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Home | Newsroom | Miscellaneous | Western Center Roundup – June 2024

Western Center Roundup – June 2024

Celebrating Progress in the LGBTQ+ Community
As we close out Pride Month, we celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and join in their fight to champion disenfranchised people and communities. Spanning from June 1 to June 30, media and advocates across the country have spoken out to spotlight and celebrate LGBTQ+ voices and activism. We at Western Center join in the chorus of those voices to unite as a community, and also to raise awareness and support for LGBTQ+ causes. This month, and every month, we commit to the fierce advocacy required to protect the rights of our LGBTQ+ family in the courts and in the Capitol.


Juneteenth Acknowledgement
* This month, we acknowledged the sacrifices made to celebrate the abolishment of slavery in the United States. In celebrating Juneteenth, we also recognize there is more work to be done. *


Warehouse Development Brings Health Hazards & Housing Woes to Bloomington
An industrial real estate company based in Orange County, Howard Industrial Partners, is demolishing 117 homes and ranches in rural Bloomington (population 24,000) to make way for more than two million square feet of warehousing space. Not only is this the largest warehouse to be built in the area to date, disrupting homes and families, it will increase pollution and traffic throughout the area. The project is expected to bring more than 1,000 additional big rig truck trips to the site per day.

We’ve joined a coalition of environmental groups to challenge San Bernardino County and to halt the project to demand due process and a sound environmental review.

On June 23, a hearing about this very issue was held in front of the judge for the case regarding the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) claim. We expect a ruling on that claim by August at the latest. Stay tuned.

Los Angeles Times article


New Bill (AB209) Seeks to Set Max Home Temps In The Face of Climate Change

Whether you rent or own in California, homes are required to have functional heating systems keeping temperatures to at least 70 degrees. However, there is no such requirement to keep a home from becoming dangerously overheated.

WCLP co-sponsored a bill to kick-start the process of mandating maximum healthy, allowable home temperatures – for new and existing units. Ongoing climate changes affect all of us, which can be seen as temperatures climb not only in the inland and valley regions, but also along the coastal areas.

On June 26, we submitted a letter (along with 40 other signatories) calling on the state to do a better job at ensuring everyone can benefit from cooling upgrades to residential homes.

Los Angeles Times article


Search Launches for New Executive Director – Welcome to Interim ED

This month we welcome our Interim Executive Director Lois Thompson. As a long-time Board Director, where she helped guide the Western Center for more than 10 years, Lois has served as Board Co-Chair along with David Elson since 2020. She has also previously served a tenure as the Interim ED.

She will shepherd the team while WCLP conducts a national search for its next full time ED. She is also serving on the Executive Director Search Committee, which includes a combination of staff and board representatives. This search is being conducted by Allison Kupfer Poteet, Rachel Burgoyne, and Robert Diggs of the national search firm NPAG.

Lois is a litigator who has practiced in the New York and Los Angeles offices of Proskauer Rose LLP. Throughout her career, Lois has maintained a significant pro bono case load, representing plaintiffs in school desegregation, housing, immigration, and sexual assault cases among other matters. Before joining Proskauer, she served as Deputy General Counsel of Suburban Action Institute, where she litigated federal and state lawsuits regarding access to affordable housing.


Blog Post: Summer EBT Launches To Help Low-Income Qualifying California Families With Food For Children

Starting this summer, low-income families can ensure their children have adequate nutrition while school is out with California SUN Bucks, known as Summer-EBT (S-EBT), a federal meal program launched by the California Department of Social Services.

This year the California Department of Social Services is rolling out a new program to provide relief for families. The SUN Bucks program gives $120 for groceries for each eligible school aged child in the home.

Sun Bucks works like CalFresh in California. Best known in California as Summer EBT (S-EBT), families can purchase food at most grocery stories, and online on Amazon and Walmart. S-EBT must be used within 122 days or the benefits expire.

For families not automatically enrolled or unsure of enrollment status, they can check with their school to complete a school meal application or fill out an Alternative Income Form before August 31, 2024, to qualify. This program will continue into 2025.

With 14 Republican states declining to fund similar programs, California is taking a strong step forward in addressing the nutritional health needs of vulnerable populations.

No child this summer should go without access to nutritious meals!




June 25
Los Angeles Times
She fought remodel evictions for years. Now she’s the one being evictedJune 24
Warehouses In Bloomington: A massive warehouse project

June 10
Renters Could Get Help Building Credit Under Proposed Law. Why Are Tenant Advocates Wary?

June 10
Prism Reports
A reparations plan for Black residents faces its first legal test in Chicago suburb



OCTOBER 23RD! Western Center’s Annual Fundraiser: Garden Party returns live (and by live stream) to the Ebell of Los Angeles!

Garden Party is a networking and awards event for the legal, policy, and social justice fields, recognizing leaders on the frontlines who have worked to transform policies and laws and dismantle harmful systems to build a more just California.

Ticket sales open in July when we will announce the line up of 2024 honorees and special guests. Sponsorships are available now!