Dear Friends of Centro Legal, 
Over the next few weeks, we are sharing stories of how in the midst of the uncertainty and anxiety of COVID-19, Centro Legal de la Raza has stepped up and doubled our efforts to protect and advance the rights of the most vulnerable in our communities – those who are undocumented, those who have unstable housing, workers who have lost their income with no safety net, and detainees who await release from ICE detention. 

You’ll learn about Centro Legal’s brave Immigration Rights’ team – how their advocacy in the midst of a global pandemic is creating transformative change in real time. You’ll read about the passionate advocates in Centro Legal’s Tenants’ Rights team and their collaborative efforts to pass one of the strongest eviction moratoriums in the state. Finally, you’ll learn about how our community quickly came together to build a rapid-response team to serve undocumented workers struggling to make ends meet through this crisis. 

Centro Legal’s clinics have adjusted to serve clients remotely. The Immigrant Rights’ clinics (including OUSD clinics) remained steady through the transition, and clients continue to reach out telephonically.  All detained cases and non-detained merits are still moving forward. Outreach efforts have been shifted, as we have pivoted to video to strengthen our Know Your Rights strategy. Similarly, the Tenants’ Rights clinic continues operating remotely and offers three clinics per week. Our Emergency Financial Assistance program has also continued and operates remotely. While the administrative hearings in front of the Oakland rent board have been postponed, we are working to prepare to defend mass evictions once courts reopen, using remote technology to the extent possible. 

Additionally, Centro Legal’s Workers’ Rights program has transitioned to remote clinics, providing services through telephone consults, using text, email, and USPS to handle documents. We continue to serve the same number of clients, and are currently exploring ways to expand access to quick legal advice by developing a hotline in collaboration with partner organizations. Our hearings and settlement conferences before administrative agencies and state courts have been continued for the time being. We have also exponentially increased our outreach efforts to share crucial information about workplace protections, including sick leave, family leave, retaliation, workplace health and safety, and unemployment insurance. 

Our work could not be done without supporters like you. It takes a village to protect our community, and to ensure our rights are preserved and strengthened during this tumultuous, uncharted time. 

We ask that you join us in supporting these efforts and the ones you will read about in the coming weeks. While the landscape is dire, Centro Legal is building another world – otro mundo es posible. We are building a world where the most vulnerable are remembered and supported, where families are not evicted and left without warm homes, and where all work together to care for the whole.