• Fighting for the Right to Stay

    Sergio testifying at City Hall regarding USC’s 20-year expansion plan and the need for increased affordable housing in the neighborhood.

    In the shadows of the multi-story, privately-owned, USC student housing developments, where the breeze of the newly-opened Exposition rail line blows every 10-minutes, Sergio Barrientos and his family sit in the kitchen of their small, one-bedroom apartment exchanging worried looks and hushed conversations.

    For the past 15 years, Sergio and his family have demanded that the landlord fix the dilapidated conditions in their apartment, but the owner, who charges the family over $600 a month, refuses.

    Currently, there is no hot water in Sergio’s kitchen, the carpet is old and ripped, the paint is chipping, and Sergio and his family had to pay out-of-pocket to replace their broken refrigerator.

    But now Sergio’s building may finally receive the attention and repairs that tenants have demanded for years. Unfortunately, Sergio’s family and the 17 other low-income families in the building may all be kicked out before that happens.

    A wealthy real-estate developer recently purchased Sergio’s building and intends to demolish the nearly 100-year-old apartment complex and build 90 higher-rent units exclusively marketed to USC students.

    The developer has offered to pay the tenants relocation assistance, but for Sergio and the other 17 families in the building, no amount of money can convince them to leave their community, pull their children out of school, and find new jobs elsewhere.

    They want to stay in their homes and they are organizing and fighting together to make sure they can do so.

    Take action today and find out how you can stand in solidarity with Sergio and the hundreds of other families in South Los Angeles who are fighting for their right to stay in their communities.

    October 11, 2012 by Admin

  • Wanna Take A Ride?

    At a time when gas prices everywhere are through the roof, CicLAvia is sending out the perfect message. Last Sunday Los Angeles held its 5th installment of fun, sun and bike riding for all to enjoy. How great is it to merge together good times and health? And to be able to wizz through the streets of downtown and South L.A. without the threat of impatient motorists eager to cut you off, well thats just icing on the cake. Lets help this movement grow y’all. Your heart will thank you for it ūüėČ

    October 8, 2012 by Admin

  • Introducing Gloria Serrano

    It is my pleasure to introduce organizer-extrodinar, Gloria Serrano, who will be joining our team as a contributing blogger.

    “MY NAME IS GLORIA SERRANO, I AM HONDURAN, 63-YEARS-OLD, AND I LIVE IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. I HAVE WORKED AS AN ORGANIZER AT STRATEGIC ACTIONS FOR A JUST ECONOMY (SAJE) FOR 12 YEARS.¬†MY AREA OF WORK INCLUDES CENSUS TRACTS¬†90007 Y 90009, AND MY JOBS CONSISTS OF TEACHING THE COMMUNITY ABOUT TENANT’S RIGHTS,¬†DEVELOPING LEADERS, IDENTIFYING NEW CONTACTS, AND OUTREACHING TO OTHER RESIDENTS IN THE COMMUNITY., THE OBJECTIVE IS THAT THE NIEGHBORS IN THE COMMUNITY KNOW THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE THEIR HOMES IN HEALTHY CONDITIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, WITHOUT MOLD, ROACHES, RATS, LEAKS, SPIDERS, BED BUGS, AND ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT COULD CAUSE ILLNESS FOR THEIR CHILDREN.”

    As a tenant organizer and resident of the community for 31 years, Gloria will be sharing her experiences in the field and also reflecting on her personal memories of the neighborhood.

    Gloria has been featured in several articles about SAJE’s work including this blog from our friends at¬†LAANE¬†and this recent article from¬†HealthyCal.org¬†about USC’s 20-year-development plan.

    August 8, 2012 by Admin

  • Presentando Gloria Serrano

    It is my pleasure to introduce organizer-extrodinare, Gloria Serrano, who will be joining our team as a contributing blogger.

