From Frontlines to Headlines August 2016

by Crystal Shaw on August 16, 2016



Youth from the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition were among hundreds of young people of color who gathered at the State Capitol for a summit called "Free Our Dreams." The Sacramento Bee and KPFA described how youth met with representatives to call for equity and justice in education, policing and other issue areas.  



See the Los Angeles Sentinel and the Los Angeles Wave for more on the first ever People Power Convention. The event, hosted by Community Coalition brought community members and elected officials together for a variety of workshops on improving South L.A.



A coalition of California grassroots groups that includes Community Coalition scored a major victory in the campaign to secure full funding for state community programs promised by Prop 47. Read more in the Los Angeles Sentinel and Equal Voice.



Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN), a Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice grantee group, participated in a Black Lives Matter rally outside the LAPD headquarters addressing intersectional issues from the Pulse massacre in Orlando to the attacks in Dallas and recent police killings of African Americans. The Advocate has the story. Also see the Los Angeles Wave for a story on how LA CAN is challenging the L.A. Police Commission over the arrest of William Hayes, an 81-year-old Black activist.  Hayes was forcefully detained while offering public comment during a commission meeting after his speech was deemed “off-topic.”

My News L.A. reported on the requirements and criteria for determining who will serve on L.A. County’s new Civilian Oversight Commission, responsible for monitoring the Sheriff’s Department in light of numerous abuses. Nominees include 2013 Liberty Hill Leader to Watch, Rabbi Heather Miller, and Patrisse Cullors, founder of the Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice grantee, Dignity and Power Now. The article quoted Mark-Anthony Johnson of Dignity and Power Now who stressed that the Commission’s credibility in the community depends on choosing the right members. Also see quotes from Jayda Rasberry of Dignity and Power Now in an L.A. Weekly article investigating a spike in suicides at the California Institution for Women.

At a hearing on reforming California’s cash bail system for defendants awaiting trial, Zachary Norris of our Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice grantee group Ella Baker Center for Human Rights pointed out the consequences faced by people who cannot afford bail, such as losing housing and jobs. Read more in the L.A. Times.



The Asian Journal reported that the Los Angeles City Council has named June Immigrant Heritage Month and turned to Angelica Salas of CHIRLA and Aquilina Soriano-Versoza of the Pilipino Workers Center for expert opinions. According to LGBT Weekly, the California State Assembly soon took the measure statewide.  

Following a Supreme Court decision that let a lower court’s ruling to block DAPA stand, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) held a rally and vigil in downtown Los Angeles for impacted community members to speak out. Visit CBS Los Angeles for more and see Capital and Main for political background on the case. Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition (LBIRC) also commented in the Long Beach Post

A piece in The Nation on how grassroots groups from many different issue areas are converging against Trump discussed CHIRLA and the group’s protests against the Republican candidate. According to Voice of America, CHIRLA is also taking part in a campaign to register voters for the upcoming election.




In an ongoing effort to curb dangerous neighborhood drilling in South L.A., Fund for Environmental Health and Safety grantee Redeemer Community Partnership submitted a petition to the City of Los Angeles calling for the Jefferson drill site to be enclosed in a protective structure. The L.A. Times article also cites a report by Community Health Councils, another Fund for Environmental Health and Safety grantee. A story on oil drilling in low-income communities of color, featured in Fox News Latino, quoted Niki Wong of Redeemer Community Partnership and cited figures from Liberty Hill’s Drilling Down Report.

An article in the Urban Land Institute’s online magazine discussed how Pacoima Beautiful is participating in plans to revitalize part of Van Nuys Blvd with community health in mind.

An L.A. Weekly article on air quality hazards posed by Southern California wildfires turned to scientists from Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) to explain how climate change is making the danger worse.

A Long Beach Press Telegram report on community opposition to a huge railyard proposed for construction in Wilmington quoted Mark Lopez of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ), who pointed out nearby residents' environmental concerns. EYCEJ organizer, Jan Victor Andosan, also appeared in a Press Telegram article, calling for greater attention to health risks posed by pollution from the Port of Long Beach. Read more on EYCEJ in an L.A. Times report on the environmental justice community of Maywood, which quoted organizer Xugo Lujan on the prevalence of polluting industries in the neighborhood and surrounding low-income communities of color. 



Members of the Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Coalition joined LGBTQ groups at a vigil for the victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando. See the Inland Empire Community News for more.





Yes Magazine reported on how domestic workers are winning fair wages by organizing through worker centers. The piece focuses on the story of domestic worker and Pilipino Workers Center member, Myrla Baldonado.



Several Liberty Hill organizing partners including Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and the Los Angeles Black Worker Center participated in a community forum with Metro’s CEO to discuss transit, displacement and workers rights in South L.A. The Los Angeles Sentinel has the story.

A new report from ACCE and other grassroots groups examined how the financial industry most often targets women of color when it comes to predatory lending, student loan debt and other financial burdens. See Salon for a breakdown of the report’s findings.


A KQED article on homelessness looked at L.A.’s Skid Row and quoted Pete White of LA CAN on how criminalizing the homeless is a counterproductive approach.



In an L.A. Weekly article on City Council’s aim to regulate Airbnb, Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) explained how short term rentals are exacerbating an already extreme housing crisis.

After pushback from community members and CES, developers withdrew plans to evict tenants from a historic Hollywood building and convert it into a hotel. Read about the win in CityWatch.


Concerned with rising rents and displacement, Housing Long Beach is pushing for better tenant protections. Read about the group’s recent work in the Long Beach Gazette and the Long Beach Post.


The Los Angeles Wave reported on plans to redevelop the Jordan Downs public housing complex in Watts, which would create mixed use space and cater to some higher income renters. Thelmy Perez of the Los Angeles Human Right to Housing Collective raised concerns about current residents’ right to return, how the construction will impact tenants and lead contamination on the site.


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