As civil justice advocates continue to face big challenges across the country, media coverage is more critical than ever to help spotlight the scope of the unmet legal needs of low income Americans and the role of civil legal aid in meeting that need.
The outpouring of support for the Legal Services Corporation in the face of threatened elimination continues, as does media coverage that illuminates the importance of civil legal aid in the lives of everyday Americans.
Voices’ recent hits include:
Former U.S. AG: President Trump, please don’t cut Legal Services, an op-ed for FoxNews by former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, who forcefully argues that LSC must be preserved.
The threat Trump poses that gets almost no attention, an opinion piece for the Washington Post by nationally syndicated columnist Catherine Rampell, whose descriptions of legal aid clients in Arkansas and Florida make clear the vital – even life-saving – importance of the services they received.
But our best reason for optimism comes from you. For the past few months, we have tracked more than 100 stories from 42 different states. You have engaged reporters and stepped up to share stories that demonstrate the devastating impact eliminating LSC would have.
A special shout out to community members and advocates in the states below for these great stories:
- Washington State Liberty and justice for Tacomans jeopardized
- Arkansas With Liberty and Justice for All
- Illinois Federal budget cuts could reduce legal aid to poor, elderly
- Massachusetts Scalia supported legal aid — Trump doesn’t and Federal leaders need to know how costly it would be to cut legal aid
- Maine Civil legal aid programs extend ‘justice for all’ to Maine’s most vulnerable
- Colorado Loss of legal services would threaten foundations of democracy
- Kentucky Equal justice at risk
At the same time, we know that civil justice advocates continue to face big challenges across the country. Awareness about the profound crisis in the civil justice system remains low. And the findings laid out in the Legal Services Corporation’s 2017 Justice Gap Report are a sobering reminder of the scope of the unmet legal needs of low income Americans. Stay tuned for more from Voices on how to bring attention in your community to the report’s alarming findings.
But for now, the extraordinary media moment persists. With the federal appropriations process under way as you read this, now is still the time to keep reminding Americans what civil legal aid is and why it matters.