Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

New organization will advocate for Valley rural towns

Community worker Veronica Garibay and lawyer Phoebe Seaton — known for the Community Equity Initiative at California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. — have launched a new organization to continue helping rural California.

The nonprofit Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability will focus on land-use planning, resources and government organization.  Garibay and Seaton say there is a need to directly organize, influence policy and legally protect low-income, rural communities from environmental degradation and inequality.

Said Seaton: “Local decisionmakers have historically and systematically failed to invest in low income communities on the one hand, while over-burdening those same communities with industrial, toxic and hazardous facilities.”

Leadership Counsel will collaborate with CRLA, a non-profit legal advocacy group that has long promoted the interests of migrant laborers and the rural poor.

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