If you want to go to a cool party this weekend and congratulate yourself on doing a good deed at the same time, consider the ChangeLA Fundraiser, sponsored by Liberty Hill, an LA-based nonprofit that has a history of supporting small but significant LA projects that larger funders tend to overlook.
A featured speaker on Saturday is Manuel Criollo, a young LA guy who is an organizer with a group called the Strategy Center, who will talk about his work trying to end what Harvard calls the “school to prison pipeline.”
One of the projects Manual worked on last year was a campaign to end the LAPD’s policy of handing out high-priced tickets to LAUSD students who were late to school. It seems that the Los Angeles Police Department had handed out 34,000 tickets in the last five years to tardy students. Those tickets cost $250, and often the kid and/or his parents didn’t have the extra $$ to pay up, especially if there was more than one ticket involved. Thus often the tickets went to warrant. And if the kid wanted to contest the ticket, the parent had to take off work to go to court and…. You get the picture. In any case, it was defeating cycle that did no one any good. (Did I mention that the tickets went, almost exclusively to Black and Latino students?)
Last April, student leaders working with Manual and the Strategy Center helped convince the LAPD to stop handing out those pricey tickets. As my friend Barbara Osborn of Liberty Hill (and host of KPFK’s DeadlineLA) put explained, “It was a big victory. That’s the sort of work we’re trying to raise more money for—to train more grassroots leaders around L.A.”
The party is on Saturday, September 10, from 3:30 to 5:30 PM at Station Hollywood at the W Hotel.
The tickets are $35 for students and employees of other nonprofits, $75 for everybody else (unless you’re affluent enough to pop for $125, which gets you a reserved seat on a tour that Liberty Hill does in October).