Fireside CharLA in Review

7/23/20 Fireside CharLA

Ms. Alma K. Martinez is currently serving as the City Manager for the City of El Monte. In this capacity, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations and responsibilities of a city with 115,000 residents, 300 employees, and an annual budget of $165.2 million. Ms. Martinez is the first woman, and the first Latina, to serve as the City Manager in the City of El Monte. 

As city manager, Ms. Martinez and the city council launched several innovative responses to COVID-19 that received recognition statewide for their responsiveness and ability to safeguard public health while also advancing local business interests. Examples include: Dine-Out El Monte, social distanced farmers market, Rapid-Rehousing program, small business webinars, outdoor Movies on Main, small business grants, virtual safari hunts, and voluntary pay cuts for all Senior staff.

List of Resources shared during this CharLA


7/16/20 Fireside CharLA

In November 1996, California Proposition 209 amended the state constitution to prohibit state governmental institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity, specifically in the areas of public employment, public contracting, and public education

For the first time in a generation, California will have an opportunity to reinstate equal opportunity policies, like affirmative action, that rebuild the path toward a stronger economic future for women and communities of color. The Opportunity for All Coalition is leading the campaign to support the passage of Proposition 16 on the November 2020 ballot which will ask California voters to allow equal opportunity policies to be used by state and local governments to promote good jobs, good wages, and quality schools for everyone.

List of Resources shared during this CharLA

7/9/20 Fireside CharLA

In response to the death of George Floyd, Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) has introduced AB 1196, making it illegal to use a carotid artery restraint tactic to forcibly detain a suspect. The bill is co-authored by members of the CA Black Caucus, Latino Caucus, API, and LGBTQ Caucus.

“This dangerous technique compresses the carotid artery and stops blood flow to render the suspect unconscious. The deadly use of force technique can be performed using any object and can easily go wrong, this time it was a knee,” noted Gipson.


7/2/20 Fireside CharLA

On Sunday afternoon, June 28, 1970, the first LGBT pride parade in the world stepped off at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and McCadden Place in Los Angeles to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Since that historic event, countries across the globe celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month every June with parades, marches, and celebrations. This year, those events have been either postponed or moved online to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, the civil unrest that erupted due to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement has revived conversations on racism within the LGBT community and more specifically, why LBGT people of color are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 (and HIV/AIDS) and how this community has been marginalized within the larger LGBT equality movement.

As 2020 commemorates the 50th Anniversary of LA Pride, this week's CharLA celebrates this historic milestone by looking back on LA’s LGBTQ Latinx community, its current challenges and the opportunities ahead. We will hear from LGBTQ Latinx leadership on how the community is impacted by COVID-19 as well as efforts to empower this community by queering the Census. Finally, we will look back on some of the community’s most significant accomplishments and historic milestones.

List of Resources shared during this CharLA

6/25/20 Fireside CharLA

An estimated one in five students in California do not have access to digital devices or broadband internet as the fight for digital equity has been framed as the “civil rights issue of our time”. This digital divide overwhelmingly impacts low income students of color and creates barriers to learning that exacerbate the educational disparities already existing in schools. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital divide has widened even further as youth of color in low income communities are now forced to navigate  the lack of access to technology and high speed internet necessary to participate in required online classes.

Founded in 2005, Academia Avance is an independent charter school in the Highland Park community of Los Angeles. This school currently serves a student population that is 92% Latinx. Additionally, 96% of its students are socioeconomically disadvantaged. As the first public charter school in the community, Academia Avance exemplifies student success as academic and professional empowerment and community leadership. Unfortunately, the abrupt shift to online learning has created a large educational barrier for many students attending Academia Avance.


List of Resources shared during this CharLA

6/18/20 Fireside CharLA

As thousands of protesters across the country gather to demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other black people killed by the police, a related rallying cry has gained momentum: defund the police. Proponents of defunding argue that incremental police reform has failed and a better solution to effectively address the underlying factors that contribute to crime, like poverty and homelessness, is to cut the inflated budgets of police forces and reallocate those funds to social services, such as housing and youth services.

The operating budget of the LAPD is over $1.8 billion (mostly salaries) and tops $3.1 billion when items like pensions and HR benefits are included. In total, 54% of the city’s discretionary spending is dedicated to law enforcement and activists led by Black Lives Matter - LA are calling to "defund the police" at marches throughout L.A. A coalition of groups led by BLMLA introduced a "People's Budget" proposal last month that leaves law enforcement and police with just 5.7% of city spending. Under the plan, the bulk of taxpayer money would instead go to "Universal Aid and Crisis Management," the "Built Environment," and "Reimagined Community Safety" — including crisis management, domestic violence intervention, and gang prevention programs.


