LJP Update: Announcing 2016 Gala Honorees, Right to Know Act in NYC Council and more

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Announcing Honorees for our 2016 Gala – Forging a Powerful Future

Join 400+ of our supporters, sponsors and partners as we honor:

Lucero, David Arroyo, Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs/Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Scripps Networks Interactive
Corporate Leader - Mercer
Community Champion - Cesar D. Vargas, Co-Founder, Dream Action Coalition
Vanguard - Debo Adegbile, Partner, Wilmer Hale

This year’s Gala theme, Forging a Powerful Future, speaks to the growing influence of Latinos nationwide. As we shape civic, political and social movements, Latinos must come together to exercise their voices and votes to ensure equality, access and justice for decades to come. For more information, click here.

NYC Council Won’t Vote on Police Reform Legislation

News broke last week that the NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was tabling a vote on the Right to Know (RTK) Act, a package of legislation that would protect the rights of New Yorkers in their interactions with the NYPD. The bills would require police officers to identify themselves during encounters and document a person’s consent to a search, complementing a comprehensive set of reforms in the works as a result of several stop-and-frisk lawsuits including one brought by LatinoJustice.

The NYPD will be amending its Patrol Guide to address some of the concerns in the RTK Act but will not cover the breadth of police encounters encompassed by the Act or include its important features, such as requiring objective proof of consent for a search or requiring officers to provide reasons for law enforcement encounters. Last Wednesday, LatinoJustice joined the policing campaign Communities United for Police Reform, leaders in the police accountability movement and elected officials at a rally to demand that the RTK Act receive a vote.

Whole Women’s Health Decision Upholds Right to Safely Access Abortion

The U.S. Supreme Court held last month that a Texas law that imposed unnecessary restrictions on medical providers and abortion facilities is unconstitutional. By striking down Texas’ law, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed women’s ability to safely access their constitutional right to abortion without substantial, unnecessary obstacles.

The decision in Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt concerned two parts of a Texas law that imposed strict requirements on abortion providers, it held that the requirements imposed by Texas violated the legal standard set out by the Court in its 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, because the requirements did not provide any benefit toward protecting the safety of women, and only imposed an undue burden on a woman’s right to abortion.

“All women have the right to access critical healthcare services, regardless of where they live, their income, immigration status or ethnicity,” said Juan Cartagena, President & General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

“Today the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutional right of women in Texas and across this country to basic reproductive healthcare and told legislators that they may not place undue burdens on women’s fundamental right to access abortion. Women – primarily low-income, immigrant and women of color – who have been disproportionately burdened in Texas by the closure of healthcare clinics in their communities, can now seek needed healthcare without worrying that facilities will move further and further out of reach,” said Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Associate Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF joined the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and eight other national and local Latina organizations in submitting an amicus brief in support of the petitioners’ lawsuit seeking to strike down the law. Ninety percent of reproductive-age women in the Rio Grande Valley area along the Texas-Mexico border are Latina. The remaining Texas clinics would have been clustered in four metropolitan areas: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio - none are located west or south of San Antonio. The requirements from Texas’ law would have forced women to take more time off from work, pay for child care, drive longer distances, and wait for extended periods in increasingly overcrowded facilities with fewer doctors.

Justice for Job Seekers Passes NY Legislature

On the last day of the NYS legislative session our Justice for Job Seekers bill S.8102/A.10672 passed the Senate 44-17 and the Assembly 109-15. Once signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the bill will provide fair and meaningful protections to low-wage immigrant workers as they look for work in the state of New York. This is a huge win for our communities!

LatinoJustice was instrumental in the creation of the Justice for Job Seekers (J4JS) campaign in collaboration with the New Immigrant for Community Empowerment (NICE) of Queens. The J4JS campaign was born from the many experiences of NICE members who had paid advance fees ranging from $100 and up to predatory and fraudulent employment agencies for job referrals. Low-wage immigrant workers frequently rely on such employment agencies to find jobs. Unfortunately, many agencies often take advantage of and defraud immigrant workers by charging exorbitant fees for unfulfilled services, or knowingly place workers in jobs that violate labor laws and fail to pay minimum wage. LatinoJustice’s research was instrumental and cited by NICE and several elected officials in support of the bill. See LJP’s letter in support of the original J4JS bill here.

