Announcing Liberty Hill's Agenda for a Just Future

by Shane Goldsmith on November 09, 2017

It’s been one year since election night—one year of heartbreak, outrage, tumultuousness and anything but justice. During the same year, I have witnessed some of the most momentous and moving displays of solidarity and resilience in my lifetime. In the face of unprecedented threats from our own president, Los Angeles is standing strong.

In the months following the inauguration, Liberty Hill and our grantees knew there was no time to waste. We launched a new round of Rapid Response Fund grants, this time supporting racial justice work by funding organizing against deportations and hate crimes. Liberty Hill trained a new cohort of progressive leaders through the Wally Marks Leadership Institute for Change and the Commissions Training Program. Our Fund for Change grantees sprang into action, defending communities in Los Angeles. The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), for instance, earned a national media spotlight over the past 12 months by offering legal services for immigrants, educating community members about their rights and holding demonstrations. At the Women’s March, LAX protest, May Day actions and many other political events this year, Liberty Hill grantee organizations and their members were onsite, organizing and representing the resilient spirit of L.A.

While the entire nation finds itself in a troubling time, Liberty Hill’s focus is, and always has been, Los Angeles. Moving forward, we believe the best way to resist the president’s agenda is to concentrate our energy and our strategy on L.A.; home to large immigrant populations, visible LGBTQ communities and the very type of bold diversity that Washington is attacking. That’s why Liberty Hill is proud to announce the Agenda for a Just Future, a new policy initiative to make Los Angeles a beacon for the nation by tackling some of our region’s most challenging problems. With the Agenda for a Just Future we will:

  • End Youth Incarceration as We Know It
    • In low income communities of color, the school-to-prison pipeline puts too many young people in jail instead of college. Youth need rehabilitation, education and second chances—not incarceration. They are the future of Los Angeles.
  • Fight For a Roof Over Every Head
    • As housing costs rise in Los Angeles, longtime residents are being displaced and the homeless population is growing. The people who make up L.A.’s past and present deserve to be part of its future.
  • Eliminate Oil Drilling Near Homes and Schools
    • 70% of L.A.’s active oil wells are located within 1,500 feet of a home, school or hospital. Oil drilling facilities are also concentrated in low income communities of color, where residents face dangerously poor air quality.
    • With threats to the EPA and climate change denial coming out of Washington, protecting our environment has never been more critical.

Even with our focus on L.A., we must pick our battles. Liberty Hill’s new initiative prioritizes campaigns that are poised to move and create lasting change for some of L.A.’s most marginalized communities. We are aiming for victories that not only defend Los Angeles, but advance bold plans to create a better region for future generations. We are doubling down on L.A.’s reputation as a home for progressive values and pushing our vision for a just Los Angeles forward. With Agenda for a Just Future, Liberty Hill will fight for our youth, our homes and our health. We know we can win, but we can’t do it alone. Stand with us.

Peace & Progress

Shane Murphy Goldsmith