Civic Engagement Organizer
Gender Pronouns: they/them
Juan Carlos Hernandez began their activism in 2019 on the outset of the Yes on Measure EE campaign, a school parcel tax measure that presented a unique opportunity to increase funding for underrepresented students across LAUSD. Juan Carlos was a part of the outreach team that organized a network of strong parent and student leaders on the field throughout the district to bring notice and understanding to civic participation and practice an authentic social autonomy – the pursuit of true democracy. In conversation with the community they spoke about the importance of building community driven solutions and directing funding toward a quality education for our highest needs schools.
Despite Measure EE’s culmination in defeat that summer of 2019, Juan Carlos used this experience in movement building to continue their work with Innercity Struggle seeking to bring awareness to housing justice and increased funding to highest needs schools, viewing education as the pathway necessary to the conjoined liberation of marginalized working class communities of color. Juan Carlos worked closely with the Civic Engagement component building grassroots power, mobilizing voters across the Eastside collecting signatures outside grocery markets – rain or shine, making calls, talking to the community door to door, orienting their teammates around a shifting culture that is the eve of the pandemic, leadership development, and supporting volunteer coordination.
Juan Carlos joined InnerCity Struggle’s Civic Engagement team as a community organizer in 2022, supporting the component in its work as an anchor of statewide coalitions like California Calls and Power California through leadership development, electoral work and Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE), thus building the equitable systems, filling the cracks and constructing the pathways our communities need: leading the work with the belief that “[Our] mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ― Maya Angelou