6/11/20 Fireside CharLA

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and more recently, to civil unrest over police brutality, The American Red Cross (ARC) Los Angeles Region has stepped up its operations on multiple fronts to develop and execute a series of rapid responses. These innovative emergency responses have fostered new protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of ARC’s volunteers and employees, particularly at blood drives and food distribution sites. Additionally, ARC Los Angeles Region launched free COVID-19 Continuity of Operations Workshops for nonprofits and community organizations about steps, policies, and procedures they can take to advance their missions safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, ARC continues to prepare for other aspects of its life saving mission, such as providing critical disaster relief services (eg. earthquakes, home fires, wildfires, natural or man made disasters) not only locally but nationally and internationally.

 List of Resources shared during this CharLA

6/4/20 Fireside CharLA

The USC Dornsife Program for Environmental and Regional Equity released an analysis of those most at risk of devastating fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The analysis concluded that marginalized segments of the population, including low-income seniors, undocumented immigrants, and rent-burdened families, face substantial inequities that will affect how well they weather the pandemic. With the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the national civil unrest that’s ensued, the endemic inequalities exacerbated by COVID-19 are even more apparent as the nation calls out for systemic change that dismantles institutional racism across every facet of society, not just law enforcement. Our featured guest, Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Sr., will share his efforts to curtail the damaging effects of COVID-19 among our most vulnerable populations, specifically our undocumented neighbors. He will also touch upon the recent murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, the national civil unrest that’s ensued, and his proposals to address police violence.

 List of Resources shared during this CharLA

5/28/20 Fireside CharLA 

As we approach the 2020 Presidential election, a familiar question emerges, "Who will Latinos vote for and why?" The Pew Research Center observed that although Latinos represent the largest ethnic electorate (32 million eligible voters), African Americans cast more ballots yet comprise a smaller share of the electorate (30 million eligible voters). This trend played out in the 2016 mid-term elections when only 47.6 percent of eligible Latinos voted, compared to 65.3 percent for Whites, 59.6 percent for African Americans, and 49.3 percent for Asians. 

Regarding the current President, confidence remains low as 35.5 percent of Latinos report “fair” or having “great confidence” in Trump's ability to deal effectively with the COVID-19 pandemic where as African Americans gave Trump a 24 percent rating, Asians 37.9 percent, and Whites 47.4 percent (Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University). To discuss these details in depth we invited President and CEO of Latino Victory, Nathalie Rayes, as well as Senior Advisor to former Vice President Joe Biden's Presidential Campaign, Julie Chavez Rodriguez.


List of Resources shared during this CharLA

5/21/20 Fireside CharLA 

According to an LA Times article published on May 17th, "Blacks and Latinos have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic in California and other parts of the United States, becoming infected and dying at disproportionately high rates relative to their share of the population. Health experts say one of the main reasons Latinos are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 is because many work in low-paying jobs that require them to leave home and interact with the public. Latinos comprise about 40% of California’s population but 53% of positive cases, according to state data. In San Francisco, Latinos comprise 15% of the population but make up 43% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Saturday".

In response to these alarming trends, United Latinx Fund (ULF) and Latino Coalition of Los Angeles (LCLA)invited nspecial guests Dr. Laura Mosqueda and Dr. Ilan Shapiro series to learn how two local health care systems, Altamed and the Keck School of Medicine at USC, are working to counter the spread of COVID-19 among our most vulnerable communities, how health care providers are rethinking their approach to mental health, and what policy changes are needed to redress mounting health disparities within communities of color.

List of Resources shared during this CharLA

5/14/20 Fireside CharLA

The USC Dornsife Program for Environmental and Regional Equity released an analysis of those most at risk of devastating fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The analysis concluded that marginalized segments of the population, including low-income seniors, undocumented immigrants, and rent-burdened families, face substantial inequities that will affect how well they weather the pandemic.

In response,
United Latinx Fund (ULF) and Latino Coalition of Los Angeles (LCLA) hosts the next installment of our weekly online Fireside CharLA series featuring Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to update on current legislation, policies, and investments that curtail the spread of COVID-19 within our most vulnerable communities as well as how these solutions aim to redress mounting inequalities within our Latinx community.

Learn more about projects and issues Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has been engaged with:


List of Resources shared during this CharLA

5/7/20 Fireside CharLA


As part of their COVID-19 emergency response efforts, Governor Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti have taken measures to address the needs of two specific vulnerable populations: seniors and hospitality/restaurant workers. To combat food-insecurities and job loss, Mayor Garcetti launched the Senior Meal Emergency Response Program to provide free, emergency home-delivery meals to seniors while at the same time, employing LA's restaurant industry to prepare, package, label, and transport meals to local seniors. Recently, Los Angeles County also invested $3 million in the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to connect communities and families with food during the COVID-19 crisis.

An estimated 2 million Los Angeles County residents experience food insecurity on an ongoing basis — more than any county in the nation — and the need will possibly increase due to job losses associated with COVID-19.

