Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Advancing Justice-LA Joins Advocacy Day in Sacramento Pushing for Social and Educational Programs

Thursday, July 28th 2016

On Sunday, May 21st, more than 50 youth and parents from more than 10 non-profit organizations, all members of the Equal Voice Southern California Families Alliance (EVSCFA), gathered at the Advancing Justice-LA office to board a charter bus headed to Sacramento for the annual Equal Voices Lobby Day--an event organized to allow families to petition lawmakers in support of economic equity for all.

Among the group was a youth delegation making their first trip to the capitol to meet their representatives and share their stories. While many shared their nervousness, they also recognized the empowering opportunity this trip provided. The group of youth representing the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) also participated in a training, where they shared stories amplifying the role of advocacy in bringing about social change. One youth participant, Brenda, shared the harrowing reality of the need for greater investment in public education, presenting facts around the lack of books in her high school library, something she hopes can change by informing elected representatives of this challenge.

Over the weeks leading to the trip, participants were coached and trained to advocate for Proposition 47 Savings Extension, which re-evaluates the State’s Prop 47 savings formula to create a fund for reentry, drug treatment, mental health, youth development and crime victim services in California, and the passage of SB 1050, legislation designed to create a pipeline of educational opportunity and success for K-12 public school students--especially for those who are low income, English learners, or foster youth.

Advancing Justice-LA and EVSCFA prioritized these two policies due to their clear connections to providing access opportunities for families in vulnerable communities to overcome the obstacles of historical and systemic disenfranchisement.

The group made dozens of visits to elected officials and legislative staff during the lobby day trip and some major victories were won. Since the trip, legislators appropriated an additional $28 million to the Proposition 47 Safe Neighborhood and Schools Fund for a total of $68 million, and SB 1050 was enacted into law via the budget process with $240 million allocated to expand UC enrollment slots and promote student success by increasing the college readiness and college graduation rates of low income and underrepresented students of color.

Beyond the policy victories celebrated by the team are the personal victories achieved by youth and parents who experienced the empowering visits and shared their stories with their representatives. Thanh Vuong, a Vietnamese-American mother, shared that she attended Lobby Day because as an immigrant parent, who sometimes experiences difficulty articulating her ideas through English, she felt that it is important to have her voice heard to advocate for matters that benefit her children as well as other children in the community, particularly when it comes to education.

Building on the victories experienced from this year’s trip, EVSCFA is looking forward to continuing the collective conversation and coalition collaboration through planning future lobby day visits. 

 

FOR LEGAL HELP

Advancing Justice-LA's helplines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, public benefits, employement, housing, and civil rights. 

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356
도움이 필요하십니까: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583

For any questions about DRAI, please visit: https://advancingjustice-la.org/drai.

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.