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Economic Advancement

Economic Advancement Program

Our Economic Advancement Program is designed to increase self-sufficiency and counteract economic barriers to better wages, stable households, and healthier communities. Despite the wealth of Silicon Valley, many working class and immigrant communities have been left behind. East Palo Alto’s poverty rate is more than triple that of surrounding San Mateo County. Our Economic Advancement Program has four components: Reentry, Consumer, Small Business, and Workers’ Rights.

Realignment of California’s justice system has increased the number of formerly incarcerated individuals in our community. We want to assist those individuals with putting their pasts behind them by obtaining record dismissals, encouraging them to apply for employment and housing with more confidence.

Many low-income consumers are targets for predatory scams and discriminatory practices. Our attorneys seek to provide assistance with enforcing consumer rights, especially in areas that impact credit reporting and background checks, or areas that involve contracting for loans or purchasing consumer products.  We also offer a financial health assessment and referrals to community partners offering free financial education and coaching services.  Last, we continue our advocacy efforts to curb predatory payday lending and auto title lending.

Our small business program is designed to enable low-income entrepreneurs and small business owners to become better equipped to protect their investments, increase their income stream, and make more informed decisions about their small business. We offer workshops on topics such as choosing a business entity, trademark and patents, independent contractors, among other things as well as small business legal clinics where eligible clients can receive free legal advice.

Our workers’ rights program provides counsel and assistance to clients struggling with problems and disputes with employers, including wage-and-hour disputes, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and the unlawful use of workers’ immigration status.