07 Jun News Briefs
Santee Students Win First Gender Neutral Bathroom
A majority of students at Santee Educational Complex— more than 700—signed a petition circulated by the school’s Gay Straight Alliance, asking the school to open a gender-neutral bathroom.
“People should be able to pee in peace,” they argued.
In response the school opened an “all gender bathroom,” the first within LAUSD, on April 14.
On April 19 the notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas mobilized members to provoke Santee students and faculty. Using a bullhorn, they blared, “Santee is going to burn in hell.” Angered, some students confronted the protesters and a scuffle broke out.
The next day Santee students held a peace rally featuring rainbow flags and signs that read: “Keep Calm, It’s Just a Toilet.”
There have been no further incidents.
Coalition Honors Sylvia Thomas
Community Coalition celebrated a very special Mother’s Day event on May 2. It dedicated its state-of-the-art Youth Center to the legacy of Sylvia Thomas and all non-traditional primary caregivers. Thomas was the loving grandmother who raised Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas. The event recognized and celebrated the occasion with caregiving grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts and uncles. Relative caregivers like Thomas create a loving safety net for children disrupting the foster care to prison pipeline.
Community Coalition extends its deepest gratitude to Women Helping Youth, a philanthropic group that provided the furnishings and technology for the Sylvia Thomas Youth Center.
Revolutionary Fast Food in South Los Angeles
Earlier this year South L.A. welcomed the arrival of LocoL, a new restaurant by Roy Choi. Choi, who was recently named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, is best known for revolutionizing the food truck industry with his famous Kogi BBQ Truck.
Choi has set his sights on transforming the fast food industry in South L.A. by offering the community delicious food at affordable prices. Items on the restaurant’s menu include: $2 Foldies (their version of tacos), $4 burgers and $1 beverages.
LocoL reflects the essence of Watts from the layout to the music. Notably, true to its name, LocoL hires local residents to staff the restaurant. LocoL is located at 1954 E. 103rd St. in Watts, www.welocol.com
Prop. 47 Funding Fight Intensifies
The momentum is building! Community Coalition has collected over 60 support letters and endorsements
from labor, faith-based and civil rights organizations urging Governor Jerry Brown to recapture
Proposition 47 state savings for comprehensive community prevention programs. Organizations mobilized to pass local resolutions in support at the Los Angeles City Council, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, San Diego City Council and San Bernardino School Board District.
The statewide coalition has had a series of delegation visits with key legislatures and have testified before the Public Safety Committee. On May 7, Community Coalition held a town hall with Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer where he committed to support the statewide campaign by stating, “I will go ahead and get as many Assemblymembers to support the LAO’s formula of 150 million dollars.”
Advocates are frustrated that Gov. Brown is allocating an additional $10 million in the May Revise to the Prop. 47 Safe Neighborhood and Schools Fund. “This is not enough to address decades of chronic neglect in poor and working communities,” says Patricia Guerra of the Community Coalition.
Call your local state representative and Gov. Brown urging them to respect the will of the people by fully funding Prop 47.