In the News



Courts Launch Amnesty Program for Overdue Traffic Tickets

Original article appeared in San Jose Inside. By Jennifer Wadsworth Under an amnesty program that starts Oct. 1, California drivers struggling to pay off mounting traffic fines will have a chance to settle for a fraction of what they owe. Gov. Jerry Brown called for the grace period amid growing concerns that traffic courts—which he called “a … Continue reading Courts Launch Amnesty Program for Overdue Traffic Tickets



Nothing like a Super Bowl to fix S.F.’s homeless problem

Original article can be found in the San Francisco Chronicle. By Heather Knight Good news, folks: Mayor Ed Lee knows how to solve the city’s homeless problem. Mimosas for everybody! Well, he knows how to solve it for a small part of the city. For 10 days. To coincide with a festival before a football … Continue reading Nothing like a Super Bowl to fix S.F.’s homeless problem



After Ferguson, States Struggle To Crack Down On Court Debt

Original article appeared in Stateline. by sophie quinton © AP Members of the Missouri National Guard stand outside the Ferguson Police Department and Municipal Court last year. Missouri isn’t alone in having a local court system that serves as a revenue-raising arm of government. (AP) This story has been updated to clarify a statement by … Continue reading After Ferguson, States Struggle To Crack Down On Court Debt



KGO-Channel 7 I-Team: Pacifica woman can’t work after police error on ticket

Original broadcast can be seen here. by Dan Noyes PACIFICA, Calif. The ABC7 News I-Team investigates how a long-time driver for the U.S. Postal Service can’t work, because a police officer got one number wrong on the ticket he gave her. There’s some good information in this story for all drivers. That mistake by the … Continue reading KGO-Channel 7 I-Team: Pacifica woman can’t work after police error on ticket



STATE SUED OVER FAILURE TO DISCLOSE RECORDS ON ENGLISH LEARNER STUDENTS

Original article appeared in East County Magazine. by east county news service August 17, 2015 (Sacramento)–California’s Department of Education is being sued for denying access to records on the number of students who are English language learners.  The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and Public Counsel has filed a … Continue reading STATE SUED OVER FAILURE TO DISCLOSE RECORDS ON ENGLISH LEARNER STUDENTS



State Sued for Not Releasing School Records on English Learners

Original article appeared in AllGov. by Ken Broder California wants its K-12 students to be proficient enough in English to handle core curricula but isn’t real good at it. More than 20,000 of them receive no English language training, and services to help 1.3 million English learners are skimpy in one out of every four … Continue reading State Sued for Not Releasing School Records on English Learners



Lawyers Sue California for School Records

Original article appeared in the Courthouse News Service. By NICK CAHILL SACRAMENTO (CN) – A civil rights group sued the California Department of Education on Monday for information on the number of public school students struggling to learn English. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area says the Department of … Continue reading Lawyers Sue California for School Records



Opinion: State stonewalls on English learners’ progress

Original article appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune. By San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board Yet another civil rights lawsuit has been filed against the state of California over its treatment of minority students. Public Counsel and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area are suing the state Department of Education … Continue reading Opinion: State stonewalls on English learners’ progress



KQED – Lawsuit Demands Disclosure of English Language Learner Data

Click here to hear the original broadcast on The California Report. By Zaidee Stavely The State of California is required to track the number of students in each school still struggling with English after more than six years. A lawsuit filed yesterday claims education officials should make that information to anyone who wants it.  



SF Gate – State sued for data on students struggling to learn English

Original article appeared in SF GATE. By Bob Egelko State education officials are illegally refusing to disclose the number of students in individual public schools who have been struggling for at least six years to learn English, information that is important to parents seeking the best English programs for their children, civil rights groups charged … Continue reading SF Gate – State sued for data on students struggling to learn English



California education officials sued for records on English learners

Original article appeared in The Sacramento Bee By Christopher Cadelago A civil rights group filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Education on Monday, claiming the state refused to divulge records detailing its number of long-term English-language learners. The plaintiffs contend that state education officials are required to collect data on the number of … Continue reading California education officials sued for records on English learners



Lawsuit claims state refuses to release data on English learners

Original article appeared in EdSource. By Sarah Tully Two civil rights groups are suing the California Department of Education for refusing to release the number – by individual school district – of English learner students who have not tested proficient in English after six years. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Public Counsel today filed a lawsuit … Continue reading Lawsuit claims state refuses to release data on English learners



KQED-FM – In Menlo Park, Many Lose Cars After Driving with Suspended License

Click link to hear the original broadcast from The California Report. By Farida Jhabvala Romero Rene Macedo Nolasco, a night shift worker, was driving home late at night on May 2 from his job at the Tesla Motors plant in Fremont when he noticed flashing lights in his rearview mirror. Twenty minutes later, a Menlo … Continue reading KQED-FM – In Menlo Park, Many Lose Cars After Driving with Suspended License



KQED-FM – Voting Rights Restored for 60,000 Former Offenders in California

Click link to listen to full broadcast on The California Report. By Marisa Lagos California has one of the nation’s most liberal policies when it comes to restoring the voting rights of former criminal offenders: Once people have served their time in prison and on parole, they are automatically eligible to vote. But as many as … Continue reading KQED-FM – Voting Rights Restored for 60,000 Former Offenders in California



Tens Of Thousands Of Californians Are About To Get Their Voting Rights Restored

Original article appeared in The Huffington Post by Mollie Reilly A settlement restoring voting rights to ex-offenders comes just two days before the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. SAN FRANCISCO — Tens of thousands of California residents will soon have their voting rights restored as the state drops its appeal of a ruling that … Continue reading Tens Of Thousands Of Californians Are About To Get Their Voting Rights Restored



Voting Rights To Be Restored For Low-Level Offenders in CA

Original article appeared in Patch By Susan C. Schena California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in Oakland today that he will end a policy implemented by his predecessor, Debra Bowen, that he said disenfranchised low-level offenders who should be allowed to vote. Padilla, who took office in January, said he agrees with Alameda County … Continue reading Voting Rights To Be Restored For Low-Level Offenders in CA



Voting rights advocates, Secretary of State will make announcement on Scott v. Bowen

Original article appeared in The Sacramento Bee By Andrew Holzman The American Civil Liberties Union and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will make an announcement today about a lawsuit between their two offices, Scott v. Bowen, which deals with the voting rights of former prisoners. The ACLU, along with other civil rights groups and … Continue reading Voting rights advocates, Secretary of State will make announcement on Scott v. Bowen



Advocates for immigrant rights brace for backlash

Original article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News. by Tracey Kaplan Immigrant-rights advocates predicted 2015 would be a banner year for their cause, with new breakthroughs that would make the Golden State more welcoming. For the first time in more than two decades, illegal immigrants can apply for driver’s licenses. Prospects were good for … Continue reading Advocates for immigrant rights brace for backlash



School cries foul on reaction to haircut decision

Original article appeared in the San Francisco Examiner. By Brendan P. Bartholomew The parents of kindergarten student Jalyn Broussard say he faced discrimination in December from school officials who claimed his African-American hairstyle was “distracting.” But a spokesman for the school strongly denied the accusation, and said extensive media coverage of the issue is giving … Continue reading School cries foul on reaction to haircut decision



California Catholic School Forces 5-Year-Old To Shave “Distracting Modern Fade” Haircut

Original article appeared in the Michigan Chronicle. By Desire Thompson A kindergartner from California was made to switch schools and leave his friends after administrators told his parents his “modern fade” was distracting to other children, San Jose Mercury News reports. Mariana Broussard says her son Jalyn Broussard, 5 attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic … Continue reading California Catholic School Forces 5-Year-Old To Shave “Distracting Modern Fade” Haircut



Parents Say 5-Year-Old Son Was Unfairly Punished For His Hair, File Discrimination Complaint Against School

Original article appeared in the Huffington Post Black Voices. By Taryn Finley Jalyn Broussard was excited to show off his haircut at school last December. It was the first time the 5-year-old sported a different haircut than his 8-year-old older brother. Thirty minutes into the day, his kindergarten teacher called his mother in front of … Continue reading Parents Say 5-Year-Old Son Was Unfairly Punished For His Hair, File Discrimination Complaint Against School



Do you find this haircut ‘distracting’? Black parents blast school as racist after they were forced to shave their son’s head because of objections to his hairstyle

