Office of City Legislative Affairs
Environmental Justice Program, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
Director, The City Project, Center for Law in the Public Interest
Robert García is an attorney with extensive experience in public policy and legal advocacy, mediation, and litigation involving complex social justice, human health, environmental and criminal justice matters. He has influenced the investment of over $18 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.
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 helped build and lead diverse alliances to create the state parks in the Chinatown Cornfield in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, in Taylor Yard as part of the greening of the Los Angeles River, and in the Baldwin Hills 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 leads the campaign to diversify access to and support for national forests. He served on the Executive Committee of the Yes on Prop 40 Campaign to help pass California’s $2.6 billion park, water and air bond in 2002, the largest in United States history, with unprecedented support among communities of color and low-income communities. He served as Chairman of the Citizens’ School Bond Oversight Committee, overseeing the investment of $14 billion to build green public schools as centers of their communities in Los Angeles from 2000 to 2005. He has lectured on the vision for parks, schools, health, and transit at the conference celebrating the 150th anniversary of Central Park in New York City and at conferences at Stanford, Harvard, UCLA, USC, the Getty Center, the national Olmsted Conference in Seattle, and the Olmsted Conference in Portland, Oregon. Cardinal Roger Mahony appointed him to the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He is a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research.
He 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, Stuart Hanlon, and others. He has taught at Stanford and UCLA law schools. He defended people on Death Row in Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi, and practiced international litigation at a large New York law firm. He has published and lectured widely on law and society. He has received a number of awards, including the Robert García Environmental Justice Award from the Planning and Conservation League named in his honor for improving the environment in California, the President’s Award from the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Award.
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
Center for Constitutional Rights
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.