CoCo In the News


Rep. Karen Bass is a fighting social justice community activist at heart. She’s no stranger to adversity, founding the Community Coalition in the late 1980s to fight the crack cocaine epidemic in South LA and the dire conditions that fed it, to being elected the first African American woman Speaker of the California Assembly in 2008/2009 during a significant fiscal crisis, for which she was honored by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library with the 2010 Profile in Courage Award. Now she serves as Chair of the important Black Congressional Caucus dealing with the Trump administration.

Los Angeles Blade, March 17th, 2020. Rep. Karen Bass, a Physician Assistant during the AIDS crisis, talks about the coronavirus

“We are worried that today and [Tuesday] children who depend on a meal at their school will not be able to access a healthy meal,” said Aurea Montes-Rodriguez, executive vice president of Community Coalition, which serves families in south L.A.

Community Coalition’s Montes-Rodriguez emphasized the importance of pushing out critical information “through all of the local television networks … through the communication mediums our families are relying on” as soon as information is available. “We need to be over-communicating” with the community, she said.

The 74, March 17th, 2020. At Least Half of CA’s Districts Are Closed Due to Coronavirus. A Look at L.A. Unified’s Plans to Teach, Feed Students — and How Community Members Reacted on Day 1 of Shutdown

We cannot wait for confirmation that COVID-19 has entered our jails before making the decision to act. We urge the Sheriff, the Department of Health Services-Correctional Health Services, the District Attorney, the Los Angeles County Superior Court, and the Board of Supervisors to take immediate and decisive steps now to save lives. We also urge each county entity to work with corresponding city law enforcement partners to ensure that the same plans and protocols are being implemented in each city within Los Angeles County. We will support you in taking the bold, but necessary, action to protect the health of every Angeleno, including the most vulnerable.

Human Right Watch, March 13th, 2020. Advocacy Groups Urge Los Angeles County Officials to Take Immediate Action to Stop Spread of COVID-19 Through Jails and Communities

Now, a little over a year later, the ATI group is back with a 98-page final report that includes 114 recommendations, organized under five “foundational” strategies, and which is to officially be accepted by the LA County Board of supervisors on Tuesday, March 10.

(Graphic note taking image above developed at the ATI Community Engagement Workshop led by Community Coalition in South Los Angeles.)

Witness LA, March 9th, 2020. Can Los Angeles County Successfully Reimagine Its Justice System? A New Report Says, Yes

“For decades, there has not been enough funding going into communities to build up the infrastructure for when people come back home, or to prevent people from being locked up,” said Patricia Guerra, Director of Organizing at Community Coalition. “The funding should go back to the communities to build housing, mental health treatment, and youth programs.”

LA Standard Newspaper, March 1st, 2020. 2020 March election will impact local Black communities

Linda Gomez, a volunteer with Imagine Justice who’s been knocking on doors and working phones for Gascon in South L.A., said voter education has been a key part of the outreach.

“We’re actually going to their doors and having those long conversations about not just Gascon, but the importance of what the D.A. position is,” she said.

Los Angeles Times, March 1st, 2020. Jackie Lacey grew up in South L.A. But in a tough D.A.’s race, her opponents are encroaching on her home turf

But South LA resident Linda Gomez says she benefitted from Proposition 47 because she was tried as an adult when she was 17 and would have served a nearly 25-year sentence. Her assault with a deadly weapon conviction carried gang enhancements. Now she’s getting out the vote as part of a campaign to raise awareness. “I know the importance of this race. When I think of the DA race, I think of that 17- year-old girl scared and not knowing what’s going on in court,” Gomez said in an interview. But labor groups and grassroots organizers have rallied around Gascón and raised considerable cash for his race.

Courthouse News, February 28th, 2020. Crime – and Criminal Reform – at Forefront of Los Angeles DA Race

Congresswoman Karen Bass is another L.A. hero. She ascended from nurse practitioner to founder of the Community Coalition to state representative, making history as the first African American woman to serve as speaker of the California General Assembly. Today, she’s chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and is intentional around pipeline development and ensuring that the next generation of talent has access to opportunity, as well as the skills to be successful. That includes me; Congresswoman Bass is one of my mentors.

LA Sentinel, February 27th, 2020. Celebrating LA Heroes Who Mentor the Next Generation

Our very own Linda Gomez shares her lived experience story starting around the 4:40 mark.

KPCC 89.3 NPR, February 24th, 2020. LA County DA Race: George Gascon, Former San Francisco DA

Among those involved in the $1-million get-out-the-vote effort is Linda Gomez, who as a teen was sentenced to 14 years in prison for assault with a gang enhancement. She was released after criminal justice reform laws such as those championed by Gascón changed parole eligibility for juvenile offenders.

“At 17, I just remember sitting in that courtroom scared to death,” she said. “Most girls are getting ready for prom or SATs, and I’m looking at spending the rest of my life in prison.”

Los Angeles Times, February 24th, 2020. Police unions, justice reformers battle for dollars in bitter L.A. County D.A. racepk

“At the age of 11, I was first incarcerated for possession(and ) conspiracy to sell,” she said. This was the start of what she calls her “vicious cycle,” leading to her conviction (as an adult) at 17 and a stretch at the Central California Women’s Facility in Coachella.

She survived and today works as a Civic Engagement Specialist for the Community Coalition, which is dedicated to improve the economic and social environment in South LA. Her eldest brother also survived to become a minister and substance abuse counselor. Her other brother was not as lucky and is doing “life” at the California State Prison in Lancaster for a non-violent crime under the “Three Strikes” law.

Our Weekly, February 13th, 2020. All eyes on us: D.A. race

On February 3, Labor and community organizing groups announced that they were pledging $1 million to launch “an all-out, million-plus dollar voter engagement program to help elect George Gascón as the County’s new District Attorney.”

The alliance is made up of SEIU Local 99, the education workers union, LA Voice Action, which does interfaith organizing, the Community Coalition Action Fund, a social justice and community organizing group based in South LA, the civil rights organizing group, Color of Change, and the California Donor Table & Open Philanthropy Project, all of which together represent 100,000 LA County residents, according to the organizers. efforts on the table in electing George Gascón as the new District Attorney.”

Witness LA, February 10th, 2020. LA’s Critically Important Race For District Attorney Heats Up With Attack Ads, Questionable Donations, & New Endorsements.

The announcement was made by Councilmember David Ryu of the Fourth District, is the Chair of the Health, Education, Neighborhoods, Parks, Arts, Entertainment and River Committee. Members of City Council including Councilmember Marqueece Harris- Dawson and Curren Price welcomed and celebrated the Blue Shield of California and the 12 organizations for their efforts to enhance local nonprofit organizations’ work of transforming the welfare of underserved communities.

Alongside with Councilmember Ryu stood Todd Walthall, Chief Operating Officer of Blue Shield of California, Dr. Greg Buchert, President of Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, Alberto Retana, President and CEO of Community Coalition, Areva Martin, President of Special Needs Network, Inc. Representatives of all 12 organizations were also in attendance joining the group in accepting the award.

LA Sentinel, January 30th, 2020. Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Awarded $1.1 Million to Support Healthier and Stronger Communities in SoCal

At Community Coalition, a social justice organization led by South L.A. residents and founded by current U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, we’ve been aware of the problems that liquor stores pose for three decades. More than 200 liquor stores were destroyed during the 1992 civil unrest, serving as proof of the communal resentment toward these nuisance businesses.

To prevent stores from re-opening, our community organizers launched the “Rebuild South Central Without Liquor Stores” campaign which mobilized tens of thousands of residents that participated in hundreds of hearings, rallies, and actions.

