Chase Porter

  • Hosted by Lone Star Legal Aid
  • Sponsored by Texas Access to Justice Foundation
  • Service location Houston, Texas
  • Law school The University of Texas School of Law
  • Issue area Environmental Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Chase will fight for environmental justice and community development in communities on Texas’ Gulf Coast.

Texas’ seaports and large coastal industrial facilities have entered a period of growth. Their neighboring low-income and minority neighborhoods, which have long born the brunt of industry’s negative externalities without sharing in the prosperity, are under threat to be further left behind. These communities continue to suffer from high pollution, are crisscrossed by busy rail lines and truck routes, and despite their neighbors’ success, have continued high rates of unemployment and obvious underdevelopment.

Chase was inspired to dig into the issues facing underdeveloped coastal communities when participating in a law school clinic. When he visited a port community to educate local leaders on their opportunities to advocate for themselves, he witnessed firsthand the daily challenges they face. Chase previously served as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the Disaster Recovery Legal Corps.

Fellowship Plans

Chase’s Fellowship will help improve public health and promote equitable development in at-risk communities. He will engage directly with community members to understand their concerns, educate and build capacity for public participation in development, and work with them to comment on and challenge permits for new and expanded industrial facilities. Chase will also engage directly with industry and advocate for a commitment to bettering the lives of their neighbors. 

Despite being illuminated by the bright lights of the 24 hours a day operations of their industrial neighbors, adjacent communities often do not receive nearly the attention and respect they deserve.

Chase Porter /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Pearl Kan

Host: California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.

Sponsor: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Craig Brown

Host: Legal Services of North Florida

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, The Florida Bar Foundation

Aaron Voit

Host: California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.

Sponsor: Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, PG&E Corporation

Brent Denzin

Host: Midwest Environmental Advocates, Inc.

Sponsor: Sierra Club