Residents Coming Together

On Tuesday, March 12, Cynthia and I went to take a video at the apartment of Mrs. Guadalupe and Lourdes R. I have been working with this building for over a year. When I started, they did not want to listen to me because they feared reprisals from the owner. During this time, I have been preparing them so that they know their rights as tenants. When I interviewed them, I observed that they are no longer afraid to say the things that they need fixed. Lourdes says to me that she is worried about the health of her three girls as they have suffered from allergies because at one point they had bedbugs, and worries that they might come out again. She also said that she wants to have a safe play area, not only for her children, but for all of the children in the building. Lourdes told me that she was going to be responsible for having all the neighbors come together to take action and achieve having their apartments in healthy conditions. You can watch the video and the conditions that Lourdes and her family live here:

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.