Join our movement to close the digital divide for Eastside students.
On March 16th, the Los Angeles Unified School District closed down schools to protect students, families, and educators in response to the rising spread of COVID-19. After polling more than 400 Eastside of Los Angeles residents, we discovered that one of the most pressing concerns for Eastside students and their families is the limited access to technology and high-speed internet.
The transition to online learning coupled with the lack of access to technology has created an unprecedented educational crisis -- inequitable access to academic instruction and support for our most vulnerable students.
That’s why InnerCity Struggle has joined forces with Community Coalition and Brotherhood Crusade to launch an ambitious grassroots campaign to close the digital divide to raise $400,000 for 5,000 Eastside and South Los Angeles students for technology and emergency needs.
We are hoping you can be a resource to this critical need.
Chip in by making a donation at innercitystruggle.org/donate. Please note in the comment section: ‘Digital Justice Campaign’
The Regents of the 10-campus University of California voted unanimously on Thursday to suspend the requirement that first-time applicants submit scores from SAT or ACT standardized test scores for admission.
"I think it's an incredible step in the right direction," said UC Regents Chair John Perez.
The vote suspends the requirement through 2024 while UC studies whether to require scores from another test that UC either creates or adopts.
"By one measure this is a conversation 43 years in the making, since the 1977 adoption of the test as a weeding mechanism, as a way to decrease the number of students admitted to the University of California," Perez said.
The proposal to put the standardized test requirement on hold while UC re-evalutes its admissions criteria was first floated by UC President Janet Napolitano, who had already dropped the test requirement for applications due in the Fall 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis. She said she was "unpersuaded" that requiring the tests for admissions "was sufficient to outweigh all of the extensive mitigation measures we employ to counteract the effect of the standardized test on certain populations."
Applicants for Fall 2020 can submit SAT or ACT results, but they aren't required to do so, and UC admissions offices may choose whether to consider those scores. The new policy extends that arrangement for another year, and adds another two years during which UC campuses will not use the standardized scores for admissions decisions even if students submit them.Read more
We’re keeping physically distant but staying socially connected
On March 15, 2020 L.A. Mayor Garcetti issued a “safer-at-home” emergency order in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. InnerCity Struggle followed suit and we closed our physical space temporarily. Our community organizing, however, has not stopped. Now, more than ever we are dedicated to staying connected, taking care of one another, and working together for a better tomorrow. In the immediate, and in the aftermath of COVID-19, InnerCity Struggle is dedicated to advance solutions to bring quality health care, housing security, an equitable education, and an end to mass incarceration for all Eastside residents and their families.
California and Los Angeles city residents protections due to COVID-19
If you cannot afford rent, your landlord cannot evict you
As of March 4, 2020, landlords are prohibited from evicting tenants for nonpayment in the city of Los Angeles. Eviction protections apply to all rental units in the city.
If you cannot pay rent, submit a letter to your landlord within 7 days
If you have not done so already, please send a letter immediately to your landlord explicitly stating that your loss of income is due to the COVID-19.
If you need support, Los Angeles City residents should call (866)-557-7368.
Effective March 30, 2020, renters across the city of Los Angeles are protected from unjust rent increase in this time of a health crisis. Rent stabilization protection applies only to rental units subject to the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) and is subject up to 60 days after the local emergency expires.
Los Angeles County protections due to COVID-19
Residents in Unincorporated Los Angeles cannot be evicted for non-payment
On April 14, 2020, the Board of Supervisors extended the previous moratorium on evictions and rent freeze to now cover all residential and commercial tenants in Los Angeles County, including mobile home residents, except those who live or conduct business in cities that have already enacted their own eviction moratorium. The moratorium includes a ban on evictions for:
The county eviction moratorium and rent freeze are effective March 4, 2020 through March 31, 2020 unless extended by the Board of Supervisors. Renters also now have 12 months after the moratorium ends to pay any back rent.
For more details about the Board’s recent actions and other landlord-tenant issues, please contact the L.A. County Disaster Help Center. Call (833) 238-4450; email email@example.com; or visit lacountyhelpcenter.org
You have increased rights as a worker
On April 28, the LA County Board of Supervisors passed a motion so that all workers in unincorporated LA County will now be entitled to 2 weeks of supplemental paid sick leave.
At the City Level, laid-off janitorial, hotel workers, & others in the hospitality & building services industries won right of recall & worker retention on April 29th.
Resources for Undocumented Residents
CHIRLA’s Directory: Resources during COVID-19/Recursos durante COVID-19
Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs COVID-19 Information and Resources for Immigrant and Refugee Angelenos
On April 15, Governor Newsom announced the development of a $125 million statewide Disaster Relief Assistance fund to provide financial support for undocumented workers affected by COVID-19. The funds will be disbursed through a community-based model. More information to come soon.
Applications for California’s Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants launched on May 18, 2020 through a community-based model. Eligible Californians may receive one-time COVID-19 disaster relief assistance at a value of $500. A limit of two adults per household can receive this assistance (maximum assistance of $1,000 per household).
Assistance will be available until the funding is spent or until June 30, 2020, at the latest. Applicants will be considered on a first come, first served basis.