Original article appeared in the Daily Mail. by erica tempesta Parents of a five-year-old kindergarten student have accused their son’s Catholic school of racial discrimination after his mother was asked to take him home because of his ‘distracting’ haircut. In December, Jalyn Broussard, who was one of five African-American students at Immaculate Heart of Mary … Continue reading Do you find this haircut ‘distracting’? Black parents blast school as racist after they were forced to shave their son’s head because of objections to his hairstyle



Mom Takes Action After Catholic School Dismisses Kindergarten Son for Haircut

Original article appeared in The Root. by nigel roberts Mariana Broussard says Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Belmont, Calif., is discriminatory and culturally unaware. Jalyn Broussard went to kindergarten one day proudly sporting a new hairstyle. But his modern fade quickly raised eyebrows among administrators at his Belmont, Calif., Catholic school. Officials called the 5-year-old’s mother to pick … Continue reading Mom Takes Action After Catholic School Dismisses Kindergarten Son for Haircut



Bay Area Kindergartner’s Haircut Leads to Civil Rights Complaint

Originally aired on NBC Bay Area. by lisa fernandez A kindergartner’s fade haircut – a little bit longer on top, buzzed on the sides – has created a federal flap involving claims of racial discrimination and prompted that little boy to shave his head just so he could participate in the school’s Christmas concert. Last … Continue reading Bay Area Kindergartner’s Haircut Leads to Civil Rights Complaint



Dispute erupts over boy’s haircut

Original article appeared in the Daily Post. by angela ruggerio A Belmont family has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, alleging discrimination after their 5-year-old son was told his haircut was not acceptable at a Catholic school. Read here: Page 1 here; continued here.  



Herhold: A silly call on a 5-year-old’s haircut

Original article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News. by scott herhold Until I was nearly 13, my father cut my hair with an electric clipper that I saw as an implement of torture. He chose a style he called a “heinie,” which left me bald except for a quarter-inch fringe in front. Irked by … Continue reading Herhold: A silly call on a 5-year-old’s haircut



Parents claim private school discriminates: Boy, 5, asked to leave Belmont class because of haircut

Original article appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal. By Samantha Weigel A Belmont Catholic school has been accused of racial discrimination after a 5-year-old black student was asked to leave class for sporting a new haircut, prompting his family to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Jalyn … Continue reading Parents claim private school discriminates: Boy, 5, asked to leave Belmont class because of haircut



Kindergartner kicked out of Belmont Catholic school class because of haircut; family taking legal action

Originally aired on KRON4. by justine waldman A little boy’s haircut has caused a Catholic school controversy. A kindergartner was kicked out of class because of his hair style. Now, his family said they are taking legal action. Kindergartner Jalyn Broussard loves his toys and his haircut because he said they are “really cool.” But his former … Continue reading Kindergartner kicked out of Belmont Catholic school class because of haircut; family taking legal action



Is This 5-Year-Old’s Haircut Too Extreme?

Original article appeared in The Daily Beast.  by kate briquelet Bay Area teachers sent little Jalyn Broussard home for having a ‘distracting’ haircut at school—but his mother says it was a matter of racial discrimination. Jalyn Broussard couldn’t wait to show off his new ‘do. The kindergartener got a haircut he saw on a basketball … Continue reading Is This 5-Year-Old’s Haircut Too Extreme?



Haircut dispute with son’s school raises Belmont mom’s hackles

Original article appeared in SF Gate. by jenna lyons A Belmont mother filed a federal discrimination complaint against her 5-year-old son’s former school, saying he was singled out and not allowed to sport a popular hairstyle because he is black. Mariana Broussard said that in December — a day before a class Christmas party and … Continue reading Haircut dispute with son’s school raises Belmont mom’s hackles



Kindergartner kicked out of class because haircut ‘violated school policy’

Original article appeared in theGrio. A California kindergartner was kicked out of class because of his hair style. Six-year-old Jalyn Broussard was so excited about the haircut he got last December, and he couldn’t wait to go to school and show it off. His hair is longer on the top than on the sides and when … Continue reading Kindergartner kicked out of class because haircut ‘violated school policy’



Civil rights complaint filed against Peninsula parochial school over boy’s haircut

Original article appeared in the KLIV 1590 Silicon Valley News. A legal advocacy group has filed a federal civil rights complaint on behalf of a five-year-old boy who was allegedly kicked out of a Belmont parochial school because of his hair style. The complaint filed by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights alleges racial discrimination … Continue reading Civil rights complaint filed against Peninsula parochial school over boy’s haircut



Kindergartner’s haircut leads to civil rights complaint

Original article appeared in the Washington Times. By Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A legal advocacy group has brought a federal civil rights complaint on behalf of a San Francisco Bay area boy who was allegedly kicked out of his parochial school kindergarten class because of his hair style. The San Jose Mercury News … Continue reading Kindergartner’s haircut leads to civil rights complaint



Parents of Kindergartener Claim Discrimination Over Haircut

Original article appeared in Yahoo Parenting. By Rachel Bertsche The parents of a 5-year-old boy have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights against a California Catholic school after the administration deemed their son’s haircut distracting and said it would “unduly influence the student body,” according to the boy’s … Continue reading Parents of Kindergartener Claim Discrimination Over Haircut



Family Files Complaint Against Belmont School Over Haircut – The family claims the boy was targeted because of his race.

Original article appeared in San Mateo Patch. by Bea Karnes The family of a former kindergarten student at a Roman Catholic school in Belmont who was told his haircut was unacceptable has filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s regional Office for Civil Rights in San Francisco. The complaint submitted on June … Continue reading Family Files Complaint Against Belmont School Over Haircut – The family claims the boy was targeted because of his race.



Catholic school principal boots 5-year-old black child from school because ‘his haircut was too distracting’

Original article appeared in Raw Story. By Joan Shipps A Catholic elementary school in California kicked a black child out of kindergarten for his haircut — even though its length and style were not different than those of many of his white classmates, the San Mercury News reports. On December 17 of last year, a teacher … Continue reading Catholic school principal boots 5-year-old black child from school because ‘his haircut was too distracting’



ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Belmont kindergartener kicked out of class over haircut

Original broadcast appeared on ABC7 News. by vic lee BELMONT, Calif. (KGO) — The parents of an African American kindergarten student who was kicked out of a Belmont classroom because of his haircut have filed a federal civil rights complaint. The archdiocese responded on Monday night, telling us that it has not seen the complaint, … Continue reading ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Belmont kindergartener kicked out of class over haircut



Belmont: Kindergartner’s haircut distracting, Catholic school says

Original article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News. By sharon noguchi BELMONT — Five-year-old Jalyn Broussard was so excited to show his kindergarten classmates his new haircut, a style that would surely set him apart from his second-grade brother’s shaved head. But his “modern fade,” a popular hairstyle among African-American men, apparently set off … Continue reading Belmont: Kindergartner’s haircut distracting, Catholic school says



Modesto City Schools moving toward by-area elections for trustees

Original article appeared in The Modesto Bee. by nan austin MODESTO Modesto City Schools trustees moved forward with seeking by-area elections, voting unanimously to seek a change in the Modesto city charter to allow the board to divide its large high school district into seven trustee areas. “The legal threat is real. Courts have favored … Continue reading Modesto City Schools moving toward by-area elections for trustees



Public safety was last thing on their minds

Original article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS Everyone has a story: The time an unlicensed driver rear-ended me. The time an unlicensed driver ran a red light and killed a co-worker’s dog as her husband was walking the dog in a crosswalk. It seems as if there are so many … Continue reading Public safety was last thing on their minds



Drivers with unpaid-ticket license suspensions may get a break

Original article appeared in SF Gate. By Bob Egelko The new state budget that the Legislature approved Friday offers a break to some of the millions of Californians whose driver’s licenses have been suspended for failing to pay traffic tickets — a chance to get their licenses back by signing up for a cut-rate repayment … Continue reading Drivers with unpaid-ticket license suspensions may get a break



Driving with suspended license top crime in Menlo Park, many lose cars

Original article appeared in the Peninsula Press. By Farida Jhabvala Romero Rene Macedo Nolasco, a night shift worker, was driving home late at night on May 2 from his job at the Tesla Motors plant in Fremont when he noticed flashing lights in his rearview mirror. Twenty minutes later, a Menlo Park Police officer had … Continue reading Driving with suspended license top crime in Menlo Park, many lose cars



