Welcome to the Public Rights Project Newsletter! Each month, we’ll keep you up to date with our efforts to empower states and cities to protect the rights and freedoms that define us as Americans. We’ll also share a few articles you may have missed that highlight the importance of state and local government, and how states and cities are picking up the torch to protect our rights.
UPDATES FROM PUBLIC RIGHTS PROJECT
BAY AREA COLLABORATIVE
Earlier this month, Public Rights Project hosted a collaborative meeting with representatives from city attorney and county counsel offices in Berkeley, Oakland, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and San Francisco. The group discussed affirmative litigation in the Bay Area, opportunities to build high-impact cases, and how progressive governments can work together. This was the first of several planned meetings and we are looking forward to our next one in July!
In June, we interviewed a stellar group of finalists for our inaugural fellowships in the Oakland City Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Thank you again to everybody who shared the opportunity with their networks, nominated candidates, and applied for our first placements. We had an absolutely fantastic pool of applicants!
Thank you to our volunteer interviewers and advisory board members Adelina Acuna, Teslim Ikharo, Daniel Osborn, David Pearl, Ben Chida, and Brian Nelson for dedicating your time and energy to meeting and interviewing our inaugural fellow candidates. We are so grateful for your commitment and support. Additional thanks to volunteers that helped with reference checking and behind the scenes work.
Stay tuned next month for our next MAJOR fellowship announcement!
In June, we welcomed our final summer intern, Erin! Get to know the newest addition to the PRP team.
Erin Morris is a recent graduate from Pomona College with a B.A. in Politics. At Pomona, Erin co-created the first Women in Politics group on campus to increase female representation in and out of the classroom. Erin was also active leading outdoor trips and loves to hike and backpack. However, after witnessing the exclusionary nature of outdoor recreation for many women and people of color, she chose to write her senior thesis examining the idea of wilderness in American history and literature and exploring how to make outdoor recreation radically more accessible moving forward. Erin is considering applying to law school next year.
BROWN BAG EVENTS
Our summer programming includes weekly brown bag lunches with guest speakers so that our undergraduate and legal interns can hear varied perspectives on possible public interest career paths. In June, we hosted Jenny Montoya Tansey, former Director of Safety & Justice at Code for America, Lindsey Hogg and Keara O’Doherty, two newly graduated CORO Fellows, and LT Hilton, Founding Ambassador of The Ambassadors Circle. Thank you for being outstanding PRP partners and sharing your wisdom with our team!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...
18 DEMOCRATIC ATTORNEYS GENERAL SUE TRUMP OVER FAMILY SEPARATIONS
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey are leading a coalition of seventeen states and Washington D.C. in filing a lawsuit seeking to force the Trump administration to reunite more than 2,000 children with their parents. The lawsuit is the first legal challenge by states over the policy, alleging that it is in violation of immigrants’ constitutional rights, and is illegally inflicting trauma on children.
Read more via The Hill
CALIFORNIA SUES NATION’S LARGEST STUDENT LOAN SERVICER
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has announced that his office is suing the nation’s largest student loan servicer. The lawsuit alleges that Navient Corp. has financially harmed thousands of Californians and consumers by failing to properly service their debts.
Read more via NY Times
TEXAS ACTIVISTS FIGHT BACK AGAINST GOP’S WAR ON LOCAL DEMOCRACY
Texas progressives are poised to get measures requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave on November ballots, a policy victory that would benefit hundreds of thousands of workers. However, they are preparing for opposition from the GOP-led state legislature, which is increasingly at odds with Texas’ progressive big cities. For instance, the state has used preemption laws to forbid cities and counties from creating sanctuary city protections and regulating oil and gas drilling.
Read more via TPM