Temple Emanuel hosted the conference Immigration: Moving Beyond the Partisan Divide with special participation from Rabbi Sarah Bassin, Bishop David O'Connell, Shukry Cattan of the Tiyya Foundation, and the Industrial Areas Foundation National Co-Director, Ernesto Cortes, Jr.
Conference attendees discussed the moral and economic arguments in support of immigration, and highlighted local efforts to support immigrants and refugees. A project initiated by Temple Judea and Our Lady of Grace on citizenship classes inspired many leaders to consider following suit.
One LA Partners with Mayor on $100 Million Affordable Housing Fund & Launches Listening Campaign to Shape Implementation
500 One LA-IAF leaders assembled with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to discuss implementation of the recently passed linkage fee for affordable housing at St. Agnes Catholic Church, and to report on what is happening in their neighborhoods. Representing the first community organization with which the Mayor met, leaders won his commitment to more deeply collaborate with the organization in the next few months.
Leaders told poignant stories about illegal evictions (and threats of eviction) from garage apartment conversions in Pacoima, families with children hiding their homelessness in West LA, and youth and senior citizens battling despair in the face of daunting odds near La Placita Catholic Church downtown. Leaders also decried longtime South LA residents facing displacement from rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods and the rising homeless rate among South LA students in LAUSD.
Said Fr. David Matz of St. Agnes Catholic, “All of us can see that homelessness is increasing. But, hidden beneath the surface is a growing affordability crisis that affects millions more.” Debra Silverman of Temple Isaiah in West LA argued, “I want my community to reflect the diversity of Los Angeles. I want to live in a neighborhood open to all, even if they cannot afford market-value housing….And I know a lot of my neighbors feel the same way.”
Last December, the Los Angeles City Council passed a linkage fee on new development, projected to generate $100 million per year for the City of Los Angeles’ affordable housing trust fund. The linkage fee was a major focus of leaders’ engagement with Mayor Garcetti at the One LA Delegates Assembly in July 2017, and its implementation was a focus of this one.
One LA pledged to organize listening sessions with City Councilmembers in the San Fernando Valley, Downtown, West LA and South LA to shape the implementation of the linkage fee during the next few months. Leaders also won a commitment from the mayor to include La Placita leaders in planning meetings for a new pilot project that will make on-site social and mental health services available to people staying in City short-term housing.
The Mayor pledged to meet with One LA in three months to hear concrete proposals that emerge from the listening sessions, and to continuing to work with One LA to identify opportunities for more affordable housing construction.
One LA Wins Support of Mayor Garcetti; LA Becomes First Major City in US to Sign On to Gun Safety Campaign
In July 2017, 500 leaders of One LA-IAF organized a public assembly with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and secured his support for the 'Do No Stand Idly By' (DNSIB) campaign for gun safety.
The 'Do Not Stand Idly By' campaign is a market-based approach to pressure gun manufacturers to prevent illegal gun sales and utilize gun safety technologies.
After One LA called on the Mayor to “make sure we have a city of safety, a city of justice and a city of responsibility,” Mayor Garcetti committed the City of Los Angeles to leverage its purchasing power to encourage the development of safer (i.e. child-proof and theft-proof) guns among manufacturers and to continue its efforts to compel greater responsibility among gun sellers and owners.
In securing Mayor Garcetti's pledge to support the DNSIB campaign, One LA leaders enabled Los Angeles to become the first major city in the United States to support the campaign. , Houston became the second major American city to sign on, at the urging of sister organization The Metropolitan Organization.
'Do Not Stand Idly By' is a campaign initiated by faith leaders and citizens from sister organizations affiliated with the Metro Industrial Area Foundation.
500 One LA delegates from 28 member institutions assembled to hold themselves, and elected officials, accountable on a Sunday afternoon in July. Delegates ratified a new strategy team, updated the bylaws, and pledged increased dues.
In response to compelling stories, and the presence of hundreds of delegates, Mayor Eric Garcetti committed to working with One LA on concrete solutions to the affordable housing crisis, including a proposed linkage fee that would generate $75 Million per year towards affordable housing construction. Garcetti not only became the first mayor of a major city to sign on to the national IAF-initiated “Do Not Stand Idly By” campaign for safer guns, he additionally pledged to persuade other mayors to sign on.
After several young people shared stories about their immigration experience, the President of the LAUSD school board, Ref Rodriguez, pledged to support One LA and the Superintendent’s efforts to create ways for the district to provide support to young “newcomers” (recent immigrant arrivals & unaccompanied minors).
Regarding the treatment of 190,000 immigrant victims of crime (mostly women and children) who qualify for and are awaiting U-visas, Sheriff Jim McDonnell committed to working with One LA and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to place a stay on their deportations. U-visas are reserved for victims of crimes who are wiling to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.
Additional officials in attendance who pledged their support included: LA City Attorney Mike Feuer; Mitch Katz, director of LA County Health Services; LA Police Deputy Chief Robert Arcos; and Bishop David O’Connell, San Gabriel Region of the Archdiocese.
[In photo, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti publicly pledges to support One LA agenda of issues. Photo Credit: Rafael Paz Parra]
Crisis de Vivienda, Univision 34
Additional Photos, Rafael Paz Parra
Video Preview, Rafael Paz Parra
As a way to act on the extraordinary pressures they experience around housing, San Fernando Elementary school leaders (including twenty parents and their Principal, Maria Awakian) and One LA’s education team testified before the San Fernando City Council.
