When the current administration began planning its transition to power in late 2016, the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) of The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) began planning as well. As we near the end of the year, we thought you might be interested in how we responded to threats both real and anticipated.
BASF and JDC are at the vanguard of local responses to ensuring fairness and equality; working with partners, members and volunteers to address current challenges in these areas.
Since the beginning of the year BASF and JDC have:
• Co-hosted “How to be a Good Ally: A Strategic Engagement Conference” that attracted 1,300+ members of the legal community and featured 37 speakers, 40 participating organizations and 13 panel discussions
• Launched an Immigration Task Force to identify, evaluate and recommend services to advance the rights of immigrant communities
• Expanded its existing immigration program to address current and pending demand for immigration services
• Issued a public statement decrying the Executive Order denying immigration and safe harbor based on country of origin and religion
• Launched a “Volunteer Pop-Up” to provide more opportunities for attorneys to organize and mobilize to address current and future threats to marginalized communities
• Issued a public statement: The Executive Branch Must Respect the Judicial Branch as an Independent and Co-Equal Branch of Government
• JDC staff were featured on KALW’s “Your Legal Rights” with host Chuck Finney and organized a “Call-A-Lawyer-Night” for listeners to discuss their questions one-on-one with immigration and family law attorneys
• Expanded the immigration Attorney of the Day program to address the current and pending demands for immigration services in the San Francisco Bay Area
• Partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and other community based organizations to develop a Regional Rapid Response Network to address enforcement actions throughout Northern California
Clients served by BASF and JDC are directly affected by many of the recent executive orders. Of the people who requested services from JDC during the past 12 months: Those who are immigrants (documented and undocumented) make up:
• 26% of everyone seeking help from JDC
• over 40% of family law clients
• 65% are survivors of domestic violence
• 40% of housing clients
Percentage of JDC clients with significant medical needs:
• 55% of all the people seeking assistance from JDC
• 80% of JDC’s Homeless Advocacy Project clients
• 100% of JDC’s clients are low-income and their lives will be affected in a significantly negative way if federal funding to the state and city is reduced
To learn more about our programs and how you can support the work of the Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco, visit our impact page at jdc.sfbar.org.