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.
In South LA, eight member institutions of One LA assembled at St. Brigid Catholic Church to launch their ‘Breaking Barriers’ to employment strategy. Proposition 47, which permits individuals to clear their records of non-serious offenses, has the potential to make individuals more marketable as employees if proper paperwork is submitted.
To prepare for the strategy, 30 leaders learned how to guide applicants through the process, while another group of leaders created a resume workshop and panel discussions on restorative justice in the schools and interview best practices.
One LA and member institution Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles (NLS-LA) helped turn on Medi-Cal benefits whose applicants were among the hundreds of thousands stuck in the state’s backlog.
Medi-Cal Applicants Entitled to Benefits Despite Delays, Los Angeles Times
The morning after an assembly in which hundreds of San Fernando Valley leaders of One LA leveraged commitments from District 3 candidates to ensure sufficient funding for the 'My Health LA' program, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to invest $6 Million in additional dollars for the program.
According to Angelus:
“After thanking board of supervisors members for their commitment to support heath care for Los Angeles County’s poor, Jim Mangia, president and CEO of St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, asked the people who came with him to the May 20 public meeting 'to support health care for all' to stand up.
Hundreds upon hundreds of women and men from across the county rose — cheering, clapping, shouting and raising their hands high in the air. The grass-roots commotion went on for almost a minute.”
One LA estimates that the added funding will expand coverage by 35 to 40 thousand individuals. This victory comes months after the organization identified millions of County dollars that could be used to cover more uninsured people, including undocumented County residents.
LA County Supervisor Rivals Sheila Kuehl Bobby Shriver Debate Tonight, LA Times
LA County’s Top Health Official Shows Compassionate Side, LA Daily News
One LA Urges Supervisors to Cover the Uninsured, Angelus – The Tidings Online
Additional background information, WXSWIAF
After identifying $11 million in otherwise sunsetting County funds, One LA-IAF leaders testified to the Board of Supervisors about their year long enrollment effort and the the gaps that remain even after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act -- gaps that will have serious consequences for families throughout the county.
They demanded that the $11M be used to help cover the remaining uninsured in LA County. After the press conference, Rabbi Dara Frimmer asserted that she was "proud to stand with OneLA leaders outside the county supervisors meeting because as of today, 1 million residents of LA remain uninsured...Time to ensure that the image of God, imprinted on the face of every human being, is lifted up."
Healthcare Advocates Push for Medical Services for Uninsured, Los Angeles Times
LA County Grapples with Healthcare for Uninsured, Los Angeles Times
Rabbis to LA County: Fund Healthcare to Undocumented, Jewish Journal