Inclusive Community Development


For over a decade, Public Counsel has supported the campaign to legalize street vending in L.A. In this photo, sidewalk vendors speak at a press conference in 2017 after the LA City Council voted to move forward a key legalization proposal.

Public Counsel’s Community Development Project supports community-based organizations working to advance housing, economic, and racial justice with low-income communities of color. The project’s Inclusive Development unit uses a movement lawyering model to build the capacity of community-led campaigns to expand renter protections, create new affordable housing, enhance low-income entrepreneurship, advance inclusive economic development, and fight gentrification, displacement, and the criminalization of poverty.

Its work—which includes policy analysis and drafting, community education, land use advocacy, and litigation—is accountable to the leadership of grassroots organizers and community-led coalitions. The team has provided legal and policy support to community-led movements to decriminalize and legalize sidewalk vending in California, establish renter protections in cities across  Los Angeles County, advance inclusive development standards in new community plans, negotiate and enforce community benefits agreements, establish equitable development around transit in the City of Los Angeles, and create deeply affordable housing on public land. 

By supporting community-led movements, the Inclusive Development unit builds power in historically disinvested communities and helps attack the root causes of poverty while working toward a healthier, greener, and more inclusive Los Angeles. 

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