We heard from our featured guest, Lilly Rocha, CEO/Executive Director of the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce. Lilly is also the founder of the Sabor Latino Food Industry Trade Show, the nation’s largest Latin Food Trade Show and is co-founder of the Latino Restaurant Association.

This week's CharLA concluded with a live cooking demonstration hosted by celebrity chef Tati Polo and Dora Herrera, whose family-run Yuca's Restaurants are a local favorite since 1976. Both chef’s prepared some of their most succulent dishes including Shrimp Aguachile by Chef Dora Herrera and Rustic Guacamole & Crispy Plantain Chips by Chef Tati Polo. Copies of the recipes are provided in our resources link below!


List of resources shared during this CharLA

4/30/20 Fireside CharLA


Under the Governor’s recent Executive Order, utilities are part of our region's critical infrastructure and are vital to the security, economy, public health and safety of California. At the same time, USC recently released an analysis of those most at risk of devastating fallout from the coronavirus pandemic which concluded that marginalized segments of the population, including low-income seniors, undocumented immigrants, and rent-burdened families, face substantial inequities. In response, United Latinx Fund (ULF) and Latino Coalition of Los Angeles (LCLA) hosts the next installment of our weekly online Fireside CharLA series to update on how local utilities are curtailing the spread of COVID-19, efforts to assist their most vulnerable customers, and innovative partnerships with nonprofits to redress mounting inequalities within communities of color due to COVID-10.

The April 30th CharLA featured a  conversation with special guest Andy Carrasco, Vice President, Strategy and Engagement, and Chief Environmental Officer for the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), a Sempra Energy regulated California utility. He is responsible for environmental services and developing and delivering the information that helps meet customers’ energy needs and supports state environmental and social policy objectives. Carrasco leads the company’s energy policy and strategy, which includes issues management for balanced energy, energy choice, affordability, resiliency and reliability. Previously, he was SoCalGas’ director of regional public affairs.

List of resources shared during this CharLA

4/23/20 Fireside CharLA

On Friday, April 17th, the County of Los Angeles filed a request for an emergency hearing with federal Judge David Carter, alleging that Project Room Key, their court-ordered effort to help house homeless people at risk of contracting the coronavirus, is being stymied by objections from the cities of Lawndale and Bell Gardens. COVID-19 has not only centered and elevated the ongoing homelessness debate between the state, counties and cities, but it further exacerbates the endemic inequities faced by vulnerable communities of color throughout the region. In response, United Latinx Fund (ULF) and Latino Coalition of Los Angeles (LCLA) hosts the next installment of our weekly online Fireside CharLA series to update on current legislation, policies, and investments that curtail the spread of COVID-19 among our homelessness neighbors as well as how these solutions aim to redress mounting inequalities within our Latinx community.
This CharLA featured Los Angeles City Council President Emeritus Herb J. Wesson, Jr. who served as the President of the Los Angeles City Council from November 2011 through 2019 and has represented Council District 10 since 2005. Wesson is the first African American to hold the position of Council President in the city’s history and has been re-elected three times to lead the city’s legislative body. During his tenure as Council President, Wesson presided over monumental policy initiatives making Los Angeles a better place to live, work and raise a family. Not only have local policy initiatives —which include raising the minimum wage, pension reform and consolidating city elections to increase voter turnout— positively affected local residents, but in many cases the city’s actions have spurred state and national response and served as a model for similar policies.
Also featured was Sarah Dusseault, the Chair of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Commission. Appointed by Supervisor Solis, she served as Co-Chair of LAHSA's Ad Hoc Committee on Women and Homelessness. Sarah is committed to including women's unique experiences in policy making and investing in systems change to bring a crisis response to homelessness. 

List of resources shared during this CharLA

4/16/20 Fireside CharLA


Join United Latinx Fund (ULF) and Latino Coalition of Los Angeles (LCLA) for our new weekly online series - Fireside CharLA - covering the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our Latinx community. The series premiered on April 16 and featured Alejandra Velazquez, ULF board member and Sr. Director of Public Affairs at Oportun
On the heels of Governor Gavin Newsom's landmark announcement earmarking $125M in disaster relief for undocumented immigrants, learn about Oportun, a trusted, community lender that provides immediate financial relief to those who do not qualify for traditional lending products offered by commercial banks. Oportun specializes in lending solutions for unbanked and underbanked individuals and families with little to no credit by providing smaller, emergency loans to cover daily needs.
Ms. Velásquez oversees Oportun’s public policy, advocacy and grassroots partnerships across nine states and has more than fifteen years of experience in public policy, advocacy, coalition building, and multicultural/multilingual outreach.
List of resources shared during this CharLA





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  • Jose Carrillo
    published this page in Events 2020-04-20 13:33:26 -0700

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