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LA High Table with Carol Sobel: Homelessness in Los Angeles

We invite Yale, MIT, and Princeton alums to join us for the Los Angeles High Table series aimed at showcasing dynamic speakers in an intimate setting. We especially welcome established alums in fields relevant to the talk and younger alums in all fields. This event features civil rights attorney Carol Sobel who will speak about her efforts to push the city of Los Angeles to adopt a proactive and humane approach to homelessness.

Date: Sunday, January 26th
Time: 1pm – 3:30pm 
Location: We are lucky to have this event at the Westwood home of Michael Swartz (a Yale alum). The address will be provided the Friday prior to the event.
Price: $5. We also request you contribute a dish or drink to our potluck. Suggestions below.
Event format: 30 min mingling, 60 min High Table Program featuring Carol Sobel, 60 min networking and discussion post-talk with refreshments.


About the speaker: 
Carol Sobel is a civil rights lawyer and advocate; she has repeatedly sued the City of Los Angeles for violating the rights of the homeless population. Ms. Sobel graduated from Douglass College in 1968 and the People’s College of Law in 1978. She was subsequently admitted to the state bar of California, and spent twenty years working for the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, most recently as Senior Staff Counsel. In 1997, she left the ACLU to start her own law practice.

Ms. Sobel has served as the lead attorney on several cases representing the homeless against the City of Los Angeles. In these cases, “quality of life” ordinances” criminalizing conduct such as sleeping in a vehicle or leaving property unattended were found to be unconstitutional, protecting the rights of the homeless population. For example, she litigated the landmark 2006 case Jones vs. City of Los Angeles, in which the Ninth Circuit ruled that it was illegal to arrest people sleeping on the street when there were no available shelter beds. More recently, Ms. Sobel was co-council in Mitchell vs. City of Los Angeles, which overturned a 2016 city ordinance limiting homeless people’s property to what would fitin a 60 gallon bag. Ms. Sobel has also tackled similar issues in Orange County; the settlement in a recent lawsuit required county officials to adopt a less punitive approach towards residents of a homeless encampment in the Santa Ana riverbed.

Ms. Sobel serves on the board of directors for several organizations that advocate for proactive approaches to similar issues, including the National Police Accountability Project and the Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action. She regularly gives talks on her work and is currently an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School where she teaches a civil right practicum. Ms. Sobel was recognized as a highly accomplished Super Lawyer for civil rights for 2004-2020.

Potluck suggestions by first letter of your last name:

We ask that you please bring a dish to share for lunch. Suggestions by last name are below:

  • A-E Desserts / Drinks
  • F-K Salads / Appetizers
  • L-Z Main Dishes

Parking: Street parking is available. Ask for a parking permit when you check in at 1pm.

Registration: Use the registration here. Space is limited, so register early and be sure to attend!

For questions concerning registration for the upcoming High Table event, contact Jon at la.hightable.reg at gmail.com.

For all other inquiries (speaking at or hosting a future High Table event, helping to organize future events, etc.) write to Seth at la.hightable at gmail.com.

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Event Information
Sunday, Jan 26 2020 at 1:00pm [ iCal ]
Westwood, CA

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