February 5, 2010
Assemblywoman Michele R. Titus Brings Access to Justice

Assemblywoman Michele Titus (D-Queens) is proud to bring Access to Justice and Legal Empowerment to the 31st Assembly District. The program, provided by CUNY School of Law’s Community Legal Resource Network, will provide free legal consultation.

"Too often working families, seniors and new immigrants face barriers in pursuing and defending their rights due to a complex and costly legal system. As a result, the community as a whole becomes disenfranchised and the principle of ‘liberty and justice for all’ is in jeopardy. "This program will not only restore the community’s confidence in a legal system that should protect all rights but it gives a voice back to that community." said Assemblywoman Titus.

Community Legal Resource Network, (CLRN), a nationally recognized collaborative network of community-based lawyers, has provided community legal services throughout New York City and now they have expanded to the 31st Assembly District. This community is home to a diverse population. Areas of law that receive the most inquiry from residents are immigration, custody, matrimonial, elder law, foreclosure prevention, collections, housing and predatory lending.

A CLRN member attorney will be on site once a week to provide brief legal consultations to self represented litigants. Call the South Ozone Park office at 718-322-4958, or the Far Rockaway office at 718-327-1845 for an appointment.

"Through this collaboration, CLRN will continue its proud tradition of providing increased access to civil justice to under-represented communities in New York City," stated Fred Rooney, Director of CLRN.

Studies show that there is one legal services attorney for every 6,861 low income persons. However, New York City is where organized legal services for the poor first began. As New Yorkers we must continue to be in the forefront to address the barriers to civil justice.

"I am proud of this collaboration with community lawyers of CLRN because this project will allow low income, working families, seniors, new residents and the disabled assistance to navigate the legal system. We are a society of laws- we must ensure the law is able to fulfill its promised protections for all," said Titus.

Assemblywoman Michele R. Titus Statement on Haiti

"Haiti has been hit by the most devastating earthquake in over 200 years. I extend my deepest and profound sympathy to all who were affected by this unfathomable catastrophe. In moments like these, it is gratifying to see people of all backgrounds pulling together to assist those in need. The 31st Assembly District which I represent is home to a strong, vibrant Haitian community whose families are desperately in need of our help. I am truly grateful to the residents who have donated critical supplies, or have volunteered their time and expertise to assist those who are truly suffering. Encore, nos plus profondes sympathies á la communauté Haitienne aprés ce catastrophe naturel qui a laissé le deuil dans le coeur de tous nos freres et soeurs."

There are a number of ways you can contribute to the relief effort. You can contact any one of the charitable organizations listed below:

Governor David A. Paterson
Call the Governor’s hotline: 1-888-769-7243 or go online to:

New York State Registry of New York Citizens in Haiti

Haitian American United for Progress, Inc. (HAUP)
Call 1-718-527-3776.

Clinton Foundation
Call: 501- 748-0471.

American Red Cross
You can call the American Red Cross phone: 800-733-2767.

Call 1-800-4UNICEF.

World Vision
Call 0800 80 2000.

Call 1-800-486-4357.

Catholic Relief Services
Call 1-888-277-7575.

Habitat for Humanity
Call 1-800-422-7575.

In addition, because it is unsafe to return to Haiti at this time, Haitian Nationals who have been in the United States since January 12, 2010, may be eligible to live and work in the US for a set period of time. You may apply to the US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by going online to:

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextchannel= e54e60f64f336210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextoid=e54e60f64f336210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

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