Maria Brenes has been in “virtual mode” for almost a month now. That’s when Los Angeles closed schools and ordered residents to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Brenes is a community organizer on L.A.’s Eastside with the group InnerCity Struggle. She usually spends her days talking face-to-face with families, teachers and politicians to advocate for equal access to a quality education. It hurt Brenes a lot when she had to shutter the doors to the group’s community center, which had been bustling with youth and organizers since its opening last year. Now, she’s balancing video chats and phone calls for work with helping her own kids —second and fourth grade students in the Los Angeles Unified School District— to complete their online assignments.
While talking to Capital & Main by phone last week, Brenes was occasionally interrupted by her daughter who was eagerly playing a spelling game recommended by her teacher.
Brenes half-joked that she gives herself a C+ as a homeschool teacher. But she feels fortunate compared to many of the families her organization serves, and recognizes the importance of continuing, and expanding, her group’s work amid the pandemic.
InnerCity Struggle is creating its own “stimulus” for 300 families to make up for the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from the federal aid bills.
“Engagement has been so important in a period of ‘social distancing.’ We call it physical distancing because we still want to maintain the tie,” Brenes said.
InnerCity Struggle has talked with hundreds of community members in the early weeks of the outbreak to check in, assess their needs, answer their questions and learn how the crisis is impacting their families, and them individually. The group has delivered food to Eastside families, paid for with rapid response grants. And they’re creating its own “stimulus,” so far totaling $60,000 for 300 families, to make up for the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from the federal aid bills.
And they’re far from alone.Read more
Weingart Foundation Grants $100,000 to Brotherhood Crusade, Community Coalition and InnerCity Struggle
Grants bring aid to the food and technology inequities in Los Angeles and surrounding communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Weingart Foundation granted $100,000 to Brotherhood Crusade, Community Coalition and InnerCity Struggle to bring aid to the food and technology inequities in Los Angeles and surrounding communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Brotherhood Crusade, Community Coalition and InnerCity Struggle recently joined forces to raise $400,000 to support 5,000 at risk South and the Eastside of Los Angeles students with technology and emergency needs.
“Because of their deep roots in communities, Brotherhood Crusade, Community Coalition and InnerCity Struggle proactively came together to ensure the voices of youth of color are not lost in COVID-19 relief efforts and their right to education is not violated,” said Fred Ali, President and CEO of the Weingart Foundation. “We wholeheartedly support this critical effort to address educational inequities exacerbated by the global COVID-19 crisis.”
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) announced school closures through the end of the 2020 school year. While the organizations support the implementation of a public health response to flatten the curve and protect the most vulnerable, students and families are communicating grave concerns about the inequities in access to academic instruction and support, as it relates to the current COVID–19 response.Read more
Inquilinos apoyan ordenanza para un control de renta permanente en el condado de Los Ángeles | La Opinión
Justo hace un año miles de inquilinos de bajos ingresos del condado de Los Ángeles se sintieron aliviados después de que la Junta de Supervisores aprobara una ordenanza provisional para congelar el alza del alquiler en un 3% anual.
La ordenanza también suspendió los desalojos sin causa justa y es valida en todas las áreas no incorporadas del condado de Los Ángeles, a excepción de las propiedades exentas de control de alquileres.
No obstante, la moción temporal, que fue extendida en julio, y esta pautada para expirar el 31 de diciembre de 2019, tendrá la oportunidad de convertirse en una ordenanza permanente. La votación esta programa para este martes 10 de septiembre.
Representantes de la organización La Lucha del Pueblo (Inner City Struggle ICS), líder en el movimiento, dijeron que, si no se hace algo pronto, miles de familias de áreas no incorporadas del condado de Los Ángeles, incluyendo el lado este, podrían correr el riesgo de perder sus hogares por desalojos injustos y aumentos de alquiler escandalosos.
Henry Pérez, director ejecutivo interino de ICS, dijo que en esta ocasión los inquilinos no solamente están buscando una estabilización de renta permanente, pero también una forma de poder informar a los arrendatarios acerca de sus derechos.
“Hay muchos inquilinos que no saben de esta póliza y les hemos dado la información, pero si no saben como van a pelear”, dijo Pérez.Read more
CSU may up their college admissions requirements. But will that hurt low-income students? | LA Times
It’s why, in part, she failed Algebra I.
She repeated the class her sophomore year, and then moved on junior and senior years to Geometry and Algebra II, determined to meet the requirements for admission to the Cal State University system. She was accepted to Cal State Los Angeles, and, last month, Velasquez, 19, became the first in her family to attend college.
