Community Coalition (CoCo) was built to help transform the social and economic conditions of South LA residents—from the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s to the challenges impacting South Central amidst the COVID-19 global crisis. CoCo stepped up then and we are stepping up now to build power for our community, change policy and promote homegrown leadership development.

In partnership with Charles Drew University, Community Coalition (CoCo) provided community-based support to a multilevel government effort to vaccinate more than 4,478  South Los Angeles residents at Jesse Owens Park in South LA over two weeks. The opportunity to provide the vaccine to Black and Brown communities came when L.A. County saw the vaccines’ inequitable distribution. Black, Brown, and Pacific Islander communities have experienced the highest exposure and death rates throughout the pandemic due to Covid. 

The slow and extremely rocky rollout of the vaccine distribution left our communities behind white and Asian neighborhoods to access the vaccine. A recent report published by the state provided a snapshot of the vaccine distribution in L.A. County, and the picture wasn’t pretty. 32.7% of the first doses available went to Whites, followed by 16% for Latinos, 13% for Asians, 2.9% for Black people, and 0.3% for Native American populations. Communities like Watts, Compton, and Manchester Square are home to many essential workers who have contracted the virus on the job and then, due to housing inequities, have spread it at home to loved ones living with them in overcrowded dwellings. 
By the time CoCo’s involvement with the Jesse Owens’ site began, the Los Angeles Times had reported, “in Westside communities such as Beverly Hills, 25% of residents had already received the first dose of the two-shot vaccine. In contrast, South L.A. and neighboring cities such as Compton and Watts, where incomes are lower and most residents are Black or Latino, only 5% of residents have been vaccinated.”
To get the word out about the opportunity to receive the vaccine at Jesse Owens, CoCo created an easy-to-use registration form for seniors 65+ and non-seniors who are essential workers, educators, and childcare providers. CoCo utilized our social media platforms and mass email distribution lists. Likewise, our organizers contacted thousands of members through phone banking and text messaging. They placed a heavy emphasis on contacting residents who are both eligible and live and work in SOUTH LA, like CoCo member Matthew N. Crawford, who spoke at the press conference and shared why he believes multilevel partnerships are needed to get the vaccine in the arms of the people. 
We also connected with trusted partners to raise awareness about the opportunity. The result of our strategic communication plan and simplified registration process was so successful that by Wednesday, we were able to increase the daily number of vaccines to 400 per day for the remainder of the week. Due to our success, the pop-up vaccine site was extended for another week—March 8th through the 12th. During the second week, CoCo continued to increase the number of daily vaccines for community members to 600. In all, Community Coalition’s organizers and staff members were integral to ensuring that nearly 5,000 SLA residents were able to protect their health and receive the coronavirus vaccine. 

Vaccination Equity in Action

Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell reached out to Alberto Retana, CEO of Community Coalition and Dr. David Carlisle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to help get South LA residents vaccinated. Both veteran and trusted community leaders galvanized their staffs within 48 hours to facilitate a vaccine site at Jesse Owens Park Within two weeks, nearly 5,000 community members received their first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

Mutual Aid

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Supplies and Resources

Since March 16, CoCo has been delivering water, sanitizing supplies, paper towels and toilet paper to our members. We've talked to more than 1,000 members and distributed supplies to more than 50 families.



Community Coalition is honored to join forces with the Brotherhood Crusade and InnerCity Struggle to fight the digital divide and address the learning needs of our students. The three organizations joined forces to raise $400,000 to support 5,000 high need South and East Los Angeles students with technology to address deep educational inequities in our community.  Click here for more information.

Supporting Small Businesses

Our small businesses are the backbone of South LA. They’re the ones that need our financial support right now, not the big corporate chains. Where you can, consider supporting small businesses during this time. Here are a few ways that you can support some of the ones we collaborate with in our South Central by South Central (SCxSC) “Development By Us & For Us” campaign.

South LA Cafe
Make a One-Time PayPal Donation to South LA Cafe
If you’re an essential worker who’s out and about, consider placing a take-out order. To do so, download the Joe Coffee App by texting “coffee” to 474747. When you check out, make sure to click curbside delivery. Joe and Celia will bring it right to your car!

