Family living in affordable housing

Affordable Housing

Expanding access to opportunity in suburban communities and ensuring equitable urban development

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Advancing opportunities for learning so California public school students are prepared for college and career

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Transportation Justice

Ensuring economic opportunity in urban areas through access to affordable and reliable transit services

Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)

Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), adopted as part of his 2013-14 proposed budget, is a significant and historic shift toward a simpler, more rational and equitable school finance system.
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Anti-Displacement Policy

What do we mean by "investment without displacement"? Find out what it is, and why it's so critical to the Bay Area's success.

6 Big Wins for Social Equity Network

As one of the creators of the 6 Wins for Social Equity Network, we're championing an Equity, Environment and Jobs scenario for the Bay Area's future.

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Jamienne S. Studley
Jamienne S. Studley
“My notions of justice were formed at the dinner table, especially occasions with my grandparents, Polish and...

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Seeking Director of Communication

We are seeking a seasoned communications professional with experience in media relations and policy campaigns to join our exceptional and dedicated staff.


September 17, 2014

It is too easy to overlook the pressure facing the low-income families who have managed to make homes for themselves in “high opportunity” suburbs. A recent article in the Mercury News spent time with leaders from two of Public Advocates’ close partners, SFOP/PIA and HLC, exploring the challenges facing low-income families in San Mateo County, one of the wealthiest counties in the country. It highlights the need to fight for anti-displacement protections in suburbs as well as cities.

September 16, 2014

This month marks 43 years since Public Advocates first opened its doors. In his monthly blog, President & CEO Guillermo Mayer celebrates the many talented people who have helped Public Advocates flourish by highlighting some their key victories in the last four-and-a-half decades.

September 2, 2014

For-profit education businesses have been in the news a lot recently, and it’s not good news. Education giant Corinthian Colleges now faces bankruptcy for flouting federal regulations, leaving tens of thousands of California students hoping for refunds and wondering if their coursework or degree will be worth anything as they try to find a job to pay off their crippling debt. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, over the last five years, “more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.” The biggest beneficiary of these funds has been the University of Phoenix’s San Diego campus. Smaller local schools like Intercoast College are graduating students without preparing them for the exams required for their future careers in nursing.

August 19, 2014

Few things are more frustrating to us and our clients than to celebrate social gains won in the streets or within the halls of power, only to see them unravel over time because of inadequate enforcement or the lack of political will to implement them. President & CEO Guillermo Mayer illustrates how proper implementation is essential to making rights real.

August 12, 2014

Irony was thick in the air as two large groups — one made up of wealthy homeowners and the other low-income residents — came to a San Mateo City Council meeting on July 21st, each to discuss a separate agenda item. Staff Attorney David Zisser describes how this meeting illustrated the stark contrast between the two Bay Areas in which we live.

About Public Advocates Inc.
Our nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization has been fighting the root causes of discrimination and poverty for more than 40 years, by strengthening community voices and achieving tangible legal victories.

Legal Clerkships Available

Spend your semester or summer at one of California’s leading civil rights law firms. Our law clerks play a crucial role in high profile litigation and policy advocacy to advance economic and racial justice. In turn, we are committed to providing high quality training and supervision to help advance the career goals of our clerks and to foster a true community of public interest lawyers.


September 9, 2014
After seeking clarification due to Public Advocates’ joint advocacy with the ACLU, the Los Angeles County Office of Education approved Los Angeles Unified School District’s Local Control Accountability Plan.
September 8, 2014
Greenwire reports on the “Our Power” Climate Justice Conference in Richmond where Public Advocates’ staff attorney Marybelle Nzegwu presented on a carbon pricing panel with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Greenlining Institute and Friends of the Earth.
September 5, 2014
The State Board of Education will decide in the next several weeks whether to finalize the rules governing Local Control Accountability Plans, which Public Advocates and its allies have played a key role in shaping.
September 4, 2014
A StreetsBlog LA article describes a workshop held in Oakland by state agencies about how to define “disadvantaged communities” and what criteria should be used in determining eligibility for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund investments.
August 28, 2014
Next week the State Board of Education will consider finalizing Local Control Funding Formula regulations, including language suggested by Public Advocates and the LCFF equity coalition that would require school districts to justify spending money allotted for high-need students for purposes that would benefit all students in a school or district.