Model & Strategy

Public Rights Project (PRP) addresses systemic deficiencies in state and local government law offices—including city attorneys, county prosecutors, and state attorneys general—regarding how they enforce critical rights for consumers, tenants and workers. These offices often have the legal authority, but not the capacity or expertise to bring high-impact cases enforcing these basic rights PRP’s model proves that enforcement tools and strategies can be as impactful as the policy itself – the “last mile” to achieve just and equitable social outcomes.

PRP strengthens the talent pipeline in state and local government through its fellowship programs, strategic consulting support to help offices deploy limited resources to the highest-impact cases, and a community-accountable model to ensure partner offices are responsive to the needs of all residents, not just those who feel comfortable asking the government for help. Together, these services help governments close the gap between the laws on the books and the lived reality of our most vulnerable communities.

At a Glance
Founded: 2017
Founder & Executive Director: Jill Habig
Social Justice
Location of work: Domestic
Public Rights Project
Oakland, CA
We help states and cities protect our rights
Meet Jill Habig

Jill Habig founded Public Rights Project in 2017 to ensure that the rights of our most vulnerable communities would never again rest on the outcome of a single federal election. While Public Rights Project is a relatively new organization, the idea has been over a decade in the making. Beginning in 2006, Jill helped create the San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project (SFALP) as a law student at Yale Law School, which partnered Yale students with attorneys in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office to develop high-impact litigation. That project has yielded tremendous results both for Yale students and the City, including national cases addressing payday lending, arbitration fraud, and LGBT rights. Jill later spent her first year as a lawyer in that office, working on the landmark trial challenging Proposition 8 to establish marriage equality in California. After moving to the state level to work for then-Attorney General Kamala Harris, Jill led the creation and launch of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Children’s Justice in 2015 and oversaw its civil rights and consumer protection investigations.

These experiences demonstrated the impact state and local governments could have on the most basic rights and freedoms of their residents, when they had the resources, talent, and leadership committed to using government power in service of the most vulnerable among us. Jill founded Public Rights Project to set a new standard for what is expected of our state and local governments when it comes to protecting our legal rights. Jill has been recognized as an Open Society Foundations Leadership in Government Fellow, and has been a Lecturer in Law at Yale and Berkeley Law Schools.

Impact

Public Rights Project seeks impact in four major categories: 1) increased capacity of the government offices with which we partner to equitably enforce the law; 2) an increase in offices’ incorporation of equity into their enforcement strategies; 3) an increase in financial and injunctive relief generated for residents harmed by predatory practices; 4) and changes in industry practices.

 

In just 2 years, PRP has helped secure court orders protecting immigrant and reproductive rights and access to fair credit, has won settlements protecting tenants from housing discrimination, and has built coalitions of cities and states standing up for workers, LGBT Rights, and environmental justice in cases across the country.

  • WE WON! A judge ordered the #USPS to stop operational changes that have slowed down mail delivery, saying that Pres… https://t.co/wsWPFYCQqc
  • RT @Kellen_Browning: A civil rights group is asking California to ensure that Handy, a home services provider, protects its gig workers fro…
  • RT @kateconger: glad to work on this story with @Kellen_Browning, who handled these workers' stories with care and respect https://t.co/K7k…
  • We submitted a case to @CalDFEH against @Handy for ignoring sexual harassment claims filed by their misclassified &… https://t.co/ghh3fIlaZ3
  • RT @jehabig: Check out this morning’s @nytimes article about our efforts at @public_rights to hold companies accountable for exploiting hou…
  • RT @BarbaraJParker1: Today, we filed a FOIA request in partnership with @public_rights and six other cities seeking records from the Trump…
  • Today, we are proud to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in partnership with @nycgov and @Oakland se… https://t.co/SCOBhaPLJB
  • .@jehabig representing PRP in #SantaClara today as we stand with @SCCgov to oppose the Trump Administration's assau… https://t.co/G9fk4c5IlQ
  • RT @jehabig: In the face of rollbacks and inaction by Team Trump, some state AGs are stepping up to enforce & protect workers’ rights. We a…
  • Today, we are proud to file two amicus briefs in partnership with @SCCGov to support challenges to recent #USPS pol… https://t.co/X5B6k0CxxD
  • RT @GigWorkersRise: "drivers have organized in numbers & are doing a really compelling job in getting their stories out, letting regulators…