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Public Rights Project

Help Progressive Prosecutors Fight for Environmental Justice

Posted September 19, 2018

We are at a pivotal moment in the conversation about criminal justice reform and the role of the prosecutor. As a wave of reform-minded prosecutors take office, we have a critical opportunity to leverage this national moment and move beyond simply reducing discrimination against vulnerable communities to articulate a bold, proactive vision for prosecutors as protectors of their communities. Public Rights Project is working to realign prosecutor priorities to target threats to the building blocks of safe communities - health, economic opportunity, and equity. In order to support prosecutors to take on these critical issues, we need to better understand the ways that these offices can wield their unique civil enforcement authority to protect their residents’ rights and build a solid foundation for community safety. We would like to start with research into how district attorneys in California could use their authority to target environmental harms that disproportionately impact low-income communities of color. We need your help to research and draft a white paper on: Promising legal strategies to combat pollution, environmental degradation, illegal dumping, environmental health and related issues that impact local California communities. Any legal avenues on this issue that are uniquely available to government, as opposed to private plaintiffs. Challenges that California prosecutors would likely face in pursuing impact litigation on these issues. A set of recommendations on next steps for California prosecutors who are looking to take on these issues. This white paper would be used to inform Public Rights Project’s strategic engagement with local prosecutors’ offices and would potentially be edited for publication. We anticipate the research and drafting process would take 30 hours.

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 1-5 hours
  • Training Provided: No
  • Site-Preference: Remote
  • Open to Law Students: No
  • Bar License(s) required: California
  • Required Languages: None
  • Mentoring Provided: Yes
  • Supervision Provided: Yes
Public Rights Project

Public Rights Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating the gap between the values expressed in our laws and the lived reality of our most vulnerable communities. We empower state and local prosecutors to protect the core rights and freedoms that define us as Americans by providing them with talent and resources to more proactively enforce their residents’ legal rights.

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