Western Center on Law & Poverty (WCLP) (CA)

California’s oldest and largest legal services support center, created in 1967 to focus on housing, health care and a strong safety net for low-income Californians. HQ in LA, with offices in Sacramento and Oakland.
Organization website

Primary geographic focus: California
Organization type(s): Provider
Acronym or short name: WCLP
Tags: Law School Clinics, Poverty

Western Center on Law & Poverty leads the fight in the courts, counties and capital to secure housing, health care and a strong safety net for low-income Californians.

Western Center focuses on increasing the supply of affordable housing, preserving the existing supply of low-income housing, and preventing homelessness; implementing health care reform, extending coverage to the uninsured and indigent, expanding mental health services, and stopping illegal debt collection practices; advocating for Californians served by CalWORKs, CalFresh, SSI and General Relief, and other critical programs; due process rights and language access issues and ensuring that legal services programs will be fairly paid for their work.

Western Center, California’s oldest and largest legal services support center, was created in 1967 by a passionate group of attorneys and legal scholars from USC, UCLA and Loyola law schools.


News Story

Virginia Suspends Hundreds of Thousands of Driver’s Licenses Due to Unpaid Court Debt

CJ Ciaramella
August 4, 2016
More than 900,000 people in Virginia have suspended licenses, in what a new class-action lawsuit claims is an unconstitutional revenue scheme.

News Story

In California, Landlords Threaten Immigrant Tenants with Deportations

Kriston Capps
April 5, 2017
Housing lawyers are reporting a troubling trend: Landlords exploiting the growing fear of immigration authorities to evict tenants, raise rents, and clear residents from gentrifying neighborhoods.

News Story

Medi-Cal Sued For Pushing Patients Into Managed Care Despite Judges’ Orders

Emily Bazar
Kaiser Health News (KHN)
August 10, 2017
Like Medicaid programs in many states that want more budgeting certainty or hope to save some money, Medi-Cal is shifting many patients like Diaz, with complex conditions, into managed care plans.

News Story

Report: Minorities, Poor Residents More Likely to Have Their Driver’s License Suspended

Mike Maciag
April 14, 2016
A new study highlighting racial and socioeconomic disparities in license suspensions is the latest call for states to make reforms.

News Story

A disproportionate share of blacks and Latinos lose their driver’s licenses because of unpaid tickets, study finds

Maura Dolan
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
April 11, 2016
The report, by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, examined U.S. Census Bureau data, records from the California Department of Motor Vehicles and information from 15 police and sheriff's departments in the state.

News Story

Traffic Courts Are Driving Inequality in California

Rebecca McCray
April 11, 2016
A disproportionate share of fees, fines, and license suspensions fall on blacks and Latinos.

News Story

Lawsuit accuses L.A. County of denying welfare aid to mentally ill homeless people

Hailey Branson-Potts
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
November 18, 2015
A federal lawsuit filed by civil legal aid attorneys Wednesday accuses Los Angeles County of illegally denying mentally ill homeless people access to general relief.

News Story

A frenzied start for state’s traffic ticket amnesty program

Lee Romney
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
November 14, 2015
Interest in the drivers license suspension amnesty program has been frenzied. While helping people, legal advocates report that the program has been fraught with inconsistencies.


Mike Herald – “It’s Not Just a Ferguson Problem”

Midday Briefing with Tim Farley
October 10, 2015
Law enforcement disproportionally target minority groups with traffic tickets. Interview with Mike Herald about the report "It's Not Just a Ferguson Problem".

News Story

California’s Obamacare exchange criticized for not fixing enrollment, tax errors

Chad Terhune
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
August 21, 2015
In response to blistering criticism from a consumer group, California's Obamacare exchange vowed to fix longstanding enrollment and tax-related errors that have blocked consumers from getting coverage for months and left some with unforeseen bills.

News Story

Courts may let people fight traffic tickets without paying fine first

Maura Dolan
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
June 8, 2015
California courts may adopt an emergency rule making it easier for people to fight traffic tickets.

News Story

State chief justice says unpaid traffic fines should get day in court

Maura Dolan, Lee Romney
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
May 21, 2015
Many California counties require paying traffic fines in full before a court hearing. California's chief justice calls for an emergency rule to prevent courts from requiring drivers to pay traffic tickets before they can go to court to contest them.

News Story

Driver’s license suspensions push poor deeper into poverty, report says

Lee Romney
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
April 8, 2015
Unpaid traffic court penalties are leading to driver's license suspensions for many of California's poor trapping then in a cycle of debt.

This page last modified: Wed, May 4, 2016 -- 7:46 am ET