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These Tenants Fought For Ownership Of Their Homes, And Won

Los Angeles, California - When a wealthy donor left four L.A. apartment buildings to his alma mater upon his death, it left the 130 tenants of those buildings wondering if they were going to be evicted or have their rents hiked. But on Jan. 10, tenants of the buildings in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood secured a major win when Boston University agreed to sell all four apartments to the Liberty Community Land Trust, which plans to keep the units permanently affordable. “Boston University accepted our offer because of the collective pressure we put them under as a collective, as a community,” tenants wrote on their Instagram page. “When we fight, we win!!!” The four buildings, World War II-era garden-style apartments, two of which are on Corbin Street and two on Clemson Street, were owned by BU alumnus Frederick Pardee, who left them to the school after his death.

Demonstrations Across The Country Call For End To Blockade On Cuba

Large demonstrations on the east and west coasts of the US took place yesterday calling for the end of the Blockade of Cuba as the annual vote in the General Assembly of the UN approaches this week. This will mark the 30th occasion when the overwhelming majority of countries of the world will stand up together in solidarity with the people of Cuba in their defiant struggle and dignified struggle against US imperialism. In New York over 200 people marched from Times Square, across busy 42nd Street, to the US-UN office on 1st Avenue demanding that Cuba be taken off Washington’s list of state sponsors of terrorism, a measure designed to suffocate every aspect of Cuba’s ability to access the world market, to end all trade and travel restrictions and to end the over 62-year-old illegal blockade of the island. 

Real Estate Industry Spends Big To Crush ‘Mansion Tax’

Los Angeles, California - In the coming weeks, Los Angelenos will vote on a ballot measure to hike taxes on the sale of multimillion dollar properties, with the expected near-billion dollars in annual revenue going towards addressing the housing crisis in the second-largest city in America. The initiative has been strongly opposed by real estate interests — from huge corporate landlords to realtor lobbying groups and pro-business groups — who have so far poured more than $5 million into efforts to defeat the measure. Measure ULA, which would increase real estate transfer taxes on properties in the city of Los Angeles valued at $5 million or more, would only apply to an estimated four percent of real estate transactions annually.

Voters Could Help Stem The Homelessness Crisis In L.A.

Los Angeles, California - After increasing nearly 25% between 2018 and 2020, the homeless population in the Los Angeles area has grown more slowly over the past two years. According to the latest count from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, L.A. County’s unhoused population grew from 66,436 in 2020 to 69,144 in 2022, an increase of 4.1%. While there are numerous reasons for this downtrend, government intervention has played an important role. Such measures as Project Roomkey, which used federal, state and local funds to keep more than 10,000 residents in hotels and motels during the Covid-19 pandemic, showed that even modest public programs can make a significant impact on the city’s housing crisis, even as the initiative’s remaining residents lost their housing at the end of September.

Following City Council Members’ Racist Remarks, Oaxacans March For Justice

Los Angeles, California - As hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Los Angeles to City Hall on Saturday afternoon, they made sure everyone knew they were Oaxacan and proud. Their signs boasted pueblos like San Bartolomé Zoogocho, Santa María Xochixtepec and Santiago Zoochila. Brass bands played ‘sones’ and ‘jarabes,’ representing the music tied to their identity. Their chants rang out through the streets: “Se ve, se siente, Oaxaca está presente.” “You see it, you feel it, Oaxaca is present.” Among those in the crowd was Blanca Ruiz, 23, who referred to herself as a “Koreatown Chaparrita,” a nod to her neighborhood and short stature. Ruiz’s family is from Oaxaca and the young woman works with Oaxacan youth. “Any hurtful words, this cures it,” Ruiz said, as she looked around at her fellow Oaxaqueños. “This heals my heart.”

Los Angeles City Council’s Racism Goes Far Beyond Racist Slurs

Los Angeles, California - Los Angeles City Council members have been exposed for their offensive treatment of activists and community members. Private conversations, taped and leaked to the press, revealed President Nury Martinez, Council members Kevin De Leon and Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor president Ron Herrera using racial slurs during a “redistricting” meeting. The four members, who are all Democrats, made fun of the adopted Black child of City Council member Mike Bonin, calling the toddler a “little monkey” in Spanish (“parece changuito”), saying he needed to be beaten for his behavior during a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade. They were also heard conspiring against other city officials, stating the district attorney is “with the Blacks.”

Los Angeles Is Creating A Model For Fighting Mass Incarceration

Los Angeles, California - In the late spring and summer of 2020, protests for racial justice erupted in response to the police murder of George Floyd. Mobilizations spread throughout the country and continued for months, producing what scholars identified as arguably the largest wave of mass protest in U.S. history. However, as with other surges of popular uprising, the actions died down over time. At that point, critics claimed that protesters made a lot of noise and drew public attention but were unable to translate their discontent into concrete policy gains. When the moment of peak protest passed, these detractors held, the movement disappeared with little to show for its efforts.

