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Connie Rice, Robert García, Tom Rubin: Civil Rights Champions

Los Angeles, CA, October 4, 2019.


African American, Latino Hispanic, Asian American Indigenous The City Project Save SFGWHS Mural

Tuesday 08/06/19 10:30AM News Conference Doctor Amos C. Brown (Chairman of Religious Affairs, President of San Francisco NAACP) will be joined Northern California NAACP Branch Officer Rev. Arnold G. Townsend, Vice President, Alfred Williams President and Chairman of Directors of The San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society. Noah Griffin newspaper columnist, jazz singer and former George Washington High School Student Body President, Treasure Island Development Authority Board of Director Linda Fadeke Richardson and Dewey Crumpler | Associate Professor of Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and the African American artist chosen by the Black Panthers in mid 1960to create an alternative mural display, one that depicts African American, Latino and Asian Americans struggling against oppression. Announcement: AMOS BROWN & SAN FRANCISCO AFRICAN AMERICAN LEADERS  VOICE SUPPORT FOR WASHINGTON HIGH MURAL Lope Yap, Jr. GWHSAA Vice President

The City Project stands in solidarity and resistance to support the GWHS mural  . . . We work for Truth and Reconciliation through Culture, History, Art & Monuments in Parks, Schools & Museums  Director-Counsel helped free the late Black Panther leader Geronimo Pratt . . . ” Robert García

Geronimo Pratt Free at Last after 27 years for a crime he did not commit, June 10, 1997

House Natural Resources Committee Oversight Hearing When Science Gets Trumped: Scientific Integrity at US Department of the Interior

This hearing also shows why advocates must engage in combined organizing and legal strategies, not only “timid supplications for justice” without legal strategies (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.). And why “education but not advocacy” is an oxymoron. Educating others based on scientific evidence is advocating for evidence, science, and truth itself.

Full House Natural Resources Committee Oversight Hearing
When Science Gets Trumped: Scientific Integrity at the Department of the Interior
When: Thursday, July 25, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time begins around minute 14
Where:1324 Longworth House Office Building

Witness List
Maria Caffrey, PhD blew the whistle begins around minute 45
Former Partner, National Park Service
Mr. Darren Bakst begins around minute 40
Senior Research Fellow Heritage Foundation
Joel Clement blew the whistle begins around minute 35
Senior Fellow, Arctic Initiative, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs,
Andrew Rosenberg, PhD begins around minute 30
Director, Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists
William Werkheiser (Invited) Interior refused to send a representative
Science Advisor to the Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior

Mueller Testimony Live Guide

The most important act of public engagement for each person in the nation on Wednesday, July 24, is to watch live the Robert Mueller testimony beginning at 8:30 am ET on all major news outlets. Most people in the US do not have the kind of job where they are free to engage in democratic governance and drop work. Everyone is free to read the Mueller report itself in English. It is over 400 pages of dense legal writing impenetrable even to experienced attorneys. Here are the best short guides to the Mueller report using the words of the report itself we have found.

The City Project

The Mueller report on obstruction of justice summarized in five pages in its own words. A former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in the Public Integrity Unit, I prepared the summary.

The Washington Post by Aaron Blake

The 5 crimes Mueller suggests Trump could be charged with.

Lawfare blog by Quinta Jurecic

This blog breaks down five obstruction of justice crimes with page cites to strongest evidence in the report.

HoegLaw by Richard Hoeg

Video by former federal prosecutors including John Martin and Robert de Niro

Statement by nearly a thousand former federal prosecutors statement, including me.

Robert García

Download The Washington Post, Lawfare, and HoegLaw content PDF

PRRAC Handbook: Legal Standards for Measuring Progress and Accountability

Park bonds in California show why legal standards are necessary for progress and accountability. In 2006, California voters passed Prop. 84, a bond measure authorizing $5.4 billion in public investments to improve water, parks, coastal protection, and natural resources. Prop. 84 defined “park poor” and “income poor” standards to prioritize the investment of $1.3 billion in local impact funds for park, water, and coastal projects. $400 million invested according to these standards reached people of color and low income people. Other funds didn’t. Clear legal standards defined in advance help prevent such failures to reach intended communities.

This post is part in a series by The City Project’s UCLA Graduate Intern Alex Ruppert exploring “A Framework for Civil Rights: Environmental Justice and Health Equity,” which is included in the PRRAC book Strategies for Health Justice at pages 45-57. The framework based on combined organizing and legal strategies is written by The City Project, GreenLatinos, and The Praxis Project.

Map showing levels of displacement along the LA River.

See other posts in the series:

PRRAC Handbook: Data Collection and Analysis

Data collection and analysis are integral in applying the legal framework environmental justice, health equity, and civil rights to hold agencies accountable and measure progress. The City Project has relied on data, GIS mapping and demographic analyses in every organizing and legal campaign for 20 years when we started.

