Programs → Systems Change Advocacy
Campaigns & Initiatives
Issues our Advocacy Team currently focuses on include:
- Affordable and Accessible Housing
- Transportation Justice
- Masking and COVID-19 Equity
- Long-Term Supports and Services (LTSS), In-Home Supports and Services (IHSS), and creating a more robust and dignified long-term care system
- Uplifting movements at the intersections of disability and racial, gender, and environmental justice
Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) housing is one of the largest forms of affordable rental housing being built, but this type of housing also has serious equity and accessibility issues for tenants, especially tenants with disabilities. Current law exempts some affordable housing, including LIHTC buildings, from basic tenant protections, including rent caps, just cause for eviction, and anti-harassment policies. LIHTC buildings also use loopholes to avoid paying for reasonable modifications to make a unit accessible for a disabled person, thus often leaving people with disabilities to pay out of pocket for modifications, and less likely to be able to afford/live in these units. Our Advocacy Team is working alongside tenants and partner organizations, on local and statewide levels, to advocate for change in an inequitable and inaccessible LIHTC system.
The Pathways STAIR Center in Berkeley, California is one of the central shelters and houselessness service providers in the city, and it has had long-standing health, safety, and accessibility issues since its opening in 2019. Our Advocacy Team is working alongside community members and disabled unhoused neighbors to demand greater transparency from the city regarding accessibility improvements at Pathways, and meaningful collaboration with cross-disability and unhoused communities in future plans to convert facilities at Pathways.
Since the sudden dropping of mask requirements on public transit in April of 2022, our Advocacy Team has partnered closely with Senior and Disability Action and many people with disabilities, immunocompromised people, and older adults in the Masks for Equity Coalition. The Masks for Equity Coalition uses advocacy, education, and direct action to effect change in the realm of COVID-19 equity and response, and mask requirements in our communities. We had successes in extending mask requirements on BART, AC Transit, in Alameda County, and within the City of Oakland’s government buildings in 2022, and led a campaign advocating against the lifting of mask requirements in healthcare settings in 2023. We continue to fight for the rights of people with disabilities, immunocompromised people, older adults, and other impacted communities to navigate their communities and essential services safely and with dignity.
In 2015, the City of Berkeley and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) began a process to develop a plan for the Adeline Street corridor in Berkeley, which includes the Ashby BART Station and its parking lots. This also includes the parking lot behind the Ed Roberts Campus, a vibrant, universally-designed hub for disability community life in Berkeley, and where CIL also houses its main office. Proposed development at Ashby BART would include affordable housing, public and civic space–including a permanent home for the Berkeley Community Flea Market and hub for African-American life, and a reconfiguration of Adeline Street, amongst others. Our Advocacy Team aims to fight for development that creates deeply affordable and accessible housing, honors the Right to Return for Black communities displaced from South Berkeley, and supports safe and creative cross-disability use of parking, transit, and streets.
Past Trainings and Workshops
Presented on June 27th with The Center for Independent Living, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, and Senior and Disability Action
Presented on June 29th with Disability Rights California, ECHO Fair Housing, and Bay Area Legal Aid
Advocacy Program Service Sign-up
Welcome to Center for Independent Living’s Advocacy Program, and thank you for your interest in our services. Here is a overview of our what we offer:
Self- or Group-Advocacy Skills Training: Learn the basics and develop your skills in self-advocacy or group-advocacy.
Disability Rights & Disability Justice Presentation: A presentation that provides the history of disability rights and an overview of what the disability justice movement and framework is. Use the form below to schedule a presentation for yourself or your organization and group.
Advocacy Leadership Training: Are you interested in becoming a board, committee or council member for a nonprofit or governmental body? Do you want to start your own peer support group? Sign up for our advocacy leadership training to learn how these groups operate, and develop leadership skills to be bring your voice to the table.