Rural Justice Updates

Pro Bono Award

Steve Kociol

Steve Kociol, a long­time volunteer attorney, was given the President’s Pro Bono Award by the State Bar of California for his work with the CRLA. His employment law expertise has brought in more than $100,000 for CRLA clients, and he has provided training to staff. Thank you Steve!!

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Remembering Raul

Raul Cardenas

This month we lost Raul Cadena. He was a great friend to CRLA and proud member of our Board of Directors and Capital Campaign Cabinet. Raul was a wonderful, honorable man who gave back to his community and strongly believed in workers’ rights. His time with CRLA made us a better, stronger organization. His service to the community will have a lasting impact. Our hearts go out to his family, including his wife and two young children.

Read more about him >>

Dia del Trabajador Migrante

Photo by David Bacon]

CRLA’s Coachella office hosted the annual Dia del Trabajador Migrante —Day of the Migrant Worker, a festival to celebrate and learn about local resources available to migrant worker communities.

Learn more about this year’s event >>

LGBT Rights

Photo by David Bacon

CRLA’s LGBT Program Director Lisa Cisneros has become the voice of LGBT issues in rural California. On a special Mother’s Day segment, Univision interviewed her to talk about the rights of lesbian couples with children and how they have different rights from other families.

Watch Part 1 >>

Watch Part 1 >>

Rural Homelessness

Photo by David Bacon

On May 24, CRLA’s Executive Director José Padilla spoke at the Asian Resource Gallery in Oakland about the problem of rural and farmworker homelessness. The Gallery is displaying famed photographer and CRLA friend David Bacon’s newest and most touching exhibit to-date,On the streets: Under the trees. Homelessness and the struggle for housing in urban and rural California.

Work Together And Make A Better Day

State Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco invited CRLA staff and a client to provide written comments and testify on a bill that could change how a mortgage loan servicer communicates with the spouse and children of a deceased homeowner in order to avoid unnecessary foreclosure.

Staff from CRLA’s Foreclosure Intervention Center (funded by the California State Bar) provided information on the impact that current practices have on the rural poor, particularly women and limited English speaking clients. Our client spoke about her harrowing experience when her spouse passed away and she almost lost their home, before CRLA helped her.

Learn more about the bill >>

Alone In A World So Cold

CRLA’s Ilene Jacobs and Patrick Saldana wrote about farmworker homelessness in rural California. They looked at how the seasonable nature of agricultural work and the shortage of affordable housing converge, causing homelessness among farmworkers in places like the Imperial Valley.

Read the article here >>

The Fields Awakens

Our Community Workers are essential to protecting farmworkers rights by ensuring safety laws are followed in the fields. Learn more about their roles in this story about Lorena Martinez out of our Coachella office.

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Civil Rights Strike Back

CRLA’s Cynthia Chagolla, Denise Mendez, and Ilene Jacobs are partnering with pro bono champion Morrison Foerster, LLP to take on the city of Manteca who are violating the civil rights of individuals who are homeless.

Read about the facts of the case here >>

The Phantom Labor Force

CRLA collaborated with UC Santa Cruz to learn more about the problems facing our local client community. In the past, little information on this unseen labor was available.  

Learn More >>