Last week, our team had the pleasure of meeting in-person for a La Defensa Strategy Retreat at the beautiful Robinson Space. We talked about what we’ve accomplished and where we’re going. We envisioned ways to continue to build on our work, and build our team in a way that embodies our abolitionist values. Here are a just a few of our victories and highlights.
Click here to see our La Defensa strategy retreat album full-size on Instagram
⭐️ The Justice PAC by La Defensa ⭐️
Our Defenders of Justice campaign work helped move all four of the progressive judicial candidates we worked with on to the general election in November! 🎉 We held down text banking events, virtual and in-person community engagement events, interviews, press conferences, radio and TV appearances, and in-person canvassing. Our ads reached over 100,00 people, we texted over 570,000 people and knocked on 7000 doors across 10 neighborhoods in LA County.
The Defenders of Justice virtual community meet-and-greet
⭐️ Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) ⭐️
In partnership with coalition partners with JusticeLA and Dignity and Power Now, we moved the County to create independent pretrial services, and to expand funding to the Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR). We received coverage of our work around ODR in WitnessLA and The LAist.
⭐️ Reimagine L.A. / Care First Community Investment (CFCI) ⭐️
Our team has secured representative spots on the CFCI Advisory Body, and secured an additional $100M towards community investment. We’ve held two amazing Town Halls (in February & June of 2022) and a Participatory Budgeting Teach-In, in partnership with other community orgs and leaders. We received great media coverage around our June #CareFirstBudget Rally and the work we’re doing to hold the LA County Board of Supervisors accountable to fully funding CFCI. To see the coverage, check out our Media Roundup post on IG, and follow RELA on Facebook to check out our live stream videos from recent virtual events.
CFCI Rally in Downtown LA on June 22, 2022, with Reimagine LA Coalition, JusticeLA Coalition,
Youth Justice Coalition, LA Youth Uprising Coalition (LAYUP), and Budget 2 Save Lives coalition.
⭐️ Transformative Organizing Conversations (TOC) ⭐️
We have developed opportunities to connect with voter populations that have been historically disenfranchised. Part of our journey to connect with our broader community has been the implementation of crucial Language Justice practices into our public events and print materials, under the excellent guidance of our mentors at Channel, Transmit, Repeat and ProBono ASL. We are continuing to envision creative ways we can reach all voters in our LA communities.
⭐️ Rate My Judge ⭐️
We’ve grown our user base and witnessed the power of anonymous reviews on the RateMyJudge.LA website. We are doing outreach sessions in courthouses across LA with volunteers, and our amazing Judicial Accountability team, to spread the word about our revolutionary tool to track data on sitting judges. RateMyJudge.LA adds to our work in #TransformingTheJudiciary of LA County by creating a space for community members and practitioners to share about their experiences in LA Courthouses.
Our La Defensa team passing out Rate My Judge literature at one of our community outreach events at LA County courthouses. RateMyJudge.LA, the revolutionary, community-powered judicial rating tool, celebrated its one year launch anniversary in summer of 2022.
⭐️ Media & Communications ⭐️
In collaboration with our La Defensa team and community partners, we’ve held some impactful virtual events that gave us an opportunity to dive into poli-ed, showcase insights from our community members, build momentum for our campaigns, and deepen our organizing relationships. If you didn’t catch them the first time around, head to our YouTube channel and check out the video archives of our live events.
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Transforming the Judiciary: Intersectional Perspectives
- Bring Them Home: Roses from Concrete
- Transforming the Judiciary: Bringing the Movement to the Bench
⭐️ La Defensa Operations ⭐️
We’ve tripled our powerhouse team in the past year, adding:
MEGAN CASTILLO – Reimagine L.A. Coalition Coordinator;
BRYANNA SIGUENZA – Judicial Accountability Coordinator;
LEAH PEREZ – Campaigns Coordinator;
TITILAYỌ RASAKI – Policy and Campaigns Strategist;
JESS ESTES – Digital Media Specialist;
LAUREN BOLLINGER – Operations Coordinator;
MYA HENDRIX, our new Reimagine L.A. Coalition Community Organizer!
We are so grateful to be on this journey of BUILDING POWER with YOU, and we look forward to a strong future embodying the values we want to see, and shifting policy away from harmful systems and toward #CareFirst community investment.
💫 The LD Team