Liberty Hill Foundation
L.A.'s social justice epicenter since 1976

News From the Frontlines

From Frontlines to Headlines! July

EDUCATION AND YOUTH JUSTICE

Members of the Los Angeles Board of Education, Nick Melvoin and Ref Rodriguez

 

Witness L.A. reports how Liberty Hill president/CEO and police commissioner, Shane Goldsmith's discovery of LAPD's pilot Juvenile Arrest Diversion Program resulted in more support. The Police Commission studied the program, which has achieved success helping juvenile offenders turn their lives around. Now Goldsmith hopes that drawing attention to the program will help it expand.

In 2015 Community Coalition sued LAUSD over misallocation of funds meant for underserved students, including English learners and foster youth. Now the district has approved a settlement that will direct money to the highest need schools. The Los Angeles Times has more.

Members of Youth Justice Coalition lobbied at the State Capitol in support of 10 bills that would help reform juvenile justice, including SB 607 which would end school suspensions for "willful defiance" in grades K-12, and SB 439, which would end prosecution of children under 12 and shift cases to Child Protective Services instead. The Los Angeles Sentinel has the story.

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POLICING AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Susan Burton being interviewed by Trevor Noah on the Daily Show

 

A New Way of Life founder and executive director, Susan Burton, appeared on the Daily Show to discuss her new book, "Becoming Ms. Burton," which chronicles the struggles that brought her through the criminal justice system and drove her to help other incarcerated women when she got out. Also see the Los Angeles Review of Books for a review.

A KPCC report on the progress of the Civilian Oversight Commission for the L.A. County Sheriff's Department quoted Mark-Anthony Johnson of Dignity and Power Now on why the commission needs subpoena power.

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IMMIGRATION

Young people wait outside CHIRLA's office for information on DACA

 

As Washington continues to threaten California's immigrant communities, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) is spotlighted as a resource and authority on immigration issues. L.A. Weekly included commentary from CHIRLA executive director, Angelica Salas and Liberty Hill advisor/USC professor, Manuel Pastor on Trump's repeal of DAPA. KPCC also quoted Salas on applying for DACA under the Trump administration. Another KPCC story quoted Joseph Villela of CHIRLA on a new state bill that stops cities and counties from renting out jail space for federal authorities to detain immigrants. CHIRLA also provided information, inspiration and production help to the team behind the film, "America; I Too," which screened at the Roxbury International Film Festival. See the Bay State Banner for more.

The Los Angeles City Council approved the Justice Fund, which sets aside money for access to legal services for low income immigrants facing deportation. ABS-CBN news covered the story with quotes from Myrla Baldonado of the Pilipino Workers Center.

Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)'s backing of a motion that would require contractors with the City of Los Angeles to disclose if they have submitted bids to help construct Trump's border wall is covered by CityWatch, LAist and L.A. Weekly.

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ECONOMIC JUSTICE

Leaders of L.A. worker centers address the press

 

As the City of L.A.'s minimum wage makes another jump toward $15 per hour, organizations including Pilipino Workers Center, Clean Carwash Campaign, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), Los Angeles Black Worker Center, Restaurant Opportunities Center Los Angeles (ROC-LA) and Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) are banding together as the L.A. Worker Center Network to raise awareness about the wage hike and help workers protect themselves against wage theft. CBS Los Angeles and the Asian Journal have the story.

Commentary from Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) staff appeared in several recent articles: in an L.A. Times story on how port drivers are commonly misclassified as independent contractors, an L.A. Weekly piece about L.A.'s low income workers, and reports from NBC and CBS about how Airbnb is taking rental housing off the market.

Equal Voice reported on the opening of Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN)'s new Skid Row center that will combine space for organizing, arts, gardening and more. LA CAN also commended the City's approval of a $500,000 settlement in favor of homeless residents who had their belongings illegally confiscated by private security. Studio City Patch has more.

A KPCC article mentioned how the Warehouse Workers Resource Center, a Liberty Hill grantee dedicated to improving conditions for warehouse workers in Southern California, is fighting to protect workers from extremely hot temperatures in industrial facilities. Another KPCC report covered how the center is addressing wage theft.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) is among community groups fighting a merger between two local banks. Activists say the merger plan falls short of federal standards requiring merging banks to lend in low income communities.

Radio stations, KPCC and KQED spoke with representatives of Union de Vecinos as they covered ongoing gentrification issues in Boyle Heights.

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ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Cyclists in Southeast Los Angeles

 

A CityWatch article on the toxic exposure faced by residents of freeway adjacent housing quoted Michele Prichard, director of Liberty Hill's Common Agenda program, who has long advocated for reducing Angelenos' exposure to freeway pollution.

In the ongoing battle against the merger of two massive oil refineries in Wilmington and Carson, Communities for a Better Environment has filed a lawsuit to block the plan, citing an insufficient environmental report. The Daily Breeze has more.

LAANE's Don't Waste L.A. coalition helped push the City of Los Angeles to adopt a program called "recycLA" which will bring major environmental improvements to the city's waste industry. See Capital and Main for more.

USA Today reported on L.A.'s new electric vehicle sharing program, which provides affordable car sharing in low income neighborhoods. Brady Collins of Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA) discussed how the program could improve quality of life for underserved residents.

EGP News explained how East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice is pushing for Measure M revenue to fund safety improvements for cyclists and pedestrians in Southeast L.A. The organization also launched the hashtag, #BikeToResistance, to publicize the hazards cyclists face on their daily commutes. See Streetsblog L.A. for more.

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GENDER JUSTICE

A memorial at an L.A. LGBT Center facility to the Pulse massacre victims

 

Apolonio Morales of CHIRLA participated in a forum on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, discussing the need to unify diverse communities for justice. The Los Angeles Blade has the story.