News Update Feb 10, 2014

To All Those Interested in Food and Justice...
Feb. 10th, 2014

School Volunteer Pays Off Lunch Balance For 60 Students

1. President Signs Farm Bill: We Won’t Give Up on Fight Against Poverty

The President has signed the Farm Bill. Although it is being touted as an example of bipartisan cooperation, the bill includes $8 billion in cuts to the SNAP (food stamp) program. In addition, some of the reform to subsidies going to large farms is not reform----the money has simply been shuffled into another crop insurance program.

Many are saying that the cuts to food assistance to needy people weren’t as bad as they could have been, but in fact they will impact a certain group of participants who could lose up to $60 per month in assistance. At the same time the Senate recently fell one vote short to pass an extension to unemployment benefits for over a million jobless Americans who have been searching unsuccessfully for work.

We appreciate all the work that you all who advocate put in standing up for the poorest and neediest. During 2014, we will not be spending time mourning the cuts to benefits, as bad as they are. We will be working proactively on some other issues affecting poor working people and those seniors and people with disabilities who cannot work:

--We will be urging the state government to restore some of the benefits to seniors and disabled in the SSI program who have had their benefits cut and have not had an increase in their monthly allotment for six years

--We will be joining other allies especially in the restaurant industry to fight for an increase in the minimum wage

Please let me know if you could send a representative to the Hunger Action LA monthly meeting on Friday , Feb 28, from 10 am to 12 noon, at the CHIRLA building, 2533 W 3rd St. in Los Angeles. Alternatively I will be reaching out to you to see if there are other things we can do to bring the communities you work with into the circle of activity on these issues.

LA Times - Wal-Mart lowers forecast due to food stamp cuts, bad weather 

2. Update on Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign


(Thanks to LA CAN for leadership on this issue and notes below)


Last year a statewide coalition developed to support a Homeless Bill of Rights. The bill did not pass the state legislature, but the coalition remained and has been active and successful in identifying local issues which are truly human rights issues---rights we all have, but that are often violated if someone is homeless: basic rights such as eating, sleeping and sitting, and not having your possessions thrown away without due process,  when you have nowhere of your own to go.

The coalition is growing and we want your support! Below are a few notes about upcoming events or potential events. Please join us!

The next meeting will be on March 1, 2014 from 10am – 12pm at Chuco’s Justice Center, 1137 E Redondo Blvd, Inglewood, CA.

Know Your Rights Trainings: If you know of a group/area that would potentially be interested in hosting a training that gives an overview of rights that all people have, including rights you have even if you’re homeless, please contact Eric ([email protected]).

Coastal Commission Meeting hearing Venice Boardwalk and Beach Closure:

On either March 12 or 13, the California Coastal Commission will be hearing and weighing in on the City of L.A.’s decision to close the Venice Boardwalk/Beach at night. We don’t know the exact date, but we will be organizing for heavy turnout on these days to make sure that the Coastal Commission votes to oppose the City’s decision and keep Venice public space open for all.

Follow up/Next Steps: We will be pushing for turnout as the date approaches. For now, however, we are encouraging groups to gather signatures for a petition that will go to the California Coastal Commission. For a copy of the petition, please contact Deborah ([email protected]) or Mike ([email protected]) .

If you have any questions or would like to get more involved, please contact Eric ([email protected] or 213.228.0024).


Eric Ares

Community Organizer

Los Angeles Community Action Network


[email protected]


3. Restaurant Workers Host Event Today on Raising the Minimum Wage—RSVP ASAP


From Restaurant Opportunities Center: Friends and allies: In anticipation of the 2.13 National Day of Action to raise the tipped minimum wage, we invite you to...

ROC-LA Mixer to #RaisetheWage & Learn About #LivingOffTips

 Because no one should earn less than the minimum wage– whether through wage theft or a tipped wage.

WHEN: Monday, February 10, 2014, 4-6pm

WHERE: Red Hill Restaurant @ 1325 Echo Park Ave, LA 90026 

(free parking available in lot next to restaurant & Walgreens parking lot)

WHAT: The first hour from 4-5pm will be a mixer. At 5pm, we will have a brief program with stories and remarks from restaurant workers as well as Jason Michaud, owner of Red Hill. Refreshments donated by Red Hill, a ROC-LA High Road partner.

RSVP on Facebook: Restaurant Workers Living Off Tips or w/ [email protected]

 For over two decades, the federal minimum wage for tipped workers has remained frozen at $2.13. California is home to the nation's largest restaurant industry and is one of only eight states that does not have a tipped minimum wage. California restaurant workers and High Road employers are uniquely positioned to advocate for increasing the federal minimum wage.