LA Wave Newspaper, January 30th, 2020. Reducing Liquor Stores in South LA Anyway Possible


“The Community Coalition (CoCo) will host on Saturday, July 27, an open house party and mural vote from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its headquarters, 8101 S. Vermont Ave.”

Our Weekly, July 25th, 2019. Art tells the story of Community Coalition

“Yet community fears are, unfortunately, well-founded, says Hector Sanchez, director of finance for the Community Coalition, an alliance member headquartered in South Los Angeles, whose constituents are mostly black or Latino, with many living close to poverty. “

Capital & Main, July 1st, 2019. Overcoming Black Doubts About the Census

“The nation’s second-largest school district is at a crossroads.

Back in January, Los Angeles Unified school teachers went on strike and received widespread public support and the deal that ended the strike seemed to raise hopes of a new day in the LAUSD.”

KPCC, June 19th, 2019. With A Budget For The Next Three Years In Place, A Look At The Future Of LAUSD

“On June 8th, many South L.A. residents came together at Los Angeles Trade Technical College for the 4th annual People Power Convention hosted by Community Coalition. The convention is a mass organizing event where residents learn about educational equity, justice reinvestment, art activism, and unified voting power.”

LA Sentinel, June 19th, 2019. Congresswoman Karen Bass and Van Jones Speak at the People Power Convention

“On June 8, Los Angeles Trade-Tech College hosted the Fourth Annual People Power Convention, organized by South Los Angeles’ non-profit organization Community Coalition.”

Our Weekly, June 13th, 2019. ‘People Power’ convention fights for the community


“The rout of Los Angeles Unified’s parcel tax last week will reverberate beyond L.A. to other school districts that had hoped a victory in Los Angeles might signal that their voters, too, would consider higher school taxes.”

EdSource, June 11th, 2019. Statewide messages in aftermath of LA parcel tax’s defeat


“SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Youth from six inner-city schools gathered at Los Angeles Trade-Tech College May 18 for the second annual Emerging Leaders Youth Summit as a part of National Prevention Week, an annual observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of mental health and substance abuse disorders.”

Los Angeles Wave, May 23rd, 2019. Drug Use, Violence Among Topics At Youth Leadership Summit

“On Tuesday, students, parents, and organizers from a number of South L.A. schools and community organizations gathered in front of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce in support of Measure EE, a proposed parcel tax on the June special election ballot that could help bolster budgets.”

Los Angeles Magazine, May 22nd, 2019. South L.A. Students Rally to Support the School-Funding Ballot Measure L.A.’s Chamber of Commerce Opposes


“On Saturday at Trade Tech College, 400 W. Washington Blvd., more than 80 student leaders from across the area will gather for the Emerging Leaders Youth Summit scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.”

Our Weekly, May 16th, 2019. South L.A. Student leaders talk underage drug abuse

“LOS ANGELES — L.A. residents will head to the polls in just a few weeks to vote on a proposed property tax to fund LAUSD schools. Measure EE is a parcel tax introduced by the Los Angeles Unified School District that would help to fund many of the agreements that emerged from the resolution of the teachers’ strike back in January.”

Spectrum News 1, May 16th, 2019.  Opponents and Proponents of Measure EE Await June Vote


“County supervisors voted today to award a $2.2 billion design contract to replace Men’s Central Jail in Downtown LA—not with a new jail as planned, but with a mental health treatment center.”

Curbed Los Angeles, February 13th, 2019. County to build mental health center Downtown—not a new jail

“Los Angeles County supervisors narrowly approved a plan Tuesday to tear down the dungeon-like Men’s Central Jail downtown and build at least one mental health treatment facility in its place.”

Los Angeles Times, February 13th, 2019. In landmark move, L.A. County will replace Men’s Central Jail with mental health hospital for inmates


“LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to scrap plans for a women’s jail in Lancaster and approved a new vision for a downtown mental health treatment center, though many criminal justice advocates worried that it might only be a jail by another name.”

Los Angeles Daily News, February 12th, 2019. L.A. County scraps women’s jail in Lancaster, OKs downtown treatment center

“The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to replace the Men’s Central Jail in downtown L.A. with a mental health treatment center.”

KTLA5, February 12th, 2019. L.A. County Supervisors Vote to Replace Men’s Central Jail With Mental Health Treatment Center


“LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to scrap plans for a women’s jail in Lancaster and approved a new vision for mental health treatment center in downtown Los Angeles, though many criminal justice advocates worried that it might only be a jail by another name.”

Antelope Valley Times, February 12th, 2019. L.A. County scraps women’s jail in Lancaster

“On the heels of a recent report from the Los Angeles Times regarding LAPD’s “Stop and Frisk” policy, community leaders throughout Los Angeles have come together to urge city officials to enact sensible police reforms in South L.A.”

Our Weekly, February 7th, 2019. Police Department is urged to enact ‘sensible reforms’

“Mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered Los Angeles police to scale back on vehicle stops in response to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times showing that an elite unit was pulling over a disproportionate number of African Americans.”

Los Angeles Times, February 6th, 2019. Garcetti orders LAPD to scale back vehicle stops amid concerns over black drivers being targeted

“LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s calling for the LAPD’s Metropolitan Division to stop pulling over as many cars as they’ve been doing in recent years.”

KPCC, February 7th, 2019. What is a fair standard racially and ethnically for gang injunction traffic stops?

“LOS ANGELES, CA — A dozen community organizations called Tuesday for the removal of an elite Los Angeles Police Department division from South Los Angeles in response to a report that the unit oversaw a surge in traffic stops involving African American drivers.”

KNBC4, February 5th, 2019. Community Groups Want Metropolitan Division Out of South Los Angeles

“Nearly two dozen African-American pastors urged United Teachers Los Angeles to return to the negotiating table because “the fortunes of African-American children do not improve on a picket line.”

Los Angeles School Report, January 16th, 2019. 21 black pastors call on UTLA to return to the table to end LAUSD teacher strike because ‘the fortunes of African-American children do not improve on a picket line’


“LOS ANGELES — Teachers in the nation’s second-largest school system walked off the job Monday, heading for rain-soaked streets amid a battle with district leaders over crowded classrooms, depleted staff and the very future of Los Angeles schools.”

Washington Post, January 14th, 2019. ‘As long as it takes’: Los Angeles teachers go on strike in nation’s second-largest system

“With more than 30,000 teachers union members ready to strike Thursday, the Los Angeles Unified School District is preparing to bring in highly paid substitutes, supervise students in large spaces such as auditoriums and ease background checks for parent volunteers, according to records obtained by The Times.”

Los Angeles Times, January 7th, 2019. Highly paid substitutes, lessons in large spaces — how L.A. Unified is preparing for a teachers strike



“In under a year, real-deal activists emerged—including Emma González, Samantha Fuentes, Jaclyn Corin, Edna Chavez, and Naomi Wadler—and made their voices heard by leading a march on D.C. and traveling the country to encourage voter registration. On November 12, those young fighters the stage at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards and delivered what can only be described as a rallying cry.”

Glamour, November 12th, 2018. The March for Our Lives Activists Turned Their Women of the Year Speech Into a Rallying Cry

“Outspoken and unconventional, these brazen women are beacons of change who refuse to conform. As they dare to do the impossible, encouraging young visionaries to break—not just push—boundaries, they inspire people around the world to stand up for what they believe in. Here, Gabrielle Giffords and Edna Chavez open up about their fight for gun control for our 2018 #WomenWhoDare series.”

Harper’s Bazar, October 8th, 2018. Gabrielle Giffords and Edna Chavez Refuse to Be Silenced on Gun Control


“On Saturday, Community Coalition presented its 7th Annual Power Fest, a free, premier music festival combining art and activism in South LA. This year’s Power Fest brought the South L.A. community together to reclaim the “People’s Lot,” several acres of land that has been vacant for the past 25 years.”

Los Angeles Sentinel, August 30th, 2018. Over 2,000 People Reclaim “People’s Lot” & Celebrate 7th Annual Power Fest

“SOUTH LOS ANGELES — The People’s Lot, a long-vacant parcel of land at the intersection of Vermont and Manchester avenues, was packed to capacity at the seventh annual South L.A. Power Fest Aug. 25. An estimated 2,000 people were in attendance to celebrate a day of family fun, culture, activism and entertainment.”

Los Angeles Wave, August 25th, 2018. Community Coalition stages Power Fest on People’s Lot


“There were rides, slides, games, food trucks, radio hosts, as well as bands and dancers. Entertainment was comprised of 3 stages with bands all playing simultaneously. There was a variety of music for everyone.  The event was so much fun for everyone involved. This was the Seventh Annual Powerfest put on by the City of Los Angeles.”

Inglewood Times, August 25th, 2018. Spotlight: South LA Power Fest 2018


“Una coalición estatal de organizaciones comunitarias, sindicatos, líderes de negocios, fundaciones filantrópicas y funcionarios electos lograron reunir 850,000 firmas para poner en la boleta electoral de noviembre de 2020, una reforma fiscal que aportaría 2,000 millones de dólares anuales a las escuelas y barrios del condado de Los Ángeles.”

La Opinón, August 14th, 2018. Juntan firmas para que las grandes corporaciones paguen más impuestos para las escuelas y barrios de California

“The Reform L.A. Jails coalition turned in more than 246,000 signatures to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk today calling for its criminal justice reform legislation initiative to be placed on California’s March 2020 Presidential Primary ballot.”

LA Sentinel, August 2nd, 2018. Reform L.A. Jails Coalition Makes History and Turns in Over 246K Signatures


“LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner and a group of local community partners and foundations today announced the launch of a multimillion-dollar fund with an aim of improving student achievement and engaging the community.”

KFI AM 640, July 5th, 2018. New Education Fund for LAUSD Aims to Improve Student Performance

“The research is increasingly clear: Children of all races learn better in racially-integrated schools. Yet in the Los Angeles Unified School District, more than half of the students — around 289,000 kids — attend a school that’s more than 90 percent black and Latino.”

LAist, July 3rd, 2018. LA’s Schools Are Segregated. LAUSD Says There’s Only So Much They Can Do


“SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Issues that continue to plague the community, including homelessness, over-policing, the high cost of cash bail, absentee landowners, education and gentrification, brought out hundreds of residents to attend the Community Coalition’s third annual People Power Convention at Los Angeles Trade Tech College June 9.”

Los Angeles Wave, June 14th, 2018. Community Coalition unveils People First Platform

“Starting next year, Los Angeles Unified School District officials will consider asthma rates and injuries from gun violence in neighborhoods near its campuses to help them decide which district schools are most in need of extra funding.”

KPCC, April 10th, 2018. LAUSD just decided to use shooting, asthma rates to help decide which schools get more money.


“L.A. schools will soon get more money if they are located in neighborhoods with such problems as high levels of gun violence and asthma.”

Los Angeles Times, April 10th, 2018. School board approves a new formula for funding high-need schools.

“The dinner is free. But the guests need to come ready to get real about a topic that makes most people very uncomfortable: race and racism.”

KPCC, April 10th, 2018. Can LA sit down at the dinner table and get honest about race?


“A few weeks after the March For Our Lives in DC and a speech that broke the internet, Latino Rebels’ Sharis Delgadillo speaks with Edna Chávez and Hakim Johnson from Community Coalition in Los Angeles.”

Latino Rebels, April 8th, 2018. Edna Chavez and Hakim Johnson of Community Coalition (PODCAST)




“From April 16 through 19, a new initiative called EmbRACE L.A. will hold a series of 100 dinners, bringing Angelenos together to share a free meal and stretch the boundaries of what qualifies as polite dinner conversation.”

Los Angeles Magazine, April 5th, 2018. Can a Series of 100 Dinners Start a Real Conversation About Race in L.A.?


“It’s been fifty years since Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. In the wake of his death, the battle for civil rights, equality and equity has been uneven.”

LA Sentinel, April 5th, 2018. The Legacy of Dr. King – ‘We Still Have Work Left To Be Done’




“Responding to years of pressure by Los Angeles community and education advocates, LA Unified next month may commit to funding schools based on a new ranking that gives priority to those with the highest-need students”.

LA School Report, April 1st, 2018.  As Gov. Brown allocates more education funding, LAUSD moves to make sure its neediest schools benefit the most.


 – A group of South LA teenagers returned home from participating in the March For Our Lives demonstration in Washington D.C. over the weekend.”

FOX 11, March 25th, 2018. Local teen activists return to LA after DC march.




“LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A young gun control activist from South Los Angeles stood out as she spoke at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington D.C. about the gun violence she’s endured throughout her childhood.”

KABC, March 24th, 2018.  South LA student delivers emotional March for Our Lives speech in DC.


“Edna Chavez, a South Los Angeles resident, spoke to the march in Washington, recalling the day her brother was killed.”

Los Angeles Times, March 24th, 2018. LA teenager Edna Chavez remembers her brother, a victim of gun violence.




“The protest in Washington — which Parkland students began to plan on the very day they lost 17 of their classmates — has become an undeniable movement who’s message for gun reform will not dim until they see effective change. Edna Chavez, a 17-year-old from south Los Angeles, was one of the 20 speakers at the rally in Washington.”

Mitú, March 24th, 2018.  Thousands Took To The Streets In Washington And Across The Country To Join The March For Our Lives Revolution.


“Edna Chávez, una estudiante de Los Ángeles, habló sobre la dolorosa muerte de su hermano mayor tras un tiroteo, cómo su comunidad vive acostumbrada a la violencia de las armas y sobre los cambios legislativos que se necesitan para prevenir más asesinatos.”

Univisión, March 24th, 2018. “Aprendí a esquivar balas antes que a leer”: el potente discurso de una joven hispana en DC.




“On March 24, cities and towns throughout the United States and around the world took part in the March For Our Lives, a massive demonstration in support of gun control. And if you’re watching all the speeches by students and Parkland survivors from Washington, D.C. on Saturday afternoon, you might be wondering who Edna Chavez is, because she made a very big impression.”

Bustle, March 24th, 2018. Who Is Edna Chavez? The March For Our Lives Speaker Was Straight Fire.


“LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Tens of thousands of people are expected to rally in Washington, D.C. and other cities across the country for the March for Our Lives.”

KABC, March 23rd, 2018. At least 60K expected to attend March for Our Lives rally in downtown Los Angeles.




“South Los Angeles students are joining the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. this Saturday, a march organized as a response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that left 17 students dead.”

NBC Los Angeles, March 23rd, 2018. ‘Nothing is Really Being Done’: South LA Students Join March for Our Lives in Washington.


“La Junta de Supervisores votó a favor de examinar de cerca las tiendas de tabaco, en las áreas no incorporadas del Condado de Los Ángeles, así como evaluar su impacto en la salud y la seguridad de las comunidades que las rodean.”

Hoy, March 9th, 2018. Condado de LA promete solución al impacto de la salud infantil por venta de cigarrillos.





“Dozens of protesters sat on the beds wearing wearing t-shirts that read, “I am not the property of L.A. County jail” to speak out against Los Angeles County’s $2 billion plan to expand its jails.”

Blavity, September 26th, 2017. Black Lives Matter And Other Activists Brought A Jail To Downtown LA In Prison Expansion Protest.


“We ask that Los Angeles push a path of redemption, reconciliation, reimagination and reinvention,” said Alberto Retana, CEO of Community Coalition, asking the board to focus on the root causes of incarceration.”

My News LA, September 26th, 2017. Bunk bed anti-jail protest snarls LA traffic.




“This historic first meeting is a crucial opportunity for the residents of South L.A. to have their voices and concerns directly heard around public safety issues in their neighborhood,” said Alberto Retana, president and CEO of the Community Coalition.”

My News LA, September 19th, 2017. LA Police Commission leaves DTLA to hold a meeting in Watts tonight.


“Nearly a dozen community organizations praised the Board of Police Commissioners Tuesday for scheduling an official meeting outside of police headquarters or Los Angeles City Hall.”

LA West Media, September 19th, 2017. Board Of Police Commissioners Schedule Official Meeting In Watts.




“LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The Los Angeles Unified School District agreed Thursday to pay $150 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of “high-need students” at 50 secondary and high schools in the district.”

KABC7, September 14th, 2017. LAUSD to pay $150 million in landmark settlement for ‘high-need students’.


“The Los Angeles Unified School District will provide $150 million in additional funding to 50 “high-needs” schools over the next three years under an agreement that settles a lawsuit that alleged that district officials misspent hundreds of millions in state funding intended to help English learners, foster youth and students from low-income families.”

EdSource, September 14th, 2017. Los Angeles Unified settles lawsuit over funding for ‘high-needs’ students.




“Más de $150 millones de dólares en fondos adicionales serán distribuidos entre 50 de las escuelas de mayor necesidad en Los Ángeles durante los próximos tres años como parte de un acuerdo para poner fin a una querella sobre la distribución desigual de fondos escolares.”

La Opinión, September 14th, 2017. 50 de las escuelas más necesitadas del LAUSD se repartirán $150 millones.


“The Los Angeles Unified School District will pour $151 million into a group of 50 schools to settle a lawsuit over how the school system spends money intended for some of its neediest students.”

LA Times, September 14th, 2017. Settlement will send $151 million to 50 L.A. schools over the next three years.





“LOS ANGELES (KABC) — With each signature, students from South L.A. pledged to keep the peace, with the help of entrepreneur and music producer Russell Simmons.”

KABC7, August 1st, 2017. Russell Simmons inspires LA youth with ‘Keep the Peace’ initiative.


“Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons brought his RushCard’s Keep The Peace initiative to the USC campus on Tuesday, August 1st.  Over seventy-five South L.A. youth filled the room.”

LA Sentinel, August 1st, 2017. Russell Simmons Inspires L.A. Youth. 





“This year’s RushCard-supported initiatives include a visit to the Rikers Island youth detention facility and rally with LIFE Camp in New York City, an inspirational presentation and pledge for peace with Community Coalition in Los Angeles, community peacekeeping training with The Peacekeepers in Chicago and Atlanta and a community outreach event with Boys Hope Girls Hope in Cincinnati.”

Markets Insider, August 1st, 2017. RushCard and Russell Simmons Announce Recipients for Keep the Peace Annual Grant Program.


“Los Angeles should explore whether to create a municipal bank that would finance affordable housing and throw its doors open to the cannabis industry, City Council President Herb Wesson said Tuesday.”

LA Times, July 25th, 2017. Housing, battling racism and a municipal bank top agenda for L.A. council president.





“The Los Angeles school board has authorized a lawsuit settlement that would send more money to the district’s neediest schools over the next three years for resources to improve African American and Latino student achievement.”

LA Times, July 6th, 2017. Approved L.A. Unified settlement would send money to district’s neediest schools.


“Measure C, a controversial ballot initiative seeking to significantly change LAPD disciplinary policy, looks to have passed with an initial count of 57.1% of the vote in Tuesday’s election.”

LAist, May 17th, 2017. What The Passage of Measure C Means for L.A., And What You Can Still Do About It






“Reeling from a major defeat at the polls, a handful of police accountability groups called Wednesday for Los Angeles city leaders to overhaul the process used to select civilians who review allegations of serious officer misconduct.”

LA Times, May 17th, 2017. After election loss, critics of Charter Amendment C call for sweeping review of LAPD discipline.


“The Los Angeles Police Department’s disciplinary system is complicated and often criticized, drawing complaints from both inside and outside the department. The department’s disciplinary process could undergo one of the most significant changes in decades if Los Angeles voters approve Charter Amendment C on Tuesday’s ballot. Here’s a breakdown of the measure.”

LA Times, May 14th, 2017. How would Charter Amendment C affect the LAPD’s disciplinary system? 





“Amendment C is yet another mark of how far the political establishment has moved from its former respectful skepticism of police unions to acquiescence.”

LA Times, May 10th, 2017. Don’t be fooled — Measure C is a union ploy to go soft on police misconduct


“Congresswoman Karen Bass made her rounds last week, remembering and speaking on the civil unrest that began on Florence and Normandie 25 years ago and imparting lessons that she learned while being involved in the rebuilding process.”

LA Watts Times, May 4th, 2017. Bass Remembers L.A.’s Civil Unrest and Lessons Learned. 





“The city of today is nothing like it was in April 1992. Much has changed, and much remains to be done. If there is little reason for a sunny outlook about the future (especially in the Trump era), there is an abundant foundation for a cautious sense of hope.”

Capital & Main, May 1st, 2017. South Los Angeles: Renaissance and Potential.


“South LA Rally, march marks 25 years since LA Riots rocked the nation.”

The Mercury News, April 29th, 2017. Learn more about our South LA Future Fest here. 







“Twenty five years ago, Los Angeles exploded in the worst urban civil unrest in contemporary American history. Ground zero for the social upheaval was South L.A., an area battered by deindustrialization and job loss, wracked by a crack epidemic and gang warfare, and frustrated by policing practices that best resembled those of an occupying force.”

KCET, April 28th, 2017. The L.A. Riots 25 Years Later: A Return to the Epicenter



“Aurea Montes-Rodriguez is executive vice president of the nonprofit Community Coalition. She said she’s frustrated by a number of empty lots that remain undeveloped here, like one down the street from her office in the Vermont Knolls neighborhood, where stores burned in ’92.”

NPR Marketplace, April 28th, 2017. Uneven economic development marks South LA neighborhoods hit hardest by ’92 riots.






Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 6.37.44 PM

“LOS ANGELES — After a mostly-white jury acquitted four white police officers in the beating of Rodney King, it was only minutes before Henry Keith Watson joined hundreds of others here at the corner of Florence and Normandie in South Los Angeles.”

The New York Times, April 28th, 2017. The L.A. Riots 25 Years Later: A Return to the Epicenter



“Twenty-five years ago, the city erupted after four LAPD officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King.  A look at what’s changed for residents in South LA and what still needs to happen.”

KCRW Olney in LA, April 27th, 2017. South LA’s legacy: 25 Years after the riots






18279021_10154309917336822_1147869645410983020_o (1)

“LOS ANGELES — A bank of TV sets flicker on and off one by one, each showing a different media clip from the early 1990s: gang members being interviewed, talking heads spewing political punditry, videos of looting and burning buildings.”

Hyperallergic, April 27th, 2017.  A Searing Show Commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the 1992 LA Uprising



“As the 25th anniversary of the L.A. riots approaches, witnesses who watched as stores went up in flames and angry cries filled the streets are remembering what unfolded on April 29, 1992.”

The Week, April 26th, 2017. 25 years later, witnesses remember the 1992 L.A. riots.






Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 6.03.30 PM

Community Coalition, a nonprofit community organization working to eradicate violence, poverty and addiction in South L.A., is bringing that painful chapter in Los Angeles history back to life this April with “Re-Imagine Justice,” an interactive art exhibit in a back room at the nonprofit that has been refashioned into a looted storefront.”

Hollywood Reporter, April 26th, 2017.  L.A. Marks 25th Anniversary of 1992 Riots With Diverse Events.

“There may have been a riot going on, but 16-year-old college-bound Aurea Montes-Rodriguez had a field trip to Washington, D.C., to prepare for, so she wasn’t about to miss class on April 30, 1992.”

The Associated Press, April 26th, 2017. Witnesses Reflect on LA’s Rodney King Riot 25 Years Later
 Those Caught Up in 1992 LA Riot Reflect on Causes, Changes.






Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 5.41.44 PM

“A new art exhibit titled “Re-Imagining Justice” asks the question: What does justice look like in America – 25 years after the uprising? Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 5 on Monday, Aug. 15, 2017.”

KNBC, April 25th, 2017. Art Exhibit Wants Community to ‘Re-Imagine’ Justice.


“SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) –Twenty-five years after the Los Angeles riots, an exhibit at the Community Coalition in South L.A. takes visitors back to the time of civil unrest and the history behind what started it all.”

KABC 7, April 25th, 2017. ‘Re-Imagine Justice’ exhibit shows history of LA riots.






Community Coalition, a nonprofit community organization working to eradicate violence, poverty and addiction in South L.A., is bringing that painful chapter in Los Angeles history back to life this April with “Re-Imagine Justice,” an interactive art exhibit in a back room at the nonprofit that has been refashioned into a looted storefront.”

LAist, April 25th, 2017. Revisit the Chaos of The 1992 Riots At This Haunting South L.A. Art Exhibit.

“Normally, the small room at Community Coalition, a nonprofit organization in South Los Angeles, is filled with computers available for local residents. This month, it has been transformed into a looted store, as part of the organization’s “Re-Imagine Justice” exhibit commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1992 riots.”

New York Times, April 25th, 2017. California Today: Chasing Justice in L.A., 25 Years After Riots.







The lobby of the Community Coalition in the Vermont Knolls section of South L.A. has been transformed into a ghostly, unmanned convenience store. To the left of the counter, a cooler is filled only with unlabeled bottles of orange juice and cans of Arizona Iced Tea. “

LA Weekly, April 21st, 2017. The Most Powerful Exhibit on the ’92 Riots Is on Display at a Community Center in South L.A.

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 4.57.48 PM

“LOS ANGELES (FOX 11) – We have reached deeply into the community to look at the 1992 LA Riots. Through the eyes and thoughts of  Aurea Montes-Rodriguez, we look back at what we’ve learned.”

FOX 11, April 22nd, 2017. FOX 11 News In Depth: The LA Riots 25 Years Later






The lobby of the Community Coalition in the Vermont Knolls section of South L.A. has been transformed into a ghostly, unmanned convenience store. To the left of the counter, a cooler is filled only with unlabeled bottles of orange juice and cans of Arizona Iced Tea. “

LA Weekly, April 21st, 2017. The Most Powerful Exhibit on the ’92 Riots Is on Display at a Community Center in South L.A.


“SOUTH LOS ANGELES — In 1991, Karen Bass and Sylvia Castillo, co-founders of the Community Coalition, started a campaign to clean up or close down the liquor stores in South L.A., saying they had become “one-stop shops” for drugs and crime.”

Los Angeles Wave, April 20th, 2017. Community Coalition panel looks back on what led to the ’92 Riots.




Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 4.56.34 PM

“Back in 2015, developer Sassony Properties “broke ground” on a flashy South LA project set to transform a two derelict blocks in the Vermont Knolls neighborhood into a massive shopping center with nearly 200,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space.”

Curbed LA, April 19th, 2017. Construction still hasn’t started on a fancy outdoor mall planned for South LA.


No other part of Los Angeles burned hotter during the 1992 L.A. Riots than the commercial district near Vermont and Manchester.

LA Weekly, April 18th, 2017. A Beverly Hills Developer Has Held 3 Acres of South L.A. “Hostage” for 25 Years, Critics Say.




Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 5.06.46 PM

“LA This Week: Community Coalition’s Re-Imagine Justice Exhibit.”

LA Cityview 35, April 14th, 2017. Learn more about our Re-Imagine Justice Exhibit.


When the riots broke out, Aurea Montes-Rodriguez was a 17-year-old high school student living with her family in Compton and taking the bus to a magnet school on the Eastside. Today she is executive vice president at Community Coalition, a social justice nonprofit based in South Los Angeles.”

LA Weekly, April 13th, 2017. 25 Years After the Riots: What a Teenager Learned Walking Home Through the Flames.



Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 4.45.12 PM

“We are on a mission to photograph sites that high schoolers Juan Carlos (J.C.) Mercado and Miguel Sanchez have identified as being integral to their contribution to Re-Imagine JusticeCommunity Coalition‘s month-long Living Art Museum and panel series commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1992 unrest/uprising.”

Streetsblog LA, April 6th, 2017. L.A. South Central Youth Assess Stasis and Change 25 years after the 1992 Unrest.

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 4.50.19 PM

“The end of April marks the 25th anniversary of the L.A. Uprising that tore through South Central. There was six days of violence after a court ruled four police officers were not guilty in the beating of Rodney King. The Community Coalition is hosting an art exhibit called Re-imagine Justice.”

USC Annenberg Media, April 6th, 2017. Photographer Recounts the First Night of the ’92 LA Uprising.



Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 4.45.12 PM

“We are on a mission to photograph sites that high schoolers Juan Carlos (J.C.) Mercado and Miguel Sanchez have identified as being integral to their contribution to Re-Imagine JusticeCommunity Coalition‘s month-long Living Art Museum and panel series commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1992 unrest/uprising.”

Streetsblog LA, April 6th, 2017. L.A. South Central Youth Assess Stasis and Change 25 years after the 1992 Unrest.


“The result of transforming anger into activism is the focus of “Re-Imagine Justice,” a month-long commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the uprising sponsored by the Community Coalition.”

LA Sentinel, April 5th, 2017. ‘Re-Imagine Justice’ Explores Past and Future of South L.A.



“On the 25th anniversary of the L.A. Riots, Angelenos will hit the streets, this time for a march to remind the city that there’s still progress to be made when it comes to economic and social justice south of the 10 freeway.”

LA Weekly, April 4th, 2017. L.A. Will Hit the Streets for the Riots’ Big Anniversary, This Time for a March.


There’s little distinction for Aloe Blacc between being an artist and an activist. That’s why the Laguna Hills native refers to himself as an “artivist.” Blacc returns to Orange County this weekend with something to sing about.”

OC Weekly, April 4th, 2017. Aloe Blacc Returns to OC for Free Concert Rallying Against School-to-Prison Pipeline.



“When California inaugurated a new school funding formula in 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown wanted to do more than restore money the state’s public schools had lost to deep recession-era budget cuts.”

KPCC, March 20th, 2017. LA Unified has gotten billions to serve high-needs kids. Here’s how they’ve spent it.

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 4.18.12 PM

“Twice a week, 18-year-old Javier Gomez works the front desk at Community Coalition in South Los Angeles and helps guide first-time voters. But on March 7, Gomez will be casting his own ballot for the first time.”

Intersections LA, March 6th, 2017. Organization Hopes Efforts to Rally South LA Voters Pay Off in City Election.



“Should LA build higher, denser developments near public transit, or stay as a network of neighborhoods with single family homes and small apartment buildings?”

KCRW Press Play, March 2nd, 2017. Our President & CEO urges Angelenos to vote no on Measure S, which restricts development in the city for two years.


“On February 26, a group of over 130 community leaders, residents, and youth gathered at the office of Community Coalition to commemorate the life and legacy of Trayvon Martin, tragically killed in Florida five years ago.”

LA Sentinel, March 1st, 2017. South L.A. Joins Together to Remember Trayvon Martin and Look Forward.



“Few places hold as much importance in Los Angeles’ black history as Central Avenue, the birthplace of the West Coast jazz scene and a magnet for those leaving the South seeking a better life.”

Los Angeles Times, February 28th, 2017. In L.A.’s historic African American core, a growing Latino wave represents a possible ‘turning point’.

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 1.20.16 PM

“The signs of growth and development across much of Los Angeles — soaring cranes, new businesses, street improvements — have been slow to arrive to South Los Angeles.”

Los Angeles Times, February 26th, 2017. Our President & CEO tells us why Measure S does nothing for South LA.


“Before President Donald Trump nominated her for his education secretary, Betsy DeVos was known as a harbinger in privatizing public education.”

GOOD, January 31st, 2017. Our President & CEO Tells Us Why We Shouldn’t Give Up On U.S. Education Just Yet.


“One of our biggest concerns is the lack of transparency in the discipline process,” said Karren Lane, vice president of policy at Community Coalition. She urged the panel to advocate for a change in a state law that bans police agencies from revealing discipline against officers.”

KPCC Frank Stoltze , January 27th, 2017. Era of civilian oversight begins at LA Sherriff’s Department.


“The Los Angeles City Council took the final step Tuesday toward putting what has become an increasingly controversial measure on the May ballot that, if passed by voters, could give civilians a greater role in disciplining the city’s police officers.”

Los Angeles Times, January 24th, 2017. City Council approves ballot measure that could put more civilians on LAPD discipline panels.


“As City Hall pushes a proposal that could give civilians a greater role in disciplining Los Angeles police officers, city lawmakers on Friday called for a closer examination of the police department’s often-criticized disciplinary system that could open the door to further changes.”

Los Angeles Times, January 20th, 2017.  L.A. council members call for closer look at LAPD’s often-criticized disciplinary system.

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 12.42.22 PM

“Gayle Anderson was live in Los Angeles with a preview of the 32nd Annual Kingdom Day Parade, which celebrates the birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “

KTLA, January 16th, 2017. Watch footage from the 32nd Annual Kingdom Day  Parade here. 

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 12.39.32 PM

“A proposal that would give civilians a greater role in the discipline of Los Angeles police officers accused of serious misconduct could also lead to more leniency for officers facing termination or lengthy suspensions.”

Los Angeles Times, January 10th, 2017. A proposal to give civilians more say in LAPD’s disciplinary system could end up more lenient on officers.



“Community Coalition believes that people are the engines of change. By engaging residents of all generations, they are creating a movement in the South Los Angeles community that will help build a more prosperous future for all.”

Low Income Investment Fund Annual Report, November 17th, 2016. Read more here. 


“LAPD needs to change their reputation in my community,” 19-year-old Alfonso Aguilar [Community Coalition Member] of South Los Angeles told the commission.”

Southern California Public Radio, November 15th, 2016. LAPD Report Finds Racial Disparity in Approval and Trust of Police


“Voter education enables Community Coalition to provide jobs and help the community.”

Our Weekly, November 9th, 2016. Read more here. 


“SOUTH LOS ANGELES — The sound was turned down on the huge television screen showing the 2016 presidential election returns just outside the Community Coalition’s headquarters. Instead, music blared from the Latin band that was playing on stage. This was a party after all.”

Los Angeles Wave, November 10th, 2016. Election night block party brings South L.A. residents together


“SOUTH LOS ANGELES — The Community Coalition several community leaders and raised $450,000 for its organizing efforts in the community Oct. 27 at the 16th annual People Power Progress Awards at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live.”

Los Angeles Wave, November 4th, 2016. Community Coalition honors activists at awards program


“Community Coalition discusses the propositions that greatly affects South Los Angeles, which includes marijuana, criminal sentencing, and taxes for education.”

Los Angeles Standard, October 31st, 2016. There is more to this election than Clinton and Trump


“Power Fest Brings Music, Arts & Voting Power Back to South L.A.”

L.A. Sentinel, September 4th, 2016 Find out what happened at this year’s South L.A. Power Fest!


“On Saturday, more than 1,200 people attended a community festival in South Los Angeles that paired voter registration with live music”

KPCC, September 4, 2016. A South LA Festival with music, dancing, and voter registration


” U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris on Tuesday called for new national policies to reduce recidivism by felons released from prison and to make data on crime and police actions more accessible to the public. Harris, California’s attorney general, made the comments during a roundtable discussion on criminal justice at Community Coalition in South Los Angeles. ”

Los Angeles Times, September 1st, 2016 Kamala Harris calls for measures to end ‘crisis of confidence’ between police and the public


“A social change advocacy group will host what they are calling “healing circles” Saturday night in six South Los Angeles parks parks. The events are follow-ups to protests that occurred after the deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, both of whom were shot by police officers earlier this year.”

KPCC, August 21st, 2016. Can healing circles help address police brutality?


“At 19, San Francisco State University sophomore and political science major Timothy Walker is the youngest member of California’s newly established Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board.”

SF State News, August 19th, 2016 Sophomore appointed to California’s racial profiling advisory board

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 5.43.56 PM

“During a panel entitled Opportunity at the Intersection, Alberto Retana, president and CEO of the Community Coalition, said reimagining opportunity means moving from the possible to the probable. Becoming president of the U.S. is not probable if conditions in your community have not improved, he said.”

Daily Democrat, August 17th, 2016. Read More Here!


My skin does not define me, my knowledge does.

– Samone Urasia Wade, 13

KPCC, August 8th, 2016 How kids at a civil rights summer camp have absorbed this summer’s racially charged news


“The people mentioned at a townhall on violence held July 30 at the Community Coalition, (CoCo) in South Los Angeles represented both individual family tragedies and staggering community losses. There was Laura, a stay-at-home mother of five who wanted nothing more than to be a mom and take care of her family.”

Our Weekly, August 4th, 2016. Community talks about how to combat violence in L.A.


“More than 150 people filled the Community Coalition for a discussion with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on gun violence.”

LA Sentinel, August 4th, 2016 Congressional Dialogue on Gun Violence


“La inmigrante mexicana Adela Barajas, quien ha vivido toda su vida en el sur de Los Ángeles y perdió a su cuñada Laura Sánchez en 2007 en una balacera, dijo que hacen falta recursos para mantener ocupados a niños y jóvenes después de la escuela para prevenir y parar la violencia por las armas.

La Opinión, August 1st, 2016. Read More Here!


“More than 100 South Los Angeles youngsters — from third graders to high school graduates — crammed into a USC lecture hall, their eyes transfixed on the speaker. Clad in a tie-dye Metallica tee and flower-embroidered jeans, he wasn’t a typical lecturer. Pharrell Williams, the musician behind the hit song “Happy,” took to the lectern on Monday to inspire his audience to reach for the stars.”

USC News, July 27th, 2016 Pharrell Williams brings ‘happy’ message to South L.A. youth at USC

Alumnos de Freedom School, entre 8 a 18 años de edad son animados todos los días en preparación para aprender a leer y luchar por justicia social.

“When it comes to reform for urban school systems, effective community organizing is crucial. Community Organizing for Stronger Schools: Strategies and Successes takes an in-depth look at the practice and how it affects schools.”

Thomas B. Fordham Institute, July 27th, 2016. Stronger schools through community organizing


“The Community Coalition is holding its inaugural People Power Convention, which organizers hope becomes an annual event. Experts will be on hand to dispense training on topics of health, civic engagement, mass incarceration and the economic crisis so residents can take the quality of the community into their own hands and create sustainable solutions.”

The Wave, June 24th, 2016 People Power Convention gives residents a chance for civic engagement


“State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has given Los Angeles Unified a one-year reprieve from a ruling requiring the district to spend potentially hundreds of millions of additional dollars on English learners and low-income children to comply with the state’s new school funding law.”

EduSource, June 19th, 2016. State delays forcing LA Unified to spend more on high-needs students


“The Community Coalition, an organization that works to influence public policy and tackle the causes of crime, poverty and violence plaguing the South L.A. area, announced that the combined efforts of more than 55 clergy labor and community leaders throughout the state have resulted in the state legislature’s budget conference committee allocating more than $28 million in additional funding for Prop 47 programs, bringing the proposed budget for Prop 47 programming to $67.3 million. ”

The Wave, June 16th, 2016 Community Organizations Secure Additional Funding for Prop 47


“Community Coalition, a South L.A.-based advocacy group, sued the district last year and filed a complaint with the state Department of Education, accusing L.A. Unified of misusing money on students with disabilities instead of giving direct services to the targeted students in the other groups.  “

Los Angeles Times, June 14th, 2016. Read More Here!


“SOUTH LOS ANGELES — A section of South Los Angeles stands to benefit from federal grants to improve issues related to poverty as it received a designation as a Promise Zone on June 6, making Los Angeles the only U.S. city to have two such zones within its boundaries.”

The Wave, June 9th, 2016 South L.A. receives Promise Zone designation


“After several unsuccessful attempts, a swath of South Los Angeles won a hard-fought battle to receive “Promise Zone” designation, a move that pushes the neediest neighborhoods to the top of the list when applying for competitive federal grants to tackle issues related to poverty.”

Los Angeles Times, June 6th, 2016. Read More Here!


“SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Community residents called for more public spending for youth-oriented services and activities and additional funds to remove blight and other public nuisances from local neighborhoods. Those were the responses by those attending a town hall meeting called by the leaders of the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of South Los Angeles that was conducted June 30 at the Community Coalition’s offices on Vermont Avenue.”

The Wave, June 7th, 2016. More funds needed to curb alcohol, drug abuse


“The area of South Los Angeles designated as a Promise Zone encompasses Historic South Central, moves east along important rail and bus corridors to the Crenshaw District.”

Streets Blog LA, June 7th, 2016. South L.A. Celebrates State-Z’s Promise Zone Designation; Prepares to Roll up Sleeves and Get to Work


“State officials have ordered the Los Angeles Unified School District to redirect hundreds of millions of dollars in spending, with the goal of benefiting students who need the most academic assistance. The action won the praise of advocates who had filed a complaint with the state, while L.A. Unified officials said that complying with the order will hurt students.”

Los Angeles Times, June 3rd, 2016 Read More Here!


“U.S. Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was welcomed with open arms at South L.A.’s Community Coalition (COCO) on May 24.”

LA Sentinel, June 1st, 2016. Hillary Clinton addressed foster care on L.A. campaign trail


“SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Hillary Clinton’s mother began supporting herself as a housekeeper at age 14. At 8 years old, her parents had sent her away to live with her grandmother because they just did not feel like being parents anymore. The presidential hopeful related her personal story of familial abandonment to staff of the Community Coalition during her visit here May 24.”

The Wave, May 26th, 2016.  Clinton voices support for foster care programs


“I know how to hide money,” he told a gathering of residents and activists at the Community Coalition in South Los Angeles recently. “I know how to block budgets.”

Los Angeles Times, May 18th, 2016.  Governor Brown is lowballing the savings from Proposition 47


“More than 140 residents gathered at the Community Coalition recently to urge legislation to oppose the Governor’s slashing of the Prop. 47 in the state budget in the upcoming May revise. Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer is the Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee.”

LA Sentinel, May 11th, 2016 Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer pledges to increase Prop 47 savings


“Alberto Retana wants a very specific kindergarten experience for his 4-year-old son: a dual-language Spanish and English immersion program, close to home near View Park-Windsor Hills, with a diverse student population and a track record of preparing students well.”

Los Angeles Times, May 7th, 2016.  Read More Here!


“On May 2, the Community Coalition dedicated its youth center to county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ late grandmother, Sylvia Thomas. The ribbon-cutting ceremony, recognized not only Thomas, but current relative caregivers, which the organization believes are the unsung heroes of the community.”

The Wave, May 6th, 2016 Community Coalition’s pre-Mother event recognizes guardians who care.


“Community Coalition, a nonprofit in South Los Angeles, is among those pressing local leaders to demand more state funding for the services, including the Los Angeles City Council, which backed a resolution earlier this week asking Brown to reconsider his funding plan.”

LA Sentinel, April 9th, 2016.  Read More Here!


“SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Parents, students and educators told new Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King that their schools were under funded during a town hall meeting March 30 at the nonprofit Community Coalition.”

The Wave, April 7th, 2016 Residents tell new superintendent their goals for South L.A. schools


“More than 150 South LA parents and students gathered at the Community Coalition headquarters on Wed. March 30th for a Town Hall with LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King. Leaders were disappointed that Superintendent King did not sign onto a pledge for South LA, but are hopeful for a future partnership.”

LA Sentinel, April 7th, 2016.  Read More Here!


“LOS ANGELES — The City Council backed a resolution March 1 urging Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers to increase the amount of funding proposed for drug treatment, mental health, re-entry and other services promised under Proposition 47.”

The Wave, April 4th, 2016 City backs resolution for more Prop. 47 funds


“SOUTH LOS ANGELES — More than 100 residents gathered at the Community Coalition headquarters here March 19, calling upon city officials to address the inequity in city services.”

The Wave, March 24th, 2016.  Coalition cites inequity in city services.


“La meta de la Proposición 47 es disminuir la población presidiaria para cumplir con órdenes judiciales que declararon inaceptable el nivel de hacinamiento, reducir los castigos para ciertos delitos no-violentos, de drogas que no son serios o contra la propiedad, y crear un fondo para tratamiento de enfermedades mentales, adicciones, para prevenir la deserción escolar para centros médicos de emergencia, entre otros.”

La Opinión, March 3rd, 2016 Read More Here!


“On what would have been Trayvon Martin‘s 21st birthday, Tidal announces that they’re donating $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter.”

E! Online, February 5th, 2016. Read More Here!


Relative caregiver article pic

“It was grandmothers and aunts who, as they struggled financially to raise their relatives’ children, banded together to lobby for help. They joined with the local nonprofit, the Community Coalition of South L.A., to bring their issues to decision-makers in Sacramento.”

89.3 KPCC, September 10th, 2015  Click here to learn more about the struggles and victories of relative caregivers.


“On Monday, hundreds of residents gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which included speeches from Mayor Eric Garcetti, county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, a former Community Coalition leader. Philanthropist and music mogul Russell Simmons and Robert Ross with the California Endowment presented sizable donations to help pay back the loan on the repairs.”

 Los Angeles Times, August 3rd, 2015. Community Coalition’s South L.A. headquarters get a welcome face-lift. 

ABC 7 coverage of community coalition

“The Community Coalition in South Los Angeles celebrated their 25th anniversary. They marked the occasion with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new community center.”

ABC 7 Los Angeles, August 4th, 2015  Community Coalition in South L.A. Celebrates 25th Anniversary.

La opinion article pic

“Comminity Coalition, entre Vermont Avenue y W. 81 St., reabrió sus puertas con instalaciones completamente renovadas y listas para trabajar con la comunidad latina y afroamericana en contra de la violencia, a favor de más programas de salud y educación, la unión entre culturas y el poder cívico.”

Hoy Los Angeles, August 3rd, 2015. El activismo renueva y abre sus puertas en el Sur de Los Ángeles.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 4.18.12 PM

“The Community Coalition Headquarters has been a safe haven for teens in South Los Angeles. Jeff Nguyen reports.”

CBS News Los Angeles, August 4th, 2015. South LA Community Center Reopens After $5M Makeover.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 4.36.50 PM

Community Coalition’s president Marqueece Harris-Dawson commended local residents for pushing for change. “Everybody involved in this took a stand against the status quo,” he told a crowd of 30 residents and activists gathered outside. “The status quo says our communities don’t eat fruits and vegetables so it’s not even worth bringing it to them.”

Huffington Post, April 7th, 2015. Here’s What Happened When A Troubled Liquor Store Also Started Selling Fresh Produce.


“Get more resources, as far as counselors. You can’t have one counselor for a 1,000 students. Get more teachers that are kind of ready to teach students that look like us.”
-Timothy Walker, SCYEA Leader

The Wave, May 15th, 2015  Click here to hear more from Tim!

SCYEA leader Christian Molto fielding questions from the press.

“These courses [A-G] need to be reimplemented in order for us to have a chance”,
– Christian Molto, SCYEA Leader, speaking to ABC-7 about the need for well funded A-G courses in South LA.

 May, 14th, 2015   View Christian’s full interview with ABC-7.

Why Latinos Should Stand Up for Black Lives

I am Latino and I stand in support of members of the Black community seeking justice for their children and families. It’s time that we, as Latinos, boldly speak out in support of justice.

Huffington Post,  May 7th, 2015            Read more here!


León, de 32 años, dice que su madre lo trajo de la capital mexicana a Los Ángeles cuando tenía 9 años. “Yo era feliz, no me daba cuenta de nada, pero después sospeché que había algo raro, que era indocumentado cuando quise trabajar como otros menores durante el verano, y mi madre me dijo que no podía porque no tenía un número de seguro social,”, relata.

La Opinion, May 3rd, 2015                                     Read More Here!


Relative caregivers are the disrupters of the foster-care-to-prison pipeline. They are the uncles, aunties, grandmothers, grandfathers and older siblings who take on the task of caring for youngsters who would otherwise end up in the foster system.

Our Weekly,  May 7th, 2015                  Read More Here!           


Providing healthy alternatives is only the first step, says Neelam Sharma, director of the nonprofit Community Services Unlimited, which runs the produce stand. The more difficult part is getting people to adopt these alternatives, she adds – to change their own relationship with food.

KPCC, April 16th, 2015                             Listen to the full article!

In South Los Angeles, for example, Karen Bass, now a member of Congress, started the Community Coalition 25 years ago as a way to battle substance abuse. Now its agenda includes improving failing schools.
Over the years, Community Coalition has forced neighborhood liquor stores to clean up or close, advocated for children in foster care and pushed the Los Angeles school district to spend more money on maintenance, offer more college-level courses and stop suspending so many students at schools in South L.A.

LA Times, March 3rd, 2015                                  Read More Here!

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, David Oyelowo portrays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a scene from "Selma." (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Atsushi Nishijima)

It’s an opportunity for people to be in communion with one another,” said Joseph Devall, a program director at Community Coalition who hadn’t yet seen the film but believed “‘Selma’ should only help to heighten interest and awareness. If it results in people wanting to read a biography or find literature on the topic or some of the figures who played key roles those are all good things; those are all positive.

Daily News, January 1st, 2015                             Read More Here!


“I believe that having Russell Simmons engage the urban youth is a powerful thing. We don’t always get the opportunity to hear from leaders who are heavily involved in the movement for change for all black and brown communities”, said Christian Moton, a youth leader at Dorsey High School.”

KNBC, February 4th, 2015                    Watch the NBC clip here! 



Before the training, “I was very, like timid,” said Aguilar, whose earnestness and presence held the attention of the 40 or so of his fellow students assembled in a classroom at Fremont High during lunch one day last spring. “Now I’m actually comfortable talking to you guys and letting you know why I think what I’m doing is

EdSource, Nov. 16th, 2014                                    Read More Here!


The $3 million dollar grant from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s REACH Program, is designed to improve participatory approaches to identify, develop, and disseminate affective strategies for addressing health disparities across a wide range of at risk health priority areas.

The Sentinel, Nov. 13th, 2014                               Read More Here!


“I’m part of a low-income community, and a lot of people around are people who are being pushed out of school. They do petty crimes that [get] them that felony that will probably get them to jail,” Aguilar said. He said he has family members and knows other families who have been affected by this, adding, “It’s tearing families apart.” Aguilar, who has worked with Community Coalition all through his high school years, said he took a break from his college applications to come to the rally.

Intersections South LA, Oct. 14th, 2014         Read More Here!


“Dejaron a la comunidad sin empleo. La mayoría de los que trabajaban en esas compañías ganaban buenos sueldos”, dijo Aurea Montes, vicepresidente de crecimiento organizacional de Community Coalition. “Al parecer se perdieron unos 70 mil empleos entre los años 1978 y 1984-85”, añadió.


La Opinion, Sept. 24, 2015                                   Read More Here!


It actually felt like we were in the Caribbean’s with the heat, while listening to the sounds of Las Cafeteras. The group provided additional Latin grooves with a Social Awareness message. This engagement featured some special guests on the tunes “Ya Me Voy,” “This Land Is Your Land,” with a Latin twist, “El Chuchumbe,” “El Zapateado,” and “La Bamba Rebelde” for an encore.

EURWeb Oct. 14th, 2014         Read More Here!


Several organizations were involved in the march. They wanted to give students the opportunity to voice their frustrations with how they feel police treat those in neighborhoods just like theirs, and a lack of justice. “Please think and please feel the pain and the anguish some of these families are going through, and that a lot of other families have went through the same thing, and please don’t let it be yours next,” said Gabriel Hercules with Brotherhood Crusade.

KABC-7, August 21, 2014            Watch Scenes From The Rally!


KCAL-9/CBS August 14th, 2014        Watch Our Youth Here!


“It’s all about encouraging them to build their critical thinking skills to give their opinion and really preparing them to engage in the classroom the way most of us don’t learn until we get to college,” Sandra Hamada, director of Youth Programs at the Community Coalition told LA School Report.

LA Schools Report, July 23, 2014                   Read More Here!


“We’re trying to push the district to be smart about how they invest resources and be bold and courageous about advancing justice by targeting schools with high needs,” said Alberto Retana of the Community Coalition.

LA Times, April 7th, 2015                         Read More Here!


Protest organizer Marqueece Harris-Dawson, president of the Community Coalition, said the district’s spending plan is too vague and does too little for kids who need help the most. “We think voters deserve an accounting that says, ‘Here are our highest-need students and here’s what we’re doing to fund them’,” Harris-Dawson said.

Daily News, April 7th, 2015                                Read More Here!