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 Wins 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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Tom Williamson
On June 19, 2012, Tom Williamson began his term as the 41st president of the D.C. Bar. Read DC Bar Magazine's Q...

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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.


October 21, 2014

The upcoming ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Oakland Airport Connector will no doubt be a media spectacle full of hearty speeches and declarations of progress. But as the aerodynamic pods begin to glide above Hegenberger Road in East Oakland, will anyone notice below the buses full of working class people who were excluded? President & CEO Guillermo Mayer explains why less than 3 percent of Coliseum station area residents are expected to use the tram. He urges BART leaders to internalize the lessons learned from the controversial and flawed project.

October 21, 2014

As part of its plans to keep the city’s three sports teams, the City of Oakland has drafted a Specific Plan that aims to create almost 8 million square feet of retail and office space, more than 20,000 jobs and nearly 6,000 housing units at “Coliseum City” in East Oakland. Coliseum City presents an opportunity to create lasting benefits for low-income East Oakland residents that include affordable places for new workers to live, good jobs for local residents and accessible and affordable transit. If development is to bring any of these community benefits, though, the City must plan for people, not just sports teams.

October 20, 2014

Former President and CEO Jamienne Studley provided great leadership to Public Advocates for over nine years and left a remarkable legacy. Read about Jamie’s career today and why she continues to support our work.

October 17, 2014

Over the past few months, Public Advocates and our SB 535 Coalition partners have made huge strides toward winning meaningful community benefits from expenditures of California’s Cap and Trade auction proceeds.

September 30, 2014

Public Advocates welcomes back Pedro Hernandez as a law fellow working on education equity issues. Pedro reflects on his experiences at the recent statewide LCFF Grassroots Convening, which Public Advocates helped to organize. As a new lawyer, Pedro is eager to learn and collaborate with lawyers and community members.

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 29, 2014
Senior Staff Attorney Sam Tepperman-Gelfant appeared on KPFA’s Project Censored to discuss the 6 Wins Network and regional social justice movement-building to achieve equitable land use and transportation policies in the face of reactionary anti-affordable housing pushback.
September 28, 2014
The Antioch Unified School District has made significant improvements to its local spending plan—including adding $1 million in spending for high-need students—in response to advocacy by community groups and Public Advocates.
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.