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News From the Frontlines

Frontlines to Headlines Spring 2015

LINKS TO RECENT NEWS MEDIA ARTICLES ON LIBERTY HILL AND  THE ORGANIZERS WE SUPPORT

CHANGE

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When Section 8 residents of color in the Antelope Valley faced widespread discrimination and harassment by law enforcement, Liberty Hill made a rapid response grant to The Community Action League to bring community members together to push for justice. Residents took legal action and now the L.A. County Board of Supervisors has agreed on a settlement that will curb discriminatory practices and grant monetary compensation to the victims. See the L.A. Times for recent developments, and hear from the families whose rights were violated in a video “How Liberty Hill changed Antelope Valley” created by a Community Action League leader to thank Liberty Hill for its support.

 

POLICING & CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
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Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) helped organize a rally in downtown L.A. seeking justice for the hundreds of people killed by Los Angeles police since 2000. Demonstrators carried cardboard coffins decorated with the names of victims of police violence. Check NBC Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Daily News, and Annenberg TV News for the story.

Los Angeles Community Action Network (L.A. CAN) has frequently been cited in news stories on policing. The most significant mention was L.A. CAN founder Pete White’s comments in a far-ranging Harper’s Magazine analysis of “broken windows” policing and how police departments have used technology to become increasingly militarized. Other mentions were in an L.A. Times story after the police-shooting death of Skid Row resident Charley Leundeu Keunang, describing L.A. CAN founder Pete White’s calls for an independent investigation. Becky Dennison was quoted in coverage by the L.A. Times, Raw Story and others, of a new report finding that homelessness in L.A. has increased despite annual expenditure of more than $100 million by the City on homelessness, most of which was spent on policing.

According to NBC News, Khmer Girls in Action (KGA) was among the Asian American groups that signed a national open letter calling for justice for Akai Gurley, an unarmed African American man who was killed by the NYPD in 2014. A KPCC report about Long Beach Cambodian Americans reflecting on the events of the Khmer Rouge quoted KGA executive director, Lien Cheun on how trauma can affect multiple generations.
L.A. Voice, Community Coalition, and All of Us or None were among the groups that sponsored a town hall meeting to discuss implementation of Prop 47, which downgrades certain nonviolent low level felonies to misdemeanors and has resulted in thousands of prison releases and potential changes to individual criminal records. Check Witness L.A. for the story and see coverage from New American Media that also mentions L.A. Voice.

 

GENDER JUSTICE
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Activists held a May Day rally in West Hollywood that emphasized the intersection between immigration and LGBTQ issues. Frontiers Media covered the story with quotes from Yordy Cancino of GSA Network and Eileen Ma of API-Equality L.A.

 

IMMIGRATION

On May Day people took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles for marches that addressed labor issues as well as immigration and police violence in communities of color. Several news sources covering the demonstrations quoted activists from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA). See The Guardian, CBS Los Angeles, EGP News, the Los Angeles Daily News, Bustle.com, UPI.com, and Gulf Live for more.
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A Los Angeles Daily News article about how a minimum wage increase will impact undocumented workers quoted Jacqueline Mejia of CHIRLA, while street vendors held a rally outside the LAPD’s headquarters to protest harassment by law enforcement and call for citywide legalization of their trade. Xiomara Corpeño of CHIRLA spoke out in support, as reported by the Daily News, EGP News and others.

Quoting Joseph Villela of CHIRLA, Fox Latino reported on California lawmakers presenting a series of bills that would increase rights and protections for undocumented immigrants. Meanwhile, on the national front, CHIRLA is facilitating a series of meetings between members of Congress and families with mixed immigration statuses, in order to draw attention to the struggles these families face. The Press Enterprise has the story.
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The debate continued with CBS Los Angeles noting CHIRLA’s support of California Attorney General Kamala Harris’s statement that undocumented immigrants are not criminals and Daily Kos and Buzz Feed reports of Angelica Salas of CHIRLA’s calls for statements from candidate Hilary Clinton on immigration, and prompt action on the issue.

