Bob Gnaizda, a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Law School, co-founded Public Advocates in 1971 with three other attorneys, Anthony Kline, Sid Wolinsky, and Peter Sitkin. Before launching Public Advocates, Gnaizda founded California Rural Legal Assistance, where he represented low-income farm workers in California’s Salinas Valley during the era of Cesar Chavez. Gnaizda led Public Advocates until he joined the first administration of Governor Jerry Brown. Under Governor Brown, Gnaizda served as California’s Health Director and Chief Deputy Secretary for Health, Welfare and Prisons, and was the State Bar representative for the Federal Judicial Selection Committee. Gnaizda returned to Public Advocates in 1977 and then went on to co-found the Greenlining Institute in 1993, to fight redlining and institutionalized discrimination. Bob Gnaizda went on to retire, but continued to serve as an advisor to the Jesse Miranda Center for Hispanic Leadership and Christ Our Redeemer AME Church.
Bob Gnaizda passed away on July 11, 2020 and will always remain in our hearts and history here at Public Advocates as we continue to pursue the social justice work he so deeply cherished.