Jennifer Hernandez Honored with Climate and Sustainability Champion Award by the San Francisco Business Times
MIAMI (April 4, 2022) – Holland & Knight Partner Jennifer Hernandez was honored with the Climate and Sustainability Champion Award at the San Francisco Business Times' annual Real Estate Deals of the Year Awards Gala. The event was held on March 31 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Ms. Hernandez was honored for her work on securing housing project approvals and related litigation victories, and her advocacy for sustainable climate solutions that allow the middle class, communities of color and low-income households to achieve upward mobility, including attainable homeownership.
In speaking to the Business Times, Ms. Hernandez explained her early interest in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). "I saw how CEQA was being used, and it was clearly so exclusionary it was outrageous," said Ms. Hernandez. "Nobody believed me, though, at the time. It was, 'We need to fight polluting industries and cutting of forests.' And I said, that's not how it's being used." To read the full interview, click here.
The Real Estate Deals of the Year awards recognize the biggest, boldest and most creative real estate deals done in the Bay Area and include categories for blockbuster leases, office sales, new housing and community impact.
Ms. Hernandez has practiced land use and environmental law for more than 30 years, and leads Holland & Knight's West Coast Land Use and Environmental Group. She has achieved national prominence for her work on housing and infrastructure development, climate, brownfields redevelopment, wetlands and endangered species, as well as CEQA. Ms. Hernandez works for private sector, public agency and nonprofit clients on a broad range of projects in Bay Area, Southern California and Central Valley communities. These include infill and master-planned mixed-use housing and commercial projects, university and research facilities, transportation and infrastructure projects, renewable and other energy projects, and local agency plan and ordinance updates.
For almost a decade, Ms. Hernandez has been a leading researcher and advocate on the abuse of CEQA lawsuits to derail critical housing and other projects to achieve economic, racially exclusionary or other non-environmental objectives. She has worked extensively with the prominent civil rights group The 200, and played a leadership role in bipartisan efforts to modernize CEQA to end litigation abuse. She has also published several seminal articles and books presenting comprehensive data on CEQA abuse and dysfunction, including an in-depth report titled "In the Name of the Environment."
Ms. Hernandez has received numerous civil rights awards for her work on overcoming environmentalist opposition to housing and other projects needed and supported by minority communities. She is recognized as a leading lawyer in environmental and land use/zoning law by Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, and was named a California Trailblazer in 2020 by The Recorder.