Election ordered for council districts

Original article appeared in The Ceres Courier. By Jeff Benziger It’s official: Ceres voters will be going to the polls on Nov. 3 to say yay or nay on whether to form City Council districts and elect councilmembers by those districts. Currently candidates run at large, meaning they can live anywhere in the city limits … Continue reading Election ordered for council districts



California’s traffic fine system is cruel, insane

Original article appeared in The Bakersfield Californian. By Milt Younger Those of us who live in California would like to believe unfair traffic enforcement systems that prey on poor and minority communities are found only in places like Ferguson, Mo. Guess again. California’s system for levying fines for often minor traffic violations is a cash … Continue reading California’s traffic fine system is cruel, insane



Class-action lawsuit alleges overcrowding, filthy conditions for detained migrants in Tucson

Original article appeared in: Fierce Homeland Security. By Dibya Sarkar Several legal groups filed a class-action lawsuit last week against the Customs and Border Protection agency for allegedly keeping undocumented men, women, and children in freezing, overcrowded and filthy detention facilities in Arizona. The American Immigration Council, National Immigration Law Center, the American Civil Liberties … Continue reading Class-action lawsuit alleges overcrowding, filthy conditions for detained migrants in Tucson



Immigration Activists File Class Action Suit Against Border Patrol Over Treatment of Detained Immigrants

Original article appeared in the Latin Post. By Rodrigo Ugarte A group of immigrant activist and civil rights groups have filed a class-action suit on behalf of three people against the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, claiming CBP’s Tucson area officers violated CBP policy concerning the detainment and treatment of immigrants. The American Immigration Council … Continue reading Immigration Activists File Class Action Suit Against Border Patrol Over Treatment of Detained Immigrants



Millions of Californians Struggle With Financial Burden of Suspended Driver’s Licenses

Original postings at the: Peninsula Press; SFGate; and, KQED’s News Fix. Christina is one of the estimated four million California drivers struggling to manage the mounting financial burden of a suspended driver’s license, the result of costly driving fines. The mini-documentary — “Out of Reach” — chronicles Christina’s attempts to have her license reinstated after … Continue reading Millions of Californians Struggle With Financial Burden of Suspended Driver’s Licenses



California judiciary makes historic traffic ticket ruling

Original article appeared in The Alpenhorn News By S. E. Williams San Bernardino Presiding Judge Marsha G. Slough, a member of the California Judicial Council, identified the new rule as one step that could be taken quickly for the good and affirmed that other steps will follow. On Monday, June 8 California Judicial Council voted … Continue reading California judiciary makes historic traffic ticket ruling



LA Times: Border Patrol sued over conditions in short-term detention cells

Original article appeared in the LA Times. By Brian Bennett Immigrants held in Border Patrol stations in southern Arizona are regularly denied basic sanitation, food, water, and adequate medical care, according to a class-action lawsuit that immigrant-rights organizations filed Monday with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in Tucson. The lawsuit was … Continue reading LA Times: Border Patrol sued over conditions in short-term detention cells



Demandan a Patrulla Fronteriza por trato de indocumentados arrestados

Original article appeared in LAVOZ. La demanda interpuesta por la ACLU de Arizona es en contra del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS) y la Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza (CBP) (Foto: John Moore, Getty Images) Story Highlights Aseguran que durante el arresto hombres, mujeres y niños deben soportar las bajas temperaturas en celdas hélidas … Continue reading Demandan a Patrulla Fronteriza por trato de indocumentados arrestados



Immigration Jails Called ‘Inhumane and Punitive’

Original article appeared in Courthouse News Service. By TIM HULL TUCSON (CN) – Border Patrol jails in its busy Tucson sector are overcrowded, dirty and cold, lacking food, water, medical care and basic sanitation and hygiene, a federal class action alleges. Norlan Flores, a Nicaraguan twice detained in the Tucson sector, and two Jane Doe … Continue reading Immigration Jails Called ‘Inhumane and Punitive’



Border Patrol sued over migrant-detention conditions

Original article appeared in AZ Central. By bob ortega Human-rights groups are asking the federal courts to order Customs and Border Protection to improve what they describe as the “unconstitutional and unconscionable conditions” under which undocumented immigrants are held for processing at Border Patrol stations and facilities in the Tucson Sector. A lawsuit, filed Monday … Continue reading Border Patrol sued over migrant-detention conditions



Tucson Sector Border Patrol Gets Sued Over Mistreatment of Migrants & Poor Condition of Detention Centers

Original article appeared in Tucson Weekly. By María Inés Taracena Several immigration rights advocacy organizations—including the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and the National Immigration Law Center—are suing the Tucson Sector Border Patrol over the poor condition of detention centers and mistreatment of migrants. The lawsuit filled today was based on the testimonies of … Continue reading Tucson Sector Border Patrol Gets Sued Over Mistreatment of Migrants & Poor Condition of Detention Centers



Hertz accused of violating background check rules

Original article appeared in Naples Daily News (Florida) By Laura Layden The Hertz Corp. faces a lawsuit alleging it has violated federal rules in handling background checks for its job applicants. The suit was filed Tuesday in San Francisco federal court against Hertz, its subsidiary Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. and Sterling Infosystems Inc., a … Continue reading Hertz accused of violating background check rules



Courts Ban Pay-First Policy for Traffic Tickets

Original article appeared in San Jose Inside. By Jennifer Wadsworth In response to mounting criticism that traffic courts unfairly punish poor people, the California Judicial Council adopted an emergency rule Monday that grants people access to trials without first paying a fine. Reform advocates applauded the policy change but said it doesn’t go far enough, … Continue reading Courts Ban Pay-First Policy for Traffic Tickets



Hertz accused of unauthorized background checks on job applicants

Original article appeared in SF Gate. by bob egelko Civil rights lawyers sued Hertz Corp. and its background-checks contractor on Tuesday, accusing them of blindsiding job applicants by looking up their criminal records and withholding or withdrawing job offers without giving them a chance to challenge the reports. A federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting … Continue reading Hertz accused of unauthorized background checks on job applicants



East Bay Businesses that Give Applicants a Fair Chance

Original article appeared in the East Bay Express. by sam levin Civil rights activists are pushing East Bay companies to hire formerly incarcerated people and applicants with criminal records — and merchants say it’s a winning strategy. When Michael Rachal began a job search four years ago, he quickly became familiar with the judgmental expressions … Continue reading East Bay Businesses that Give Applicants a Fair Chance



LA Times: People can fight traffic tickets without paying fine first, Judicial Council says

Original article appeared in the LA Times By Maura Dolan . Amid rising public clamor over drivers losing their licenses because of unpaid traffic tickets, the leaders of California’s court system voted unanimously Monday to end requirements that people pay the fines before being allowed to challenge them. The emergency action by judicial policymakers comes … Continue reading LA Times: People can fight traffic tickets without paying fine first, Judicial Council says



CA Judges Drop Pay-First Rule for Fighting Traffic Tickets

Original article appeared in Courthouse News Service. By MARIA DINZEO  SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – At an emergency meeting Monday called by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the Judicial Council voted unanimously to allow Californians to fight their traffic tickets in court without having to pay bail first. “I wanted to make certain that … Continue reading CA Judges Drop Pay-First Rule for Fighting Traffic Tickets



California changes rules on traffic ticket fines

Original article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News. By Josh Richman California drivers can now appear in court to challenge their traffic tickets without paying a fine first, under a new rule adopted unanimously by the state’s Judicial Council on Monday. “The system is broken,” said Christine Sun, associate director of the American Civil … Continue reading California changes rules on traffic ticket fines



Fresno Bee: Fresno County, other courts ordered to drop pay-first policy for traffic tickets

Original article appeared in the Fresno Bee. By Barbara Anderson California courts no longer can require drivers to pay bail before they can go to trial to fight traffic tickets, the state Judicial Council ruled Monday. Fresno County and other San Joaquin Valley courts faced a legal challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union for … Continue reading Fresno Bee: Fresno County, other courts ordered to drop pay-first policy for traffic tickets



Sacramento Bee: Contesting a traffic ticket? California poised to ban pay-first policy

Original article appeared in the Sacramento Bee. By Christopher Cadelago California court officials plan to let those with traffic tickets across the state appear in court without paying up front. The new rule, expected to win approval from the state Judicial Council at a special telephone meeting Monday, is viewed by policymakers as a preliminary … Continue reading Sacramento Bee: Contesting a traffic ticket? California poised to ban pay-first policy



