Frontlines to Headlines November 2015

by Crystal Shaw on November 19, 2015
Liberty Hill has released a new report, called Drilling Down, about urban oil drilling practices that are having serious health and environmental consequences in low income communities of color. The Los Angeles Daily News covered the report’s findings, while a Los Angeles Times report on the issue quoted Liberty Hill Program Manager, Daniela Simunovic.  Curbed Los Angeles also provided coverage.
Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) is involved in a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles over urban oil drilling regulations which are enforced in wealthy neighborhoods and waived in low income communities of color.  Among the plaintiffs are local teens who have suffered health problems from the environmental impact of oil drilling.  See reports from the Los Angeles Times and KTLA.
KCET covered an East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) film and photo exhibition focusing on the Southeast L.A. communities along the Los Angeles River.  EYCEJ also appeared in the L.A. Times and the Hellenic Shipping News in articles about how pollution at the Port of Los Angeles has been reduced to acceptable levels, despite the port's failure to carry out a number of measures designed to protect surrounding communities.  KPCC also mentioned the group in a piece on problems with the cleanup of properties surrounding the toxic Exide plant in Vernon shut down earlier this year.  Finally, EYCEJ is tackling discount stores who have been found to sell products containing toxic chemicals. ABC and Annenburg TV News have the story.
T.R.U.S.T. South L.A. is among the supporters of a plan to connect present and future South L.A. light rail lines with a bike and pedestrian pathway.  StreetsBlog L.A. has the story.
Liberty Hill Chief Program Officer Jennifer Epps-Addison and Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) CEO Gloria Walton co-authored a piece for the Huffington Post about why America needs a “New Deal for people of color.”
SCOPE held a forum to educate community members about proposed DWP fee increases.  Erick Huerta pointed out to CBS Los Angeles that for many folks living on the brink of homelessness, the rate increases could prove especially difficult. 
Intersections South L.A. reported on a gathering of community members in South Los Angeles who are opposed to a luxury development in the area which they fear could drive gentrification. The article quoted Jorge Rivera of Housing Long Beach who spoke out in favor of affordability and for local residents to be able to stay and enjoy development in their community.
The Daily Trojan covered a protest at USC against high tuition, low faculty wages and high executive salaries.  The demonstration also addressed the university’s impact in the surrounding community and featuring Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and CLEAN Carwash Campaign.
Al Jazeera profiled the Los Angeles Black Worker Center (LA-BWC), discussing the center’s approach to combining job skills training for Black workers with community organizing.  
Beyond Chron reported on how national movements for rent control can combat gentrification and displacement, mentioning Coalition for Economic Survival, and the organization’s fight against the Ellis Act, which has paved the way for a wave of evictions in Los Angeles. 
A KPCC piece on the formation of a new L.A. city office to deal with wage theft quoted Alexandra Suh of the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA) who emphasized the importance of community organizations in encouraging wage theft victims to come forward with their claims.
Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) and KIWA are both members of the Alliance for Community Transit -Los Angeles Coalition (ACT-LA) which organized a rally at Grand Park to call for transit-oriented development that prevents displacement and brings jobs and walkability to local communities.  See Streetsblog L.A. for the story.
A U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) task force on workplace harassment convened a panel in Los Angeles to discuss strategies for safer work environments.  The National Law Review covered the story and quoted Restaurant Opportunities Center Los Angeles (ROC-LA) organizer, Sophia Cheng, who pointed out management’s role in making workplaces harassment-free.
Federal agencies have “banned the box” and will no longer ask about criminal history on job applications.  All of Us or None founder Dorsey Nunn praised the development in the San Francisco Bay View.
Patrisse Cullors, founder of Black Lives Matter and Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice grantee Dignity and Power Now wrote a piece for the Huffington Post discussing the epidemic of police violence against people of color.
A Visalia Times-Delta  article about proposed changes to California’s three strikes law drew support from Emily Harris of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice grantee.
The Daily Breeze examined how police patrol homeless encampments amid L.A.’s worsening homeless crisis, turning to Steve Diaz of the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA-CAN) for a quote.
The Los Angeles Downtown News reported on the city of L.A.’s debate over legalizing street vending.  The article mentions the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA)’s recommendation against allowing neighborhoods to decide whether opt for legal street vending, which the organization says has failed in the past.
The Inland Empire Community News profiled the Inland Empire chapter of the Immigrant Youth Coalition (IYC) on the group’s five year anniversary, and highlighted the young organizers’ accomplishments.  The article also gave a nod to the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC)’s work in the region, and story appeared in the Press Enterprise as well.  The Inland Empire Community News also covered a hunger strike taking place at the Adelanto Detention Center, where undocumented immigrants are detained.  IYC demonstrated in support of the strikers.
According to the L.A. Sentinel, Black Women for Wellness held its 14th annual Wellness Reproductive Justice Conference, which addressed health care, self-esteem, criminal justice and other issues that influence reproductive health for Black women. The organization is also working to support a bill expanding information about safe abortions (see Al Jazeera), and investigating toxic chemicals faced by beauty salon workers on the job (see UCLA Newsroom).
Californians for Justice member Rosa De León penned a piece for the Daily Democrat about her experiences as an undocumented English learner who went on to campaign against high school exit exams.
InnerCity Struggle and Community Coalition are among the organizations pushing for more community outreach in the search for LAUSD’s next superintendent. L.A. School Report has the story.