In April, One LA held an event at St. Anthony’s Church in San Gabriel with Bishop Dave O’Connell and LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell. Several of his police captains also attended.
We had over 100 members in attendance and heard from Bishop O’Connell and others about the fear that families are facing throughout the parishes and elsewhere in the community. Sheriff McDonnell explained the department's official policies and addressed concerns pertaining to vulnerable communities. We agreed to have future meetings in order to discuss ways to ensure public safety.
Since this action, several meetings have been held by One LA and our sister organization, ICON, in local precincts to continue to build strong relationships between residents and the local captains.
One LA leaders flagged the need to address the prevalence of sex trafficking in local communities. The sheriff agreed to bring together One LA and his sex trafficking task force commander to lead future discussions about this issue.
Sheriff McDonnell has been invited to attend our Delegate’s Assembly on Sunday, July 16.
In March, several One LA leaders met with our City Attorney, Mike Feuer. We were there to discuss the city of LA’s relationship with the immigrant community. Several leaders raised concerns about the behavior of ICE agents – falsely representing themselves as police officers and the deportation of the undocumented. Mr. Feuer has been one of the first to speak out against this behavior and has written a letter to the director of ICE asking them to stop.
Many of our member institutions are living in fear because of the current mandate from the federal government. He is also aggressively going after "notarios" who mislead or overcharge undocumented families when they seek information about their rights. We informed him of the successful Know your Rights workshops that our One LA institutions are holding in our churches and clinics.
Mr. Feuer has agreed to attend our Delegates Assembly on Sunday, July 16. At this assembly, he will publicly commit to partnering with us as we continue our education and outreach in our efforts to prevent immigrants from being wrongfully detained and/or abused.
MEETING WITH THE MAYOR
On April 26, One LA leaders met with Mayor Eric Garcetti. The purpose of this meeting was to announce his signing of the Do Not Stand Idly By pledge and to discuss immigration and deportation issues in the context of public safety.
We had a conversation about the fears in our community and how the work we are doing coincides with the work of the Mayor’s office. They are doing outreach to the immigrant population, holding Know Your Rights workshops and legal clinics, and using libraries and other public facilities to work with green card holders regarding becoming a citizen. It was agreed that we would work with Linda Lopez from the Mayor's Office on this to coordinate our efforts, especially regarding citizenship.
We also discussed the topic of human trafficking. The Mayor is well-versed on this subject, and it is an issue that he and his wife are personally committed to addressing. He recommended that we work with the LAPD on this issue. Following the meeting, Brian Buchner (also from the Mayor's Office) reached out to One LA leader Sheila Thomas to ensure that a representative would be present at last month's Civic Academy in South LA.
Homelessness in our schools is clearly an issue close to the Mayor and is one of his top priorities. He is pushing a measure in the City Council for a “linkage fee” that developers will pay in order to build low-income housing. He would like One LA to talk to our city council members about supporting this idea.
Haddon Avenue Elementary School Principal Richard Ramos met with Lisa Salazar from the Mayor's Office after the meeting and will follow up with her regarding the homelessness issues his school is facing. We will also meet again with Lisa Salazar to discuss workforce development strategies, an issue One LA has been championing for a long time.
The commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth has become an epidemic in Los Angeles County. Los Angeles has been identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as one of the 13 highest intensity hubs for this victimization. Specifically, in South Los Angeles, the vicinity surrounding St. Brigid Catholic Church and Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, there is a high presence of human sexual trafficking.
One LA is partnering with St. Brigid and Holy Name of Jesus, along with our community and institutional partners, to confront the sexual exploitation of children and youth prevalent in South Los Angeles. In May, St. Brigid and Holy Name of Jesus hosted a Human Sex Trafficking Civic Academy. A panel (comprised of experts from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, District Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Victim Services, LAPD Human Trafficking Division, and Human Trafficking Advocate from Family Against Human Trafficking) discussed the issue at hand. In attendance were members of various clergies, parishioners, community and institutional partners, and representatives from the Office of Mayor Garcetti.
Our goal is to positively impact the lives of the vulnerable and exploited children and youth in South Los Angeles. This will be implemented through the following:
Increased community awareness of available resources and services;
Continued community engagement; and
Collaboration with the faith-based community, community leaders, and institutional partners.
