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News From the Frontlines

Frontlines to Headlines March 2015

LINKS TO RECENT NEWS MEDIA ARTICLES ON LIBERTY HILL AND  THE ORGANIZERS WE SUPPORT

POLICING & CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

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As the Skid Row community reacts to the shooting of an unarmed Black man, Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN) has responded by demonstrating outside the LAPD headquarters, demanding an independent investigation into the killing, and calling for more mental health professionals in the neighborhood. See the L.A. Times, the Huffington Post, LAist, KABC Radio AM 790, Press TV, and Yahoo News for coverage. Neon Tommy’s report mentions Youth Justice Coalition’s (YJC) participation in demonstrations as well. For more background, see the Daily Beast’s recent article on the history of Skid Row. The piece quotes LA CAN organizer Steve Diaz on how the Safer Cities Initiative has led to a “police occupation” of the neighborhood.

YJC is co-sponsoring SB124, a bill that seeks to limit the use of solitary confinement in juvenile detention centers. The Chronicle of Social Change and Witness L.A. have the story.

PamAm Post quoted Jorge Mario Cabrera of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA) in an article about recent police killings of unarmed Mexican immigrants.

The L.A. Times profiled Dorsey Nunn, executive director and co-founder of All of Us or None. The article discusses the organization’s history and its current campaign to remove questions about criminal history from job applications.

ENVIRONMENT

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An Exide battery recycling plant in the city of Vernon that has been polluting surrounding communities for decades is finally closed, in part thanks to continued pressure from environmental groups like East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) and Communities for a Better Environment (CBE). See EGP News for an article about how EYCEJ and CBE fought to close the plant, and how Exide’s unhealthy practices in low income communities of color are examples of environmental racism. KPCC also covered the story, featuring quotes from EYCEJ director, Mark Lopez. A follow up KPCC report featured more from Lopez on Exide’s toxic impact across generations.

EYCEJ also appeared in an L.A. Times article about possible 710 Freeway expansion plans. The article quotes Lopez calling for CalTrans to consider the needs of nearby communities.

For more on EYCEJ see the Redlands Daily Facts. A report on how air quality regulations are allowing children to grow up with healthier lungs mentions the group.

IMMIGRATION
CHIRLA1An ABS-CBN News article about undocumented immigrants beginning to receive driver’s licenses in California mentioned the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC). The organization is putting on workshops to assist drivers as they apply. The Orange County Register also covered the surge of driver’s license applications, quoting CHIRLA director Apolonio Morales.
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Despite a federal judge’s ruling to block the implementation of President Obama’s immigration order, CHIRLA is continuing to help undocumented people prepare to apply, as the decision is appealed. The L.A. Times, the S.F. Gate, My News L.A., and Westside Today turned to the organization for quotes.

The Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition (LBIRC) is also educating and assisting applicants for DAPA and DACA expansion. The Long Beach Post has more on LBIRC’s reaction to the immigration setback.

Undocumented immigrants who were misled by immigration authorities into signing “voluntary return” forms that led to their deportations will now be allowed to return to the U.S. as members of a class action lawsuit. The Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC) and CHIRLA are conducting outreach to find wrongfully deported individuals. See Latin Post and the Times of San Diego for the story.

ECONOMIC JUSTICE

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The L.A. Black Worker Center (BWC) appeared in an L.A. Times article about BWC member, Rob McIntosh, an Air Force veteran with I.T. skills who is struggling to get by in a low wage job while he earns a degree.

See the Huffington Post for a piece by BWC founder and director Lola Smallwood Cuevas who discusses how organizing can help bring jobs to African American communities.

The L.A. Watts Times ran a piece about the history of African Americans in the labor movement, and mentioned the L.A. Black Worker Center.

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In South L.A. many seniors struggle with poor living conditions, including landlords who won’t make repairs or keep buildings up to code. Some face threats of eviction and even homelessness. Check Intersections South L.A. for the story, which features quotes from Carlos Aguilar of Coalition for Economic Survival (CES), and covers the organization’s work with seniors in the area.

CES also appeared in a Wall Street Journal report on the negative economic impact of California’s high housing costs. The article quoted CES executive director, Larry Gross.

CHANGE

Some Californians are saying that the DMV failed to process their voter registration applications, leaving them unable to cast ballots. Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) is among the groups behind a formal complaint to California’s Secretary of State. KQED has the story.

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