Leah Weaver

The Inspiration

The Project

Cities, counties and the state are beginning to purchase foreclosed properties. They’re doing it, primarily, with federal money. When they fix them, rent them, or sell them, they will do so in a way that will further fair housing goals. Luke’s project focused on using policy advocacy, direct representation, and litigation to ensure that these entities did not employ the same racial steering and predatory practices that led to the foreclosures in the first place.

Media

The Tenants Who Evicted Their Landlord

The Project

The goal of my project is to enforce the right to effective communication for deaf and hard of hearing people within Minnesota’s criminal justice system. Many deaf Minnesotans communicate primarily in American Sign Language. For these individuals, written and oral communication is not effective to convey critical information during police encounters or while incarcerated. My work includes direct representation, legislative advocacy and collaboration with government agencies and community groups. I communicate with most clients directly in ASL.

The Inspiration

The Project

Recent legislation in Minnesota provides increased civil remedies for vulnerable adults who are victims of financial exploitation. This project will combine litigation, legislative advocacy and community education as well as help further the efforts of elder care advocates so as to protect the rapidly growing population of seniors from this increasingly pervasive type of abuse.

The Inspiration

The Project

Carrie established a medical-legal partnership at the Hennepin County Medical Center’s Whittier Clinic in a neighborhood where one-third of families with children under 18 years old live in poverty. She provided legal services to Whittier Clinic patients whose health problems are rooted in socio-economic disparities.

A 2010 study by the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation of Minnesota found that people living in the poorest neighborhoods of Minneapolis-St. Paul live up to 13 fewer years than people living in wealthy suburbs. To a large extent, the disparity is due to prevent¬able inequities, such as substandard living conditions and limited financial resources. For example, people become sick when land¬lords refuse to maintain residences to comply with building codes. Often, conditions contributing to poor health can be ameliorated with appropriate legal assistance.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Carrie has:

  • Established a Medical-Legal Partnership through which over 500 patients have been referred
  • Presented 12 trainings for the Whitter medical providers on legal issues affecting their patients, including: employment law, housing law, and immigration law
  • Represented or referred to Legal Aid for representation cases that have resulted, among other things, in improved immigration status, access to health insurance, improved housing conditions, state-wide improvements to access to food benefits, and safer conditions for victims of domestic violence
  • Started two ongoing bi-monthly pro bono workshops for clinic patients: a DACA renewal workshop and an eviction expungement workshop

Where are they now?

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Carrie will continue running the medical-legal partnership which has received a guarantee of at least two years further funding.