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 …

Pushing Back Against Wage Theft

By Erick Huerta on

For many low-income workers, securing a decent hourly wage is the holy grail. Unfortunately, collecting on that promised wage all too often becomes a battle they are forced to fight alone, usually with no hope of recovering the lost pay. Last month, two members of City Council, Paul Koretz and Gil Cedillo, along with the …

SCOPE’s Members: The Foundation of Our Change

By Erick Huerta on

At SCOPE, a big part of our message is, and has always been, simply this: as residents of South LA, we are the ones who will make the change we seek. And we disseminate that message—throughout our community, to our city government, to businesses wanting to set up shop in our region—through the foundation of …

Breaking Down Political Jargon

By Laura Muraida on

    Breaking Down Political Jargon Earlier this month, SCOPE spent a week with students enrolled in Antioch University’s urban sustainability program to explore the history of taxes, the L.A. City budget, economic justice issues in South L.A., and the important work of making the political process accessible to members of our communities. I interviewed …

“Renters Make LA Work. It’s Time to Make LA Work for Renters.”

By Erick Huerta on

“Renters Make LA Work. It’s Time to Make LA Work for Renters.” Within a day after Mayor Eric Garcetti presented  his plans for revitalizing Los Angeles during his first term, media coverage of affordable housing issues—a topic conspicuously left out of his agenda—spread across news outlets. “Californians can’t afford their rents,” read the first line …

What’s Missing From the Mayor’s Agenda?

By Erick Huerta on

What’s Missing From the Mayor’s Agenda? On April 10, Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered his first State of the City address at the California Science Center, which focused on defining his “back to basics” agenda in Los Angeles. This is a talking point he’s used since before taking office last year—a phrase that suggests a strong …

Restoring Equity to the City Budget

By Erick Huerta on

Restoring Equity to the City Budget With two weeks to go before Mayor Eric Garcetti releases his proposed city budget for the next fiscal year, community members and representatives of nearly 18 Los Angeles organizations gathered on the steps of City Hall on March 21 to voice their concerns about the sluggish economy, and to …

The Corrections Budget: Where’s the Empathy for Those Who Need it Most?

By Laura Muraida on

The Corrections Budget: Where’s the Empathy? At the recent California Budget Project’s Raising the Bar Conference, an annual meeting of progressive leaders held in Sacramento, attendees worked to shape a policy agenda that creates shared prosperity in California. With an eye on the recent hard-won revenue increases and growing inequality across the state, the conference …

An Experiment 20 Years in the Making

By Gloria Walton on

An Experiment 20 Years in the Making “When we started AGENDA back in 1993, we characterized it as an experiment. Because we kind of knew where we wanted to go, but how to get there was less clear to us. This is still true today as we continue to build the movement for social justice.” …

California’s Prisons: Are They Fighting Crime, or Causing It?

By Erick Huerta on

California’s Prisons: Fighting Crime, or Causing It? In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California’s prisons were so overcrowded that the state was actually violating the 8th Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The ruling was based on the prison system subjecting inmates to the physical and psychological harm that arises when people …