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 …

1 in 4 Million: Telling the real story of LA

By Laura Muraida on

Once upon a time… We all know what follows this phrase. It’s a jumping off point from which we hear a story. But how do you start off a story that’s complex, with a laundry list of characters and countless plot twists and turns? Dr. Pop (aka organizer, planner, and professor Gilda Haas), along with …

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 …

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 …

“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 …

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 …

What Police Should Be Doing For Us—Not to Us

By Erick Huerta on

What Police Should Be Doing For Us—Not to Us Last week Vincent Warren, executive director of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, put the practice of Stop and Frisk in perspective: Speaking to Los Angeles residents gathered at Community Coalition’s headquarters on South Vermont Avenue, he invoked the memory of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed …

Poverty Is Rising… So Should Our Taxes.

By Manisha Vaze on

Poverty is Rising… So Should Our Taxes. Here’s a staggering statistic: According to a report released last fall by the Southern Education Foundation, nearly half of students in the U.S. public school system can now be described as low income, based on data collected in 2010-2011. And it’s only getting worse. The ranks of America’s …

Repower LA

By Erick Huerta on

Repower LA Three years ago, the city vowed to end its dependency on coal —a major air and water pollutant that results in severe asthma and even cancer—but cleaner energy sources are expensive to sustain. SCOPE and long-time ally LAANE, saw the potential for a three-fold solution: By harnessing the energy of environmental groups, organized labor, and …