On June 5, a group of 20 parents, Principal Maria Awakian of San Fernando Elementary School, and One LA’s education team went to the San Fernando City Council to share the extraordinary pressures on families to find safe, affordable housing in the city.
Three parents shared their stories and spoke in front of the council for the very first time. One out of eight children in schools in this area experience some degree of homelessness, and parents shared the difficulties children face in staying awake in class, disruptions from frequent moving, and other pressures due to a lack of safe and affordable housing.
The council was divided in their vision for implementing the state’s new policies regulating granny flats (often the only housing parents can find). The city of San Fernando also has a moratorium on building new housing that will be in effect until 2018. Leaders asked council members to meet with them in order to be included in this important conversation – recognizing that housing is a complicated issue and knowing that they will need to work with council members to come up with positive solutions.
The parent leaders who spoke on behalf of the group— Marina, Esmeralda, and Raul— were nervous but very energized after they spoke. The Mayor had extended the parents an invitation to speak, and they were well-regarded by the entire council. Two council members specifically recognized the parents and their eagerness to meet with One LA. Many parents stayed for the entire council meeting, waiting to see how the council would vote on implementing the granny flats regulations. The council voted to delay the decision, partly in order to receive more input from the community.
The parents demonstrated courage and decorum in a council meeting, as well as elevated the discourse on housing. They are eager to keep going!
One LA's education committee also conducted a number of research actions with LAUSD. In March, a delegation of parents, teachers, administrators, and community members met with Superintendent Michelle King. The schools in Pacoima and South Los Angeles shared their successes and their challenges. They focused their discussion on the issue of providing services for “newcomers,” who are students that have recently come to the United States and differ in age, educational experiences, and emotional needs. The schools requested that the Superintendent assist with gathering together a consortium of schools that face these same challenges so that teachers and administrators can think together about best practices. Ms. King agreed.
In April, we held research actions with the candidates for School Board District 4, Nick Melvoin and Steve Zimmer, the incumbent and School Board President. We felt it was important to continue our relationship with Mr. Zimmer and begin one with Mr. Melvoin so that whoever won would be aware of our interests. We had concerns about the amount of money funneled into a school board election and will continue to explore the donors and reasons for the money. During our conversation with Mr. Zimmer and one of his campaign staff, we became aware of groups working on a revision of Proposition 13 for school funding. We are now pursuing this issue.
One LA and the members of the Boyle Heights – Building Health Communities collaborative met with Dr. Mitch Katz on May 17. It was a productive meeting that discussed next steps and commitments to move our partnership forward.
The conversation addressed the barriers to mental health services for My Health LA participants and how we might make these services more accessible to patients. Dr. Katz encouraged One LA to continue to enroll people in this program, and he is open to considering new centers for off-site enrollment.
Through our work with My Health LA enrollments and the experience of enrollees in their first medical visits, we have identified some gaps in the services. Acknowledging these gaps, Dr. Katz has agreed to meet with personnel from Neighborhood Legal Services and clinics to address them.
He has also agreed to come to a future BH-BHC event and to a One LA Civic Academy on the current issues in health care policy such as Universal Care and the Single Payer legislation.
Dr. Katz will join us at the Delegate’s Assembly on Sunday, July 16. This will be a time to recognize our partnership and acknowledge the work we do together.
ORGANIZING 101 – A TWO-DAY IAF TRAINING
Saturday, June 24 & Sunday, June 25, 2017
Don Bosco Catholic High School
1151 San Gabriel Blvd.
Rosemead, CA 91770
This training will be offered in both English and Spanish. New and veteran leaders of One LA are encouraged to attend to learn the habits and practices of organizing.
For more information and to register, contact the One LA office at 213-743-0005. DELEGATES ASSEMBLY!
Sunday, July 16
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
St. Thomas the Apostle School
2632 W. 15th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
DELEGATES ASSEMBLY PLANNING AND REHEARSAL
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
One LA Office
515 W 27th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
DELEGATES ASSEMBLY DRESS REHEARSAL
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
St. Thomas the Apostle School
2632 W. 15th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
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