Who We Are
LA Alliance for Human Rights is a broad coalition of stakeholders who believe that mental illness and homelessness in Los Angeles is a human rights crisis and are committed to pursuing solutions and a return to clean sidewalks, including through litigation. In 2019, a group of small business owners, residents, and social service providers formed an unincorporated association to pursue a lawsuit to require the City and County to take responsibility for their legal obligations to maintain a safe and healthy environment for all – housed and unhoused. Our membership now encompasses current and former homeless individuals, non-profits, residents, business owners, service providers, and community members, all seeking to find solutions to end the humanitarian crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles. Anyone can join the Alliance by submitting email information on our website.
We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible, pending IRS approval. Funds are used for raising awareness, mobilizing coalition members to engage our elected leaders, continuing the lawsuit against the city and county, and paying staff and consultants.
Don Steier, long-time General Counsel for Central City East Association, serves as the Chairman of the Alliance. The team includes Elizabeth Mitchell and Matthew Umhofer, who lead the litigation strategy, Daniel Conway, policy advisor and public affairs consultant and Paul Webster, Executive Director. Several others donate their time in terms of legal, public relations, and technical advice. If you have any questions, please click HERE and we’ll get right back to you.
It is necessary to file an action because the executive and legislative branches of the County and City have failed to adequately respond to the present emergency. It is unconscionable that our local government does not properly shelter those living in encampments. Last year, nearly a 1000 homeless died in the street. They should have had a right to shelter and government the obligation to provide it.
– Joseph Charney
I am glad there is an Organization that is trying to stop Homelessness! Homelessness is a Major Concern on our Neighborhood. It is time to create a solution to this long time problem. You have my full support to your campaign.
– Diony Rebuta
Homelessness is a Major Problem in Los Angeles. I am very happy that there is an organization trying to solve it. Keep it up!
– Ericson Alviz
So thankful to finally see an organization like this caring for the future of these poor, unfortunate lives suffering on the streets of Los Angeles. Keep up the good work! The homeless issue is getting out of hand. Driving around town and seeing tents on every corner is depressing and wrong!
– Sara H
Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis cannot be managed or mitigated, it must come to an end. Letting three people die everyday on our sidewalks is not compassion – it’s cruel. This lawsuit, and the collaborative process that it has unleashed, is the best opportunity we have had in years to solve our homeless crisis.
– Don Steier, Chair, LA Alliance for Human Rights
"[O]ur holding does not cover individuals who do have access to adequate temporary shelter, whether because they have the means to pay for it or because it is realistically available to them for free, but who choose not to use it."
– Martin v City of Boise, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal
Within homeless encampments, where violent crimes are more frequent than ever, mental illness and substance abuse can be endemic.
– Los Angeles Times, Oct 22, 2021
[T]he plaintiffs, quite frankly, have been in our office, and we've talked to them, and we wanted to work toward addressing this issue. So I don't view this as us against them because we're all in this together. And working with all of our 87 other cities along with L.A. city is what L.A. County is committed to do.
I don't view the people that got us here today in an adversarial way. In fact, I admire their courage for stepping forward.
– Kathryn Barger, Chair, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
“I have lived here my entire life. I have never seen this city so dirty, so rudderless”
– Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
"[W]e all understand that this is a first step in a long road to try to resolve this issue with the partnership of the county and the city."
– Nury Martinez, President, Los Angeles City Council
Chairman of the Board
Don Steier is a life-long Angelino and graduated from UCLA. He was a Deputy District Attorney and currently serves as the General Counsel for LA Industrial Business Improvement District where he has developed deep knowledge of policies affecting homelessness.
Elizabeth Mitchell is an attorney with the boutique litigation firm Spertus, Landes, & Umhofer, LLP. She was an attorney with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office in the Police Litigation Unit and was a prosecutor where she handled criminal cases focusing on violent and sexual crimes. She is an expert in homelessness policy and has led the Alliance in developing a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the City and County of Los Angeles.
Daniel Conway is a policy consultant and advisor. Conway served as Chief of Staff for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson where he helped develop the Mayor’s policy platform and “Cities 3.0” concept. He also developed partnerships with non-profits and companies, including Starbuck’s Solution City initiative and UNICEF’s Kids Power program.
Paul Webster is policy and legislative analyst most recently serving as a Senior Policy Advisor in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He has more than twelve years of experience serving in the United States House of Representatives as a legislative and issues manager for several Members of Congress and served in the California State Legislature as the District Director for an Assembly Member and Senator.