From frontlines to headlines! Take a look at recent news of Liberty Hill and our grantees.

Show, don’t tell. It’s good advice for writers, and it’s even better advice for activists. In April, Liberty Hill grantees showed what they’re fighting for through a variety of methods: by hitting the street, by creating a tool to identify schools most in need of increased funding, by pointing to the damaging effects of current policies – even by gathering community art. Donor-activists showed their support with their presence at the Upton Sinclair Dinner, an annual chance to meet, mingle and learn what’s next for social justice in L.A.

APRIL 2014 IN REVIEW

LIBERTY HILL NEWS

April 23

On Tuesday, April 22, more than 750 lovers of social justice filled the ballroom at the Beverly Hilton for Liberty Hill’s 32nd annual Upton Sinclair Dinner – and the local press took notice. Los Angeles Magazine’s reporter was tickled by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s speech (and his selfie with Liberty Hill President/CEO Shane Murphy Goldsmith and dinner chair Shana Weiss), but was just as impressed with the less-recognizable award recipients: Kafi D. Blumenfield, Veronica Gutierrez, Scott Budnick and Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa. Meanwhile, entertainment website The Wrap’s photo album featured supporters Wendy and Barry Meyer — and what editor could resist a rare shot of Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist/award presenter Flea wearing a suit?

LIBERTY HILL GRANTEES IN ACTION

May 1

Liberty Hill partners turned out for the annual May Day march in Downtown LA. This year’s theme was “Keeping Families Together,” putting the focus squarely on immigrant workers’ rights and the increased rate of deportations, as Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)’s Angelica Salas explained to the local CBS and ABC affiliates. Frontiers LA highlighted the Queer Contingent, in which API Equality-LA and Gender Justice LA participated. Check out photos from our participating grantees on our Facebook album.
April 25

Late April saw the launch of Strategic Actions for a Just Economy’s “SAJE Loteria South L.A. Style” project. Intersections South L.A. interviewed SAJE’s Teresa Eilers about the uniquely South L.A. art created for this very colorful fundraiser. The loteria event has come and gone, but you can view the gorgeous artwork at Nature’s Brew Café in West Adams through the end of May.
April 24

South Los Angeles has a proud tradition of fostering spaces that serve as hubs for community organizing. KCET’s Artbound’s comprehensive history of South L.A.’s activism bases includes a visit to Chuco’s Justice Center, one of the largest and most vibrant in use today. Chuco’s currently houses nine organizations, including Liberty Hill grantee Youth Justice Coalition.
April 21

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) issued a statement in response to a recent influx of families showing up at their offices looking for help following immigration actions undertaken by the Obama administration. According to CHIRLA, the number of people deported during Obama’s presidency has exceeded 2 million – about two-thirds of whom had not been accused of serious crimes. CHIRLA has contacted ICE, the Department of Homeland Security and Rep. Xavier Becerra to express its concerns. Global Post picked up Spanish wire agency EFE’s coverage.
April 7

Students and community leaders gathered at the Los Angeles Unified School District budget meeting to make their voices heard on the allocation of money coming to the district as a result of the Local Control Funding Formula. The Daily News sets the scene with a photo of 375 desks placed in the street in front of LAUSD offices, representing the 375 students who drop out of the district’s schools each month. Meanwhile, a city-wide coalition of leaders and community groups — among them Community Coalition and InnerCity Struggle — revealed their “Student Need Index.” The index measures environmental, social and health factors in addition to school test scores. Crunching the numbers helped the organizations pinpoint 242 high-need schools within the district. In the LA Times, members of the Community Coalition expressed cautious optimism about the direction of Supt. John Deasy’s draft budget, but emphasized the need to keep the pressure on to make sure money gets to schools with the highest needs. Later in the month, InnerCity Struggle’s Maria Brenes described the coalition’s recommendations for student services and programs to LA School Report.
April 6

Los Angeles County has 376,000 extremely low income households, and not nearly enough affordable housing units to shelter them all. This forces many into crowded, unsafe housing conditions. The LA Times reported activity around a building in South L.A., its residents told to move out by the L.A. Fire Department due to dangerous conditions. A week later, another LA Times article pointed out that people aren’t only being forced out of housing of questionable legality: Legal evictions from rent-controlled units are on the rise under the provisions of the Ellis Act. Coalition for Economic Survival executive director Larry Gross is quoted in both articles.

 

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