Staff & Board

Michael Rawson

Mike co-founded PILP in 1996 with colleague Steve Ronfeldt to provide impact litigation and advocacy support for California legal services offices after Congress prohibited federally funded legal services programs from bringing class actions, representing undocumented people and engaging in legislative advocacy. He chose law in order to work towards a society that provides permanently affordable housing to all, particularly lower income persons and people of color, long victims of exclusionary and racist land use practices and the inherent inequity of the housing market. Mike concentrates on state and federal land use, affordable housing, fair housing and anti-discrimination law. He has litigated over 85 impact cases with local legal services attorneys, drafted many of California’s affordable housing land use laws, and written practice manuals and policy analysis in these areas.

Mike is the principal author of PILP’s California Housing Element Manual and Discrimination in Land Use, Planning, and Development Approval (ch. 2 of California Fair Housing and Public Accommodations (Rutter Group, 2020). Mike is the recipient of the National Housing Law Project’s David B. Bryson Award, the California Rural Housing Coalition Advocate of the Year Award, and two California Lawyer of the Year awards.