Village Market Place
Online Ordering with Delivery

Mercado La Paloma
Family Meals from Chichen Itza Restaurant

The Tree South LA
Our friends there are offering Instagram Live yoga sessions. Check out their Instagram for updates on when classes are coming up. The suggested donation is $10 to their Venmo (@TheTreeSouthLA) or PayPal (@GTYM)

Social Connection

Mind, Body, Soul Activities & Resources

We’ve compiled a list of Mind, Body, Soul resources for you to tap into and use as needed. The isolation and fallout from COVID-19 can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety. Nurturing our mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing is an important way to stay healthy. 

Youth Survey

South Central Youth Empowered thru Action (SCYEA) wants to hear about your experiences during the LAUSD school closure. To uplift student voices and experiences in South LA schools, SCYEA will work to share as many different student perspectives as possible. Youth leaders will use that data to inform courses of action that will improve the student experience. You can join this movement and advocate on behalf of yourself and your peers for better access to resources from LAUSD!


Politics And Partnerships

As we prepare for November’s election, we’ve seen Black and Brown voting rights come under attack cross the nation. With so much on the line locally and nationally for communities of color, we are committed to battling voter suppression in all its forms. From the lack of voting center locations in Los Angeles to fighting the Republican National Committee when it tried to deny citizens the right to vote-by-mail, Community Coalition remains vigilant and ready to take action.


Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson launched an emergency meal program to support Council District 8 residents over the age of 65 during the COVID-19 safe at home order. We know our seniors are most vulnerable and we are teaming up with local, family-owned businesses to deliver FREE meals to seniors in our District.

You must be a Council District 8 resident to participate in this program. If you are interested in receiving free meals through the Emergency Senior Meals Program, call 213.485.7616 to join the waitlist. You will receive a call to let you know when you can begin receiving meals.

If you are a business interested in participating, call 213.485.7616.

Accessing the Resources in the Stimulus Package

How can you benefit from the stimulus package passed by Congress? This Q&A from Congressmember Karen Bass will walk through who qualifies for the cash payment, unemployment insurance, emergency leave, and more. 

Rent Freeze for Los Angeles

Community Coalition has talked to 1,000 of our members, and many of them are concerned about the possibility of being homeless as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt.

The city struggles to house more than 44,000 each night who sleep on the street.
Thirteen thousand seven hundred nineteen are Black, and 12,442 are Brown community members.
In SPA 6, which encompasses South LA, there were 9,629 residents reported as homeless last year.
0 %
In L.A. County, 34% of the homeless residents in 2019 were Brown.
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Black people make up 8 percent of the County's population, but 31% percent of the homeless population.

Although Governor Newsom recently announced an eviction moratorium for the state of California, the executive order is actually only a delay. Property owners can still initiate evictions and tenants can still be put out of their homes after May 31 for failure to pay during the months of April and May. On March 30, 11th District Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin proposed a broader ban on evictions which fell one vote short of adoption. We need city officials not only to implement an eviction moratorium, but also to take it one step further and introduce rent forgiveness.

Community Coalition applauds Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas for introducing the most recent amendment to deepen tenant protections by implementing a rent freeze across the County. The Board of Supervisors’ unanimous approval further demonstrates that they are doing everything in their power to keep residents in their homes during the COVID-19 crisis. We know it will take members of the community, especially low-income renters, months to recover economically from the COVID crisis. And while the rent freeze goes a long way, we want to make sure those who are most impacted will not be burdened by the added stress of unrealistic repayment obligations.

I live with my mom in a one bedroom apartment. It’s $900 in rent per month. I make just enough each month to be able to pay rent, utilities and the phone bill while also going to school and taking care of my mom. I’ve been putting money aside since last year just in case anything were to happen so that we have a cushion, but I’m worried about the quarantine forcing me to burn through my savings.​

– Joseph Hernandez, 19

We need you to get involved.

Let your Councilmember know your concerns regarding COVID-19’s threat of leaving members of our community homeless/houseless by recording a video and uploading it to your Councilmember’s media pages.

Example: “I see community members who are houseless daily; I am afraid I will be homeless too if a rent forgiveness program isn’t put in place in response to COVID-19.”

01 Record your COVID-19 story and tag your CITY COUNCILMEMBER and @LACityCouncil

02 Find your Councilmember's Social Media Accounts here


The activism of Community Coalition members and community residents has been a steadfast catalyst for aid in South LA for decades. Anything you’re able to give to CoCo right now would be appreciated in our continued efforts to improve the material conditions in South LA as we respond to the community’s needs during and after the Corona crisis.