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News From the Frontlines

FRONTLINES TO HEADLINES! July 2013

August 9

Herbierto Zamora of KIWA fights wage theft

Summer has been a hot time for Liberty Hill grantees, and news stories in July include not only the aftermath of long-fought campaigns (recognition for Asian and Pacific Islanders for Equality-LA (API-LA)’s work on marriage equality), but also a new beginning for some (the decision in one city to use a process backed by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment to remake neighborhoods decimated by the mortgage crisis). Links are presented with most recently published stories first.

JULY 2013 IN REVIEW

July 30

Edge LGBT News is a national online news site with 22 local editions. An Edge reporter was at L.A.’s celebration of the SCOTUS Prop. 8 decision on June 25 and describes in this feature how leaders from three grassroots groups including Asian and Pacific Islander Equality-LA (API Equality-LA) were called onstage to acknowledge their contributions to the campaign for marriage equality.

July 29

The Home Defender’s League, a campaign of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), was featured in a front-page story in the New York Times about the first city to go forward with an innovative program to reconstitute neighborhoods decimated by the mortgage crisis. City officials in Richmond will use their eminent domain power to buy underwater mortgages at current value and resell them to homeowners. In addition to the NYT piece on the city’s announcement, Peter Dreier did an analysis of the legal and political context, which was posted in Huffington Post and The Nation.

July 27

An L.A. Times reporter was aboard the van and gives a detailed description of a recent “toxic tour” by Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), focusing on neighborhoods identified with our “Clean Up Green Up” Campaign.

July 26

Members of the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center led an action at the office of U.S. Rep. Gary Miller, asking him to support immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship, as reported by the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

July 25

Southern California Public Radio (KPCC)’s robust local news coverage took note of Liberty Hill’s June Commissions Training program—and of our incoming CEO Shane Goldsmith—with a thoughtful article nutshelling the concept: “Redefining LA’s city commissions to improve citizen involvement.”

July 24

Nury Martinez, executive director of Pacoima Beautiful, one of our “Clean Up Green Up” organizations, won the Sixth District City Council Seat and is now the only woman on the 15-member City Council, as reported by NBC-TV.

July 20

When Heriberto Zamora -- working without breaks for 60 hours per week at $11.50 -- was fired on the spot for being sick, a friend told him to go to the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA). The resulting law violations case against Urasawa, one of the fanciest sushi restaurants in the country, is described in detail in this New York Times story.

July 19

Radio station KPCC’s “Project Citizen” series focused on the work by the statewide alliance California Calls
to increase voter participation. The alliance includes Liberty Hill partners InnerCity Struggle, Community Coalition and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).

July 19

CBS TV told the world about a weekly produce stand created in response to the closure of chain grocer Ralph’s in an area of the city with few fresh-food outlets. The initiative is co-sponsored by Community Coalition.

June 26

Rabbi Heather Miller, who, with her wife Melissa de la Rama is a 2013 Liberty Hill Leader to Watch, was among the rabbis queried for a response about the Supreme Court’s Prop. 8 ruling by the Jewish Journal. Her poetic response and a joyful photo that accompanies the text is a moving description of the intensely personal feelings that are so affected by public policy.