Fixing a critical leak in the STEM pipeline

Original article appeared in the Mountain View Voice by Oren Sellstrom and Dana Isaac Silicon Valley tech companies have come under fire in recent months for the dearth of minority employees in their workforce. There are many reasons for this under-representation, but a key one is sitting right in the companies’ own backyards: school districts … Continue reading Fixing a critical leak in the STEM pipeline



Civil rights group claims racial bias in MV high schools

Original article appeared in Mountain View Voice. By Kevin Forestieri MVLA administrators deny minority students are placed in lower-level math classes A Bay Area civil rights advocacy group released a report late last month claiming the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District is among several school districts in the area that disproportionately place minority … Continue reading Civil rights group claims racial bias in MV high schools



Group claims race bias in Math

Original appeared in the Daily Post – page 1 and page 2 by ANGELA RUGGIERO An advocacy group claims the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District disproportionally enrolls Hispanic and black students in lower-level math classes during their freshman year. But the school district superintendent says that’s just not the case. The Lawyers Committee for … Continue reading Group claims race bias in Math



East Bay Express: Chief Justice Seeks Emergency Traffic Court Reform, Jerry Brown Pushes Amnesty Program

Original article appeared in the East Bay Express. by sam levin Traffic courts throughout California trap people in poverty with exorbitant fines and harsh policies that can make it very challenging for low-income people to resolve minor infractions — a problem I explored in-depth in a recent feature story, “The High Cost of Driving While Poor.” … Continue reading East Bay Express: Chief Justice Seeks Emergency Traffic Court Reform, Jerry Brown Pushes Amnesty Program



Jerry Brown Pushes Traffic Debt ‘Amnesty’ for Poor: ‘It’s a Hellhole of Desperation’

Original article appeared in Breitbart. by Daniel Nussbaum Gov. Jerry Brown is calling for an amnesty program for poor California residents who cannot afford to pay debts accrued through traffic violations after a blistering report from a nonprofit law firm concluded that the state is profiting off of minorities and low-income residents. According to the … Continue reading Jerry Brown Pushes Traffic Debt ‘Amnesty’ for Poor: ‘It’s a Hellhole of Desperation’



ABC 7 Los Angeles: California chief justice requests rule to stop huge fines for traffic tickets

Original report from ABC 7 News Los Angeles By Miriam Hernandez Lawmakers are concerned about the huge fines for traffic tickets, and now, California’s top justice is weighing in. Sofia Lewis says she was wrongly ticketed. But like so many California drivers have learned, you must still pay the fine even before you go to … Continue reading ABC 7 Los Angeles: California chief justice requests rule to stop huge fines for traffic tickets



LA Times: State chief justice says unpaid traffic fines should get day in court

Original article appeared in the Los Angeles Times. by Maura Dolan and Lee Romney Weighing in on a troubled system, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has called for an emergency rule to prevent courts from requiring drivers to pay traffic tickets before they can go to court to contest them. Cantil-Sakauye this week asked the … Continue reading LA Times: State chief justice says unpaid traffic fines should get day in court



Drivers Could Get A Break On Unpaid Traffic Tickets In California

Original article appeared in LAist. By Danny Jensen No balloons for you (Photo by Chris Yarzab via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr) If you’ve ever been hit with those obscenely massive fines and fees that come with getting a traffic ticket, a California chief justice has great news for your wallet. A proposed … Continue reading Drivers Could Get A Break On Unpaid Traffic Tickets In California



The Sentencing Project – States suspend driver’s licenses over court-related debt

Original article appeared in Race & Justice News. Fines and Fees States suspend driver’s licenses over court-related debt This year, California Senator Bob Hertzberg (D) introduced a bill that would make it easier to reinstate driver’s licenses after the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area reported that more than 17% … Continue reading The Sentencing Project – States suspend driver’s licenses over court-related debt



KQED “FORUM” – Former Prisoners Struggle to Find Jobs (Audio)

Original recording from KQED’s “FORUM”. About 7 million Californians have a criminal record that will show up in a background check. California’s “ban the box” law prevents employers in the public sector from asking about an applicant’s criminal background in the early stages of the hiring process. But former prisoners say finding work is an … Continue reading KQED “FORUM” – Former Prisoners Struggle to Find Jobs (Audio)



Sanction Law: Oops – OFAC Unblocks Over $3 Million in “Al-Qaeda” & “Sudan” Funds

Original article appeared in Sanction Law. by Sam Cutler Several weeks ago, OFAC published its 2014 Terrorist Asset Report (“TAR”), which lists all funds blocked pursuant to Specially Designated Global Terrorist (“SDGT”), Specially Designated Terrorist (“SDT”), and Foreign Terrorist Organization (“FTO”) sanctions programs, as well as funds from State Sponsors of Terrorism. According to the … Continue reading Sanction Law: Oops – OFAC Unblocks Over $3 Million in “Al-Qaeda” & “Sudan” Funds



KWMR: Cuerpo Corazón Comunidad

Original audio from KWMR – Regarding unaccompanied minors Cuerpo Corazón Comunidad ofrece Sugerencias y Soluciones Sobre Salud, Seguridad, Satisfacción y Serenidad a través de la radio, la Internet, la prensa y la vecindad. La conductora del programa de radio es la “Doctora Marisol.” Marisol Muñoz-Kiehne, Ph.D. ha ejercido como Sicóloga Clínica licenciada por más de … Continue reading KWMR: Cuerpo Corazón Comunidad



Hidden in plain sight: Human trafficking reaches into Palo Alto, Silicon Valley

Original article in the Palo Alto Weekly. by sue dremann The young man working at a Mountain View Safeway slammed his head on a commercial refrigerator door, unable to verbally express the ordeal he had been through for nearly a year. The violent gesture, which alarmed his co-workers, was his least painful experience since moving … Continue reading Hidden in plain sight: Human trafficking reaches into Palo Alto, Silicon Valley



Driving While Poor Is Deepening Inequality in America

Original article from takepart By Jamilah King Traffic court is one of the cruelest legal systems in the country. There’s a high cost to driving while poor, according to a new report from East Bay Express, a Northern California alternative newspaper. The paper notes that traffic citation fines of $100 have risen to $500 as municipalities … Continue reading Driving While Poor Is Deepening Inequality in America



East Bay Express: The High Cost of Driving While Poor

Original article in East Bay Express. by sam levin Alameda County traps people in poverty with steep fines for minor traffic infractions — in a cruel system that depends on punishing Black and low-income residents and is plagued by hypocrisy and conflicts of interest. When two men approached Carlos Smith outside his home on September … Continue reading East Bay Express: The High Cost of Driving While Poor



AFSCME: Not Just a Ferguson Problem – How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California

Original article in AFSCME Information Highway. by afscme Source: Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR), the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), the Western Center on Law and Poverty (WCLP), A New Way of Life Reentry Project, and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), 2015 From the abstract: … Continue reading AFSCME: Not Just a Ferguson Problem – How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California



LA Times Editorial: Time to rein in California’s traffic ticket surcharges

Original article in the LA Times By The Times Editorial Board One reason you pay so much when you are ticketed for, say, driving with a broken taillight is that there’s a surcharge added to your ticket to help victims of violent crimes. There’s also an add-on that pays for training police officers, another to … Continue reading LA Times Editorial: Time to rein in California’s traffic ticket surcharges



The Fresno Bee: ACLU: Traffic-ticket policy by Valley courts unconstitutional

Original article from The Fresno Bee. By Pablo Lopez. A court policy of making Valley traffic offenders pay fees upfront in order to challenge a ticket in court is unconstitutional and unfairly impacts low-income residents, the associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California said Friday. In a move to give the … Continue reading The Fresno Bee: ACLU: Traffic-ticket policy by Valley courts unconstitutional



California Lawmakers Aim to Reduce Burden of Traffic Fines and Penalties

Original article in Care2. by Crystal Shepeard. Cities have long used traffic fines and court fees as a revenue boost for municipal coffers. Unfortunately, this practice disproportionately impacts the poorest of residents, who often can’t afford the initial fine, leading to penalties and interests that make it impossible to catch up. For those that are severely delinquent, … Continue reading California Lawmakers Aim to Reduce Burden of Traffic Fines and Penalties