    “ME LLAMO GLORIA SERRANO, SOY HONDURENA, TENGO 63 ANOS, VIVO EN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. TRABAJO COMO ORGANIZADORA POR ESPACIO DE 12 ANOS EN ACCIONES Y ESTRATEGIAS PARA UNA ECONOMISA JUSTA (SAJE).¬†MI AREA DE TRABAJO ES EN LOS SENSUS TRUCK DE 90007 Y 90009, MI TRABJO CONSISTE EN ENSENAR A LA COMUNIDAD DERECHOS DE INQUILINOS, DESARROLLAR LIDERES, IDENTIFICARAR NUEVOS CONTACTOS, ALCANCE A OTROS RESIDENTES DE LA COMUNIDAD, EL OBJETICOS ES: QUE LOS VECINOS DE LAS COMNIDADES SEPAN DE QUE ELLOS TIENEN EL DERECHO DE TENER EN SUS VIVIENDAS CONDICIONES SALUDABLES, COMO POR EJEMPLO; sin MOJO, CUCARACHAS,RATONES,LIQUEOS, ARANAS, CHINCHES, Y TODO LAS COSAS QUE SEA EL FOCO DE ENFERMEDADES PARA SUS NINOS.” (Translate)¬†

    As a tenant organizer and resident of the community for 31 years, Gloria will be sharing her experiences in the field and also reflecting on her personal memories of the neighborhood.

    Gloria has been featured in several articles about SAJE’s work including this blog from our friends at LAANE¬†and this recent article from HealthyCal.org about USC’s 20-year-development plan.

    August 8, 2012 by Admin

  • The People’s Planning School

    By David Cortez.
    People’s Planning School. Just the sound of that title reeks of empowerment. If there is one thing I value more than love and happiness (big shout out to anyone that knows the song), its LEARNING. I believe the only way we can stand firm in our convictions is with the knowledge of the WHAT-WHY-HOWs and so forth. Which reminds me of that famous prayer that every Judge should meditate on before each day’s trials..

    “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,‚Ä® courage to change the things I can,‚Ä® and wisdom to know the difference.”
    -Reinhold Niebuhr

    Emphasis on “WISDOM to KNOW the difference”. See there will be lots in this life which you will have no control over, like the setting of the sun, but other things will very much be in your power to grasp and steer into a better state of being.. Hence The Peoples Planning School is all about empowering- THE PEOPLE within the community to initiate those changes. To implement a better healthier living environment for their families through awareness and action. For instance, did you know LEAD PAINT CAN CAUSE IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE!

    “Lead accumulates in the body following exposure. Lead stays in the blood for several¬†months, and it can be stored in the bone for many decades. Lead poisoning (plumbism) usually¬†results from many small exposures over a period of weeks or years. The brain and nervous system¬†are particularly susceptible.

    It has long been known that high levels of lead exposure can cause¬†serious disability or death. Lead poisoning interferes with the formation of blood cells, which may¬†cause anemia. Lead can also damage the kidneys, digestive system, reproductive system, and other¬†organs. Children less than six years of age are of special concern because their developing brains¬†and bodies can easily be damaged by lead.”

    If you would like to join us on our quest for truth, freedom and fun, you’re welcome to do so.. All sessions are bilingual.

    -PEACE

    The People’s Planning School is being held at:
    152 W. 32nd Street Los Angeles, CA 90007

    For more info call 213-745-9961

    August 7, 2012 by Admin

  • EACH-ONE-TEACH-ONE

    By David Cortez. So I was at SAJE yesterday getting set up to author contributions to the website. After we got everything established for me to start my pecking, I was headed out the door when I ran into one of my neighbors. We have exchanged pleasant greetings for years now. I remember walking to and from my son’s elementary school and seeing her with her children doing the same. She has always greeted me with kindness and I feel good knowing that people like her inhabit my community..
    However, on this day she had the air of worry in her voice as she explained to me that her landlord was trying to evict her and her children without a just cause. This is not uncommon among low-income residents and I know exactly how it feels to be in this situation. The one thing these type of landlords count on is people not knowing their tenant rights (or human rights for that matter), which more often than not we take for granted. Though her situation is demoralizing, her steps led her to the right place. Passion for rights is like a coat of arms for the people at SAJE and I’m proud to know them. I have full confidence that her family will not be distraught by threats of eviction after she’s been educated about her rights. Lets tip the scales from victims to victors, each one doing what they can to catalyze that end.

    July 20, 2012 by Admin