2016 Annual Report and 2017 Strategy

Annual Report
Check out our 2016 Annual Report and 2017 Strategy featuring last year's big wins in health care, housing and environmental justice, along with acknowledgment of our amazing donors and volunteers! Want a hard copy? S
ign up for our mailing list by emailing Michael Berton at mberton@pubintlaw.org. As always, don't forget to connect with us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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Goodbye Amy Laura, Welcome Ebony!

From L to R: Jennifer Clarke; Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Jennifer Kates and Amy Laura Cahn
After five years as a staff attorney and director of our environmental justice work, Amy Laura Cahn is heading off on a new adventure in June. Last week we celebrated her work with our dear friends and clients, and City Council presented her with a citation for her work bringing urban agriculture and environmental justice issues to the forefront of city policy. 

In spite of our sadness, we are pleased to announce that in June, we will welcome attorney Ebony Griffin to join our team and carry on the important work Amy Laura started. Ebony has honed her environmental justice skills at Enhesa, Inc., the U.S. EPA and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Help us welcome Ebony now by liking our welcome post on Facebook!
2017 Annual Celebration: Rise Up
Thursday, October 19, 2017
6 - 9 PM | Fringe Arts + La Peg

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. 
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Lending Support to PA Dept. of Environmental Protection in Clean Water Case

We joined a group of nearly 100 non-profit organizations, small business owners and elected officials in submitting an amicus brief supporting the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP) in a clean water case. The case was brought by fracking company EQT, which accused PA-DEP of issuing exorbitant penalties for EQT's illegal pollution into a nearby stream in Tioga County, PA. You can learn more about the case on our website. We brought to the amicus brief our expertise on environmental justice issues and our concerns about the disproportionate impact these issues have on communities of color and low-income communities.

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#TakeActionPhilly Second Convening: Medicaid
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
2:30 - 5 PM | Free Library of Philadelphia

Take Action Philly
The second Take Action Philly convening will take place on Tuesday, June 13, from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Free Library of Philadelphia. This program will focus on Pennsylvania's Medicaid program, which ensures 2.9 million Pennsylvanians, is the largest payer for nursing home care in our state, and is a critical driver of jobs and the healthcare system. This program is currently at risk from proposed major cuts at the state and federal level. 

Attendees will learn:
  • how Medicaid works 
  • how lawmakers could cut the program
  • which populations are particularly at risk of losing coverage
  • how lawyers, advocates, and citizens can work together to protect this life- and health-saving program.
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Philly Healthy Schools Initiative

The average age of the School District of Philadelphia's public school facilities is over 66 years, and decades of under-investment has resulted in nearly $5 billion of deferred maintenance, repairs, and replacement needs. As a result, students, teachers and staff have been exposed to lead in paint and drinking water, asbestos, mold, rodent and pest infestations, and lack of proper climate control. We joined a coalition that is calling on the District to implement policies to improve these environmental health threats. 

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Young Lawyers Division CLE: PA School Funding Crisis
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
12 - 1 PM | Philadelphia Bar Association

Staff attorneys  Michael Churchill and  Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg will present on Pennsylvania's school funding crisis at a Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division CLE on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.  Pennsylvania's system of public school funding is often described as the most inequitable in the country. In this program, our attorneys, who brought a constitutional challenge to that system, will explain why those inequities exist, and what can be done to change them.

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Law Center Opportunities: Paralegal and 2018 Fellowship

Work with Us
We are seeking applications for a paralegal to provide administrative and research support for office staff. We are also currently accepting applications for candidates for post-graduate public interest fellowships to be sponsored by the Law Center. We will sponsor one fellow in 2018, and we are especially interested in sponsoring a candidate who will develop a project to secure health care, including dental or behavioral health care, for low income children or adults.

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Law Center Board of Directors Updates

Board Meeting
At our 2017 annual meeting on May 18, our Board of Directors gained new members and thanked those whose terms ended.  The board elected Marian Schneider, special advisor to Governor Wolf, and Molly Flynn of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. We expressed gratitude to Carlos Montoya, Paul Saint-Antoine and Jenai St. Hill, who have completed terms as board members. We also welcomed a new slate of officers: Lea Knight as chair, Ellen Friedell as vice-chair, Ellen Meriwether as Treasurer, and Marc Topaz as Secretary.

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