Creating Health and Safety Neighborhoods
Creating Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods
Since the crack cocaine epidemic in the 1980's crime and violence has been a top concern among residents and a serious public health issue in South L.A. Community Coalition works to increase public safety by advocating for smart effective crime-reducing strategies that focus on prevention, alter the social and economic conditions that foster crime, and reduce incarceration in order to build healthier, stronger communities. Through our public safety campaigns we have closed or cleaned up hundreds of liquor stores and nuisance business that contribute to the cycle of crime and addiction. We have reduced youth and gang violence with prevention and intervention programs and pushed for public investments to transform parks to create safe, healthy public places in our communities.
2nd Annual South LA Power Festival Kicks Off Obamacare
Sept. 28, 2013
Over one thousand residents joined together in celebration of the Affordable Care Act at the 2nd Annual South LA Power Fest on September 28, 2013. The Power Fest aimed to empower South LA residents with the resources and information needed to take advantage of the new health care law. Community Coalition partnered with organizations such as UMMA Community Clinic, St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, L.A. Voice, Young Invincibles, SEIU 99, and many other organizations, to help residents learn how to get enrolled in the Affordable Care Act, also dubbed Obamacare. The health care music festival featured amazing music performances by Goapele, Mr. Choc, Buyenpongo and Mayaztek; food trucks, fresh produce stands, and healthy cooking demonstrations; and community resources for immigration, kinship, and the formerly incarcerated. It served as a day of community empowerment.
Community Coalition Launches Weekly Produce Stand in King Estates
On July 15, 2013, Community Coalition celebrated the launch of “Fresh Fridays,” a weekly produce stand which provides fresh fruit and vegetables to the residents of the King Estates neighborhood from 3-6 p.m. in the parking lot of Century Market, located at 39th and Western. The produce stand was a community effort created to combat the crisis of the lack of healthy food access, especially following the recent closures of two Ralph’s Grocery Stores in South L.A. Community Services Unlimited, a nonprofit in South L.A. provides fresh fruits and vegetables, including many seasonal items for purchase every week. The location of the produce stand is also a great testament to the work by local residents to turnaround Century Market. What once was a source of concern and complaints for fostering nuisance activity and endangering public safety, Century Market is now a partner in building a safer, healthier community.
Westmont Art Walk Celebrates South LA Art and Culture
July 27, 2013
The Westmont Art Walk, sponsored by Community Coalition, brought the South Los Angeles community together for a beautiful day of art, music, and culture in the historic Westmont area near Washington Prep High School. Over 500 people attended the art festival, which featured art displays by dozens of local artists. It also included an art competition where participants created pieces around the theme of “citizenship” – in order to bring awareness to the impact of the our broken immigration and prison systems on African-American and Latino communities. Artists featured a variety of artwork – everything from jewelry, paintings, and sculptures. Resource providers at the Art Walk offered record expunging workshops for ex-offenders, free health screenings, and legal advice on immigration status.
Community Coalition Featured in Forbes Magazine
July 22, 2013
Community Coalition’s efforts to raise the awareness of food inequality in South L.A. picked up national attention. Forbes magazine published Community Coalition’s “Feast or Famine,” infographic, which highlighted the inequalities in food access between South and West Los Angeles residents. “Feast or Famine,” showed that healthy eating is not simply a matter of personal choice, but rather determined by where you live. By living in South LA, children and adults are more susceptible to obesity, diabetes, and lack of vegetables.
South L.A. Residents Protest the Closure of Local Ralph’s Supermarket
More than one hundred frustrated and disappointed South L.A. residents gathered to protest the closing of yet another Ralphs supermarket. The Ralphs supermarket on Western Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard closed its doors permanently on June 21, 2013. This is the second Ralphs to close in South L.A. in the past month. The closure worsens the crisis of the lack of healthty food access. According to a 2010 report by research group PolicyLink, low-income neighborhoods have half as many supermarkets as wealthy ones. Shoppers who depend on Ralphs for fresh, healthy food, like longtime resident Isaac White, say that the “convenience is gone.” White “liked being able to run in and grab things when [he] needed them.” Residents were disappointed that Ralphs had not met with anyone in the community to address its closing. Community Coalition is working with residents to decide what can be done to hold Ralph’s accountable for its unexpected and unfair closing.