The U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies address the need for data collection in their regulations and guidance documents. For example, US EPA uses EJSCREEN, an online tool analyze environmental justice and health through collecting data from census tracts on health vulnerabilities, exposure to toxics, access to parks and recreation, and demographics including race, color, and national origin. This data analysis is crucial to the legal framework, advocacy, and academic studies in areas like residential segregation, fair housing and climate justice. In contrast, California’s CalEnviroScreen wrongly excludes racial and ethnic data.

This post is part in a series by The City Project’s UCLA Graduate Intern Alex Ruppert exploring “A Framework for Civil Rights: Environmental Justice and Health Equity,” which is included in the PRRAC book Strategies for Health Justice at pages 45-57. The framework based on combined organizing and legal strategies is written by The City Project, GreenLatinos, and The Praxis Project.

Map showing areas in Los Angeles that are over 1/2 mile from a park.

See other posts in the series here:

PRRAC Handbook: Education and Civil Rights

Education and civil rights are undeniably linked. In 2016, a University of Southern California study on physical fitness in 900 California public schools found that there are significant racial, economic, and achievement indicators that affect student fitness across all districts. Many schools fail to meet the physical education requirements mandated by the California Education Code. Combined organizing and legal strategies which utilize social science evidence can promote compliance. In response to an administrative complaint with community leaders that The City Project filed as counsel, LAUSD adopted a plan to comply with physical education and civil rights requirements. Physically fit students can do better academically, stay in school longer, and graduate at higher rates.

Effective education in history, culture, and art can also dramatically increase student’s education outcomes, including attendance and GPA in all subjects, according to a study by Stanford University. Yet another national survey found that barely half of teachers believe that they are competent to teach race and slavery. In higher education, academic experts and social scientists publish studies and serve as experts in organizing and legal campaigns that support civil rights, environmental justice, and health equity. A study by economic historian Gavin Wright showed that The Civil Rights Revolution led to improved outcomes for all students.

Foundations and government funders can support education, compliance, and enforcement related to civil rights laws through social and traditional media campaigns. For example, after the Acjachemen people posted a YouTube video about the significance of the Panhe and San Onofre State Beach as sacred sites, Native Americans organized to stop a toll road which would have devastated both. In these cases, the legal framework maintains the bond between education and civil rights.

This post is part in a series by The City Project’s UCLA Graduate Intern Alex Ruppert exploring “A Framework for Civil Rights: Environmental Justice and Health Equity,” which is included in the PRRAC book Strategies for Health Justice at pages 45-57. The framework based on combined organizing and legal strategies is written by The City Project, GreenLatinos, and The Praxis Project.


LAUSD School Board adopts physical education resolution to comply with California law in response to community organizing and administrative complaint. 2008.

See other posts in the series here:

Recomendaciones para legislación basada en la histórica Cumbre del Congreso sobre la Justicia Ambiental, la Equidad en el Salud y los Derechos Civiles Esp/Eng

In English Recomendaciones Comunidades en la vanguardia Trabajan con el Presidente del Comité Raúl Grijalva y (D-AZ), el Representante A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), otros congresistas, y expertos de todos los EE.UU.

La histórica Cumbre de Justicia Ambiental del Congreso de los EE.UU., en la primera convocatoria de este tipo por el comite de recursos naturales en la camara, brindó un lugar para que activistas y profesionales de la comunidad comuniquen sus necesidades directamente a los miembros del Congreso que están comprometidos a aliviar las inequidades en comunidades económicamente oprimidas y políticamente marginadas. La conversación producirá una serie de principios para informar la legislación que se presentará en este Congreso.

El Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., buscó un “terreno intermedio entre los amotinamiento por un lado y las suplicas tímidas de justicia por el otro”. La combinación de la organización comunitaria y las estrategias legales proporcionan ese terreno intermedio para el cambio social. El Marco de Justicia, Igualdad, Diversidad e Inclusión (JEDI), por sus siglas en inglés) proporciona el marco basado en las leyes de derechos civiles, medioambientales y de salud.

Marco de Justicia, Igualdad, Diversidad e Inclusión (JEDI)

El marco para Justicia, Igualdad, Diversidad e Inclusión describe cinco pasos principales: (1) Describa lo que planea hacer. (2) Incluya a las personas de color, de bajos ingresos o políticamente marginadas en la toma de todas las decisiones. (3) Identifique las disparidades y desigualdades numéricas en los beneficios y las cargas, a través de la evidencia de las ciencias sociales, la evidencia anecdótica, la historia, la demografía, el mapeo y análisis de SIG, las normas y los datos, y los valores en juego. (4) Considerar alternativas a lo planificado. (5) Implementar un plan que distribuya beneficios de manera equitativa y sin discriminación. La discriminación incluye la intención, los impactos injustificados, el sesgo implícito y la discriminación sistémica o estructural, o “negocios como de costumbre”. Todos tenemos derecho a un ambiente saludable, donde vivimos, aprendemos, trabajamos, jugamos, rezamos y envejecemos.

