¡Los Filtros Luchan! A Case Study of Lawyering and Participatory Democracy: Participatory Lobbying as a Strategy for Working with Marginalized Communities
Keywords:Community Lawyering, Collaborative Lawyering, Rebellious Lawyering, Law and Organizing, Participatory Democracy, Lobbying, Participatory Lobbying
This thesis examines the participatory lobbying of Puerto Rican Statute #232 of August of 2004, which was a joint endeavor by members of low-income communities, headed by members of the Los Filtros community, and the community development section of the University of Puerto Rico's School of Law Legal Aid Clinic. The case study seeks to bring to the forefront the voices of the members of the Los Filtros community who participated in the lobbying of the bill regarding their perceptions about the process and its relationship to law, politics and democracy. It highlights the unexplored potential of participatory lobbying as a strategy to open spaces of participatory democracy.
Participatory lobbying can be a valuable strategy for lawyers working with marginalized communities. This type of lobbying can claim an important place as a strategy within what have been called "law and organizing" approaches to lawyering, which focus on promoting empowerment of marginalized groups. It differs from more traditional public interest lobbying since, in this alternative type of lobbying, members of marginalized communities are the driving force in the process and lawyers serve a supporting role.
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