Charles Elsesser Community Justice Project
Charles Elsesser is a civil rights attorney who worked for the past eighteen years with Florida Legal Services, specializing in housing litigation and policy advocacy on behalf of community and resident organizations. Prior to that he had more than twenty years of experience in California, where among other positions he advised the State Senate leadership on housing policy, was director of the City of Santa Monica Housing Department and the President of the City of Los Angeles Affordable Housing Commission. In Florida, his work has focused on advocacy on behalf of resident and other community organizations advocating to protect existing affordable and public housing from loss through the loss of subsidy contracts or demolition. He has assisted resident organizations who were challenging decisions by HUD which would have allowed owners to opt out of their subsidy contracts, as well as Public Housing resident organizations attempting to gain input and influence in the HOPE VI or redevelopment process. He has also represented groups challenging government sponsored redevelopment activities as well as mobile home owners associations challenging the closure of their parks. Within the past year he has started a nonprofit law firm, the Community Justice Project, Inc., with two colleagues Meena Jagannath and Alana Greer. The new firm will focus specifically on representing community organizations advocating for social justice. He has been the recipient of the Steven Goldstein award from the Florida Bar Foundation and the Kutak-Dodds award from the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association.