2013 Star Megan Beaman: Fighting for Justice in the Community

Dec. 23, 2013 / By

Megan Beaman, photographed above at the Salton Sea, is dedicated to helping community members fight for their legal rights. Photo: BRENDA RINCON/Coachella Uninc

Megan Beaman, photographed above at the Salton Sea, is dedicated to helping community members fight for their legal rights. Photo: BRENDA RINCON/Coachella Uninc

Why Her Star Shone Brightly in 2013

Attorney Megan Beaman had a stellar 2013. Her independent law practice, Beaman Law, helped numerous community members and organizations fight for their rights in the areas of employment, housing, immigration, civil rights, and policy.

For example, as the attorney for Comité de la Calle Pierce, she led the effort to have the Coachella Valley Water District adhere to the California Voting Rights Act – a big step in the struggle for water rights in the Eastern Coachella Valley. As attorney to Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation, she helped the organization achieve major overhauls in policies and practices that have prevented infrastructure and community improvements for years.

Explains Beaman, “The Comité and many other residents and advocates have been pleading and fighting for years for water and wastewater extensions to East Valley Communities where none exist–despite that the Coachella Valley Water District includes those areas within its ‘coverage’ zone.  The communities have also pleaded for respectful and legal treatment by enforcement and permitting authorities, who have historically not favored the preservation of East Valley mobilehome communities.  As a result of these and other struggles, many East Valley communities are often relying on untreated and sometimes contaminated drinking water from privately-dug wells, inadequate septic systems that sometimes backup and overflow into their yards and homes, and inadequate and unsafe electricity systems and other problems for which they still struggle to improve.”

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Coachella Unincorporated

Coachella Unincorporated is a Youth Media Startup in the East Coachella Valley, funded by the Building Healthy Communities Initiative of The California Endowment and operated by New America Media in San Francisco. The purpose of the project is to report on issues in the community that can bring about change. Coachella Unincorporated refers to the region youth journalists cover but also to the unincorporated communities of the Eastern Valley with the idea to “incorporate” the East Valley into the mainstream Coachella Valley mindset.