Black Angelenos Face ‘Whiplash After Whiplash’ Of Losing Safe Housing

This morning, the Los Angeles City Council got an earful from protestors opposing an expansion of LA Municipal Code ordinance 41.18, the city’s controversial “anti-camping” law that has been maligned by activists for unfairly targeting unhoused people. The law will now include a ban on sitting, laying, or sleeping within 500 feet of schools or daycares. The council voted 11-3 to approve the expansion after a raucous meeting, which was temporarily put into recess when a member of the public climbed over the podium and was handcuffed. Reporter Adam Mahoney spoke to unhoused residents about what they thought of the law. He says he received mixed responses for his recent Capital B news investigation. “There are some folks who didn't even know that 41.18 existed, right?

Congresswoman Karen Bass And The Will To Intervene

Los Angeles, California - What will it mean if the Vice Chair of the board of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) becomes the Mayor of Los Angeles? Meaning, of course, Karen Bass, the current Vice Chair of that soft power tool, who is also Chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa. Come November, the Black Congresswoman representing parts of Los Angeles will most likely become its mayor, having pulled well ahead of Rick Caruso, the billionaire real estate developer who spent more than $41 million on his primary campaign. Bass spent a mere $3.28 million but still finished ahead of Caruso, with 43% of the vote compared to his 36%. Bass and Caruso were the two candidates left standing after LA’s top-two primary in June.

Los Angeles Considers Ban On New Gas Stations

The idea might seem improbable. The City of Angels is infamous for its reliance on cars. Its public transit system is considered one of the worst in the world, according to Jalopnik, and the amount of cars on the road meant that LA commuters wasted 46 hours each in traffic in 2020, according to the Urban Mobility Report. Despite this, the city announced on Wednesday that it was joining a growing movement of metropolises looking to stop adding gas stations. “We are ending oil drilling in Los Angeles. We are moving to all-electric new construction. And we are building toward fossil fuel free transportation,” LA Councilmember Paul Koretz, who wrote the proposed policy, said in a statement. “Our great and influential city, which grew up around the automobile, is the perfect place to figure out how to move off the gas-powered car.”

People’s Summit For Democracy Ends With A Bold Plan For The Future

The organizers of the People’s Summit for Democracy were determined to close out the summit with a lasting impression on the last day, June 10. The People’s Summit was organized in opposition to the Summit of the Americas that was organized by the US-influenced Organization of American States (OAS) and hosted by the US in Los Angeles. The Summit of the Americas has historically been a place for the US to dictate a political agenda to the Latin American countries. The Summit of the Americas has been plagued by difficulties since May 10, when Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced that he would boycott the Summit in protest against the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua from the Summit. Following AMLO’s boycott, a host of Latin American leaders announced their own boycotts of the Summit.

Protest Against Exclusions At Summit Of The Americas In Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California - "We are here today in front of the Convention Center protesting against the Summit of the Americas and particularly the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. It is not really the Summit of the Americas if a large part of that continent and the peoples of Latin America are excluded from the Summit," Answer Coalition director Brian Becker told Sputnik. They also demand an end to the blockade of Cuba, he added. The demonstrators shouted chants directed at U.S. President Joe Biden for his decision to leave out these three nations. Participants also carried Cuban, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan flags and banners. "Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela," "Stop the U.S. destabilization campaign and media lies," and "End all U.S. sanctions and blockades" were some of the phrases read on the demonstrators' placards.

Summit Of The Americas Marked By Brutal Police Repression

The opening day of the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, was stained by brutal police repression of demonstrations. The meeting has already been marred by controversy surrounding the White House’s refusal to invite Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, giving rise to boycotts and complaints from many other nations of the Americas. Perhaps most notable was the refusal of Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to attend. News outlets and social media platforms shared numerous videos of the scene in which a towering Los Angeles police officer violently attacked a woman who was speaking into a bullhorn, tackling her onto the pavement and delivering blows to her face.

Los Angeles Police Obstructs Democratic Right To Protest

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has refused to grant a permit for a march on the 9th annual Summit of the Americas, denying the organizers and supporters of the People’s Summit their democratic right to protest, organizers announced in a press statement. The People’s Summit organizers applied for a permit as early as February 25 for their march on June 10. They say that the LAPD has stalled for months and claimed that the Secret Service and Federal Government were contributing to the delay. The right to free speech and protest is protected under the US constitution. People’s Summit organizers are still fighting for a permit, but plan to march regardless of the outcome.

Los Angeles: One Step Closer To Community Control Over Sheriffs

Los Angeles, California - In a historic move, the Civilian Oversight Commission voted in favor of a resolution to support a charter amendment giving the LA Board of Supervisors, the Civilian Oversight Commission (COC) and Office of Inspector General stronger oversight of the LA County Sheriff's Department. The vote also included the ability of the Board of Supervisors to remove a Sheriff for misconduct. Members of Centro CSO, impacted families of police killings, Black Lives Matter-LA, the ACLU, and Check the Sheriffs Coalition joined the meeting and spoke in favor of the Board of Supervisors placing a November 2022 ballot measure to win community control over the LA County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Villanueva.
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