ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE SPEAKERS
Office of City Legislative Affairs
Environmental Justice Program, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
Executive Director and Counsel, The City Project
Robert García is an attorney who engages, educates, and empowers communities to achieve equal access to public resources. He is the Executive Director, Counsel, and founder of The City Project in Los Angeles, California. Hispanic Business Magazine recognized him as one of the 100 most influential Latinos in the United States in 2008, "men and women who are changing the nation." He has extensive experience in public policy and legal advocacy, mediation, and litigation involving complex social justice, civil rights, human health, environmental, education, and criminal justice matters. He has influenced the investment of over $20 billion in underserved communities, working at the intersection of social justice, sustainable regional planning, and smart growth. He graduated from Stanford University and Stanford Law School, where he served on the Board of Editors of the Stanford Law Review. As reported in the New York Times, "The City Project [is] working to broaden access to parks and open space for inner city children, and . . . to fight childhood obesity by guaranteeing that . . . students get enough physical education." N. Y. Times, Nov. 12, 2007. Stanford Law School called him a "civil rights giant" and Stanford Magazine "an inspiration."
Mr. García's work in the past decade has focused on equal access to park, school, and health resources throughout Los Angeles and California. He is a nationally recognized leader in the urban park movement, bringing the simple joys of playing in the park to children in park starved communities. He has helped communities create great urban parks and preserve public access to beaches and trails in Southern California. He has helped diversify support for and access to state resource bonds, with unprecedented levels of support among communities of color and low-income communities, and billions of dollars for urban parks. He served as chairman of the Citizens' School Bond Oversight Committee for five years, overseeing the investment of over $14 billion to build new and modernize existing public schools as centers of their communities in Los Angeles. He has worked with the Alianza de los Pueblos del Río to build national urban greening and Latino environmental movements.
Mr. García has helped make community dreams come true for the Los Angeles State Historic Park at the Cornfield, Río de Los Angeles State Park at Taylor Yard as part of the greening of the Los Angeles River, and the Baldwin Hills Park in the heart of African American Los Angeles. The Cornfield is "a heroic monument" and "a symbol of hope," according to the Los Angeles Times. The Baldwin Hills Park will be the largest urban park designed in the United States in over a century. He is working with the Acjachemen people to save the Native American sacred site of Panhe and San Onofre State Beach and to stop a toll road there. He is fighting to keep public lands open for all in Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains.
Mr. García previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York under John Martin and Rudolph W. Giuliani, prosecuting organized crime, public corruption and international narcotics trafficking cases. He helped release the former Black Panther leader Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt from prison after 27 years for a crime he did not commit, working with Johnnie Cochran and others. He defended people on Death Row in Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi. He served as Western Regional Counsel with the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. He has taught at Stanford Law School and UCLA Law School. He practiced international litigation at a large New York law firm.
Mr. Kyle W. La Londe
Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP
Kyle La Londe is an attorney in the Government, Land Use & Zoning, Environmental, and Energy groups at the San Francisco, CA office of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP. He represents clients in land use and environmental matters at the local, state, and federal level, focusing on the National Environmental Policy Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, the Endangered Species Act, and related common law claims. He has also successfully represented clients in matters before the California Public Utilities Commission and Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control concerning the location of power lines, liquor stores, and the use of eminent domain by private corporations. He is a member of the California and American Bar Association's Environment, Energy, and Resources sections as well as the Native American Bar Association. Kyle previously worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he focused on matters relating to the federal criminal enforcement of environmental laws and the scope of federal regulatory power over Native American land. He has published articles discussing the environmental impacts of the federal government's approval of cross border shipping by trucks licensed in Mexico and methods for litigating environmental justice claims. The articles are entitled, All the President's Acts: The APA, NAFTA, and NEPA, 9 ENVTL. LAW. 495 (2003) and Who Wants to Be an Environmental Justice Advocate? 31 B.C. ENVTL. AFF. L. REV. 27 (2004).
Syracuse University, College of Law
University of Maryland School of Law
Ms. Michele Roberts
Advocates for Environmental Human Rights
Michele Roberts is the Campaign and Policy Coordinator for Advocates Environmental Human Rights Campaign and Policy Office located in Washington, DC. Since 1990, Ms. Roberts has provided technical assistance and advocacy support to communities regarding the impacts of toxins on human health and the environment. Ms. Roberts is also a spoken word artist, who created Arts Slam @ SsAMS, a community-based arts program.
Ms. Roberts received an M.A. from the University of Delaware (2000), and a B.S. in Biology from Morgan State University (1983). Ms. Roberts has co-authored reports on environmental justice issues. Her advocacy work has been featured in television, print news and magazines.