Laurel Firestone

Laurel Firestone

  • Hosted by The Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment
  • Sponsored by Equal Justice Works
  • Service location San Francisco, California
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Environmental Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2004
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

During her Fellowship at The Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment (CRPE), Laurel Firestone helped communities in California access funding, enforce drinking water standards, advocate for drinking water free from pollutants, and gain accountability for information regarding the safety of their water.

Fellowship Highlights

At CPRE, Laurel represented a community group that challenged a local water ordinance stipulating that households had to pay up to an additional $600 if non-approved family members or friends lived in the home. Despite being framed as a capacity charge, the ordinance had very little to do with the amount of water being used–it was to regulate tenants having friends and family live with them. Without legal assistance, no one knew the ordinance was unconstitutional. Laurel worked with residents to form a group, and they organized more than 300 residents to join together and express their concerns at the next board meeting.The group effort resulted in the ordinance being repealed.


Fireside Chat: Laurel Firestone Talks About California’s Promise of a Human Right to Safe Drinking Water

Governor Newsom Appoints CWC’s Laurel Firestone to State Water Board

Community Water Center Leaders Receive Award

When it Comes to California Water, Nothing is Easy

This Fellowship allowed me to have the freedom to learn from local communities, evolve the project to meet my needs, and build a lasting impact. Spending two years in the community was vital because it was the ultimate learning ground.

Laurel Firestone /
Equal Justice Works Fellow

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