Informe de las Academias Nacionales de Ciencias, Ingeniería y Medicina, Comunidades en Acción: Caminos hacia la Equidad en Salud, pp. 354-55 (2017) – Determinantes sociales de la salud.

Manual de PRRAC, Estrategias para la justicia en la salud: Lecciones del campo (2018), pp. 45-57. (Pobrety Race Research Action Council).

Mark Magaña, Xavier Morales y Robert García, Un marco para los derechos civiles, la justicia ambiental, la equidad en la salud y el compromiso público (2019).

Samuel García, Take Action Comics: The City Project.

“El corazón del Green New Deal es la justicia social”. La congresista Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Estamos de acuerdo. Sin justicia, no hay Green Deal. The New Deal, Civilian Conservation Corps y Green New Deal de 2007 discriminaron contra las personas de color y las personas de bajos ingresos.

AOC, The City Project, y Green Latinos, Green Justice New Deal.

El clima es una crisis humana y de conservación

Cornell Prof. Gerald Torres y Robert García, El Precio de la Justicia.

Sam García, Latinos y Cambio Climático: Opiniones, Impactos y Respuestas (2016).

Encíclica de Papa Francisco (2015).

La Política y el Informe de Justicia Ambiental de la Comisión Costera de California son ejemplos de mejores prácticas para aplicar el marco

La justicia ambiental surgió del movimiento de derechos civiles para describir su aplicación y la de justicia social en contextos ambientales bajo las leyes estatales y federales, incluido el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964. La “equidad” en este contexto se refiere a la imparcialidad de los resultados donde ningún factor, como la raza, se puede usar para predecir los resultados. Términos como diversidad, inclusión, urbano, en riesgo o política no son suficientes. Los activistas deben defender los derechos de las personas que pagan el precio con su salud, sus hijos y sus vidas.

Comisión Costera de California, Política de Justicia Ambiental 2019, pp. 2-4, 18-19. y

Diversificar a los ambientalistas tradicionales no es suficiente.

Se necesita apoyo a largo plazo sin restricciones para que los grupos de primera línea combinen estrategias legales y organizativas para la igualdad de justicia, equidad en la salud y justicia ambiental y alcanzar el cambio transformador.

Dr. Robert Bullard y Robert García, Revista de Parques y Recreación NRPA,

El acceso equitativo a los parques, aguas y monumentos públicos es una interés estatal irresistible

El acceso a los parques y la recreación ha sido fundamental en la lucha para la igualdad y dignidad humana desde el inicio del Movimiento por los Derechos Civiles. Animó a Brown v Board of Education y Watson v City of Memphis ante la Corte Suprema de los EE.UU., la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 en el Congreso, la implementación por parte del Presidente y las agencias federales, y más.

Veda Banerjee, Probando el agua: El caso de los baños de Sutro es un precedente de las leyes de derechos civiles.

El muro fronterizo es un tema de derechos civiles y justicia ambiental

Comité de Recursos Naturales de la Cámara de Representantes, foro sobre los impactos desastrosos del muro fronterizo en las comunidades, el medio ambiente y la vida silvestre (2019).

Los valores en juego

Los valores incluyen diversión, salud, desarrollo humano y solidaridad comunitaria; aceso a parques, recreación, aguas, monumentos y tránsito a parques; acceso a la educación, incluyendo STEAM (STEM, arte, cultura e historia); vitalidad económica, incluyendo empleos de calidad, viviendas, y desplazamiento; y conservación y justicia climática. La igualdad de justicia y la gobernabilidad democrática subyacen a estos valores en el marco y las autoridades anteriores.

Robert García es Director-Fundador y Consejero, The City Project / Proyecto del Pueblo

Descarge las Recomendaciones del Cumbre del Congreso / Download the Recommendations for the Congressional Summit


PRRAC Handbook: Public Lands, Waters, and Monuments; Community Planning and Administrative Action

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the National Park Service have both applied the legal framework to green access in Los Angeles and concluded: (1) there is not enough park space, especially for children of color and low-income children; (2) these disparities contribute to related health disparities such as obesity and diabetes; and (3) federal agencies and recipients of federal financial assistance are required to address these disparities under civil rights laws and environmental justice principles. These plans focus on the LA River, and the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains, respectively. Advocates from these affected communities continue the struggle to implement the legal framework to ensure equal opportunity, climate justice, and local green jobs, while avoiding green displacement.

