In 1997, Hector Sanchez stumbled upon Community Coalition to fulfill Manual Arts High School graduation requirement of completing 120 volunteer hours. He quickly immersed himself in the work to ensure schools in the area received their fair share of public funds to address the schools’ deteriorated conditions. As a member Community Coalition’s youth program, South Central Youth Empowered thru Action, he helped organize youth from seven South Los Angeles high schools to improve the physical structure of the schools, through the Proposition Better Building campaign. The campaign helped reallocate $153 million back to South LA schools to address much-needed repairs. While Hector did not always agree with the staff at Community Coalition, he continued to participate because the Coalition was a place that allowed youth to engage with adults around more significant political and social issues impacting communities of color.
In 1998, Hector was admitted to the University of Southern California, where he received a degree in Political Science and Chicano Studies and a minor in Law and Society. At the same time, at Community Coalition, Hector organized annual High School forums to ensure students from Manual Arts understood the eligibility requirements for students to attend a four-year university. Hector returned to Community Coalition in 1999 to help organize several successful campaigns that have improved the quality of life for South LA residents, including a campaign to improve the quality of food sold at the local Ralph’s stores. He also led a campaign to ensure South Los Angeles received its fair share of schools to address overcrowding in the schools and organized parents in support of the A-G campaign.
As the Deputy Director, Hector develops and guides CoCo’s electoral strategy and leads the Organizing and Civic Engagement Departments to effectuate policies that promote membership engagement and leadership development. He strategically integrates the electoral strategy within CoCo’s existing membership and civic engagement infrastructure, and the base building activities of the Organizing Department, to build a more robust outreach and leadership development plan. The goal of his work is to increase the political power of Black and Brown residents of South Los Angeles to shift power to the community and tackle the root causes of poverty, crime, and violence.
Fun Fact: Hector loves coaching his kids in football.