PRWEB: Mr. Ticket Responds to California Driver’s License Suspension Rules

Original article from PRWEB. By Mr. ticket In response to a new report that suggests California’s driver’s license suspension rules widen the divisions of economic disparity, Mr. Ticket, a traffic ticket and DUI attorney, offers expert insight and explanation Encino, CA (PRWEB) April 30, 2015 On Monday, April 6, the California DMV adopted new court … Continue reading PRWEB: Mr. Ticket Responds to California Driver’s License Suspension Rules



Ukiah Daily Journal: ACLU: Mendocino County charging for traffic court dates is unconstitutional

Original article in the Ukiah Daily Journal By Adam Randall Mendocino County is one of at least eight Superior Courts in California that requires traffic citation fees to be paid-in-full before people can stand in front of a judge and dispute the allegations of a violation, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern … Continue reading Ukiah Daily Journal: ACLU: Mendocino County charging for traffic court dates is unconstitutional



Report: California’s Driver’s License Suspensions for Unpaid Tickets Impacting People with Lower Income

Original article from Injury In The City By dyrah seo Dangerous driving behaviors don’t just result in accidents. Getting caught red-handed by California traffic authorities usually result in the issuance of tickets and having to pay certain fines and penalties. Indeed, whenever a driver commits a violation, points are added to his or her driving … Continue reading Report: California’s Driver’s License Suspensions for Unpaid Tickets Impacting People with Lower Income



Sacramento Bee: Time to put the brakes on add-on fees for minor traffic citations

Original article from The Sacramento Bee by the editorial board One of the hidden impacts of years of tight local government budgets in California was the creation of new fees tacked onto routine traffic citations to help finance parts of the criminal justice system. These surcharges can turn a minor ticket that carries a modest … Continue reading Sacramento Bee: Time to put the brakes on add-on fees for minor traffic citations



COMMENTARY: Not Just a Ferguson Problem, But a California Reality

Original article from Benito Link By Luis Burguillo How traffic courts drive inequality in California Photo courtesy of illinoislicensereinstatement.com The Lawyers Committee of San Francisco recently issued a report on “How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California” and addresses more than a concern recently raised about the city of Ferguson-style of revenue generation right here in … Continue reading COMMENTARY: Not Just a Ferguson Problem, But a California Reality



Courting Justice in California

 Original article from Bedrosian Center – USC Price School of Public Policy By Jeremy Loudenback Aside from robust voter turnout in last week’s city election, the most positive result of protests in Ferguson over policing practices may be attention to inequities in other parts of its criminal-justice system. Shawn Semmler “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” Accounts … Continue reading Courting Justice in California



CNBC: Wealthier drivers get more tickets, but don’t pay

Original article from CNBC By Mark Fahey Wealthy drivers may be speeding and running stop signs, but they’re not paying extra for their tickets. Twenty-nine percent of Americans with incomes of $75,000 or higher report receiving a moving violation ticket in the last five years, but only 21 percent of those drivers saw an increase … Continue reading CNBC: Wealthier drivers get more tickets, but don’t pay



Christian Science Monitor: Are race relations in California better than rest of US?

Original article from The Christian Science Monitor By Daniel Wood Nearly 75 percent of California voters described race relations in their neighborhood as good or excellent, according to a new survey. LOS ANGELES — Fifty years after the Watts riots – and 25 after the Rodney King riots – most California voters now say they think race … Continue reading Christian Science Monitor: Are race relations in California better than rest of US?



La Opinión: Millones de californianos sin licencia por no pagar multas (Millions of Californians without a license for failure to pay fines)

Original article from La Opinión By: Araceli Martínez Ortega Esteban Trejo manejaba a la altura de Oceanside por la carretera 5 cuando un agente del Sheriff le hizo el alto. Lo acusó de traer un auto con vidrios polarizados y conducir sin seguro. El castigo fue el decomiso de su vehículo y la suspensión de la … Continue reading La Opinión: Millones de californianos sin licencia por no pagar multas (Millions of Californians without a license for failure to pay fines)



Sacramento Bee: Small traffic fines can lead to big problems for some Californians

Original article from the Sacramento Bee BY Christopher Cadelago. Christina Charles acknowledges she broke the law. Between 2011 and 2012, Charles improperly stopped at a stop sign. She drove with a missing license plate and a taillight out. Her license was suspended when she couldn’t pay for the tickets and failed to appear in court. … Continue reading Sacramento Bee: Small traffic fines can lead to big problems for some Californians

 

KCRW (Which Way, L.A.?): Traffic Court and the Poverty Trap

Original reporting from KCRW By Warren Olney After investigating the notorious police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, the federal Department of Justice reported that local courts were systematically taking money from poor people to provide revenue for the city. Now a coalition of legal aid groups has found something similar going on in California — where … Continue reading KCRW (Which Way, L.A.?): Traffic Court and the Poverty Trap



KCRW (Press Play with Madeleine Brand): Traffic Debt

Original reporting from KCRW. By MadelEine Brand A troubling trend is happening in California: traffic tickets are funding the court system. A new study by a coalition of legal aid and civil rights groups finds that low income Californians are the most affected. They get caught in a vicious cycle of violations and fines, often … Continue reading KCRW (Press Play with Madeleine Brand): Traffic Debt



Talk 910: Fighting Outrageous Fines in San Francisco

Original reporting from Gil Gross on Talk 910 in San Francisco, California. Gross interviews Lawyers’ Committee Racial Justice Attorney, Meredith Desautels, about unfair fines being passed out in CA, as illuminated in the comprehensive study: Not Just a Ferguson Problem – How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California.



Report calls for end of drivers’ license suspensions as punishment for unpaid traffic tickets

Original reporting from AirTalk – KPCC – Los Angeles by AirTalk April 09, 10:26 AM An officer tickets a driver on N. Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood on Aug. 24, 2012. Chris Yarzab/Flickr   Listen to this story 13 min 34 sec A new report released by a coalition of civil rights organizations finds that unpaid … Continue reading Report calls for end of drivers’ license suspensions as punishment for unpaid traffic tickets



Atlanta Black Star: Study: Targeting the Poor For Traffic Violations and Jailing Extends Beyond Ferguson

Original article appeared in the Atlanta Black Star. By Curtis Bunn The unconscionable practice of creating a cash cow by fining and jailing Black and poor people for minor driving infractions, revealed in an engrossing Justice Department report on the Ferguson, Mo., legal system last month, is not limited to the St. Louis suburban town … Continue reading Atlanta Black Star: Study: Targeting the Poor For Traffic Violations and Jailing Extends Beyond Ferguson



NPR: 80 Municipal Courts In St. Louis County Change Fees After Criticism

Original article appeared on NPR (The Two Way) by BILL CHAPPELL Changing a process that was blamed for fueling anger and frustration with the legal system in Ferguson, Mo., 80 municipal courts in St. Louis County have agreed to set uniform fees and fines that are meant to be more fair to people charged with … Continue reading NPR: 80 Municipal Courts In St. Louis County Change Fees After Criticism



NPR: Study Finds The Poor Subject To Unfair Fines, Driver’s License Suspensions

Original article appeared on NPR (The Two Way) by Sam Sanders A new report says an issue highlighted recently in Ferguson, Mo., — that tickets and fines disproportionately burden people of color and the poor, and lead to their incarceration — is not limited to Missouri. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco … Continue reading NPR: Study Finds The Poor Subject To Unfair Fines, Driver’s License Suspensions



Christian Science Monitor: Echoes of Ferguson: Calif. traffic fines hit minorities hard, report finds

Original article appeared in the Christian Science Monitor. By Daniel B. Wood LOS ANGELES — One month after the US Department of Justice documented deep patterns of discrimination by law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo., a report released Wednesday in California reveals statewide traffic court policies that “disproportionately impact people of color.” More than 4 million Californians do not have … Continue reading Christian Science Monitor: Echoes of Ferguson: Calif. traffic fines hit minorities hard, report finds



KGO-TV (ABC7): REPORT BLAMES CA TRAFFIC COURT FOR TRAPPING PEOPLE IN POVERTY

Original reporting from KGO-TV (ABC7) By Janet O Several civil rights groups in the state, including ones in San Francisco, released a new report Wednesday blaming the state’s traffic court system for driving inequality and trapping people in a life of poverty. The cost of traffic fines is steadily increasing and becoming tougher to manage … Continue reading KGO-TV (ABC7): REPORT BLAMES CA TRAFFIC COURT FOR TRAPPING PEOPLE IN POVERTY