This post is part in a series by The City Project’s UCLA Graduate Intern Alex Ruppert exploring “A Framework for Civil Rights: Environmental Justice and Health Equity,” which is included in the PRRAC book Strategies for Health Justice at pages 45-57. The framework based on combined organizing and legal strategies is written by The City Project, GreenLatinos, and The Praxis Project.


Anahuak Youth Sports Association and The City Project at the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

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Recommendations for Legislation based on Historic Congressional Summit on Environmental Justice, Health Equity & Civil Rights

En Español The historic Congressional Environmental Justice Summit, in the first convening of its kind ever, provided a venue for community activists and practitioners to communicate their needs directly to members of Congress who are committed to alleviating longstanding inequities in economically oppressed and politically marginalized communities. The conversation will produce a set of principles to inform legislation to be introduced later this Congress.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., sought a “middle ground between riots on the one hand and timid supplications for justice on the other.” Combined community organizing and legal strategies provide that middle ground for social change. The Justice, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) Framework provides the framework based on civil rights, environmental, and health laws.

Justice, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) Framework

The framework for Justice, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion outlines five major steps combining organizing and legal strategies: (1) Describe what you plan to do. (2) Include people who are of color, low income or politically marginalized in making decisions every step of the way. (3) Identify numerical disparities and inequities in benefits and burdens through social science evidence, anecdotal evidence, history, demographics, GIS mapping and analysis, standards and data, and the values at stake. (4) Consider alternatives to what is planned. (5) Implement a plan that distributes benefits and equitably and without discrimination. Discrimination includes intent, unjustified impacts, implicit bias, and systemic or structural discrimination, or “business as usual.” We are all entitled to a healthy environment, where live, learn, work, play, pray, and age.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report, Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity, pp. 354-55 (2017 – social determinants of health.

PRRAC handbook, Strategies for Health Justice: Lessons from the Field (2018), pp. 45-57. (Poverty Race Research Action Council).

Mark Magaña, Xavier Morales, and Robert García, A Framework for Civil Rights, Environmental Justice, Health Equity, and Public Engagement (2019)

Samuel García, Take Action Comics: The City Project.

“The heart of the Green New Deal is about social justice.” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

We agree. No Justice, No Green New Deal. The New Deal, Civilian Conservation Corps, and 2007 Green New Deal discriminated against people of color and low income people.

AOC, The City Project, and Green Latinos, Green Justice New Deal.

Climate Is a Human and Conservation Crisis

Cornell Prof. Gerald Torres & Robert García, Pricing Justice.

Sam García, Latinos & Climate Change: Opinions, Impacts & Responses (2016).

Pope Francis Encyclical (2015).

The California Coastal Commission’s Environmental Justice Policy and Report are best practice examples applying the framework

Environmental justice emerged out of the civil rights movement to describe the application of civil rights and social justice to environmental contexts under state and federal civil rights laws, including Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. “Equity” in this context refers to the fairness of outcomes for all groups where no one factor, such as race, can be used to predict outcomes under state and federal environmental justice, civil rights, and health equity laws and principles.

California Coastal Commission, Environmental Justice Policy 2019, pp. 2-4, 18-19. and

Diversifying Mainstream Environmentalists Is Not Enough

Unrestricited, long-term support for front line groups to combining organizing and legal strategies for equal justice, health equity, and environmental justice is needed for transformational change.

Dr. Robert Bullard and Robert García, NRPA Parks & Recreation Magazine,

Equal Access to Public Parks, Waters, and Monuments Is a Compelling State Interest

Access to parks and recreation have been core equal justice and human dignity concerns since the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. This led to Brown v Board of Education and Watson v City of Memphis before the US Supreme Court, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in Congress, implementation by the President and federal agencies, and beyond.

Veda Banerjee, Testing the Water: Sutro Baths Case Set Precedent for Civil Rights Laws.

The Border Wall Is a Civil Rights and Environmental Justice Issue

The border wall and emergency declaration are wrong on moral, legal, and policy grounds, undermining equal justice, human dignity, the rule of law, democracy, and truth itself.

House Natural Resources Committee, forum on the disastrous impacts the border wall would have on communities, the environment and wildlife (2019).

Robert García is Founding Director-Counsel, The City Project / Proyecto del Pueblo

The Values at Stake

The values include fun, health, human development, and bringing people together; access to parks, recreation, waters, monuments, and transit to parks; access to education, including STEAM (STEM, art, culture, and history); economic vitality with quality jobs, deeply affordable housing, and no displacement; and conservation and climate justice. Equal justice and democratic governance underlie these values, under the framework above.

Download the Policy Brief Recommendations for Legislation based on Historic Congressional Summit on Environmental Justice, Health Equity & Civil Rights