery to evict tenants for inability to pay rent. We're co-sponsoring AB 1436—the top renter protection bill of 2020 which stops evictions, and provides relief to California’s renters. AB 1436 will also provide forbearance to mortgage holders. Learn more.
$300 Million Misspent in San Bernardino County Schools

Public Advocates uncovered a massive neglect of Black and Brown students in San Bernardino County schools. More than $300 million for high-need students has been misspent or is unaccounted for. We filed this precedent-setting administrative complaint with the San Bernardino County Office of Education on behalf of Inland Congregations United for Change and Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement. Read the story in the San Bernardino Sun.
Big Budget Wins

Public Advocates, in our leadership roles with the California Partnership for the Future of Learning and the LCFF Equity Coalition, spent a frenzied and unique “remote” budget season, advocating and negotiating with key legislative staff and the Governor’s office on education policy issues in the State Budget. These efforts won promising commitments, including:

  • No cuts to Local Control Funding Formula dollars and the distribution of $2.9 billion in federal CARES Act dollars using an equity formula proposed by our coalitions that won the day over the separate proposals advanced by both the Governor and the Legislature.

  • Emotional wellness and engagement of students/families requirements in back-to-school plans.

  • Minimum standards for online learning that ensure access to digital devices for all students, daily live instruction and curriculum of comparable content and quality to in-person instruction.

  • A $45 million investment in community schools that center strong relationships among service providers, educators, students and their families.

  • A commitment to explore shifting investments in school police to counselors and other student wellness supports as well as the creation of a Young People’s Task Force to provide the state with guidance on this issue and more.
Trump tears down a pillar of fair housing law

Donald Trump has made no secret of his disdain for fair housing law. And now, he is gutting a key provision of the Fair Housing Act specifically the AFFH rule which calls on jurisdictions to proactively combat racism in housing.

We anticipated this attack, and passed AB 686 in 2018 which enshrined AFFH into California law. Now, together with the Alliance for Housing Justice , we're urging Congress to use its Congressional Review Act responsibilities to reject Trump’s undoing of the AFFH rule and direct HUD to get back to the work of supporting housing equity nationwide.
Protecting transit workers from COVID-19

As infections and deaths from COVID-19 mount, people of color and low-income workers are being disproportionately impacted by the failure of transit agencies to put the safety of its workers and community members ahead of profit. We’ve teamed up with the Amalgamated Transit Union and the Voices for Public Transportation coalition to make sure workers and riders have access to safe public transportation. Take action!
Common Sense. But No Common Practice.

A new report co-authored by Public Advocates looks at how teachers are trained to engage with families of color. Years of research and now COVID-19 highlight the critical relationship between parent partnerships and student learning, and California must do better. The report was authored by the LA-based Parent Organization Network.
Remembering Bob Gnaizda, Public Advocates Co-Founder.

We deeply mourn the passing of Robert Gnaizda, Public Advocates' co-founder, on July 11, 2020 at the age of 83 in San Francisco. He died accompanied by his loving family. We offer our heartfelt condolences to Bob's wife and partner in social justice work, Claudia Viek and all the members of his family. Read our tribute to Bob Gnaizda here. You can also read the San Francisco Chronicle's story about Bob’s life here .
The Voices of Conscience Fund: our civil rights war chest

Support for the Voices of Conscience Fund , now entering its third year, continues to grow. We're grateful to all our sponsors for leading the way and hope you will join us again in 2020. Public Advocates has created the Fund to direct 100% of your financial contribution to building the legal firepower necessary to fight for education, housing and transportation equity. Please click here to explore sponsorship levels.
Appreciations for our summer interns!

We are deeply grateful for the outstanding work by our fellows and interns this summer and the contributions they made to our education and housing teams. Thank you to Synequeen Alasa-As, Dylan Crary, Laura Flores, Sydney Martin, Ezera Miller-Walfish, Hoang Pham, Latrel Powell and Natalie Thompson . We wish you the very best and hope you will stay connected to your Public Advocates family for years to come!
Remembering Carmen Nancy Castellano

Our most heartfelt condolences go out to Carmela Castellano-Garcia, former Public Advocates Managing Attorney and member of our Board of Governors, on the passing of her dear mother, Carmen Nancy Castellano , a co-founder with her husband Alcario of the Castellano Family Foundation. Carmen Nancy Castellano was a leading Latinx philanthropist, arts and community advocate and cherished member and board member of many Latinx organizations both in Santa Clara County, where she lived, and nationally. The foundation, established in 2001 with funds Mr. Castellano won in the California lottery, has granted more than $6.5 million to local non-profit groups, including to Public Advocates, for the cultivation and enrichment of the Latinx community, Latinx family values and the development of leaders of color.
Public Advocates in the News

Policy Advocate Michelle Pariset was interviewed by Capitol Public Radio and KQED about AB 1436, our bill to stop evictions during the pandemic…..Michelle is also quoted in the Business Journal on AB 1703, a bill that would give tenants the right to make the first offer on renter-occupied homes…..The San Bernardino Sun , Cal Matters and the Precinct Reporter cover our complaint against San Bernardino schools alleging more than $300 million in misspending…..Managing Attorney John Affeldt is quoted by the Voice of San Diego in stories about California school reopening plans and San Diego Unified’s plans to reopen….. BisNow and the SF Business Times quotes Managing Attorney Sam Tepperman-Gelfant and BisNow mentions Public Advocates in stories about AB 1436…..EdSource covers Governor Newsom’s decision to direct $4 billion in federal funds towards schools, and school funding challenges resulting from COVID-19.....The San Francisco Chronicle interviews Deputy Managing Attorney Angelica Jongco in a story about Bay Area School reopening plans
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