Law Firm Emergency Fund
Thank you for deciding to join as a lead partner of our Law Firm Emergency Fund. Your firm, which has in the past been a critical supporter of the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, is needed now more than ever.
Your support will enable NCLEJ to continue its critical work at a time when the basic necessities of life—food, clothing, shelter, medical care, schools and legal status itself—are being challenged.
This is a particularly terrible time to be poor or a person of color or an immigrant in America. I know that, despite the economic challenge we all face at this moment, you and your firm are already making real efforts to help other important public interest programs. Nevertheless, I am asking you and your partners to consider helping NCLEJ at this time simply because, without help from our profession, NCLEJ will be very challenged in its efforts to help vulnerable families in our nation secure their most basic rights and survive the current crisis.
With your help, NCLEJ can make build on the efforts we’ve already begun to launch. The effectiveness of our work has increased in importance during this Covid-19 world, when our clients’ communities are under even more severe threat. We work on behalf of:
• Those in need of subsistence public benefits like SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid whose entitlements are at severe risk from misguided or vindictive federal policies;
• Low-wage workers whose health and economic viability are threatened even while massive efforts are made to help more privileged Americans;
• People with disabilities for whom access to benefits and jobs is even more tenuous; and
• Communities of color and immigrants who feel the disproportionate consequences of these times and increasingly hateful speech from our nation’s highest officials..
In recognition of these dire times, we have initiated work resulting directly from the pandemic, in addition to its already existing and substantial docket. Just a few of those new cases and activities are outlined below:
• As part of our ongoing litigation against the New York City Housing Authority in Baez v. NYCHA, NCLEJ is working to ensure that NYCHA continues to provide mold removal and leak repair services to NYCHA tenants, and that these repairs occur in a manner that is safe for tenants and workers. This repair work remains critical because leaks cause mold, mold aggravates asthma, and asthma dramatically increases vulnerability to COVID-19.
• On Mar. 19th, NCLEJ, as co-counsel with Selendy & Gay, the Tennessee Justice Center and the National Health Law Program, filed a federal class action complaint in the Middle District of Tennessee, challenging Tennessee policies and practices that have unlawfully deprived eligible children and adults of Medicaid coverage. The state employs a defective bureaucratic process for the periodic redetermination of the eligibility of individuals enrolled in TennCare, which has resulted in thousands of low-income individuals being terminated from this critical health care coverage.
• NCLEJ is preparing litigation challenging anticipated changes to New York State’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program which is designed to give people requiring home health care services the ability to manage those services.
• NCLEJ supported New York State’s new emergency paid leave bill and is working with our allies to ensure that the program is implemented in a way that provides essential funds to as many workers as possible.
• NCLEJ is at the forefront in educating other advocates and sharing our knowledge and expertise as critical safety nets such as public assistance, SNAP, and Medicaid become even more crucial, and issues like the challenges of social distancing to these communities need addressing. For example, Senior Staff Attorney Greg Bass conducted training on COVID-19 and Public Benefits available in an ABA-sponsored program for legal services program across the United States.
NCLEJ will continue to bring legal challenges on behalf of those most at risk. But we need your help to do so successfully. Specifically, to continue to support our talented staff and the critical litigation in which we specialize, we hope that you will contribute as much as you can towards our NCLEJ Law Firm Emergency Fund, which will address the impacts of this crisis on our clients now and in the post-Covid future.
Please, reach into your pockets. While the challenges that many in our own profession face are real, our clients—already so deeply challenged—are facing life-or-death issues under the redirection of government programs that help privileged members of our community. These policies are at the expense of the poor, immigrants and people of color, including many who have risked their own welfare by responding to our nation’s current needs.
And please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to call me at 212-633-6967, if you have further questions.