Cultivating an Energy Conscious South LA

By Erick Huerta on

As Maria Dubon and Landry Thomas make their way down the street, they peer inside businesses looking at light fixtures and exit signs. Maria and Landry are SCOPE members and trained Energy Service Representatives (ESR) for the Los Angeles Department of Water who outreach to small businesses and churches in the South LA community to let them …

Engaging Families in Water and Energy Conservation through the Gang Alternatives Program

By Erick Huerta on

As part of our on-going work in the South LA community, SCOPE has been connecting with members and partner organizations to highlighting the importance of being energy efficient. This is a citywide effort to educate and spotlight the work communities are doing to fight larger issues like climate change, while building resiliency and sustainability locally. For …

Anita Thomas

By Erick Huerta on

Her home is more than 30 years old, so for SCOPE member and South Los Angeles resident Anita Thomas, finding cost effective solutions to maintain her home is a constant struggle. That’s why when she first learned about the free Home Energy Improvement Program from the Department of Water and Power; she didn’t think twice …

Oscar Lopez

By Erick Huerta on

Oscar Lopez While having his feet firmly planted in the present, Oscar Lopez also has his sights in the future. A SCOPE member since 2005, Oscar has participated and volunteered in everything from phone banking, door knocking, to attending rallies. It is that very same passion and commitment to his community that have also lead …

2014 Summer Leadership Academy

By Erick Huerta on

The story of South LA is consistently being told. High unemployment, rising housing costs and little to no good job opportunities is how the current chapter reads. Once an area with a strong industrial area that provided many middle-class jobs for its residents, South LA is now has mostly part-time and minimum wage jobs that …

Words from SCOPE Alumni: Deepak Pateriya, Chief of Staff at the Center for Community Change

By Erick Huerta on

“If we’re going to achieve real economic justice in this country, there needs to be a profound shift in our general political consciousness, and we have to start by dismantling certain myths,” says Deepak Pateriya. “People are not poor because they are lazy. And Capitalism is not the natural state of things. There are other …

MediCAL Offers Californians New Health Benefits, and SCOPE is Spreading the Word

By Erick Huerta on

Since the beginning of the year, there has been a record number of enrollment applications submitted for MediCAL, California’s state-support health insurance assistance program. This is no accident: When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect last October, a few key changes in the program occurred, and activists, organizers, healthcare counselors, and other county workers, …

Reforming Education in South LA: We Can Do It!

By Erick Huerta on

In the past 15 years, South LA’s families and have worked hard to overcome deficiencies in the Los Angeles Unified District 1 school system—deficiencies that have resulted in overcrowded schools, low matriculation rates, and poor college attendance. June’s Los Angeles Unified School District 1 school board election provided us with an historic opportunity to reshape …

One Year Anniversary: Does the Mayor’s agenda reflect LA’s pressing needs?

By Erick Huerta on

Budget processes often go unnoticed by the general public. But months or even years later community members feel the effects of fiscal decisions often made for them without their input.   Last month marked the completion of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s first year in office as well as the passage of his first city budget. How …

Celeste Godinez

By Erick Huerta on

Celeste Godinez At age 15, Celeste Godinez spent her weekends at the Long Beach Port watching the boats dock and the diesel big-rigs pull away leaving thick trails of exhaust behind them. Located in the Los Angeles Basin, the large shipping yard yields some of the worst pollution in the nation, with thousands of area residents facing serious …