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Micaela Alvarez

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Micaela Alvarez

Micaela Alvarez

Name of Host Organization: RAICES
City, State: Oakland, California
Issue area: Housing/Homelessness
Sponsors: WilmerHale, Intel

The Project

Prevent escalating unlawful displacement of Oakland’s low-income tenants of color by providing direct legal services to tenants and bringing affirmative lawsuits against non-law-abiding landlords.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Oakland’s Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance prohibits evictions of law-abiding tenants, but dishonest landlords are turning to unlawful measures to remove low-income tenants in favor of affluent professionals. Landlords falsely use the owner move-in exception to evict multiple tenants, and increase rent far beyond what is legal, knowing that low-income tenants are unlikely to enforce rent control laws.
The Right Person For This Project
Micaela is the right person for the project because:
• She has demonstrated commitment to civil legal services and advocacy on behalf of indigent and underserved communities
• She has experience as a student attorney in the Housing Clinic at Harvard Legal Services Center
• She has passion for vindicating tenants’ rights and fighting displacement
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship
In the first six months, Micaela will:
• Help staff weekly walk-in housing clinics throughout Oakland and neighboring immigrant communities
• Work with attorneys in Centro Legal’s Tenants Rights Program to fight unlawful evictions, ensure habitable living conditions, and respond to illegal landlord harassment.
• Partner with Centro Legal’s Litigation Project to identify potential plaintiffs for strategic affirmative litigation