Over the last 10 years, Los Angeles County has been working to improve the voting process for its 5.2 million registered voters. In March 2020, locals will get to cast their votes through this redesigned system during California's presidential primary.
Excited to give this new system a try? So are we!
The great news is that you won't have to wait till March. LA County will be holding mock elections on September 28-29 at 50 locations county-wide to test this system. Non-registered voters, including high school students, are also invited!
Learn more about how to participate here. We hope to see you out there voting! But until then, here are the five major changes to your voting experience that you should know about:
1. Polls will now be open for 11 days instead of 13 hours.
There will now be a longer time frame for you to cast your vote, as LA County officials believe that their new voting machines will significantly cut down on issues with crowding and mechanical breakdowns.
These new machines, developed by Silicon Valley design company IDEO, will marry paper ballots with touch screens that feel like using an ATM or checking in at the airport. Voters will use the screen to review their choices, feed a paper ballot into the machine, and simply press a button to complete their vote.
2. You can vote at any polling location within LA County instead of a specific designated polling place.
Despite there being 4,800 polling places county-wide, locals currently don't have much choice when it comes to choosing where to cast their votes. This new process will issue each registered voter a QR code based on their address that they can then scan at any polling location to call up the specific ballot they need.
3. Voting machines will be more accessible.
The LA County region is both enormous and multi-lingual. In prioritizing accessibility for all voters, including voters with different types of disabilities and different levels of English proficiency, these new voting machines will feature adjustable displays that make it easy to select from various languages and adjust the text size, as well as include built-in headphones. By allowing voters to submit their votes on-the-spot, this process will also reduce the amount of walking otherwise required of voters at current polling places.
4. You can expedite your voting experience by pre-marking your votes at home.
Voters living a fast-paced lifestyle will be fans of the new expedited experience this process offers. As long as you're connected to the Internet, you'll be able to access a web platform called the Interactive Sample Ballot where you can pre-mark your votes. It'll generate a QR code that you can then scan in-person at the polling location and the machine will simply pre-populate the ballot for you to review. Goodbye manual copying-and-pasting, hello convenience!
5. You can both register and change your registration on-site.
LA County's new polling model will use electronic pollbooks for poll staffers to verify your eligibility in real time. This will allow them to register you to vote immediately on-site and help bar people from voting at multiple locations. This means voters can now avoid the gray area of provisional ballots and show up fully reassured that they're making a difference.
This is an update on the winning proposal from the CREATE category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.
Since we received the LA2050 grant in August 2018, the Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign reached a major milestone: Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously in November 2018 to adopt a permit system for sidewalk vending, finally leading to the legalization of sidewalk vending within the City of LA!
The impact of this legislation is enormous. More than 50,000 street vendors operate in the City of Los Angeles alone, representing a $504 million industry. With legalization, we can expect to see these numbers grow as street vending becomes a safer way to make a living — especially for women and people of color.
For the campaign's core partners, East LA Community Corporation, Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN), Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC), and Public Counsel, the Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign has always been about both protecting the rights and dignity of some of the most vulnerable workers in the city, and providing them with greater economic opportunity. Approximately 80 percent of street vendors are women of color who contribute to the rich, diverse street food landscape through the informal economy — and when allowed to do their work legally and safely — contribute to the vitality of their neighborhoods and LA as a whole.
Take a look at this piece by KCET that covers the most recent history of our campaign and shares stories of vendors across the city.
The ordinance passed by City Hall will allow street vendors to do just that, and comes after nearly a decade of advocacy from thousands of street vendors and their supporters. But there's still much work to be done. Throughout 2019, we've focused our organizing efforts on three major components: ensuring the City of Los Angeles permit regulations are fair and inclusive; doing outreach to vendors across the region to make sure they know their rights under SB946, the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act; and, building the capacity of vendors by hosting workshops on healthy food and financial resources to make sure they are ready for the implementation of a permit program in 2020.
What's next? Summits, workshops, and success
On Friday, March 22, 2019 hundreds of local street vendors filled the cafeteria and classrooms of Los Angeles Trade Technical College. This was the First Street Vendor Summit hosted since we won legalization. It provided vendors from across LA County with several workshops on how to become a successful vendor under the new rules and regulations passed by the City. There were four major topics covered by the workshops:
After the summit, we began a series of five capacity-building workshops. We held three workshops on healthy food menus, health equity and food justice, and two on financial planning so that vendors can plan for new carts and permits. Through this, we were able to provide information and resources to 120 vendors. In this implementation phase, we are learning so much more about the people we have been advocating for; and they are teaching us more intimately their needs, empowering us to ensure their livelihoods are always at the forefront of policy, advocacy, and capacity building. We will host another series of workshops and clinics in late summer and early fall that will support vendors with the basics of operating a legitimate business, including obtaining seller's permits and food handling licenses.