“It was difficult,” Velasquez said. “If I had to do four years of math, it would have been more difficult.”
Velasquez is among the students, parents, educators and Los Angeles school board members who are opposed to a proposal by Cal State University to require a fourth year of math, science or other quantitative high school coursework for admission, laying bare a tension between two imperatives in California education.
La comunidad de Boyle Heights estrena un nuevo y colorido centro comunitario, que será sede de la organización “Inner City Struggle” que se ha dedicado a ayudar a jóvenes en el área.
La organización ha ayudado a la comunidad y a la juventud por más de dos décadas y aseguran que los servicios han logrado mejorías en las escuelas y la comunidad en general.Read more
El próximo martes 4 de junio, los angelinos irán a las urnas para decidir el futuro de la medida EE.
La aprobación de dicha medida autorizaría un impuesto anual a las parcelas, de 0.16 centavos por pie cuadrado de propiedad, por los próximos 12 años. Dichos fondos serán destinados a programas y mejoras educacionales en las escuelas del Distrito Unificado de Los Ángeles (LAUSD).
Según estimados de los funcionarios del distrito, dicho impuesto recaudaría $500 millones anuales para las escuelas de LAUSD. Para ser aprobada, la medida requiere el voto de una súper mayoría, esto es un 66.67 por ciento de los votos.
Los fondos recaudados por este impuesto serán utilizados para reducir el tamaño de las clases, proveer enfermeras escolares, servicios de biblioteca y consejería, apoyo a estudiantes, clases de arte, de música y recursos y materiales educativos. Por otro lado, dichos fondos no podrán ser utilizados para comprar parcelas para construir escuelas, modernizar planteles o utilizarse para acuerdos y obligaciones legales.Read more
FILE – This Aug. 22, 1958 file photo shows Thurgood Marshall outside the Supreme Court in Washington. May 17 marks the 65th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. Many inequities in education still exist for black students and for Hispanics, a population that has grown exponentially since the 1954 ruling. Marshall, the head of the NAACP’s legal arm who argued part of the case, went on to become the Supreme Court’s first African-American justice in 1967. (AP Photo, File)
May 17 marks the 65th anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that outlawed racial segregation in public schools, ordering states to end segregation “with all deliberate speed.” The court made clear that separate was not and could not be equal.
But according to the Education Policy Institute, “black and brown children are more racially and socioeconomically isolated today than at any time since data have been available.” The social and political will to continue on with the task of integrating schools has diminished. With court decisions limiting Brown, the continued underfunding of public education and segregated neighborhoods, our nation’s school system looks far too much like that of the 1950’s.
America’s schools were not founded to educate all children to high levels. Our school system was, and continues to be, a mechanism to perpetuate racial and economic stratification. Brown and the Civil Rights Movement forced us to see that Black Americans were being treated as second class citizens, but the goals of full integration and access have never been met.Read more
Maria Leon, left, from East Los Angeles joins crowd on steps of County Hall of Administration Tuesday to urge Supervisors to extend a cap rent increases through 2019. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday extended rent-control and eviction protections in the unincorporated areas until next year, after a lengthy hearing with dueling input from affordable housing advocates and the real estate industry.
By a 4-1 vote, the supervisors continued a temporary cap on rent increases to 3% annually until the end of the year and expanded protections requiring landlords to show “just cause” before evictions.
The extension gives county officials more time to craft a permanent ordinance regulating rents in the areas under the jurisdiction of the county government, a patchwork of neighborhoods home to 1 million residents, including hundreds of thousands of renters who would be affected by the expanded rules.
Dear Eastside Neighbor,
When we work together, we win!
We are pleased to inform you that on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, the Eastside LEADS (Leadership for Equitable and Accountable Development Strategies) coalition won important community benefit concessions from the University of Southern California (USC) and its contracted developer - American Campus Communities (ACC), in relation to a 95-unit graduate student housing project to be built on the University’s Health Science Campus (HSC) in Boyle Heights. This community win is a result of our coalition’s 6-month campaign to challenge UCS’s and ACC’s development that began on June 26, 2018.Read more
Source: LA Times
Teams from the teachers union and the L.A. Unified School District are working long hours this weekend to settle a teachers’ strike that has so far cost students five days of normal instruction.
Hopes have been rising for a quick resolution but some already are expressing anxiety about what could be included in a settlement. Teachers are concerned that whatever gains they achieve — in smaller classes and better school staffing — could be too little or too short-lived. Advocates worry that the best interests of students could take a back seat to political exigencies. And administrators fret that the district — in trying to meet teachers’ demands — could take away some of the authority of principals.