Frontlines to Headlines May/June 2015
Frontlines to Headlines May/June 2015
LINKS TO RECENT NEWS MEDIA ARTICLES ON LIBERTY HILL AND THE ORGANIZERS WE SUPPORT
L.A.’s minimum wage increase to $15 per hour by 2020 was big news this past month, thanks in part to the hard work of several Liberty Hill organizing partners. See Refinery 29 for an article that cites figures gathered by the Garment Worker Center (GWC) and Restaurant Opportunities Center-LA (ROC-LA). The Los Angeles Daily News quoted Giselle Mata of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) calling for an earlier implementation date for the wage hike. ACCE members were also quoted in an article about how the new law will apply to workers who spend only part of their day within City limits. Read it in the L.A. Times.
KPCC reported on a related story. SB 588, a bill recently passed by the California State Senate, aims to strengthen protections against wage theft and help workers collect wages they are owed. The article quotes Alexandra Suh of the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA) on how difficult it is for victims of wage theft to reclaim their stolen earnings.
As the City of Long Beach voted for a plan to curb slumlord practices, Housing Long Beach (HLB) urged the City to do more, particularly to include a Rental Escrow Account Program (REAP) which would allow the City to collect rent from delinquent landlords until units are fixed. See the Long Beach Post, the Grunion Gazette, the L.A. Times, and the Long Beach Press Telegram for coverage.
An In These Times piece on the importance of Black workers in the labor movement quoted Lola Smallwood Cuevas of the Los Angeles Black Worker Center (LABWC) on the ties between economic justice and racial justice. An article in RH Reality Check which explored similar themes also referred to the LABWC.
The Chair of California’s Housing and Finance Agency is planning to redevelop rent controlled buildings he owns and evict tenants under the Ellis Act. Larry Gross of Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) pointed out the hypocrisy for KPCC, the Daily Beast, and Beyond Chron. Gross also appeared in an L.A. Times story about Ellis Act evictions, this time at the Villa Carlotta apartments in Hollywood. He called for a stronger stance from City Council hopefuls who expressed support for the tenants. For more on how the Ellis Act is adding to L.A.’s affordable housing shortage, see Gross’s op-ed in the L.A. Times.
KCET published an article on the history of the Bus Riders Union and the organization’s impact on L.A. transit.
As new reports surface about the occupational hazards hairdressers face working with dangerous chemicals, Black Women for Wellness is providing insight into the situation. Check Think Progress and the Huffington Post for the story.
A KPCC article about violence faced by transgendered immigrants quoted CHIRLA’s ZiZi Bandera on how immigrant rights groups are uplifting the plight of LGBTQ immigrants.
Queer Youth Fund grantee Hispanic Black Gay Coalition is hosting its fifth annual LGBTQ Youth Empowerment Conference, a gathering of LGBTQ youth of color that will provide workshops, discussions, and arts. Edge Boston has the story.
The California State Assembly passed the FACT Act, otherwise known as AB 775, which requires reproductive health facilities to state whether they are licensed, and for licensed clinics to share information about available resources with patients. Black Women for Wellness co-sponsored the bill and Ms. Magazine covered the story. Black Women for Wellness appeared again in a Pacific Standard article on renewed interested in IUD birth control. The piece referred to the organization’s sex education programs.
Eileen Ma of API Equality-LA participated in a panel hosted by the Anti-Defamation League on coming out and LGBTQ acceptance. Jewish Journal has the story.
POLICING & CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
The California State Senate passed a bill co-sponsored by Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights that will limit the use of solitary confinement in youth detention centers. Take Part, Witness L.A., and the San Jose Mercury News have the story. YJC is also co-sponsoring a bill designed to prevent police racial profiling by requiring law enforcement agencies to collect data on who police stop and why. The State Assembly recently passed the bill, known as AB 953. See the Asian Journal for more.
Al Jazeera’s coverage of the police shooting of an unarmed, homeless Black man in Venice mentioned how Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN) members prepared to attend a town-hall meeting on the killing. The article quotes Eric Ares of LACAN on gentrification, displacement, and the criminalization of homeless people.
Members of Congress are getting behind All of Us or None’s call to ban questions about criminal history from federal job applications. Get the story from High Brow Magazine, Social Work Helper, and the San Francisco Bay View. Also see the San Francisco Bay View for an article by All of Us or None founder, Dorsey Nunn, on Formerly Incarcerated Quest for Democracy Day, an event where ex-inmates struggling for justice lobbied in Sacramento.
Dignity and Power Now, a Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice grantee, appeared in an L.A. Times article about the new civilian oversight board, put in place to hold the L.A. County Sherriff’s Department accountable to community members. The article quoted Steve Rogers on the importance of the new commission.
Eric Mann of the Labor/Community Strategy Center penned a bold call to end the militarization of the police force and drastically cut fuel emissions in U.S. cities. Read it on the Huffington Post.
My News L.A. reported on the L.A. County Board of Supervisor’s decision to terminate an agreement called 287(g), which allowed county jails to cooperate with ICE. The article quotes Angelica Salas of Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA).
Despite a federal court’s hold on President Obama’s DAPA plan, CHIRLA is encouraging undocumented immigrants who might be eligible to prepare for the program. The campaign, called Ready California, received coverage in EGP News. Also see My News L.A. for a quote from Salas, criticizing the court’s ruling.
The L.A. Times reported on a bill that would expand healthcare options for undocumented immigrants. Joseph Villela of CHIRLA applauded the bill.
More California colleges may soon be required to provide resource centers for undocumented students. A report by Capital Public Radio quoted Pedro Trujillo of CHIRLA, who praised a center at UC Davis that is being cited as a model.
Immigrant Youth Coalition (IYC) co-led a demonstration against a detention facility in Adelanto, CA where several detainees have died in recent years under ICE’s watch. Victorville Daily Press has the story.
T.R.U.S.T. South L.A. is part of a coalition called Free Lots Los Angeles which keeps track of empty lots with the potential for development. Intersections South L.A. has the story.
The L.A. City Planning Commission approved Mobility Plan 2035, the part of the City’s General Plan dealing with transit issues. Among the supporters mentioned on Streetsblog L.A. are T.R.U.S.T. South L.A. and Pacoima Beautiful.
As the committee to oversee the closure of the toxic Exide plant in Vernon met, Mark Lopez of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) pointed out to EGP News the lack of community members on the panel. Lopez also appeared in a Streetsblog L.A. article about testing at the defunct Exide plant, raising questions about the size of the contaminated area during a community meeting.
Fund for Environmental Health and Safety grantee, Citizen Coalition for a Safe Community (CCSC), appeared in an article about a series of earthquakes in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood, not far from urban oil wells. Though seismologists say the quakes are not connected to drilling, CCSC geologist, Tom Williams, raised concerns in the L.A. Times about unusual seismic activity in the area. My Fox L.A.’s report on the quakes also mentioned CCSC.
A Daily Breeze article on a meeting over contested oil drilling operations in Carson quoted a statement from Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) and Food and Water Watch, both Fund for Environmental Health and Safety grantees. The groups pointed out the danger at the heart of oil extraction.
Eco Watch reported on faith leaders who are calling for an end to fracking. A statement from Reverend Kelvin Sauls of Fund for Environmental Health and Safety grantee, Holman United Methodist Church, demanding action from Governor Jerry Brown appeared in an article and video clip.