General Assembly Seeks Delay in Partisan Gerrymander Suit

Redistricting Lawsuit press conference
In Pennsylvania, our congressional district map is one of the most extreme partisan gerrymanders in the country, but state legislators are trying to avoid defending their map in court until June 2018. W
ith our pro bono partners at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, we filed an opposition to the requested delay, as any postponement will seriously interfere with voters' ability to have fair and constitutional congressional districts. The General Assembly has asked the Commonwealth Court to halt all court proceedings until the U.S. Supreme Court decides a gerrymandering case out of Wisconsin, Gill v. Whitford, but we say that there are no legal or factual grounds for this request. 

We believe it is time to put an end to partisan gerrymandering. If you agree, here's how you can help: On October 4, 2017, the Court will hear the request to delay the case. Mark your calendars now and plan to join us in court that day to show your support for this important lawsuit that impacts Pennsylvania voters. More details to come in the weeks ahead. You can also support our case with a donation

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Client Spotlight: Lisa Isaacs

Lisa Isaacs
Lisa Isaacs and family
Meet Lisa Isaacs, a client in our Pennsylvania Redistricting Lawsuit. Lisa, from Pennsylvania's 8th district, is an attorney and has spent her career advocating for the rights of the disabled. She lives in Bucks county with her husband and daughter. 
She said, "I joined this lawsuit because I know people do not think their votes count, leading them to drop out of their most important participation  in and contribution to society: voting. Now, more than ever, we need to assure that every voice is heard, and every vote is counted."

Show your support for Lisa and the rest of our Pennsylvania Redistricting Lawsuit clients by liking our post about her on our Facebook page.

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Straight Talk on Crooked Lines: The Impact of Gerrymandering on the Democratic Process
Thursday, September 28, 2017
4:45 - 7:30 PM | Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

From left to right: Carol Kuniholm, Michael Li, Deuel Ross and Ben Geffen
Join our distinguished panel of speakers for a discussion on gerrymandering
, followed by a reception and premiere of brief a video about the Public Interest Law Center

Learn about the impact of gerrymandering and how it affects the democratic process from a distinguished group of speakers:
  • Carol Kuniholm, Chair and Co-founder, Fair Districts PA
  • Michael Li, Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice
  • Deuel Ross, Assistant Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
  • Ben Geffen, Staff Attorney, Public Interest Law Center
Tickets: $75 for Attorneys, $25 for Public Interest/Law Clerk/Non-Attorney
1 Substantive Pennsylvania CLE Credit is available to Pennsylvania attorneys.
The Fair Market Value of each ticket is $25. 

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Supporting Service Animals for Children with Disabilities

Service Dog
Service dog
Service animals play a crucial role in the lives of individuals with disabilities. Research shows that children receive multiple benefits from the companionship of a service animal. We submitted an amicus brief to a case currently before the Third Circuit in support of a student who was denied the right to bring her service dog to school. The child, who has epilepsy, uses a service dog trained to detect seizures before their onset and to respond to seizures. Our brief highlights the legislative history of the service animal regulations which are intended to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not separated from their service animals. In spite of those legal protections, many schools are hesitant to allow service dogs in the classroom. We are asking the court to properly enforce the laws guaranteeing the rights of a person with a disability to remain with their service animal.

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2017 Annual Celebration: Rise Up
Thursday, October 19, 2017
6 - 9 PM | Fringe Arts + La Peg

Rise Up
2017 Annual Celebration: Rise Up
Mark your calendar and buy your tickets today! On Thursday, October 19 join us as we 
Rise Up  to protect the values of equality and opportunity that we treasure so deeply in this nation. The magnificent Fringe Arts will serve as the backdrop for a wonderful night of food, drink and celebration. Most importantly, we will honor others who have Risen Up, including:
  • our Tenant Clients for standing up to their landlords and trying to change the system in Landlord-Tenant Court
  • attorney Stephen F. Gold for advancing the rights of people with disabilities through decades of radical litigation and advocacy
  • Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Deborah R. Gross. 
We are also excited to announce that Tamala Edwards of 6ABC will serve as the event emcee! 

Tickets: $150
Sponsorships: $500 - $20,000 (Available until October 3.)
The Fair Market Value of each ticket used is $75

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Annual Celebration Spotlight: Deborah R. Gross, Esq.

Deborah Gross
Deborah R. Gross, Esq.
We will honor Deborah R. Gross, Esq. at our Annual Celebration on October 19, 2017. Ms. Gross is Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and an ex-officio member of our board of directors.  In her current tenure as Chancellor of the 13,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association, she has prioritized the non-profit legal community. She has been an active participant in the Bar's Delivery of Legal Services Committee and, under her leadership, the Bar has taken forceful positions in support of low-income Philadelphians and the lawyers who serve them. She also has leveraged the Association's resources as a founder and leader of Take Action Philly, a collaboration between the Bar, the City of Philadelphia, the private bar and public interest organizations that unites and trains lawyers, community organizations and residents to protect and assist vulnerable populations in the wake of state and federal policy changes. To date #TakeActionPhilly has convened hundreds of attorneys in two convenings to support immigrants and people facing cuts to health care.  We are proud to be honoring Ms. Gross with a Thaddeus Stevens Award.

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Urging Civil Rights Commission to Review EPA Title VI Enforcement

US Commission on Civil Rights
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
In 2016, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights published a report that highlighted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) lack of civil rights enforcement and contained a list of recommendations on how the EPA could better achieve environmental justice. The EPA failed to implement the majority of the Commission's recommendations, so we, in addition to many other signatories, are asking the Commission to investigate the EPA's progress. You can learn more about what specifically we and our partners asked the Commission to review on our website.

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Welcome to New Paralegal William Burstein

William Burstein
William Burstein
We are pleased to welcome William Burstein to staff as our new paralegal! Prior to joining the Law Center, William  was the corporate paralegal for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and he interned with organizations such as the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We are so excited to have William on staff, so help us congratulate him by liking his post on our Facebook page.

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