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


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.

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(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.

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(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

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(Originally published October 1, 2020.)

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How to set up a mutual aid fund

By: Julia Ho, Shareable

mutual aid fund

Excerpt:"The Sustainable Economies Law Center also just released this mutual aid legal guide and is an immensely helpful resource for mutual aid and other grassroots groups working through legal questions and compliance issues."

Read full article here.

(Originally published September 24, 2020.)

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This Oakland Law Center Fights Housing Insecurity by ‘Radicalizing Real Estate’

By: Hannah Chinn, Next City


Excerpt: SELC’s work towards building radical real estate is almost always focused on helping communities acquire property by taking it off the speculative market. Sometimes, that involves leveraging existing legal structures such as using conservation or housing justice easements and building land trusts. They will also lobby for policies that give tenants of a building the first right of refusal to purchase the building, or partner with organizations to create cooperatives such as the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative.

Read full article here.

(Originally published September 25, 2020.)

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How Blockbusting and Real Estate Profiteers Cash In on Racial Tension

By: By Stephen Zacks, Dwell

 Photo 1 of 6 in How Blockbusting and Real Estate Profiteers Cash In on Racial Tension

Excerpt: All in all, the profiteering habits of the real estate market underline a need to rethinking housing as a commodity. Chris Tittle, staff lawyer and director of land and housing justice at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, which provides technical support for communities organizing to assert greater control over their resources, advocates for cooperative ownership and social housing that would permanently take buildings out of the speculative marketplace and place it in the hands of local groups and those in need of shelter. "When we’re doing work, our primary analysis is that the underlying root cause of a lot of this is the financialization of housing and the commodification of housing," Tittle says. "Housing under capitalism is not designed to providing housing for people; it’s primarily designed to extract as much value as possible."

Read the full article here.

(Originally published August 13, 2020.)

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Escape From the Nuclear Family: Covid-19 Should Provoke a Re-Think of How We Live

By: Naomi Klein, The Intercept

Excerpt: ... I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, in Oakland, unceded Ohlone territories. We have the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, which is an Ohlone land trust that’s rebuilding the land base for the Ohlone peoples and for indigenous peoples in the Bay Area. There’s resources like the Sustainable Economies Law Center, which is just an incredible resource for helping people think about how to live in intentional community. Everything from the mundane legal structure questions to what the daily practice of compassionate self-governance looks like.

Read the full article here.

(Originally published August 5, 2020.)

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‘Radical Real Estate Law School’ is in session

By: Natalie Orenstein, The Oaklandside

Excerpt: The program is offered through the Sustainable Economies Law Center in downtown Oakland, one of the handful of organizations taking advantage of a little-known rule in California and a few other states allowing people to take the bar exam without first obtaining a traditional law school degree. Instead, apprentices study and work directly with practicing lawyers for four years, saving money and boosting their host organization’s workforce.

For Hernandez, becoming a lawyer through an unconventional method made sense. She’d come in direct contact with housing law herself, through unconventional living situations.

Five years ago, Hernandez’s family was evicted from a home they rented in Oakland’s Maxwell Park neighborhood. Unable to afford anything they found on Craigslist, Hernandez, her husband, and their four children piled into the car and went looking for buildings with “for rent” signs in the windows.

Read the full article here.

(Originally published July 30, 2020.)

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