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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5/14/20 Fireside CharLA
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:
- Economic Recovery & Business Funds
- Testing & Data
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
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.