The California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund’s core mission is to increase the affordability and accessibility of housing in California by using legal advocacy and education to ensure cities comply with their own zoning ordinances and state housing law.

We are the preeminent and only non-profit in California that has focused solely on making sure that the hard-won legislative wins for housing at the State Capitol translate into equitable housing outcomes for all Californians.

In addition to housing impact litigation, we provide free legal aid, education and workshops, counseling and advocacy to advocates, homeowners, small developers, and city and state government officials.

We are CaRLA

We’re a scrappy team of three operating out of an abandoned bank in downtown Oakland, California. No, seriously, that is our office (or was before COVID). Our annual budget is just shy of $400,000, which is supported through grassroots donations and one or two small grants. And yet, we are punching far above our weight.

The CaRLA team: Dylan Casey, Greg Magofña, and Victoria Fierce

Dylan Casey

Executive Director

 

Dylan Casey moved to Oakland to join CaRLA in early 2017. Dylan’s work at CaRLA has focused on ensuring local compliance with state housing law, including the Housing Accountability Act and Accessory Dwelling Unit Law. Before joining CaRLA, Dylan worked as a land use lawyer for New York City government since graduating law school from New York University in 2012. Dylan worked on permitting the public review process for individual developments, neighborhood rezonings, and helped develop the city’s inclusionary housing program first at the Department of City Planning and later at the New York City Council.

Greg Magofña

Director of Development & Outreach

A Hawai’i and Bay Area native, Greg was previously the Digital Marketing and Communications Manager at Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, an organization that works with and for homeless, formerly incarcerated, and/or low-income populations. In addition, he is one of the co-founders and Co-Executives of the social equity nonprofit East Bay for Everyone, once served as Senior Aide to former Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, and has served as both a Berkeley Housing Commissioner and Environmental Commissioner. Greg has a Master of Urban Planning from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley.

Victoria Fierce

Director of Operations

 

Victoria moved to Oakland, California in early 2014, having moved away from her hometown of Akron, Ohio for lack of jobs. She’s a founding organizer of the modern YIMBY movement and is a tireless voice for pushing YIMBYs further left. In 2016 she co-founded East Bay for Everyone, an East Bay housing organizer collective, which has since grown to several thousand members and is an unstoppable power for urban justice.

She currently lives in downtown Oakland with her partner and a baby pirate cat, just a few blocks from the CaRLA office.

Kate Goldmann

Planning & Research Intern

Kate Goldmann is an Oakland native and fourth-year student at UC Berkeley, completing her BS in Conservation and Resource Studies with a concentration in sustainable city design and development. At Berkeley, Kate has conducted field research in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and participates in the Berkeley Urban Studies Student Association. Kate is interested in how planning can combat the climate crisis and make the built environment more sustainable, livable, and equitable. Kate’s desire to increase housing density, availability, and affordability is what led her to CaRLA!

Sophie Haugen

Marketing & Communications Intern

Sophie Haugen is a born and raised North Bay local. Transferring from Santa Rosa Junior College, she is completing her BA in American Studies with a concentration in housing, addiction, and poverty at UC Berkeley. Sophie has previously worked in direct service roles, including as long-term shelter staff at Social Advocates for youth in Santa Rosa, CA, as a personal care assistant for PWD at Inclusive Community Resources in Berkeley, CA, and as a respite volunteer at Heartland Hospice Homecare in the North Bay. These first-hand experiences are fundamental to the work Sophie hopes to do in the housing policy space.

Khang Tran

Marketing & Communications Intern

Khang Tran is currently a fourth year student at San Jose State. He has aspirations of working in the business field with a concentration in marketing. In his free time, Khang enjoys working out, playing video games, and building cars. In 2002, Khang and his family moved to San Jose from Vietnam when he was two years old. Khang’s first-hand experiences and difficulties with housing growing up led to him join CaRLA to try and help make a difference!

Board of Directors

Kate Downing

Attorney at Law Offices of Kate Downing

Alex Gourse

Associate at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP

Stephen Menendian

 Assistant Director and Director of Research at UC Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging Institute

Luis Villa

Co-Founder and General Counsel at Tidelift

 

Supported by you

CaRLA relies on individual donations and membership subscriptions from regular people like you.

There is no California statewide agency charged with enforcing the laws like we do, which makes our work all the more valuable.

Donate to CaRLA and help us restore a legal environment in which California builds housing equal to its needs.