How can we help you?

Jamie Facciola of Repair Revolution
Jamie Facciola of Repair Revolution. Photos by Gabriel Tolliver of Oaklandnorth.net

Meet Jamie. She’s an entrepreneur who first came to the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe in 2015 with a question: "If I reframe repair, will people come?" Since then, her business, Repair Revolution, has gone through many iterations. She’s brought together a cluster of neighborhood repair shops for pop-up events in Oakland, where Oaklanders bring their old clothes, phones, and small appliances to be fixed, and she operated a two-month-long repair salon at OwlNWood, a local boutique in uptown Oakland. 

Read more
Share

Bay Area law center to receive ABA award for improving access to legal services

Excerpt: 

CHICAGO, Jan. 17, 2017 — The ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services has selected the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) of Oakland, Calif., to receive its 2017 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Piecing Together the Community Energy Puzzle

By Subin Varghese, Community Renewable Energy Director

What if you could use your consumer power and investment dollars to drive a fast and equitable transition to renewables? That’s part of the potential of community-owned renewable energy: to expand opportunities for ordinary citizens to put their money toward community-controlled energy facilities that share not just electricity among community members, but the economic benefits of the enterprise as well.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Resiliency in a Time of Trump

By Simon Mont, Organizational Design Fellow

It can be difficult for a nonprofit to stay aligned with its mission. As contexts change and opportunities and funding appear and disappear, leaders are faced with the task of keeping their organizations financially viable while maximizing impact. The pressure to keep the organization afloat financially and keep their staff employed can induce leaders to pursue strategies that are more responsive to funders than what the community really needs. Streams of funding will shift under Trump’s administration, and it’s important that we are vigilant about staying aligned and accountable.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

The Power of Wholeness in the Workplace

By Simon Mont, Organizational Design Fellow

Humans are truly amazing creatures.  We can reason and deduce.  We can intuit and feel. We have an innate desire to expand ourselves to understand more complexity, assume more responsibility, make bigger contributions, and develop into an ideal version of our selves that we can now just barely glimpse even in the moments of our greatest clarity. We hold visions of unnameable harmony and justice in our hearts. When we have the space to follow this deeply held, essentially human, intuition, we are capable of tremendous insight and creativity.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

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

Thanks to our Partners and Collaborators: