Dear La Defensa Community,
Our team has some phenomenal news to share with you all: We have new leadership!
We are thrilled to introduce you to our new Executive Director Ivette Alé-Ferlito. Ivette, one of the co-founders of La Defensa, has officially taken the helm of the organization, as our other co-founder, Eunisses, steps into her new role as Los Angeles City Council Member of the First District. Ivette transitions to La Defensa from their role as Policy Director at our movement partner, Dignity and Power Now.
Ivette is a transformational leader. They’ve spearheaded the Justice LA Coalition, and supported the creation of statewide and local coalitions such as the Care First Coalition, A Budget to Save Lives Coalition, the ReimagineLA Coalition, and SNAC – the Survivors Network Against Criminalization.
Ivette & Eunisses
Eunisses and Ivette are longtime comrades in organizing. Spanning multiple years, coalitions, and organizations, their strong and unified advocacy has helped shape the abolitionist movement in LA County and beyond. They founded La Defensa after their years of organizing together, passing legislation at the CA state level, and growing the Justice LA Coalition in partnership with other grassroots organizers.
Together, they saw the need for abolitionist electoral organizing, as well as an organization that held the vision for judicial accountability and transformation in the face of a previously impenetrable and regressive branch of government: the judiciary. Knowing it was important to center the how of organizing, rather than just the what, their vision for La Defensa also centered femme leadership development, sustainable work cultures, and radical gender justice values being woven into all levels of organizing.
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Ivette’s sharp policy analysis and innovative leadership will continue to propel La Defensa forward. They also bring to the table a long history of cultural organizing, including queer art curation and global music event production from NY to Mexico City. This body of work uplifts the work of creativity of queer and TGI BIPOC artists.
We are so excited to collectively continue building the momentum of La Defensa’s work in partnership with Ivette. We are so proud of Eunisses for her powerful victory in CD1, and are excited for Eunisses and Ivette to remain in thought partnership and co-struggle together in their various new roles.
With love and solidarity,
The La Defensa Team