Oaxxanda: An Afro-Futuristic Vision for East Oakland

By: Mwende Hinojosa, Nonprofit Quarterly

Excerpt:

Tired of ongoing black disenfranchisement and gentrification, this community group came together in the spirit of Black and Brown power. They were made up of members from groups that were already trying to make an impact in Deep East Oakland—Repaired NationsBlack Cultural ZoneThe Deep Grocery Coop, Feed the Village, Sustainable Economies Law Center—as well as unaffiliated community members who were artists, healers, organizers, activists, and entrepreneurs. At the tail end of a second Black out-migration from the Bay, the group felt the name of their collective needed to send a clear message to their families, neighbors, and future collective members: Oaxxanda.

Read full article here.

(Originally published November 11, 2021.)

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How community control of housing and land can help solve the housing crisis

By: Jessica Kutz , High Country News

Excerpt:

"One such organization is the Sustainable Economies Law Center, based in Oakland, California. The nonprofit has been around for more than a decade, providing legal tools to worker and housing cooperatives in the region, among other initiatives. 

High Country News recently spoke with Chris Tittle, the center’s director of land and housing justice, and Dorian Payán, co-director of the Radical Real Estate Law School, about their work, and about the possible housing and land futures that can exist under these alternative models."

Read full article here.

(Originally published October 5, 2021.)

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Nonprofit run by homeless people says it was unfairly taxed for trying to build housing

by Natalie Orenstein, The Oaklandside

Our inspiring friends at Homefulness/POOR Magazine have encountered every legal barrier imaginable as they work to build housing for Oakland's unhoused community. The Law Center has partnered with them to address the latest

Read full article here.

(Originally published October 20, 2021.)

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Comprehensive Planning Sucks. These Oaklanders Want to Make It Better.

By: OSCAR PERRY ABELLO, Next City

Excerpt: “We’re trying to hold our ground by not defining the entire process up front or acting like it’s our job to do that,” says Janelle Orsi, staff attorney and co-founder at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, which helped convene the collective starting in May. “What we’re defining instead is a participatory process we’re going to facilitate, giving a lot of examples on how it might play out. We’re treating the budget more like a menu that we could all order off of, as opposed to a budget of exactly what we’re going to do.”

Read full article here.

(Originally published August 24, 2021.)

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Grandmas4Housing: How a Tenant-Led Community Land Trust Came to Be

By: Mwende Hinojosa and Jocelyn Foreman, Nonprofit Quarterly

Excerpt: My mother had just died, and I was being retraumatized by seeing the foreclosure notices. Christine [Hernandez of Sustainable Economies Law Center] was telling me I had more options than cash for keys. But then I realized I had to tell people my situation and be naked. I had to know my rights and stand in my power.

Read full article here.

(Originally published August 18, 2021.)

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Oakland: Much-needed housing held up over three parking spots

By: By Marisa Kendall, East Bay Times

Excerpt: “I’m sure they felt really hopeful that within a short period of time they’d be able to do great things with this land,” said Janelle Orsi, co-founder of Sustainable Economies Law Center, which has been helping Poor Magazine with the project. “I don’t think they ever would have imagined they’d hit so many barriers. And what it shows is that our laws and city procedures are not set up to support the groups that are supporting our community and creating the necessary housing.”

Read full article here.

(Originally published July 1, 2021.)

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Mutual aid continues to serve communities, but can be taxed by the government

By: Samantha Greyson, The Daily Texan

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Excerpt: Charlotte Tsui, staff attorney for the Sustainable Economies Law Center, said a mutual aid fund is the final recipient of the gift donation, but it can be characterized as a gift agent for tax purposes and act as a means to transfer gifts from donors to people in need.

Read full article here.

(Originally published March 4, 2021.)

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South City Focuses on Equity

By: Austin Walsh, The Daily Journal

Excerpt: The meeting also featured a presentation from Ricardo Nuñez from the Sustainable Economies Law Center, who laid out a variety of alternative programs which could broaden access to home ownership and financial independence.

Read full article here.

(Originally published October 9, 2020.)

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From homelessness to real estate: How some Bay Area tenants won their affordable housing fight

By: LAURENCE DU SAULT , The Mercury News

Excerpt: Hernandez said the experience helped her find a new career path, one she realized she’s been practicing for years.

Now, she is a co-director for the Sustainable Economies Law Center’s new project: a “radical real estate law school” where apprentices like herself follow faculty attorneys for four years and then attempt to pass the bar. The goal is to teach future lawyers about alternative models of land ownership that help tenants buy and get affordable housing. In the meantime, Hernandez and Garlipp have started a Youtube channel for tenants facing eviction.

Read full article here.

(Originally published October 4, 2020.)

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Black Votes Matter!

By: Nube Brown and Malik Washington, Bay View

Excerpt: Right now, as this article is going to print, the Bay View is in the process of transitioning from a corporate model to a co-op model. That’s right! The Bay View is working with some wonderful attorneys from the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) in Oakland and soon this historic national Black newspaper will be owned by the people – we will be offering our readers and subscribers an opportunity to actually own a share in our wonderful Black newspaper

Read full article here.

(Originally published October 1, 2020.)

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