California Rural Legal Assistance Inc

Each year, CRLA provides free legal assistance and a variety of community education and outreach programs to tens of thousands of low-income rural Californians. Half of all resources are devoted to litigation and client cases aimed at addressing the root causes of poverty. We continue to provide legal advice during COVID-19. Call 1-800-337-0690 for assistance CRLA has 18 offices to continue to meet the legal needs of rural communities on the Mexican border in northern California. These offices are located in Arvin, Coachella, Delano, El Centro, Fresno, Madera, Marysville, Modesto, Oakland, Salinas, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Vista, Oxnard and Watsonville. [1] Headquartered in Oakland, Oakland. With multiple regional offices, CRLA can serve clients in their own communities across the state. Cruz Reynoso was the second Managing Director of CRLA from 1969 to 1972. One of the biggest challenges Reynoso faced during his tenure was then-Governor Ronald Reagan`s fierce opposition to the CRLA. After the CRLA`s victory in the Morris v.

1967 Williams case, which blocked its social cuts, Ronald Reagan appointed Lewis K. Uhler as director of the California Office of Economic Opportunity with the intention of undermining the CRLA and its funding. In 1969, Uhler wrote a politically motivated and false report alleging 127 cases of CRLA misconduct. CRLA fought the charges and eventually managed to get her removed by a commission of chief justices from three supreme courts of the state appointed by the Nixon administration. The controversy surrounding the Uhler report led to the bipartisan formation of the Federal Legal Services Corporation (LSC). The objective of this organization was to reduce interference by state and local governments in the OPA`s funding program. Throughout his tenure as president, Reagan constantly sought to undermine and eliminate the LSC and THE CRLA. [9] In 1970, Governor Ronald Reagan also vetoed the $1.8 million oeO grant for reimbursement from the 1971 CRLA, based on obvious (and later misclassified) allegations about the misuse of oeO funds and “its failure to represent the true legal needs of the poor.” [10] In 1971, Reynoso and CRLA attorney Michael Bennett wrote a seminal article for UCLA Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review, “CRLA: Survival of a Poverty Law Practice,” in which they discussed Governor Reagan`s opposition, the controversy surrounding the Uhler Report, and the CRLA`s role in serving the poor. [10] Alberto Saldamando was Managing Director of CRLA from 1976 to 1984. As director, Saldamando oversaw a very diverse organization that represented the community of clients she wanted to serve.

In 1979, the staff of more than 70 lawyers consisted of 80% Chicano, 10% Asian, black and Native American, and 50% women. In fact, the Marysville office at the time was headed by an Asian director and made up exclusively of women. During this period, the CRLA faced a series of ups and downs as the right-wing response to the 1960s began and the organization faced congressional restrictions on its impact work. Meanwhile, President Ronald Reagan continued to oppose the CRLA and its mission. Nevertheless, the CRLA continued its legal and effective work and was able to create the Migrants Unit. [4] In 1985, the CRLA drafted the special agricultural worker provision of the new Immigration, Reform and Control Act (“IRCA”), which created a new class of permanent residents called “foreign amnestied.” This has legalized one million undocumented workers across the country. [11] In addition to traditional legal representation, the CLRC has launched a number of special programs and initiatives, including a community equity initiative, an Indigenous program, an LGBTQ+ program, a credit discrimination project, a rural education equal opportunity program, and a rural health disparities program. [3] CrLA was originally funded by the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). In his first application for funding for CRLA, Lorenz wrote about his vision for CRLA, a “proposal to support agricultural workers and other poor people living in rural California.” [4] From the outset, CRLA has provided exemplary legal services at a very low cost to clients. By the late 1960s, the agency was handling about 15,000 cases a year, one-third of which were mostly related to consumer and employment issues. [5] In addition to lawyers, employees and researchers, crLA employed community workers, most of whom were previously agricultural workers, who formed the bridge between the agency and the communities they wanted to serve. [5] The current CEO of CRLA is Jose Padilla.

Padilla began working directly at the CLRC`s Berkeley School of Law in 1978 and was promoted from Senior Counsel in the El Centro office to Executive Director in 1984. Under Padilla, CRLA was the first legal aid organization to file a lawsuit for sexual harassment. Padilla is also the first director of legal aid to testify before Congress, in this case regarding crLA`s efforts to bring justice to California dairy workers. [4] Like executive directors before him, Padilla also wrote for UCLA Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review titled “California Rural Legal Assistance: The Struggles and Continued Survival of a Poverty Law Practice.” [11] California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit legal and political advocacy organization established to help low-income individuals and communities in California. CRLA represents all types of people and communities, including agricultural workers, people with disabilities, immigrants, schoolchildren, lesbian/gay/bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, seniors, and people with limited English proficiency. The current Ceo of CRLA is Jose Padilla. CRLA has been providing free legal services since 1966. CRLA`s legal services include litigation, public relations and legal education in the following priority practice areas: housing, labour and employment, education, rural health and leadership development. CRLA`s founder and first CEO, James (Jim) D. Lorenz, served from 1966 to 1969. He passed away on January 19, 2017.

[4] After graduating from Harvard Law School,[6] Lorenz first worked at a large law firm in Los Angeles before changing direction in the spring of 1966 and applying for OPA funding for what would soon become CLRC. [4] Lorenz has been described as an energetic director who recruited legendary United Agricultural Workers organizers Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta to serve on the CRLA`s board of directors. [7] Lorenz was born on the 15th. Featured in a December 1967 Time magazine article that emphasized the CRLA`s mission to serve California workers and the rural poor. [8] This was one of the first instances of national recognition of the CRLA`s innovative work.