By Blanch Ross
Periodically, Liberty Hill makes recommendations of exceptionally timely philanthropic opportunities for our donor advised account holders. This time we are recommending two of our Fund for Change grant recipients, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and Restaurant Opportunities Center.
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) is a statewide community organization working with thousands of members in eleven counties creating transformative change by helping ordinary citizens to organize and take action. ACCE-LA plans to pursue an aggresive campaign to win renegotiation of bad municipal finance deals that are providing windfall profits to major Wall Street firms and costing LA taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
ACCE-LA continues to lead the RE-Fund campaign, a coalition effort including SEIU Local 721 and Good Jobs LA. The coalition advanced major modifications to the city's Foreclosure Registry Ordinance, including raising the registration fees banks must pay for each foreclosed house to fund inspections that could result in fines of up to $1000 per day for failure to maintain those homes.
The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles
Did you know that Los Angeles has the largest restaurant industry in the nation – 300,000? And that the restaurant industry is currently one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of the U.S. economy, providing millions of jobs annually both to newly-arriving immigrants and millions of U.S.-born workers? Although the industry offers great potential for immigrants to move to livable-wage positions, most immigrants lack the training, policy backing, and social networks to do so.
The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles (ROC-LA) is a multi-racial,
grassroots restaurant workers’ center dedicated to winning improved working conditions and raising industry standards for all Los Angeles restaurant workers. ROC has recently released the 2013 ROC National Diners' Guide to Ethical Eating providing information on the wages, benefits, and promotion practices of the 150 most popular restaurants in America in 9 major cities across the country, from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. to New York City. The Guide also lists responsible restaurants where you can eat knowing that your server can afford to pay the rent and your cook isn’t working while sick.
The LAUSD Adult Education budget was recently slashed creating a vacuum where quality English-as-a-Second Language/Vocational-English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL/VSEL) classes used to exist. With the vision of placing restaurant workers in High Road restaurants and Union Hotels, achieving true immigrant integration and real career development opportunities ROC-LA has partnered with Community Career Development, Inc. and the Hospitality Training Academy on a pilot program offering ESL/VSEL classes to immigrant restaurant and hospitality workers.