What we learned
This summit and workshops were not only a learning experience for the vendors, but also one for us. It reignited some of our longstanding concerns and highlighted that it will take all of us - vendors, consumers, advocates, and allies - to make sure that vendors are properly and responsibly brought into the formal economy. We put these lessons into a summary sheet to get the word out about our concerns and our hopes for the future. These concerns also guided conversations at the coalition meeting on July 18, where 25 organizations re-committed to engage during this phase of the campaign by working on issues related to park vending, cart innovation, outreach, and continued policy advocacy. The coalition will continue to organize and work with vendors to develop vendor based solutions to these concerns, and we will continue to engage public agencies to work on improving the legal vending program.
To uplift the work that vendors and allies have done to legalize street vending, we launched a digital advocacy campaign this month to spread awareness of street vending by sharing stories of “Vendors in Action." Through highlighting why they vend and celebrating their contributions to the fabric of our city, we hope to showcase how vendors are both entrepreneurs and leaders in their communities. This will activate people who are both familiar and unfamiliar with street vendors in LA. This campaign will be using a fixed set of hashtags in both Spanish and English to reach as many people as possible, and ideally create a social media movement to demystify street vending and further normalize their entrepreneurship and leadership in our city.
We will continue to define and measure our success through the number of new micro-enterprise jobs that are created as a result of legalization, and the number of existing vendors that are trained to manage their businesses, and eventually, navigate the new permit process. We will also continue to tell the story of the LA Street Vendor Movement, and track our progress through engagement on social media. We will continue the digital advocacy campaign through June, and then have another push in August to showcase new work on rules and regulations.
We're thrilled to be sharing this critical moment in the campaign with everyone involved in the LA2050 Activation Challenge. This grant allows us to activate Angelenos to engage in and build an inclusive economy that supports tens of thousands of workers, whose entrepreneurship often shapes our neighborhood economies and cultural landscape.
For more information on the campaign and/or to get involved in supporing #LAStreetVendors, contact Carla De Paz [email protected]
Communities taking action to stop “bad apple" gun dealers
This is an update on the winning proposal from the PLAY category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.
Brady is proud to continue to report on our Combating Crime Guns Initiative: Los Angeles. The Combating Crime Guns Initiative (CCGI) is a multi-pronged strategy to stem the flow of crime guns into cities that are heavily impacted by gun violence. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF), 90% of crime guns (firearms that are illegally possessed, used in a crime, or suspected to have been used in a crime) are sold by just 5% of gun dealers. Through CCGI, we are using a supply side approach to gun violence, identifying and reforming these gun dealers that are flooding cities with crime guns.
The Brady Center is partnering with the Goldhirsh Foundation's LA2050 initiative to bring CCGI to Los Angeles and help ensure that in 2050, Los Angelenos of all ages will enjoy safe homes, safe neighborhoods, and safe places to play. Under LA2050's 'Play' goal, our project applies to two metrics: per capita crime rate and perceived safety. Looking at our progress over the past year, we are more confident than ever in CCGI's ability to impact these measures over time.
Progress so Far
After the hiring of our Program Manager, Steve Lindley, our work in Los Angeles accelerated significantly. Steve is an experienced community liaison with over 28 years of experience in law enforcement. In the short period of time he's been with us, he's managed to accomplish a tremendous amount of work. As noted in our previous report, in just his first month as Program Manager, he met with the Los Angeles Mayor's Office, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles area Brady Chapters to introduce himself and discuss strategies to reduce gun violence in the Los Angeles area.
As a result of these meetings, Steve was invited to assist the Mayor's Office in drafting legislation aimed at providing enhanced oversight of California firearms dealers, mandatory reporting and tracing of law enforcement seized crime guns, and enhancing the gun purchasing public's knowledge of California firearm and firearm safe storage laws. Steve was also a primary advisor to the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council in their 2019 Louder than Guns campaign.
Steve and Los Angeles area Brady chapter leadership have been instrumental in gaining support and votes for two important Los Angeles city measures. On June 5, 2019, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted for the expansion of the city's safe gun storage ordinance to include long-guns. On June 18, 2019, the Los Angeles Unified School District voted to educate parents about proper gun storage and their legal obligation to safely secure firearms. We hope to continue our working relationship with Los Angeles Unified on these issues and incorporate Brady's multimedia safe storage campaign, End Family Fire, into school curricula across the district. Steve is also working with local stakeholders to develop and execute a highschool-based gun safety education program that will activate young adults around gun violence prevention and educate them on simple actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of gun violence.
In late June, Steve testified before the California Senate's Public Safety Committee in support of Assembly Bill 165 (Gabriel), which will increase funding for law enforcement to bolster its use of Gun Violence Restraining Orders, which allow for the temporary removal of a firearm from an individual who is a danger to themselves or others. The bill passed the Senate's Public Safety Committee and we are eager to see it signed by Governor Newsom. Steve is also working on a public education campaign that targets firearms dealers responsible for a disproportionate number of crime guns recovered in Los Angeles.
Political and legislative restrictions to gun dealer liability continue to be a hurdle. However, with a legal and policy team dedicated to these issues, we are well positioned to handle these challenges. Emerging and upcoming challenges include building out our relationships and coalitions to assist in preventing further gun violence, continuing to identify the sources of crime guns, activating youth movement around gun violence prevention, and adapting our various national gun violence campaigns for implementation on the local scale.
What's to Come
In the coming months, we look forward to how our 2019 and 2020 legislative concepts will be implemented at the State level. We are also eager to see how our the Louder Than Guns and the Los Angeles Unified School District's safe firearm campaign impact the City of Los Angeles. We will be working hard to push forward our crime gun dealer public awareness campaign and our youth education program. Finally, we will continue to strengthen our working relationship with the Los Angeles Mayor's Office and other national and local gun violence prevention and youth-focused groups to maximize our impact and reach.
Next Generation Science Standards: Empowering Teachers to Empower Students for the Future of STEM
This is an update on the winning proposal from the LEARN category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.
As part of the LA2050 Activation Challenge, the Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE) at CSU Dominguez Hills proposed to empower teachers and provide dynamic training and mentoring on the state adopted, industry recognized Next Generation Science Standards. We proposed training two cohorts of 50 teachers (100 total) over two years.
We are pleased to report that a second cohort of 57 teachers were trained in spring 2019, thus exceeding our target number of teachers per cohort and 100 teachers overall.
Snapshot of the teachers served
|Cohort 2:Spring 2019||Cohort 1 & 2Combined|
|Participants-Compton USD||19%||3.5%||11.25 %|
|Participants from other districts||8%||7%||7.5%|
|Participants teaching 3 or more years||83%||87.5%||85.3%|
|Multiple Subject Teachers||51%||63.2%||57.1%|
|Single Subject -Science Teachers||40%||29.8%||34.9%|
|Single Subject-Mathematics Teachers||9%||4.5%|
|Special Education Teachers||3.5%||1.75%|
|STEM/Computer Science Teachers||3.5%||1.75%|
Activities between January 2019 and May 2019
The CISE team has met all project goals through the grant implementation. The team recruited teachers, held a Kick Off events, completed the first and second cohort of NGSS Super Training, and conducted classroom observations and Lesson Study Cycles. One of the primary focuses of the training was establishing the foundation for the Next Generation Science standards. Participants learned about the organization of NGSS, identifying what Performance Expectations (PE), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), and Cross-Cutting Concepts (CCCS) are, and how they compare to the previous set of standards. Teachers then explored how teaching with an emphasis on DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs, referred to as 3 Dimensional learning, better prepares students for college and career readiness.
NGSS Super Training participants were also offered the opportunity to obtain the Beginner Level Certification in Fabrication Technology which certifies teachers as basic, proficient, and advanced in the use of fabrication laboratory equipment for curriculum design and delivery. Every participant was successful at meeting the requirements for the Beginner Fabrication Technology Certification.
Prior to the classroom observations, an NGSS expert and teachers met in advance to agree on the observation focus and review the lesson plan; the NGSS expert reviewed and documented evidence of good teaching practices, and provided formal feedback. During the Lesson Study Cycles, teams of teacher trainees engaged in collaborative planning-teaching-observation of learning, followed by lesson evaluation and refinement.
Value delivered to teachers
Based on the data collected throughout the training, participants found the training to be a valuable experience. Each teacher had an opportunity to demonstrate mastery and an ability to integrate the Next Generation Science Standards and the Fabrication Technology into a unit of instruction which was submitted into a shared google drive folder, for free accessibility. We are excited to report:
Perfect attendance for each day of the training: 100% of participants attended every session.
