Mission: LCCRSF is committed to closing the racial wealth gap and empowering communities of color. Our work leads to increasing business and economic opportunities that will enable individuals to have self-determination over their livelihoods and communities, while advancing a more equitable economy. We know that a strong economy fuels a community and, without it, the inequities that result can last for generations.

Vision: Racial justice cannot be achieved without economic justice. The United States’ history of genocide, slavery, and enduring systemic racism has, and continues to, exclude people of color from sustainable livelihoods, affordable housing, and other business and economic opportunities Consequently, the median net worth of white families is more than seven times that of their Black peers. The lack of individual and family wealth has contributed to the disparities that people of color experience in all areas of society.

Business ownership and community self-determination are often under-utilized opportunities to help close the racial wealth gap. Entrepreneurship generally leads to higher incomes and more wealth, and many small businesses employ local workers, fueling job creation in underserved communities. Similarly, civic engagement and community advocacy in the local economic development process generally leads to more community benefits that would be overlooked otherwise. LCCRSF’s Economic Justice Program advances business ownership and community self-determination in the following ways:

Direct Legal Representation: We provide free direct legal representation to low-income entrepreneurs, local businesses and organizations in areas such as entity formation, contracts, and leasing. These services are provided through our Legal Services for Entrepreneurs Program (LSE). Examples of organizations we have assisted are local businesses owned by people of color, cooperatives owned by people of color, and community land trusts.

Policy and Legal Advocacy: We provide legal education and guidance to community groups and coalitions seeking to advance policies and campaigns that support local business ownership by people of color, as well as community-guided economic development. A recent policy and campaign example is the advancement of public banking in California through the passage of AB 857 and the establishment of the San Francisco Public Bank.