Another Rabbit Hole is Possible

By Chris Tittle, Director of Organizational Resilience

Community -

Even before the outcome of this year’s elections, we knew that for far too long our dominant political and economic systems have served the very few while driving us toward climate chaos, wealth inequality, war, and social injustice.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

2016 Annual Report

The Sustainable Economies Law Center got a lot done this year, and we couldn't have done it without supporters like you

Below is our 
2016 Annual Report to highlights the ways we've helped create more just and resilient local economies across the country. (Click the image below to see a full-sized PDF with links!)

Read more
Add your reaction Share

On British Pop & Food Sovereignty

headshot.jpgBy Neil Thapar, Food & Farm Attorney

The holidays are by far my favorite time of year. I see family and friends, take time to reflect on the year behind me, and continuously listen to carols on the radio. Unfortunately, the way we celebrate the holidays in the United States also highlights some of the scariest characteristics of American society - mass consumerism, perpetuating national origin myths, and instantaneously combustible trees in our homes. Really, be careful with those Christmas trees!

Read more
2 reactions Share

Do Nonprofits Need Bosses?

By LUCAS MCGRANAHAN for Democracy at Work

Excerpt: The question is how far democracy can be embedded into a nonprofit organization. This question is now being taken up by Oakland’s Sustainable Economies Law Center, a self-described ‘worker self-directed nonprofit.’ Because the Law Center supports worker cooperatives, housing cooperatives, community renewable energy cooperatives, and other forms of economic democracy, they consider it important to practice workplace democracy themselves. In the words of staff member Chris Tittle, “distributing leadership throughout our organization has undoubtedly led to us to be more creative in our work, more inclusive in our perspectives, and more accountable to each other, our communities, and our partners.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

SF Deals Major Blow to Airbnb with Tough Short-Term Rental Law

Excerpt: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed one of the most stringent restrictions on short-term rentals in the country Tuesday, barring hosts from having paying guests in a room, house or entire apartment for more than 60 days a year.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Stockton Mom Prosecuted for Selling Homemade Food

By Christina Oatfield, Sustainable Economies Law Center Policy Director

 

Reports emerged this week that a single mother in Stockton, California named Mariza Ruelas is being prosecuted by the San Joaquin County district attorney for selling homemade food - an alleged violation of the California Health and Safety Code’s provisions on food safety. According to the Washington Post, the LA Times, the Guardian, and numerous other media outlets, she could face fines, years of jail time and one or more misdemeanors on her record. Mariza reports that she was a member of a club that meets regularly to share, casually barter, and occasionally sell food. She told the Washington Post “There wasn’t anybody selling it daily. A lot of times, they were just getting back what they put into the ingredients.”

 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Agrarian Trust: Finding Land for the Next Generation of Farmers

By John Collins for In These Times

female_farmers_466_320.jpg                                     

(Photo Credit: FPG / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Excerpt: 

“The local regional food economy we want, needs territory,” says farmer, activist and grassroots organizer Severine von Tscharner Fleming. “Global demands and pressures have lengthened supply chains and concentrated control—water pumped from our aquifers irrigates low-value crops destined for distant markets. Cattle raised in family operations are sold at auction to be fattened on feedlots controlled by the beef monopolies.”

These larger structural issues are shaping our national landscape, says von Tscharner Fleming, and her latest startup, a collaborative effort called Agrarian Trust, aims to secure alternative land access arrangements for new farmers.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Why We Endorse Measure JJ, the Oakland Renter Protection Act

By Chris Tittle, Sustainable Economies Law Center Housing Program Co-director

final-logo_eng.jpg

All politics are local. No matter what your feelings on the Presidential race or the state of our national political discourse, there are likely many important decisions on the rest of your ballot this November. As an Oakland-based organization, Sustainable Economies Law Center endorses Oakland Measure JJ, the Renter Protection Act.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

A Better Way to Address the Housing Crisis

By Christina Oatfield for Berkeleyside

ExcerptNot all housing is created equal. To solve the housing crisis we may need some taller buildings so we can accommodate everyone, but we definitely need more nuanced solutions than just simply letting the developers build on their own terms. So what to do?

We should insist that more housing and other real estate be owned by its occupants or by nonprofit community land trusts. Community land trusts (CLTs) are nonprofit organizations that hold onto real estate to ensure its permanent affordability and benefit to the community.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Preliminary Feedback on New Homemade Food Sales Policy

By Christina Oatfield, Sustainable Economies Law Center Policy Director

 

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been having some interesting discussions with environmental health regulators, homemade food producers, commercial food producers, farmers’ market managers, and other stakeholders on our tentative legislative proposal to greatly expand the scope of homemade food sales in California to also include hot meals, fresh salads, and other perishable foods not currently on the list of allowed foods for home kitchens. We’ve been discussing this idea a lot recently, and you can catch up on the conversation by reading our previous posts here. Looking for more basic information on the existing law? Check out our Homemade Food Act page here.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

The Practical Guide to Starting a Legal Cafe is Now Available

By Sustainable Economies Law Center Staff Attorney, Cameron Rhudy

It’s Here, it’s Here, it’s Finally Here! Our Guide to Starting a Legal Cafe

Over the years we have received many inquiries from attorneys who want to start legal clinics  in their community that resemble our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe. In response, we have created our Practical Guide to Starting a Legal Cafe, a comprehensive guide for how to do just that. In the guide you will learn how to get the basics of your Legal Cafe in place and how to create that unique Legal Cafe experience. The guide also includes sample intake documents and a breakdown of tasks for scheduling and planning your Legal Cafe. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

California Seed Sharing Bill Signed into Law

By Cat Johnson for Shareable

SeedSharingBill.jpg

Photo credit: Christian Joudrey (CC 0)

Excerpt: Seed sharing in California took a major step forward on Friday when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Seed Exchange Democracy Act, an amendment to the California Seed Law. It’s the latest victory in a global movement to support and protect seed sharing and saving.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

What Does the Real Sharing Economy Look Like?

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Erin Axelrod, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Janelle Orsi, founder of The Sustainable Economies Law Center.

Screen_Shot_2018-01-30_at_12.08.44_PM.png

Read more
Share

What Do Singing Fish, Financial Regulations, and Maps Have In Common?

By Sustainable Economies Law Center Executive Director, Janelle Orsi

So often, it comes back to money. Questions of finance are tethered to nearly every issue we work on at the Sustainable Economies Law Center. Efforts to build sustainable systems for food, housing, energy, water, and jobs rely on a community’s ability to access and transact with dollars.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Governor Brown Signs Seed Exchange Democracy Act

New Law Supports Food Security and Resilience by Promoting Seed Sharing

Sacramento, California – September 12 – On Friday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Seed Exchange Democracy Act, an amendment to the California Seed Law promoting food security, urban agriculture, and climate resilience by removing regulatory barriers to noncommercial seed sharing activities, including seed libraries. Introduced by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-10), AB 1810 exempts non-commercial seed sharing activities from industrial labeling, testing, and permitting requirements. The new law will increase access to healthy and nutritious food by fostering stronger local seed systems and encouraging seed saving.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Thanks to our Partners and Collaborators: