Policy and Legal Advocacy

Brightline blends policy and legal advocacy to push forward progressive workforce and environmental policies that benefit local, low-income communities.  With its hands-on experience in connecting community groups, activists, and elected officials, Brightline uniquely effects change in local city halls, administrative legal proceedings, and state policymaking institutions such as the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission. 

In addition, Brightline will continue to provide legal research and analysis to augment its advocacy for policies such as local hiring and promoting solar as "peaker power."  By grounding our policy work with legal frameworks, Brightline's skillsets can help community-based advocacy cut through bureaucratic inertia. 

Coalition & Capacity Building

In addition to advocating progressive policies, Brightline works to build coalitions and leadership capacity for low-income communities of color.  In September 2016, Brightline brought together over 100 community leaders and 40 organizations for its first-ever Sustainability Summit.  This Summit connected state, regional, and local policymakers to community activists and leaders, particularly to address climate change threats and high unemployment in low-income communities. 

Brightline brings together community-based organizations that are recruiting and training local qualified workers to work in industries such as solar, energy efficiency, construction, health care, and tech. This grassroots coalition has grown in strength over time as Brightline engages in policymaking institutions of other Bay Area counties (Alameda and San Mateo) and Sacramento.

Jobs for Local Communities

Brightline promotes sustainability and empowerment of low-income, disadvantaged communities within and outside of California.  As longtime advocates of local hiring, Brightline has shared its expertise to build up workforce development systems and policies for a number of cities beyond San Francisco, including Baltimore, Jersey City, Providence, and Seattle.    

Brightline has also been a strong proponent of expanding solar and energy efficiency for low-income communities.  In addition to building up green assets and local workforce development policies, Brightline has been engaged in legal proceedings at the California Public Utilities Commission since 2011 to scale up better workforce strategies. 

No New Power Plants

Since 2003, the City of San Francisco’s plan to shut down its last remaining fossil fuel-burning power plant had been to build four new natural gas power plants to replace it.  Blending legal and policy advocacy with community organizing, Brightline worked with longtime Bayview-Hunters Point community leaders as well as many other environmental and social justice organizations to advocate a plan to close the Potrero Plant and forever end the history of power plant pollution in Southeast San Francisco.

By August 2008, Mayor Gavin Newsom had declared his commitment to no new fossil fuel power plants for San Francisco, and in 2010, the City finally shut down the Potrero Plant without any replacement power plants.