As 2015 comes to a close, we want to thank you for standing with Public Advocates and helping us make rights real for low-income families and communities of color across California. With your help, we responded to major challenges facing society, from the housing affordability crisis sweeping our cities, to improving funding for public schools, to advocating for equitable and sustainable development in our neighborhoods.
Here are just three examples of our many accomplishments in 2015:
- Defended in court $2 billion in education funding intended for low-income students, English language learners, and foster youth attending Los Angeles schools. Our first-of-its-kind lawsuit to enforce spending rules under the Local Control Funding Formula seeks to prevent officials at the Los Angeles Unified School District from illegally diverting new funds intended to improve educational services for high-need students. Read the news coverage and find out why this case is essential to protecting the equity promise at the heart of school funding reform in California.
- Responded to the housing affordability crisis in Oakland by stopping the city council from approving the development of a luxury tower in Lake Merritt that would have completely excluded affordable units despite being built on publicly owned land. Together with Eastlake United for Justice and many other community allies, we leveraged legal advocacy and community organizing to re-start the process and invite new bids that include up to 100% unit affordability. Read Senior Staff Attorney Sam Tepperman-Gelfant’s OpEd on what is at stake in this ongoing campaign.
- Shaped climate policies to protect vulnerable residents while reducing carbon emissions. Our advocacy before the California Air Resources Board resulted in new spending guidelines that will help safeguard low-income families from displacement as the state invests billions in climate funds to clean up polluted neighborhoods, making them healthier but vulnerable to gentrification.