The Rural Access Committee (previously called the Rural Task Force) of the California Commission on Access to Justice is dedicated to improving the lives of rural Californians. The RAC does this by advocating for parity in funding for legal aid across the state, by issuing reports on the state of access to justice issues in rural California, and by raising the profile of rural attorney “deserts.” The RAC was first created as a Task Force and issued a large report in 2010, Improving Civil Justice in Rural California, but has recently recognized that the work continues beyond a task force and has re-formed as an ongoing working group of CalATJ.
The Rural Access Committee has published Disasters in Rural California, California Attorney Deserts, California’s Rural Housing Crisis, and the Role of Technology in Enhancing Rural Access to Justice and has written letters to other agencies, advocating for increased funding. Members of the task force recently advocated for earmarking a portion of $20 million in one-time state funding for legal aid to be set aside for rural projects, and the legislature agreed, setting aside $5 million for rural Californians, undocumented immigrants, and other under-served communities.
See the committee’s meeting notes and materials here.
Salena Copeland, Co-chair
Professor James Meeker, Co-chair
Judge Timothy Dillon
Professor James Meeker
Ugochi Anaebere Nicholson
Hon. Tony Richardson
Justice Ron Robie
William Herbert Whitaker