LA Weekly: UNFAIR TRAFFIC TICKETS PUT THE POOR IN A HOLE; A PROPOSED LAW COULD FIX THAT

Original article appeared in the LA Weekly. By Dennis Romero Here’s a proposed law that’s been a long time coming. State Sen. Bob Hertzberg of Van Nuys this week announced that he has introduced a bill, SB 405, that would allow some drivers grounded by tickets to get their suspended licenses activated again. More specifically, the … Continue reading LA Weekly: UNFAIR TRAFFIC TICKETS PUT THE POOR IN A HOLE; A PROPOSED LAW COULD FIX THAT



KGO Radio: Traffic Violation Fees May Be Taking Advantage of Low-Income Californians

Original reporting from KGO-810 Radio. By Mark Richards California is having trouble collecting traffic fines, and the additional legislature fees are making the fines even tougher for traffic law violators to pay. Tickets for minor infractions like missing licence plates or cracked windshields often have minor fines, but the legislature fees associated with these infractions … Continue reading KGO Radio: Traffic Violation Fees May Be Taking Advantage of Low-Income Californians



California Budget & Policy Center: Governor’s Debt Amnesty Proposal Ignores Disproportionate Impact on Low-Income Families

Original reporting from the California Budget & Policy Center. By Selena Teji Governor Brown’s 2015-16 proposed budget would establish an 18-month outstanding debt amnesty program to facilitate the recovery of overdue fines and penalties levied by courts for various traffic violations. However, this proposed amnesty approach doesn’t address a significant systemic barrier that stands in the … Continue reading California Budget & Policy Center: Governor’s Debt Amnesty Proposal Ignores Disproportionate Impact on Low-Income Families



New York Times: Disparity Is Seen in California Driver’s License Suspensions

Original article from The New York Times By Timothy Williams Drivers in California who are unable to pay traffic fines for minor infractions are frequently having their licenses suspended by traffic courts — a policy that has had a disproportionate impact on poor and working-class people, according to a study released Wednesday. In an Alameda … Continue reading New York Times: Disparity Is Seen in California Driver’s License Suspensions



New York Times: With Driver’s License Suspensions, a Cycle of Debt

Original article from The New York Times. By Shaila Dewan LEBANON, Tenn. — The last time Kenneth Seay lost his job, at an industrial bakery that offered health insurance and Christmas bonuses, it was because he had been thrown in jail for legal issues stemming from a revoked driver’s license. Same with the three jobs before … Continue reading New York Times: With Driver’s License Suspensions, a Cycle of Debt



Los Angeles Times: Driver’s license suspensions push poor deeper into poverty, report says

Original article from the LA Times. By Lee Romney Traffic-court fines layered with escalating fees and penalties have led to driver’s license suspensions for 4.2 million Californians — or one in six drivers — pushing many low-income people deeper into poverty, a report released Wednesday by a coalition of legal aid groups found. The report calls … Continue reading Los Angeles Times: Driver’s license suspensions push poor deeper into poverty, report says



KQED Forum: Traffic Fines Disproportionately Hurt California’s Poor (Audio)

Original article appeared in KQED Forum The inability to pay court fees and fines for traffic violations has resulted in approximately 4 million license suspensions in the State of California. These suspensions often make getting to work more difficult for the state’s poorest residents, which in turn, makes repaying fines even harder. We’ll discuss a … Continue reading KQED Forum: Traffic Fines Disproportionately Hurt California’s Poor (Audio)



KQED Forum: Traffic Fines Disproportionately Hurt California’s Poor

Original recording from KQED’s Forum The inability to pay court fees and fines for traffic violations has resulted in approximately 4 million license suspensions in the State of California. These suspensions often make getting to work more difficult for the state’s poorest residents, which in turn, makes repaying fines even harder. We’ll discuss a new … Continue reading KQED Forum: Traffic Fines Disproportionately Hurt California’s Poor



San Francisco Chronicle: 4.2 million have lost driver’s licenses because of unpaid fees

Original article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. By Bob Egelko Unpaid traffic fines and mushrooming fees have left 4.2 million Californians with suspended driver’s licenses — more than one-sixth of the licenses issued statewide — with poor people the hardest-hit, according to a newly published study that criticizes policies that take drivers off the … Continue reading San Francisco Chronicle: 4.2 million have lost driver’s licenses because of unpaid fees



ThinkProgress: How Driving While Poor Became A Crime In California

Original article appeared in ThinkProgress By Carimah Townes In California, a driver who commits offenses as minor as driving without a seatbelt or littering faces a $490 fine, according to a new report by a coalition of civil rights groups, entitled “Not Just a Ferguson Problem: How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California.” Worse, if … Continue reading ThinkProgress: How Driving While Poor Became A Crime In California



East Bay Express: California Traffic Courts Suspend Millions of Licenses for Minor Violations, Issue Huge Fines, and Keep People in Poverty

Original article appeared in East Bay Express. By Sam Levin Last month, the US Department of Justice released a damning report on Ferguson, Missouriand the way in which law enforcement agencies and the local court system raise revenues through municipal fines and fees that disproportionately impact Black residents. The DOJ investigation — which detailed patterns … Continue reading East Bay Express: California Traffic Courts Suspend Millions of Licenses for Minor Violations, Issue Huge Fines, and Keep People in Poverty



KQED News: As in Ferguson, California’s Poor Subject to Unfair Fines, Fees

Original article appeared in KQED News (The California Report) By Marisa Lagos Maybe California isn’t so far from Ferguson, Missouri after all. A scathing report released by a civil rights group today says the Golden State’s structure of spiraling court fees and fines — which tend to disproportionately affect poor Californians —  are “chillingly similar” topractices in Ferguson … Continue reading KQED News: As in Ferguson, California’s Poor Subject to Unfair Fines, Fees

 

CBS Moneywatch: How a minor ticket can cost you your driver’s license

Original article from CBS MoneyWatch By Aimee Picchi A catch-22 is tripping up millions of Americans who happen to be too poor to pay increasingly expensive traffic fines and other minor tickets. In California, 4.2 million residents have had their licenses suspended during the past eight years because they haven’t been able to pay their … Continue reading CBS Moneywatch: How a minor ticket can cost you your driver’s license



KQED News Fix: Renewed Push to Reform Law on Driver’s License Suspensions

Original article from KQED News Fix By Rebecca Bowe A staggering bit of information contained in the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation into the Ferguson Police Department has generated quite a stir in recent weeks. The report found that in Ferguson, Missouri, a small city with a population of just 21,000, more than 16,000 people had outstanding arrest … Continue reading KQED News Fix: Renewed Push to Reform Law on Driver’s License Suspensions



SF Examiner: Avalos to examine impact of driver’s license suspensions for unpaid fines

Original article from The San Francisco Examiner By Joshua Sabbatini San Francisco is exploring ways to prevent the criminal justice system from suspending the driver’s licenses of residents who fail to appear in court or pay fines. Working with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, Supervisor John Avalos requested … Continue reading SF Examiner: Avalos to examine impact of driver’s license suspensions for unpaid fines



Modesto Bee: Traffic tickets can ‘wreak havoc’ on the poor

Original article from The Modesto Bee By Erin Tracy “Driving while poor.” Some critics have used the phrase to describe the injustices of the legal system as it applies to traffic penalties. Generally, it’s used in reference to license suspension as a result of unpaid traffic fines. State law dictates that, but there is a … Continue reading Modesto Bee: Traffic tickets can ‘wreak havoc’ on the poor



CounterPunch: It’s Time to Sanction OFAC

Original article from CounterPunch By Franklin Lamb Without much doubt, the US Congressional Zionist caucus was energized this week by PM Netanyahu’s appeal to scuttle the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran. Even as it spent roughly 27% of his 40 minute speech wildly applauding. According to Capitol Hill sources, the caucus is salivating over its … Continue reading CounterPunch: It’s Time to Sanction OFAC



Courthouse News: Information Demanded on ICE Work Raids

Original article from Courthouse News By Katherine Proctor SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Tens of thousands of workers have lost their jobs, their healthcare and their homes to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s opaque worksite “silent raids,” four legal groups claim in Federal Court. The legal nonprofits and a community group sued the Department of Homeland Security … Continue reading Courthouse News: Information Demanded on ICE Work Raids