Overall, program completers acquired the required knowledge about NGSS, thus contributing to the national effort as well as our local effort to implement the new standards one school at a time. Over 80 teachers expressed an interest in participating and 57 were selected and completed the entire training, thus exceeding the target number set for Cohort 2 by 7 teachers.
While we are still a few years away from being able to measure and evaluate the impact on college and community college completion and matriculation rates, we feel confident about the impact our program has had on increasing students' immersion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content. In context, each one of the 57 teachers who completed our program teaches about 150 students each year, hence impacting over 8,550 students in one year who will benefit from their teachers' new knowledge and enthusiasm. Over five years, these 57 teachers will reach 42,750 students! That means 42,750 more students excited and inspired about STEM and fabrication technology. That's 42,750 more individuals who will contribute to making Los Angeles not just a better place, but the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live by the year 2050!
Saying “yes" to supportive housing for the most vulnerable people
This is an update on the winning proposal from the LIVE category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.
Since January 2019, the Everyone In campaign has worked tirelessly to site and approve more supportive and affordable housing across L.A. County. With the added capacity we have brought to the housing and homelessness space in messaging, events, and organizing, we have successfully increased the number of units sited per year by 700%. Of the total number of units sited, roughly a third of them are under construction and will open their doors in a few years. The more supportive and affordable units that open, the more people we can bring indoors and chip away at the homelessness crisis.
Everyone In by the numbers
as of July 31, 2019
The work of the organizing team
Much of the success of Everyone In can be attributed to the work of our organizing team that cover every region in the county. The organizing team has been actively building community support for over 35 developments countywide. Local residents are getting involved and signing up for trainings to become “super advocates" skilled in the basics of community organizing and messaging. We've empowered residents to build their own local coalitions to address the crisis in their community through hosting events, canvassing, and engaging their elected officials on solutions that work. Our goal this year has been to move the thousands of people who have signed up for Everyone In up the engagement ladder to win local battles.
To engage residents, we have relied on our digital outreach and events to cast the widest net to convert new supporters. To celebrate our first anniversary in March, we launched large ads on billboards, buses, and radio spots to build brand awareness. We've increased the number of local events to include The Advocates documentary screenings, a storytelling series called Stories From The Frontline in six communities, and Pop Ups at major community events. We've utilized a texting platform, Hustle, to engage new sign ups to invite them to a local event or have an organizer contact them for follow up. And finally, we've hosted bi-monthly orientations that have 30-40 participants call in during their lunch break on Fridays.
2019 Campaign Highlights
With the support of the Goldhirsh Foundation, we have expanded our organizing capacity and have new organizers dedicated to areas like Long Beach, Pomona/East San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena/West San Gabriel Valley, Antelope Valley, and East L.A./Gateway Cities. In jurisdictions outside of the City of L.A. we take a deeper look at improving policies that streamline development, provide legal protections for renters, and exploring ways the United Way can enter the rent stabilization conversation. The results of the 2019 Homeless Count showed a 12% increase countywide (16% in the City of L.A.) despite all the work we have done collectively to permanently house and site new development at record rates. Every day last year, we helped 133 homeless people move into permanent housing, but another 150 were driven into homelessness for the first time.
We've partnered with Abundant Housing L.A. and Inner City Law Center in developing our policy improvement work in the targeted seven jurisdictions with heavy focus in the City of Whittier, Long Beach, and unincorporated areas. We've worked with L.A. County's Homelessness Initiative and L.A. County Regional Planning Department on the Interim and Supportive Housing Ordinance (ISHO) that would streamline bridge and supportive housing development in unincorporated areas. Unincorporated areas has over 1.1 million residents in 120 communities and, if combined, would be considered the second largest city in the county. Since the unincorporated jurisdictions do not have an elected body, the Board of Supervisors act as their city council and mayor. We just finished community engagement on the ordinance and are waiting for the completion of a feasibility study. We are also looking into strategies to make the Temporary Rent Stabilization Ordinance, an annual cap of 3% rent increase and requiring just cause evictions, permanent in 2020.
Progress in the last six months
This is an update on the winning proposal from the CONNECT category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.
Welcome, Neighbor is a campaign created by Miry's List in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE). Our goal is to make Los Angeles the most welcoming city for resettling refugee families by activating Angelenos across the city through their Neighborhood Councils to welcome and support their newest neighbors.
In 2019, 14 neighborhood councils voted "yes" to participate in Welcome, Neighbor to make LA more welcoming for resettling Angelenos:
Utilizing social media, council meetings, resolutions, and volunteer opportunities, to date we've reached over 70,000 and engaged nearly 14,000 Angelenos.
