Frontlines to Headlines September

by Crystal Shaw on September 15, 2015



Our post-Labor Day round-up catches us up on media attention from August and early September. Policy-change wins in oil drilling regulation and the Los Angeles County minimum wage increase (following the City of L.A. in June) along with passage of the state wage theft legislation (now on Governor Brown’s desk) top the list.



New regulations from the South Coast Air Quality Management District require oil companies drilling in urban areas to cut back on noxious odors and give residents an easier way to complain. Liberty Hill-funded coalition Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling (STAND) is at the forefront of the resident movement, and in a report on the change, the Los Angeles Timesquoted Bahram Fazeli of coalition member Communities for a Better Environment.

The L.A. Times turned to Liberty Hill for background and data on another story about South L.A. residents battling oil companies over residential pollution. Aljazeera also covered a protest organized by STAND.




Alexandra Suh of Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), a key anchor group in the fight for passage of statewide wage theft enforcement bill AB 588, spoke to Southern California Public Radio as the bill passed both houses of the California State Legislature and headed to Governor Brown’s desk. (The Times chatted earlier with Alexandra in their “chat and a selfie” column.)

Passage and implementation of wage theft enforcement is a goal of a Liberty Hill partnership fund, the Fund for Equity and Economic Dignity (FEED), whose grantees include the Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund,mentioned in this L.A. Times story of the injustices workers experience through wage theft.

The County minimum wage increase spurred more coverage. A Wall Street Journal article about how the minimum wage increase will impact L.A.’s garment industry quoted Marissa Nuncio, director of the Garment Worker Center, who stressed the importance of curbing wage theft.

Huffington Post piece mentions the work L.A. VOICE andAlliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)have done to mobilize workers. In The Times also covered the County wage increase with a piece byACCE member, Martha Sanchez.







The story told of Trishawn Carey, an insulin-dependent diabetic and mentally ill homeless woman, includes two community organizations scrambling to just locate her after she once again faced “the system’s lapses.”  The L.A. Times recounts how Carey, facing life in prison for picking up a police baton during a high-profile police shooting, was ordered to be released to the care of a New Way of Life but was instead dropped off by sheriff’s deputies outside a hospital without her medications.Los Angeles Community Action Network (L.A. CAN) members finally located her back on Skid Row.



In response to another incident during which police officers used bean bag rounds and a Taser on a homeless man in a wheelchair,  L.A. CAN organizers criticized the use of force in various outlets including the Los Angeles Timesand CBS Los Angeles. For a more in-depth perspective on these issues, The Intercept, a national investigative journalism site, examined homelessness in Los Angeles, speaking to those living on the streets as well as Eric Ares of L.A. CAN, who criticized the criminalization of poverty.

Dignity and Power Now, one of the organizations receiving funding from ourRapid Response Fund for Racial Justice, appeared in a series of articles on policing and prisons. Director Patrisse Cullors pushed for new the new County Sherriff oversight commission to have subpoena power in one KPCC story; Mark-Anthony Johnson was quoted in another KPCC article on separation of law enforcement and mental health services, and in a My News L.A. article criticizing plans for new jail facilities in L.A. County.

Student activists with Fight for the Soul of the Cities, a Labor Community Strategy Center group, protested to demand a stronger stance from L.A. Unified School District condemning the program allowing school police to obtain military grade weapons.  L.A. School Report covered the story, and Strategy Centerdirector Eric Mann wrote a piece on the issue for CounterPunch.






KPCC covered the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC)’s new program to connect women with jobs, and how access to drivers licenses is improving opportunities for undocumented workers. The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin described how Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA)’s day labor programs have also attracted women.



Since undocumented immigrants became eligible for drivers licenses in California, applications skyrocketed. The New York Times spoke to Angelica Salas of Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) on the program. CHIRLA was also called upon to comment on Donald Trump for the L.A. Times, address a Bernie Sanders rally on the importance of immigration reform as described in the Guardian, and comment of the release of women and children from immigration detention centers to theL.A. Times.

Youth from the Filipino Migrant Center (FMC) took part in a seven week program aimed at developing leadership skills and understanding of Filipino culture. The Inquirerhas the story.  FMC also appeared in a Los Angeles Times article about Dream Summer, a program that works to develop the next generation of immigrant rights leaders, and paired one student with an internship at FMC.






LAUSD graduate Eduardo Pacheco received the Young Warriors Against Poverty scholarship to recognize his volunteer work with InnerCity Struggleand the Brothers, Sons, Selves coalition, helping to pass the School Climate Bill of Rights and Proposition 47.  The L.A. School Report has the story.




The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) appeared in several recent articles concerning tenants rights and affordable housing.  See the Los Angeles Daily News on a proposed Koreatown development, check KPCC to hear CES executive director Larry Gross take part in a panel on density and the housing shortage, and visit WEHOville to read Gross’s take on why the drought doesn’t mean landlords should pass water bills onto tenants.

Coverage in the Los Angeles Times of a federal judge’s decision to dismiss the City of L.A.’s lawsuit against Wells Fargo for predatory lending mentionedACCE, and the organization’s findings that excessive foreclosures cost the City money.




Pacoima Beautiful helped turn a neglected Pacoima street into a carless public plaza, and local residents celebrated.  See the Los Angeles Daily News andStreetsblog L.A. for coverage.



The Los Angeles Times and KPCCare covering the early stages of the cleanup of the recently closed Exide battery plant, which polluted Eastside neighborhoods for decades.  Both sources quoted Mark Lopez of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, who called attention to ongoing lead poisoning in impacted communities and pushed for greater outreach to residents in need of health services.

Reports in CityLabYubanet and TakePart about a plan to introduce an electric vehicle car-sharing program to low income L.A. neighborhoods mentioned T.R.U.S.T. South L.A.Communities for a Better Environment, and KIWA.



Members of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Islander Giving Circle, a giving circle hosted by Liberty Hill, held their annual meeting to discuss strategic giving in the Asian American community. See the L.A. Times for a report.


Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movementhelped organize a protest in Boyle Heights drawing attention to high rates of violence against transgender people. The Los Angeles Times and the Boyle Heights Beat have the story.



When an anti-LGBTQ rally took place in the San Gabriel Valley, API Equality-L.A. fought back, organizing a counter demonstration to elevate the voices of LGBTQ Asian Americans.  See Frontiers Media for coverage.

The public showing of a documentary about one person’s transgender experience featured Ezak Perez of Gender Justice L.A. who gave a talk on transgender issues after the film.  Get the story in the Moorpark Acorn.