Publicly speaking for the very first time, three parents shared how 1 of 8 children in San Fernando area schools experience some degree of homelessness, often resulting in disruptions of academic progress and difficulties in staying awake for class.
The council is currently divided in their vision for implementing the state’s new policies regulating granny flats, which is often the only housing parents can find.
Leaders asked council members to meet with them in the near future so that they can be included in the creation of solutions to this complex issue. The parents who spoke on behalf of the group were publicly recognized by various members of the council.
The council ultimately delayed the vote, creating more time for potential solutions.
In the first three month of the year, One LA leaders engaged over 1,000 LA County residents through fifteen ‘Know Your Rights’ civic academies hosted by member institutions. In partnership with One LA member Neighborhood Legal Services of LA, leaders educated participants on the the implications of recent presidential executive orders including the enforcement of immigration regulations, as well as the Muslim and Refugee Travel Ban. ”Train the Trainer” seminars have also been organized to teach institutional leaders about the civil and due process rights to which all US residents are entitled, regardless of immigration status.
The newly re-energized Immigration Strategy Team is now crafting a vision / action plan they will take to LA County and state-elected leaders to ensure that all families, including blended immigrant families – those with US citizens and unauthorized immigrants – are protected and treated fairly. This task force also plans to challenge unconstitutional orders and implementation practices by federal immigration and other law enforcement agencies.
One LA leaders celebrated a second election victory for the most vulnerable in Los Angeles County after the March 7 election. Together, with a coalition of other organizations and with the support of County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, leaders worked to pass Measure H— a quarter cent sales tax to fund critical services for homeless populations as well as homelessness prevention for those at risk.
Following successful efforts to pass Measure HHH in November, a county-wide ballot measure to fund the construction of housing for the homeless, One LA leaders rallied again to support Measure H in 2017. Expecting low turnout, leaders organized civic academies and information sessions in their congregations to encourage members to vote.
One day prior to the election, One LA leaders joined Rabbi Dara Frimmer of Temple Isaiah and Fr. Arturo Corral of La Placita in lending moral authority to the measure at a press conference in which they stood flanked by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Supervisors Mark Ridley Thomas and Sheila Kuehl.
Measure H passed by only 2 percentage points, approximately 16,000 votes, driving home the lesson that all politics is local, and every vote counts.
One LA Reaches Milestone Healthcare Enrollment of 146,000, Celebrates Expansion of Enrollment by 54,000
Before a packed audience of 200 health care leaders and Dr. Mitch Katz, Director of the LA County Department of Health,One LA celebrated the milestone enrollment of 146,000 Los Angeles residents into My Health LA, 8,000 of whom were enrolled by One LA leaders themselves at their institutions. My Health LA is a program One LA leaders compelled the County to create to cover undocumented residents and leaders ultimately secured an additional $6 million in funding and negotiated an agreement from LA County to conduct healthcare enrollment at One LA member institutions. 350 trained leaders held over 100 events to enroll the 8,000 residents.
At the celebration, Dr. Katz agreed to authorize funding to expand healthcare enrollments to reach an additional 54,000 residents!
Building on a four-year campaign, One LA leaders and their allies shaped, pushed for and passed Measure M to raise $120 Billion for new rail lines, improved bus services, and street and highway projects which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and make finding and getting to a job easier for working poor families across LA County.
Passing this bond measure required meeting a challenging two-thirds voter threshold for approval. This extraordinary victory took a county-wide education and mobilization of non-traditional allies crossing significant geographic, racial, religious and socioeconomic lines.
In addition to building a strong and diverse coalition of support, One LA led an action at the LA County Board of Supervisors that succeeded in putting the measure on the November ballot..
Leaders subsequently educated more than 500 voters through civic academies hosted at 8 One LA member congregations strategically positioned across LA County. Civic academies, taught by leaders, included information about LA City Measure HHH — which will fund the construction of 8,000 to 10,000 units of safe, clean affordable housing for the homeless — as well as about Propositions 55 for education funding and 57 for criminal justice reform. 75 precinct walkers targeted key swing precincts knocking on over 1,000 doors. Leaders then followed up with more than 500 phone calls.
“This is why a broad-based organization like One LA exists: not only to build a consensus among tens of thousands of voters across a county as large as Los Angeles, but to do so through trusted institutions and deep face-to-face engagement,“ said Rabbi Ken Chasen of Leo Baeck Temple. “During the development of this measure and during GOTV, we worked to build consensus across geographic and demographic lines which historically have been difficult to bridge in our segregated county.”
Additional photos, One LA
In efforts to ensure that Los Angeles County voters are prepared for the November election, One LA launched a massive non-partisan voter education and turnout, targeting precincts around state and local ballot initiatives. Training has focused on developing leadership skills, building core teams, and the basics of four important ballot initiatives: LA County Measure M (transportation bond) and California State Propositions 55, 57, and 62 related to a tax extension for education & healthcare, and measures related to criminal sentencing and repeal of the death penalty.
This efforts builds on efforts begun in 2015, around the construction of transit lines and the creation of affordable housing around new transit hubs. 150 leaders of One LA member institutions assembled with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to articulate their interests. Soon after, leaders from ten One LA institutions attended the monthly Metro Board Meeting to welcome the new Metro CEO, Philip Washington, and to present their Opportunity Agenda of jobs, housing, and transit improvements. Measure M emerged as a result of One LA input.
[In photo, leader Debra Silverman leads a discussion around the November elections at Temple Isaiah.]
Read the Agitator for more information.