Law360: Legal Centers Ask To Review ICE’s Worksite Enforcement Docs

Original article from Law360 By Kelly Knaub Law360, New York (February 23, 2015, 3:41 PM ET) — National Immigration Law Center and other legal aid and public interest groups filed a Freedom of Information Act suit Friday seeking access to records relating to worksite raids led by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement to uncover undocumented workers. … Continue reading Law360: Legal Centers Ask To Review ICE’s Worksite Enforcement Docs



2015 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year:
Paul R. Chavez and Robin Goldfaden

Original article from California Lawyer We have named 62 lawyers statewide to receive the 19th annual awards for California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year. Their achievements had significant impact in 2014. This year, the awards recognize 27 achievements between November 2013 and November 2014 in 17 areas of practice. Those honored include prosecutors, intellectual property practitioners, … Continue reading 2015 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year:
Paul R. Chavez and Robin Goldfaden



MissionLocal: MEDA Launches Fund for Businesses Displaced by Fire

Original article from MissionLocal By Andra Cernavskis Inspired by the quick success of a GoFundMe Campaign for the residents of the 22nd and Mission Streets fire last month, the Mission Economic and Development Agency, known as MEDA, has decided to attempt a similar fundraising campaign for the 36 businesses and 71 employees who worked in the … Continue reading MissionLocal: MEDA Launches Fund for Businesses Displaced by Fire



San Francisco Chronicle: S.F. activists resistant to ruling on immigrants

Original article from The San Francisco Chronicle By Carla Marinucci Determined Bay Area immigrant rights activists insisted Tuesday that a Texas judge’s ruling blocking President Obama’s executive action on immigration won’t deter them from assisting thousands in completing applications for extended visas. They also called the judge’s order a political act, and were optimistic that … Continue reading San Francisco Chronicle: S.F. activists resistant to ruling on immigrants



The Recorder: Uber ADR Bid May Face Tough Audience

Original article from The Recorder. Ross Todd, The Recorder SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. District Judge Edward Chen hasn’t been a big fan of the arbitration clause Uber Technologies Inc. added in 2013 to its driver licensing agreements. The transportation networking company made the change while proposed employment class actions were pending in Illinois and Massachusetts and … Continue reading The Recorder: Uber ADR Bid May Face Tough Audience



San Leandro Times: Campaign Started to Help Employ People with Records

Original article from the San Leandro Times By Amy Sylvestri Getting a job is hard enough, but getting a job with a record for a conviction or an arrest is even more difficult. That’s why a group of lawyers, advocates, and business owners in Alameda County have banded together to create “A Good Hire.” A … Continue reading San Leandro Times: Campaign Started to Help Employ People with Records



San Jose Mercury News: Fremont calendar for Jan. 16

Original article from the San Jose Mercury News. Legal issues A free seminar, entitled “Legal issues for entrepreneurs,” will take place at Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd. in the Fukaya Room on Monday, Jan. 26 from 6-9 p.m. This seminar will provide an overview of business law concepts for the small business owners, addressing the … Continue reading San Jose Mercury News: Fremont calendar for Jan. 16



Bay Area Lawyer Die-In For Racial Justice

Original article from Lieff Cabraser By Lieff Cabraser of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP Lieff Cabraser attorneys and staff participated today in the Bay Area Lawyer Die-In For Racial Justice on the front steps of the California Supreme Court building in San Francisco. The participants called for an end to the use of excessive force, … Continue reading Bay Area Lawyer Die-In For Racial Justice



RadioAlice / KCBS: A Good Hire – Resources For Finding Undiscovered Talent

Original story from RadioAlice / KCBS By Liz Saint John A Good Hire: Resources for Finding Undiscovered Talent is the public education campaign developed for the Cultivating Fair Chance Employment project administered by the Lawyers’ Committee to reach out to hiring managers in Alameda County. A Good Hire builds on the idea that workers with an arrest … Continue reading RadioAlice / KCBS: A Good Hire – Resources For Finding Undiscovered Talent



San Francisco Chronicle: Lateefah Simon – Youth advocate nominated as Visionary of the Year

Original article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle By Carolyn Jones Fierce debates over race, class, police and inequality may be raging across the U.S., but for Lateefah Simon, the discussion is all rather simple. “Everyone’s talking about social justice. What is it? What does it look like? Well, it looks like less crime, less … Continue reading San Francisco Chronicle: Lateefah Simon – Youth advocate nominated as Visionary of the Year



New Yorker: The Immigrants Excluded By Obama’s New Plan

Original article appeared in the New Yorker By Vauhini Vara On Thursday evening, at the San Francisco headquarters of the Service Employees International Union Local 87, some fifty immigrant workers and activists gathered at a hastily organized party to watch Barack Obama’s televised speech about his plans to implement executive actions protecting millions of undocumented … Continue reading New Yorker: The Immigrants Excluded By Obama’s New Plan



Stanford Report: Immigrants represented by attorneys far more likely to win deportation cases, Stanford law clinic study finds

Original article from the Stanford Report. By Terry Nagel For detained immigrants, having a lawyer means everything. A new research report shows that a detainee with legal representation is three times more likely to avoid deportation than someone thrown into the legal system on his or her own. Yet two-thirds of detained immigrants have no … Continue reading Stanford Report: Immigrants represented by attorneys far more likely to win deportation cases, Stanford law clinic study finds



New Mission for Lawyers: Free Aid to Young Immigrants

Original article from the Wall Street Journal By Miriam Jordan Attorneys Volunteer for Pro Bono Work Helping Central American Minors Lawyers are trained at Cooley LLP in San Francisco on representing minors who entered the U.S. illegally. Preston Gannaway for The Wall Street Journals In a departure from their usual clientele, attorneys at major U.S. law … Continue reading New Mission for Lawyers: Free Aid to Young Immigrants



Embarrassed 49ers say they now intend to lead in contractor diversity

By David E. Early You can read the original article on San Jose Mercury News. SANTA CLARA — A little more than a year ago, a coalition of civil rights groups vilified the San Francisco 49ers with a caustic “open letter” that accused the team of leaving out minority-owned firms when it issued lucrative contracts … Continue reading Embarrassed 49ers say they now intend to lead in contractor diversity



SF supes’ budget committee votes for legal aid to immigrant kids

By John Coté You can read the original article on SF Gate. The Board of Supervisors’ three-member budget committee voted unanimously Wednesday to support a proposal to provide more than $2 million to fund immigration lawyers for youth facing fast-tracked deportation. The supplemental budget appropriation, which would provide $2.1 million total to be drawn from … Continue reading SF supes’ budget committee votes for legal aid to immigrant kids


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Legal aid funding for undocumented youth clears board committee

By Rebecca Bowe You can read the original article on San Francisco Bay Guardian. Brian, who is 12, came to the United States from Guatemala with his younger brother, Edwin, who is seven. They arrived in a car driven by a coyote, an adult who ferried them across in an arrangement made with their family. … Continue reading Legal aid funding for undocumented youth clears board committee



S.F. Moves to Provide $2 Million for Lawyers for Immigrant Kids

By John Coté You can read the original article on SF Gate. They described other children being gunned down in the street because they wouldn’t join a gang, a freezing room in a detention center where kids huddled under aluminum foil for warmth, or riding the train known as “The Beast” for a month as … Continue reading S.F. Moves to Provide $2 Million for Lawyers for Immigrant Kids



Kids pushed through immigration court at lightning speed while supes debate legal aid funding

Rebecca Bowe You can read the original article on San Francisco Bay Guardian. San Francisco’s efforts to provide legal services for unaccompanied youth who crossed the U.S. border from Central America is heating up as a point of contention between Sup. David Campos and Board President David Chiu, opponents in the race for California Assembly … Continue reading Kids pushed through immigration court at lightning speed while supes debate legal aid funding



Who Counts as a Refugee in US Immigration Policy—and Who Doesn’t

By Pablo Lastra, Esq., Asylum Program Coordinator, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area You can read the original article on The Nation. [Some names and identifying details have been changed.] Giovani is 17, from El Salvador, and came to the United States alone in December, making him one of tens … Continue reading Who Counts as a Refugee in US Immigration Policy—and Who Doesn’t



Bill to Strengthen California Voting Rights Act Approved by State Assembly – SB 1365

