Providing aid and amplifying activism in your community is a great way to make your community better for yourself and for those who will come after you. Here are 5 East LA causes you can get involved in. But don’t let this list be the end-all-be-all: check around your campus and neighborhood for flyers about meetings. (Bonus: a lot of organization meetings provide free food in addition to activism!)
Los Angeles is the first US city to ban fracking, which is an environmentally harmful method of extracting oil and gas from deep in the ground. How does the fracking ban get passed? By activism, of course! At the moment, California is in the middle of a very serious drought (you’ve heard the radio ads about reducing water usage!), which was possibly exacerbated by fracking. Do your part by conserving water and encouraging others to conserve water.
Get involved with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, America’s Voice, or United We Dream, all large immigration reform organizations. On their websites you can read personal stories about those affected by deportation, stay up to date about immigration policy, or get information about how to contact politicians. Instead of President Obama waiting for Congress before passing legislation on reducing deportation, we would like him get rid of deportation with one of these:
Community gardens are amazing places where local people can grow food, increasing neighborhood good-will and providing healthy, organic produce to other members of the community. Access to healthy food is a serious issue in ELA, as reduced access to nutritional food is directly related to issues that disproportionately affect low-income areas, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and early-onset diabetes. You can check out the Los Angeles Community Garden Council for more information about gardens, and Public Matters to learn about food deserts and how to end them.
Health and sex activism can be anything from providing condoms to fellow students to leading conversations about consent to inviting someone from Planned Parenthood to speak at your school. The Youth Activist Network can help you to become an outspoken sex education and reproductive rights advocate.
Same-sex marriage is legal in California, and that’s wonderful, but there are still many issues that disproportionately affect the LGBTQIA community, such as homelessness and gun violence. Check out Bienestar or The Trevor Project, which are aimed at youth.