Tommy Eugene Lewis III, Zaydee Sanchez for KQED


Wednesday May 22, 2024

05.22.24Carlos Aguilar

10 years later, Prop. 47 has given formerly incarcerated Californians a second chance

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Tommy Eugene Lewis III, Zaydee Sanchez for KQED

In 1997, Tommy Eugene Lewis III was sentenced to 41 years to life in state prison for attempted murder after he shot and injured another driver. He was 18 years old.

Three years ago, at 43, Lewis was released from prison. He’d spent his entire adult life behind bars and wasn’t sure what was next.

A friend directed him to the Center for Employment Opportunity (CEO), a nonprofit located near Skid Row in Los Angeles, which, despite its proximity, feels like a world apart. Housed in a modern, light-filled office complex above boutiques and restaurants, CEO more closely resembles a tech office.

Offering more than just employment, CEO provides housing assistance, support services like legal aid and helps connect people with behavioral health specialists or therapists. Participants also receive same-day payment for their work.

“They literally became like my side partner [and] my support network coming home,” said Lewis, who’s now employed as a peer navigator at CEO, helping other people as they enter the program.

Read the rest on KQED 

Advocates speak up against “heartbreaking” budget that slashes legal services for immigrants

Speaking Of...

As California faces a more than $50 billion budget shortfall over the next two fiscal years, groups with programs on the chopping block are speaking out, including immigrant rights advocates.

They raised their voices in support of preserving funding at a press conference at the State Capitol Tuesday afternoon.

“We have to stand against decisions that push our communities back into the shadows and leave them to fend for themselves,” said State Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles).

Immigrant rights advocates said there could be $33 million in potential cuts to immigration legal service programs. Among them, the CSU Immigration Legal Services Project, which has offered free legal services at all CSU campuses over the last six years. The project has helped students like Isela Nuno Garcia who recently graduated from San Jose State and is going on to pursue her masters there.

“Undocumented students are a very underserved population already,” she said.

Read the rest on ABC News

The legal movement to make pregnant women second class citizens

Less Of This

Photo collage of anti abortion protest, Photo illustration by Slate

Jill Filipovic is a journalist, lawyer, and author of The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness and OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind

Should the very state of being pregnant place women in a subclass of citizen, vulnerable to criminal prosecution or civil penalties for behavior that would be perfectly legal from a nonpregnant person? Judging by their proposed legislation and various legal antics, the anti-abortion movement says: Yes. Pregnant women simply should not have the same rights as any other U.S. citizen.

Take, for example, efforts to criminalize the crossing of state lines for abortion. There is a very, very long tradition in the U.S. of allowing people to travel out of state to access medical care, and it’s so deeply ingrained we barely think about it. Consider, for example, the businesswoman who lives in New Jersey but works in New York City and so goes to the dentist in midtown Manhattan, or the dad who lives on the Kansas side of Kansas City but takes his sick kid to a specialist at a hospital on the Missouri side. A great many Americans don’t think twice about crossing state lines for health care.

Abortion opponents are trying to change that for one group of people: pregnant women.

Read the rest on Slate

Originalist judges keep getting history wrong


Last week, despite the fervent wishes of Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, the country avoided a federal judiciary-induced economic crisis. On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the funding structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is indeed constitutional, allowing the Bureau to go about its business of protecting consumers from the nation’s sketchiest and most predatory financial institutions. 

The CFPB is a product of the Dodd-Frank Act, which Congress passed after the Great Recession to protect the public from the wheeling and dealing of unscrupulous Wall Street-types. Conservative activists who benefit from the aforementioned unscrupulousness have been trying to roll back those laws ever since. The case the Court decided on Thursday, CFPB v. Community Financial Services of America, offered the Court a back road it could use to get Republicans where they wanted to go. 

Read the rest on Balls & Strikes

A Dark Comedy about the Nonprofit sector

Special Theater promotion for ChangeLawyers

Shotgun Players presents Best Available, A New Play Written by Jonathan Spector · Directed by Jon Tracy

“City Repertory Theater company launches a search for a new artistic director. Who is the best available candidate? Rising star and hometown hero Jonathan Spector interviewed dozens of theater makers to create this satirical tale. This play is especially for anyone who loves theater or who wants to peek behind the curtain and see the underbelly of show business. Some subjects are much too serious to be dramas.”   

Tickets & Info >

Transgender Law Center hiring Legal Fellow

The position is within the Border Butterflies project and will provide direct legal support to LGBTQ asylum seekers living in the United States.

The Border Butterflies Project aims to support LGBTQ asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border with legal, humanitarian, post-detention, and organizing support. This position, which can be performed remotely anywhere throughout California, will be hosted by Transgender Law Center.

Apply >