In a round-up of immigration-issue news: Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA) and Pilipino Worker Center (PWC) reach out to Asian American immigrants who qualify for DACA, encouraging them to enroll. Asian Journal has the story. Orange County Weekly reports that Immigrant Youth Coalition (IYC) helped organize a concert and demonstration outside the Santa Ana City Jail to protest the pending deportation of Omara Gomez-Aviles. And the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin covered a Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC) event celebrating the success of undocumented immigrants who earned their drivers licenses under the new law AB 60.
ECONOMIC JUSTICE

A group of women held a fifteen day fast outside City Hall to support a higher minimum wage, including Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) member, Martha Sanchez. Think Progress quoted Sanchez on how hunger is an all too common experience among low wage workers. Check NBC News for more.
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The L.A. Times noted CLEAN Carwash Campaign’s opposition in an article about community resistance to a proposed new carwash in Highland Park, across the street from a unionized carwash.

More and more tenants are being evicted from rent-controlled apartments under the Ellis Act, which allows landlords to take their properties off the rental market provided they meet certain qualifications. KPCC’s coverage quotes from Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) executive director, Larry Gross. A Daily Breeze article on activists working to lower parking ticket fines talked to Larry Gross about disparities in how street sweeping tickets affect neighborhoods, and an NBC Los Angeles piece on how Southern California rents continue to climb quoted him as well.

Members of the Los Angeles Black Worker Center (LABWC) demonstrated at a downtown L.A. construction site to call for greater employment opportunities for Black workers. My News L.A. and Westside Today were among outlets covering the story. Meanwhile, according to Press TV, City officials have acknowledged a LABWC study which found widespread discrimination against Black workers in construction site hiring practices. Also see the Los Angeles Daily News for a piece by LABWC founder, Lola Smallwood Cuevas, on the relationship between racial justice and economic justice.

People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER) appeared in an L.A. Times article about vacation rental websites such as Airbnb, which POWER and other community groups criticized for removing rentals from the market.

California will now observe Larry Itliong Day on October 25 to honor the Filipino American labor leader. Inquirer.net has the story, and mentions the Pilipino Worker Center (PWC)’s affordable housing development, also named for Larry Itliong.

KPFK’s Uprising Radio and KPCC’s Air Talk both hosted members of Restaurant Opportunities Center Los Angeles (ROC-LA) to discuss the importance of including tipped workers in a minimum wage increase.
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The Long Beach Post published an update on efforts by Housing Long Beach (HLB) to establish a Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) in Long Beach, which would allow the City to hold rent from delinquent landlords until units are brought up to code. HLB executive director, Kerry Gallagher, also penned a piece on the importance of affordable housing for the Grunion Gazette.

 

ENVIRONMENT

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Eric Mann, director of the Labor Community Strategy Center (LCSC) took time during his Voices from the Frontlines show on KPFK to deliver a tribute to Michele Prichard, one of 2015’s Upton Sinclair Dinner honorees.

See Good Magazine for ideas on organizing community cleanups from Yvette Lopez-Ledesma of Clean Up Green Up organizing partner, Pacoima Beautiful.

A Streets Blog L.A. article about the contested 710 Freeway extension and other related construction projects quoted Mark Lopez of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ).
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A Think Progress article about an oil refinery explosion in Torrance last February quoted Julia May of Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), who called for a more detailed investigation into the danger of the ash given off by the blast that coated the surrounding area.

Following the closure of the contaminated Exide plant in Vernon members of EYCEJ, CBE and others celebrated at a community meeting. However, activists from the two organizations are demanding that Exide face repercussions for decades of polluting surrounding communities. EGP News and Streets Blog L.A. have the story.

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The L.A. Times covered a recent protest against an oil drilling site in a residential neighborhood near USC, where residents are concerned about noise, noxious odors, and dangerous chemicals. The story includes a quote from Richard Parks of Fund for Environmental Health and Safety grantee, Redeemer Community Partnership.

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