The following three L.A. County organizations are supporting the community with processing your application:
CARECEN (Central American Resource Center) (tel. 213-315-2659)
CHIRLA (Coalition for Humane Immigrants Rights) (tel. 213-201-8700)
How to Apply for Unemployment
For information about unemployment benefits and to submit an unemployment insurance claim, click here.
Stimulus Check Resources
The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles and CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), is providing free COVID-19 testing to ALL Los Angeles County residents, whether or not you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
LA County residents who have symptoms of COVID-19 are given priority to free, same-day tests. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Community members cannot be denied COVID-19 testing regardless of their:
Appointments are required and can be scheduled here.
Join the waitlist for the Street Vendor’s Relief Fund by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobility Aid: Grocery and Supply Runs
Contact (707)390-0269 or email email@example.com
@peopleforpeoplelosangeles offers assistance to people that absolutely cannot leave their homes during the COVID-19 viral pandemic. Their trusted volunteers will pick up your groceries, medical supplies, or anti-bacterial wipes and soap.
Comprehensive Resource Guides
#HealthyLA for today and tomorrow
InnerCity Struggle has joined Healthy LA, a network of 300 advocacy organizations, worker centers, labor unions, service providers, community groups, and many more united to propose concrete solutions to the many hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we call for:
- A strong moratorium on evictions
- Rent forgiveness and mortgage suspensions
- An immediate freeze on all residential and commercial rent and utility bill increases
- 14 days of paid sick leave to all workers and prohibit retaliation
- Dumpsters, showers, hand washing stations, bathrooms, and other services at every informal settlement
Learn more about the demands and how to take action at healthyla.org
DeShae Johnson in Fresno worries about finishing her senior year, taking Advanced Placement tests, and completing scholarship applications for college while taking care of her younger siblings so her mother can continue to work as a janitor.
Daniela Hernandez, a youth leader on the eastside of Los Angeles, couldn’t get her employer, a food retailer, to provide protective equipment even as shelter-in-place orders began. She won the right to wear gloves, but ultimately decided to quit her job to prevent exposing vulnerable family members to the coronavirus.
Lidia Cruz is a mother of three young children living in Sacramento. With schools closed and limited resources, she worries how to keep food on the table and get pencils and workbooks so her children can learn from home.
Each of these women’s stories resonate with thousands of Californians whose lives also have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.
As education and youth advocates working in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Fresno, we see first-hand how our
students and families are navigating the new reality when confronted with impossible circumstances.
The challenges created by the pandemic lay bare what we always have known: First, working-class families and students of color are one small crisis away from a dire situation, while living and learning in communities with fewer resources than upper-income communities.
Secondly, if we are to truly achieve equity in our schools and communities, the voices of the most-affected students and parents are necessary to create policies that meet student needs.
That is why the California Partnership for the Future of Learning, a statewide alliance of community organizing and advocacy groups, directly asked students and families from low-income communities of color how they are experiencing this viral disruption to life and schooling.Read more
Decenas de trabajadores en Los Ángeles exigen al gobernador un presupuesto que incluya a las minorías
Durante este lunes se llevó a cabo una protesta que derivó en una caravana por varios edificios federales. En la manifestación, miembros de la comunidad, activistas y empleados de distintos sectores económicos, le exigieron al gobierno estatal y a líderes políticos auxilios en las que se tengan en cuenta a los inmigrantes indocumentados y a los desamparados que también han sufrido los efectos de la pandemia.
Yesenia Vélez, de 18 años, es estudiante de último año en la secundaria Garfield, en el Este de Los Ángeles, y hasta principios de año todavía estaba haciendo planes para asistir a su fiesta de graduación.
Cerrar el ciclo de la clase de 2020 y abrir camino para empezar la universidad eran algunos de sus sueños. No obstante, han quedado truncados debido a la pandemia del coronavirus.
Yesenia tiene cinco hermanos y su padre es el único proveedor del hogar. Tras la pandemia ha quedado sin empleo y por la falta de estatus migratorio legal en el país, no pueden obtener ayuda del gobierno como el cheque de estímulo federal.
“De la escuela, a mí me prestaron una computadora con un hotspot [un dispositivo para obtener Internet]”, dijo Yesenia, quien es estudiante sobresaliente y actualmente toma dos clases avanzadas (AP).Read more
He vivido en el este de Los Ángeles por 25 años y este año será la primera vez que lleno el Censo. Soy madre de tres hijas y un hijo. Soy abuela de tres nietos de siete, cuatro y dos años. Aunque estamos sufriendo con los pagos, tenemos nuestra salud.
Mi esposo y yo somos vendedores ambulantes de fruta y así hemos sobrevivido día a día. Desafortunadamente, debido a la pandemia del COVID-19 ya no podemos trabajar.
Me da mucho miedo de que mi familia se enferme. Cuando dejamos de trabajar, fue difícil porque fue así como hemos salimos adelante.
Me siento decepcionada porque aunque pago impuestos como todos, el gobierno me ha excluido de recibir el estímulo económico federal. En estos momentos de crisis, aunque también contribuimos a este país, los inmigrantes indocumentados hemos sido ignorados.
Pero hay esperanza.Read more
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