By Christopher Simmons You can read the original article on California Newswire. SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — A bill to strengthen voter protections under the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) was approved today by the State Assembly. SB 1365 by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) expands the CVRA by explicitly prohibiting school boards, cities, and counties … Continue reading Bill to Strengthen California Voting Rights Act Approved by State Assembly – SB 1365



San Jose Police Accused of Excessive Force After Video Appears to Show Cops Beating Teacher

By Damian Trujillo You can read the original article on NBC Los Angeles. A San Diego teacher has filed a complaint against the San Jose Police Department and claims cops used excessive force on him during an incident at San Jose State University. The alleged victim, Nathaniel Howard, was recently in San Jose giving a … Continue reading San Jose Police Accused of Excessive Force After Video Appears to Show Cops Beating Teacher



San Jose State Motivational Speaker Files Complaint After Claiming Police Beat Him

By Betty Yu You can read the original article on CBS San Francisco. A man who gave a motivational speech at San Jose State University last May claims police beat him afterward. Nate Howard points to a YouTube video that shows him badly bruised, and traumatized. “They threw me to the ground and you can … Continue reading San Jose State Motivational Speaker Files Complaint After Claiming Police Beat Him



SJSU graduation speaker files excessive-force complaint, seeks more police accountability

By Robert Salonga You can read the original article on San Jose Mercury News. A keynote speaker at a San Jose State graduation ceremony has filed an excessive-force complaint against the San Jose Police Department and hopes his case can be a lightning rod for heavier scrutiny of the internal investigations that by and large … Continue reading SJSU graduation speaker files excessive-force complaint, seeks more police accountability



Cellphone video captures San Diego man’s brutal beating by San Jose police

By Rielle Creighton You can read the original article on ABC10 News. 10News was given dramatic cellphone video that shows a San Diego man being beaten by San Jose police. The video was recorded by someone from across the street, but even from a distance, the sounds of the police baton strikes are audible. Onlookers … Continue reading Cellphone video captures San Diego man’s brutal beating by San Jose police



Coming Home

By Andrew Scot Bolsinger You can read the original article at East Bay Express. Former inmate-turned-entrepreneur Anthony Forrest has learned how to adapt to consumer preferences in the Bay Area. On a recent weekday in San Francisco, the Oakland resident stood outside the Jackson Square Safeway, wearing a 49ers jersey and an Oakland Raiders hat … Continue reading Coming Home



The financial nightmare of (mistakenly) being branded a terrorist

Original article from CNN Money By Blake Ellis Not everyone on the government’s terrorist watch list belongs there, a new report finds. Americans who are branded terrorists by the U.S. government are facing financial peril — losing their jobs, their homes and all access to cash and credit. The government keeps a list of those … Continue reading The financial nightmare of (mistakenly) being branded a terrorist



U.S. sanctions net snares the innocent, burdens business

By ANNA YUKHANANOV AND WARREN STROBEL You can read the original article on Reuters. On a Friday afternoon in March, Jose Luis Zamora pulled into a Lexus dealership in Dallas to test-drive a new car with his wife. Ready to pay, Zamora instead waited more than two hours before being informed his name had popped … Continue reading U.S. sanctions net snares the innocent, burdens business



Embarrassed 49ers say they now intend to lead in contractor diversity

By David E. Early You can read the original article at San Jose Mercury News. A little more than a year ago, a coalition of civil rights groups vilified the San Francisco 49ers with a caustic “open letter” that accused the team of leaving out minority-owned firms when it issued lucrative contracts for constructing the … Continue reading Embarrassed 49ers say they now intend to lead in contractor diversity



How Local Governments Are Hacking Immigration Reform

By SPENCER AMDUR You can read the original article at The Atlantic. States and cities are taking immigration reform into their own hands. With prospects for comprehensive legislation bleak in Washington, local governments have begun making decisions about who gets deported and who doesn’t by refusing to participate in a system that has come to rely … Continue reading How Local Governments Are Hacking Immigration Reform



Traffic court is a judicial dead end for California’s working poor

By Oren Sellstrom If you subscribe, you can read the original article on The Daily Journal. When we think of influential courts, the Supreme Court typically comes to mind first. Yet for many low-income individuals, a court much further down the judicial food-chain actually holds the most sway over their lives. Traffic court — which for … Continue reading Traffic court is a judicial dead end for California’s working poor



They’ve done their time, now let them vote

by Hector Villagra Read the original article on San Francisco Bay View. On Feb. 11, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. urged states to repeal laws that prohibit people who were formerly incarcerated from voting, a move that would restore the right to vote to millions. This timely announcement does not just address officials in states … Continue reading They’ve done their time, now let them vote



Holder’s call for repeal of ex-convict voting laws hits home

By Joanna Cuevas Ingram, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area Do not Print or Redistribute without Permission from LCCR and Daily Journal Published in the Daily Journal, California’s Largest Legal News Provider, Vol. 120, No. 31, Friday, February 14, 2014 On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a powerful … Continue reading Holder’s call for repeal of ex-convict voting laws hits home



ACLU contends California must let former prison inmates vote

By Paige St. John Read the original story at the Los Angeles Times. SACRAMENTO — California’s refusal to let former state prison inmates vote while they serve community probation terms is under challenge by civil rights groups. On behalf of groups including the League of Women Voters of California, lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of … Continue reading ACLU contends California must let former prison inmates vote



Voting-rights activists sue Debra Bowen claiming mass exclusions

By Christopher Cadelago Read the original story at the Sacramento Bee Capitol Alert. Voting-rights advocates sued Secretary of State Debra Bowen for voter disenfranchisement on Tuesday, claiming she blocked from the polls tens of thousands of Californians who fall under new categories of criminal-justice supervision. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lawyers’ Committee for … Continue reading Voting-rights activists sue Debra Bowen claiming mass exclusions



Secretary of state sued over criminals’ voting

By DON THOMPSON Associated Press News Fuze Read the original story at the San Jose Mercury News. SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Voting and civil liberties groups sued Secretary of State Debra Bowen on Tuesday over a decision she made in 2011 that said tens of thousands of criminals who are serving their sentences under community supervision are ineligible to vote. … Continue reading Secretary of state sued over criminals’ voting



Federal authorities agree to limit shackling of immigrants in court

Associated Press in San Francisco Read the original story at The Guardian. An ACLU attorney said putting immigrants in shackles was “contrary to fundamental American values of justice and fairness”. Federal authorities would limit the use of shackles on immigrants who appear before immigration judges, under a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit. US Immigration and Customs … Continue reading Federal authorities agree to limit shackling of immigrants in court



San Mateo County supervisors should pick a district map favored by the people

By CAROLYN HSU AND JOANNA E. CUEVAS INGRAM Read the original article at San Jose Mercury News. On Tuesday, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will consider the boundary lines that will determine each supervisorial district, hopefully putting in place a fair and lawful election system after years of legal challenges. The board faces … Continue reading San Mateo County supervisors should pick a district map favored by the people



49ers stadium leaders dispute racism charges by civil rights groups

By Mike Rosenberg Read the original article at San Jose Mercury News. SANTA CLARA—A coalition of civil rights groups is threatening to sue over what it calls a lack of minority-owned businesses working on the San Francisco 49ers’ new stadium, though project officials deny those claims and say they gave contractors of all races an equal … Continue reading 49ers stadium leaders dispute racism charges by civil rights groups



Caltrans minority subcontract plan upheld

By Bob Egelko Read the original article on SF Gate. A federal appeals court upheld a Caltrans program Tuesday that requires contractors on federally funded road-building projects to make subcontracts available to companies owned by minorities and women. The program, in effect since March 2009, requires contractors to make good-faith efforts to award 9.5 percent of … Continue reading Caltrans minority subcontract plan upheld



California abandons algebra requirement for eighth-graders

Original article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News. By Sharon Noguchi By falling in line with other states, California is abandoning its push for all eighth-graders to take algebra. Last month, the State Board of Education unanimously shifted away from a 15-year policy of expecting eighth-graders to take Algebra I. The state will allow … Continue reading California abandons algebra requirement for eighth-graders



Santa Rosa school board settles lawsuit challenging Doyle Park school closure

By MARTIN ESPINOZA You can read the original article at The Press Democrat. Santa Rosa school officials have settled a lawsuit challenging the closure of Doyle Park Elementary School by agreeing to keep the school open for one year. The school, which has a high Latino enrollment, was to be closed at the end of … Continue reading Santa Rosa school board settles lawsuit challenging Doyle Park school closure