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Ashley E. Werner

The directing attorney at the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability (LCJA) in Fresno, CA, was featured in a YouTube short film, Boxed In: CEQA Protecting Public Health in South Fresno. The film describes how a community in South Fresno, represented by Werner and LCJA members, used the California Environmental Quality Act to successfully challenge industrial development that would have threatened the health and safety of its residents.


Leading Role: As directing attorney at the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, Werner leads litigation and state policy development to advance access to basic infrastructure and services, quality affordable housing, and a healthy environment in disadvantaged communities in California’s San Joaquin and East Coachella valleys. Next Act: Working to pass state legislation in 2023 that restricts local governments’ authority to concentrate polluting land uses in overburdened communities. A High: “Achieving outcomes that protect and meaningfully improve vulnerable populations’ quality of life, like preventing a mass eviction or securing a local government’s commitments to extend safe drinking water services to a community.” A Low: “Witnessing elected officials disregard community input and take actions that entrench and exacerbate deep racial and economic disparities.” The Motivator: “My partnerships with community residents who are striving for better and more just futures for their children, communities, and future generations.”