On September 4, 2019, LA turns 238 years young! In honor of our city's birthday we asked 26 leaders, doers, and innovators to share their birthday wish for the City of Angels.
We heard dreams about better transportation, wishes to support local entrepreneurs, and plans to invest in future generations. It looks like this is going to be a great year for LA.
Tell us your wish for LA's birthday using the hashtag #HappyBirthdayLA and tagging us (@LA2050) on your social media platform of choice - we cannot wait to see your ideas!
This Book Lovers Day we got help from our staff to create a list of our own bookshelf favorites! Here are our must-haves to add to your own book collection:
The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers
Goldhirsh Foundation President Tara Roth admitted she cried in public while reading this Pulitzer Prize winning book. “It's just a beautiful and sad story. You become immersed in all the character's stories and truly care about them."
Sula by Toni Morrison
Tara also recommends this novel that chronicles the friendship of two women over their lifetimes. By taking the characters through different paths in life, Morrison shows what it's like to be a black woman in America.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-tested Strategy for Successful Investing by Burton G. Malkiel
Social Innovation Coordinator LeAnn Kelch recommends this book about investing. “As someone who is just starting out in my career, I wanted to learn about how I could (and should) be investing my money. This book is helpful for those who are looking for more than just simple advice and want to understand not just what they should do with their investments, but why. I've learned so much!"
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
LeAnn also recommends this book that traces the history and lasting impact of redlining in America - revealing how the government imposed residential segregation and “contributed greatly to our country's pervasive racial and economic inequality."
Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou
From racism, to grieving, to taking time for your own self care, Ms. Angelou gives her raw, real advice to apply to everyday life. “The wisdom, wit, and honesty from her personal experiences helped me learn to love my journey for what it is and take control of it," according to our intern Amanda Guiterrez.
G'morning, G'night!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Amanda also recommends starting your day with Lin-Manuel Miranda's brand of sunshine, “These little affirmations start my day off with motivation and end my night with contentment, and truly make me smile."
Becoming by Michelle Obama
In this book, Obama shares how her experiences growing up in the South Side of Chicago shaped her career and personal life, along with her experiences as first lady. USC Price Fellow Claudia Eccheveria says, “Michelle Obama's memoir is a must read!"
Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence by Aquil Basheer and Christina Hoag
Claudia also recommends this book that provides guidelines on how to become an interventionist and promote peace in some of LA's most vulnerable neighborhoods impacted by gang violence.
Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions and Spark Change by Frank Sesno
Consultant Julie Lacouture says this book by journalist Frank Sesno “has some amazing advice about how to ask great questions to spark change. I learned the difference between empathetic questions, accountability questions, diagnostic questions, and when to best use them."
Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow
Julie also recommends this book that follows a young man who "grew up at the epicenter of white nationalism" (his Dad founded Stormfront and his godfather is David Duke) and came to renounce all of it after attending a small college in Florida. Says Julie: “This is a tremendous story of how small influences can make a huge change and how white-supremacist ideas get repackaged and adopted."
Here (Pantheon Graphic Library) by Richard McGuire
This graphic novel is recommended by intern Amanda Liaw, “It's a surprising book that illustrates the stories that have taken place in the corner of a single room across hundreds and thousands of years. It does an amazing job at drawing out the deep emotional connection we somehow feel to spaces."
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Intern Amy Roth recommends this non-fiction book, “Gladwell's narrative of the complexities of “outliers" in society is gripping and thought-provoking."
The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder
Amy also recommends this detailed analysis to draw parallels between history and the present, as he maps out the road to corruption, censorship, and the suppression of democracy throughout Russia's quest for world domination.
After the back-to-back earthquakes around the 4th of July, Southern Californians realized how important it is to be prepared in the face of natural disaster. It got us thinking about all the organizations that help communities before, during, and after a natural disaster strikes.
Most of these organizations and more are also a part of the Emergency Network of Los Angeles (ENLA). The ENLA is a coalition of nonprofit organizations that share their knowledge and needed resources throughout the disaster cycle. With the support and resources of all these organizations, communities and the individuals they home can feel more equipped and confident when a disaster strikes.
Make memories and make a difference this summer! Beach, lake, and river cleanups are an opportunity to get involved in your community and make public spaces safer and cleaner.
There are plenty of organizations in Los Angeles making a difference for the environment and many hold cleanup events regularly throughout the year: