EBCOHO member Janelle Orsi, lawyer, author, director of the Sustainable Economies Law Centers wrote us last month about SELC's new "Resilient Communities Legal Cafe" which is happening weekly in Berkeley or Oakland through August.
"One idea we've contemplated is creating themed cafes some nights and trying to attract a group of clients who share common interests, and having a group discussion and Legal Q&A. We could potentially choose an evening where I spend at least 90 minutes of the cafe in a circle with cohousing/shared housing clients answering their legal questions and facilitating a discussion."
Of course we said YES, sign EBCOHO up! So, please join Janelle on May 15 at Crossroads Cafe.
Janelle is one of a handful of attorneys specializing in law for a sharing economy - including cooperative housing and shared ownership law. A number forming groups in and out of EBCOHO have worked with her. For more information on the purpose and format of the Legal Cafes keep scrolling below, or go to www.theselc.org for more on all the good work Janelle and her team of visionary legal beagles are up to.
The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies in Oakland, Berkeley, and beyond! The 6-month pilot program will run every week at different locations in the East Bay between February and August 2013.
The Cafe series is a joint effort of SELC and the Green-Collar Communities Clinic (a project of the East Bay Community Law Center). Come, ask us your questions, and join others from your neighborhood who are taking their livelihoods, communities, and economies back!
LEGAL CAFE SCHEDULE AND LOCATIONS:
- 2nd Wednesday of Each Month @ Location and Time TBA
- 3rd Wednesday of Each Month (4:30-7:30 p.m.) @ the Crossroads Cafe - 942 Stanford Ave., Oakland 94608
- 4th Tuesday of Each Month (6:00-8:30 p.m.) @ the HUB in the David Brower Center – 2150 Allston Way, Suite 400, Berkeley 94704
Unsure about what week it is? Check out SELC’s Events page!
Why The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe?
SELC believes that because our current economic systems prioritize corporate profits over community resilience, they destroy opportunities for satisfying and sustainable work, damage the environment that sustains us, and unravel our sense of connection to one another. That’s why SELC is committed to providing reliable, affordable, and accessible legal information and advice to the people who are creating alternative economic systems. Through this work, we can help form the enterprises and entrepreneurs that will ring in the new economy.
About the Program
Those who want to create alternative economic structures have difficulty finding affordable and competent legal assistance because there are so few attorneys specialized in the legal needs of the sharing economy. Communities with high rates of unemployment and poverty will find the hurdles to launching new enterprises especially insurmountable. The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe will give direct legal assistance to the residents of East Oakland, and at the same time create the reproducible model and resources to support similar programs around the country.
The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe will provide events, workshops, legal advice clinics, and legal services supporting the creation of, for example:
- worker cooperatives
- food cooperatives
- urban farms
- land trusts
- housing cooperatives
- local investment initiatives
- community-supported enterprises
- social enterprises
- cottage industries
- time banks
- local currencies
Some of the Services
Weekly walk-in clinics. SELC is holding a weekly legal advice clinic at a soon to be announced cafe or community center.
One-time consultations. Resilient Communities Legal Cafe participants have the opportunity to receive one-time advice sessions with an attorney either at a low fee or without charge for low-income individuals.
Workshops. Between February and August, SELC will hold at least three community legal workshops on topics like “Legal Tools for the Sharing Economy,” “Legal Workshops for Community Food Enterprise,” and “How to Start a Worker-Owned Enterprise.” Stay tuned for event times and locations.
Community discussions. At least three guest lectures and discussions will help expand understanding of the sharing economy and cooperative enterprise.
Written resources. We’ve developed a series of legal handbooks and information sheets for clients to use and share with others.