You can find out more about the victory here.

Work with LatinoJustice

  • LatinoJustice seeks Senior Counsel - The Senior Counsel develops, leads and manages existing cases pending in state and federal court, and oversees all facets of the litigation process. Under the supervision of the Deputy General Counsel and as part of the Senior Counsel team, the Senior Counsel is accountable for the output of his or her team and for developing strategies to achieve litigation goals in emerging areas of community interest. The Senior Counsel will travel nationally, with particular focus on the east coast, in connection with organizational projects and needs.
    More information here. Deadline: Applications Accepted until July 30th, 2016.
  • LatinoJustice seeks rising 3L or recent law graduate for Fall 2017-18 Public Interest Fellowship Sponsorship -
    We are seeking energetic, motivated candidates with a record of commitment to social justice issues who have excellent legal research, writing and communications skills. Bilingual English/Spanish fluency is required. Fellowship geographic service areas are the greater metropolitan NY-NJ area from our NYC office; or Central Florida from our Southeastern Regional Office in Orlando. Applicants should submit a fellowship proposal and describe how the project fits within LatinoJustice’s mission and our current litigation priorities. We will also work with applicants to identify and create a project. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
    More information: here Deadline: Applications Accepted on Rolling Basis

Events and Notices

  • NLLSA’s 20th Annual Conference and Moot Court Competition will be co-hosted by Boston College Law School, Suffolk Law School, and Harvard Law School from September 29th – October 1st, 2016 in Boston! The 2016 Conference theme, “Identidad y Colaboración,” focuses on the role of Latina/o students emerging in the legal field. In an increasingly globalized world, the need for diverse attorneys in the legal field is greater than ever. The Conference will feature interactive panels, a moot court competition, networking events, engaging lectures, and an opportunity to give back to our community through pro bono work. Registration for the conference, moot court information, speakers’ information, and traveler and hotel information is available here link to our conference. We look forward to seeing you in Boston in September 2016!
  • Body Camera Survey - In order to ensure that the NYPD’s body-worn camera program responds to the interests and concerns of the community it serves, the NYPD has asked the Policing Project at New York University School of Law to gather public input on how the cameras should be used. You can fill out the survey here.
  • 34th Annual Law Day takes place on Saturday, October 8th, at New York Law School. Interested in meeting law school representatives from across the country (including the NY tristate area) that are interested in YOU? Mark your calendars for this free event and look for preregistration information coming in early August.
    When: October 8th Where: New York Law School

Juan Opina

  • Populous, Multi-Racial And Ignored: Latinos And Police Shootings
    The police officer who shot and killed Philando Castille in Minnesota, Jeronimo Yanez, was Latino. That shooting added to the narrative of yet another white officer killing a black man. In Dallas one police officer killed with four others by Micah Johnson, was also Latino, Mexican-American Patrick Zamarripa.
  • Luchamos por la justicia, no asesinatos
    En Dallas, Texas, cinco miembros de la policía fueron asesinados en un motín que empezó pacíficamente para denunciar la muerte de dos afro-americanos por la policía unos días anteriores.

Twitter Highlight

  • Official statement on the tragedy that occurred in the last couple of days #BlackLivesMatter here
  • Important for everyone to join #PoliceReform movement and not allow ourselves to be siloed @MariaTeresa1 @votolatino linke here
  • Backroom deals lacking transparency don’t deliver change; they’re meant to hide that politics is put over people. Pass the #RightToKnowAct!

Meet the #LJPFamilia - Julio Avendano

Where are you originally from?
Miami, FL and born to Nicaraguan parents

What law school do you attend?
University of Florida. Go Gators!

Why do you want to become a lawyer?
I want to become a lawyer so I can help people resolve their legal issues and resolve legal issues that people don’t even know affect them. I want to be a lawyer so that I can be a voice for the community.

Why did you want to intern at LJP?
I wanted to intern at LJP because being Hispanic, I wanted to learn about the civil rights and constitutional issues facing Hispanics. Not only did I want to learn about the issues but I wanted to be able to help and LJP gives me that exact opportunity.

Find out more about Julio and the other interns here.

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