Dear Friends,
We wish you a happy June — and a very happy Pride Month! Bet Tzedek recognizes and celebrates those of us in our LGBTQIA communities who have made our country a more inclusive place, and reaffirms our commitment to upholding and continuing this work. This month, we’re spotlighting landmark court cases for LGBTQ+ rights and prominent LGBTQ+ legal figures on our social media channels. (Use the links at the bottom of this email to join the conversation!)
Unfortunately, a wave of anti-trans legislation has been unleased across the country. According to USA Today, “2020 saw 79 different anti-trans measures dealing with education to athletics and healthcare to bathroom access. In 2021, that count nearly doubled with 147 proposals aimed at transgender Americans. LGBTQ+ activists are already tracking roughly 280 bills that have been filed ahead of or during 2022 legislative sessions, with South Dakota being the first state to pass an anti-transgender bill this year putting limits on transgender women and girls from competing in school sports.”
This is deeply concerning and something we all must stand against.
Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Pride Center
Bet Tzedek Project a Beacon of Hope for Trans Community
Bet Tzedek actively advocates for gender affirming rights through our Transgender Legal Program, offering clinics and direct representation to help individuals with health insurance and benefits denials; discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations; and legal name and gender marker changes. This last service has been particularly popular in the community.
In an informal survey we conducted for Pride Month, only 11% of trans community members reported that their IDs had their correct name and gender marker; this can have a profound impact on someone, as reflected in the 32% of individuals who said that using an ID that did not match their gender presentation resulted in them being verbally harassed, denied benefits or services, and/or assaulted.
In the past year, we’ve helped hundreds of trans individuals in our communities. 
Check out the video below from trans activist and influencer Mars Wright (created on Trans Day of Visibility), who talks about how participating in Bet Tzedek’s legal name and gender marker clinic changed his life. You can register for our free legal name and gender marker change clinic here.
Summer of Justice Interns Take Over Bet Tzedek! 
We are excited to welcome 40 distinguished law students and undergraduates from across the United States to Bet Tzedek’s Summer of Justice internship! With experiences ranging from law clerking to journalism to coaching college football, these exceptional students hail from schools like Harvard, Loyola, Columbia, University of Wyoming, Notre Dame, NYU, and UCLA, and will be embedded with our amazing team of in-house experts across all the critical program areas we cover. Their contributions to our organization and to the client communities we serve will be invaluable in “bending the arc” towards social justice!  
You can learn more about our Summer of Justice interns through our social media accounts (links at the bottom of this email).
Protecting Rights and Preventing Homelessness: Help an 83-Year-Old & Her Cats 
For more than 49 years, 83-year-old Dawn and her cats have lived in a rent controlled West Hollywood unit. In May 2019, Dawn was served with an Ellis Act eviction notice because the landlord intends to remove the property from the rental market. Dawn properly invoked her rights as an individual living with a disability to request a one-year extension on her displacement. Later, within that extension period, L.A. County Covid-19 Tenant resolutions were passed that forestalled "no fault” evictions (including those under the Ellis Act) through at least December 31, 2022. Nevertheless, at the end of April, her landlord served Dawn with an eviction notice.
Bet Tzedek has secured an extension for filing an answer to the eviction. We are now seeking to have someone represent Dawn in the eviction matter, which will be heard at the Santa Monica courthouse, while simultaneously pursuing a settlement. Without help, Dawn will be evicted and face homelessness. You can make all the difference in Dawn’s life. 
Special Note: Bet Tzedek can provide mentorship and support OR serve as formal co-counsel on the case, per your preference. This is an excellent opportunity for associates to obtain courtroom experience!
Equal Justice Fellow Success: Meet Taylor Amstutz
Our Equal Justice Elder Law Fellow, Taylor Amstutz, will be concluding the work of her fellowship this summer. Over the course of two years, Taylor has been working diligently to bring responsive programming focused on addressing elder abuse in rural areas of Los Angeles County. Taylor’s work includes direct representation, self-help assistance, community education, and outreach.
Through her fellowship, she conducted a needs assessment of the Antelope Valley with co-fellow, Archie Roundtree, Jr. Following this assessment, Taylor started the Antelope Valley Elder Resource Network (AVERN) in an effort to more holistically address elder abuse issues impacting this community. AVERN draws together community service providers from all sectors with the goal of facilitating open communication that comprehensively addresses this multifaceted issue.
Great work, Taylor! You’ve made tremendous strides in fighting for elder justice. Bet Tzedek appreciates your work. 
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