Sophia Cheng

Policy & Research Coordinator

 Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles  (ROC-LA)
1730 W. Olympic Blvd. #300 Los Angeles, CA 90015
Office 213.380.1020
Cell 213.537.4624
Fax 213.380.4090


4. Help Our Bees In Los Angeles



From Francesca de la Rosa, Urban Ag Committee of LA Food Policy Council: “As you’ve heard, LA City Council is voting on 3 pending bee measures on Wednesday, February 12th (press conference at 9:15 am). These are the three items that will be voted on:”








Please send out a simple email to each of the Council members with the following:

 Greetings Council member __________, My name is ____________, and I urge you to support Council Files 12-0785 (Legalize Urban Beekeeping in Los Angeles), 13-0002-S134 (Saving America’s Pollinators Act), and 13-1660 (Humane Policy for Live Bee Removal).

 Bees are essential to urban food production, providing local environmental and economic benefits through pollination and honey production. Over the past several years, honeybee colonies throughout the United States have experienced high rates of loss and many are in danger of collapse. Los Angeles, with its diverse pollen sources, is an urban oasis for bees, which are also threatened by heavy pesticide application in rural areas. Legalizing beekeeping in our neighborhoods gives our communities a resource to humanely and non-lethally care for healthy bee colonies.

 Emails and phone numbers:

Councilmember Gil Cedillo (CD-1): [email protected]

Councilmember Paul Krekorian (CD-2): [email protected]

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield (CD-3): [email protected]

Councilmember Tom LaBonge (CD-4): [email protected]

Councilmember Paul Koretz (CD-5): [email protected]

Councilmember Nury Martinez (CD-6): [email protected]

Councilmember Felipe Fuentes (CD-7): [email protected]

Councilmember Bernard Parks (CD-8): [email protected]

Councilmember Curren Price (CD-9): [email protected]

Council President Herb Wesson (CD-10): [email protected]

Councilmember Mike Bonin (CD-11): [email protected]

Councilmember Mitchel Englander (CD-12): [email protected]

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (CD-13): [email protected]

Councilmember Jose Huizar (CD-14): [email protected]

Councilmember Joe Buscaino (CD-15): [email protected]

 Feel free to use your personal email address if you cannot send one from your work address.

 If you have any questions, don't hesitate to let me know.  Feel free to spread the word and pass this email on to other.  Also, let me know if you send an email.  This will help me keep track of how many people City Council has have heard from

Francesca de la Rosa

Director of Policy and Strategic Alliances

Women Organizing Resources, Knowledge and Services (WORKS)

795 N. Avenue 50   Los Angeles, CA   90042

213-446-4522 (phone)

[email protected]


5. California Organizations: Please Sign On To Letter To End Lifetime Ban

(Thanks to Western Center on Law and Poverty)

We’re asking organizations in California (faith based, or nonprofit, or volunteer organizations, or businesses) to join the 75 organizations (listed further below) that have signed on to a letter to the California Legislature leadership asking them to take steps to end the lifetime ban on persons with certain, past drug felonies, which prevents them from receiving not only basic food assistance but help with child care, job training, and, incredibly, with drug rehabilitation! (through CalWORKs)

Our goal is to get 25 more sign-ons before February 26th, date of the first Assembly budget hearing where we hope this issue will be on agenda. Below is a list of official sign-ons. If you see someone missing from your own network, ask them to join us.

To sign on: Please respond to this email, with your organizational logo, to [email protected]  that’s Jessica Bartholow at the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

After you sign on, please help get out the word, by tweeting:

We joined 75 orgs to ask @JerryBrownGov & #CALeg #CaBudget leaders: #RepealTheBan to invest in #children #jobs.

For a copy of the letter: Please email [email protected]

Organizations that have signed on:

A New Path

A New Way of Life/All of Us or None

Access, Women's Health Justice

ACLU Nor-Cal

Alameda County Community Food Bank

All of Us or None - San Diego   

Amity Foundation

Beyond Bars

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Brotherhood Crusade

California Association of Food Banks

California Coalition for Women Prisoners

California Food Policy Advocates

California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC)

California Partnership

Casa de Esperanza

Children's Defense Fund - California

Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice - Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Coalition of California Welfare Rights

Community Coalition

Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP)

Community Services Unlimited

Community Works West

Conservatives for Social Change

Cottage Housing Incorporated


Drug Policy Alliance

East Bay Community Law Center

Ecology Center

Ella Baker Center

Feeding America San Diego

Flintridge Center

Food Bank for Monterey County

Friends Committee on Legislation of California

Gray Panthers of San Francisco

Hunger Action Los Angeles

Hunger Advocacy Network

Isidore Electronics Recycling

Jewish Family Service

LA Kitchen

LA Voice

Labor/Community Strategy Center’s Community Rights Campaign

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR)

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children


Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)

Los Angeles Community Action Network

Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership

Lutheran Office of Public Policy - California

Maternal and Child Health Access


National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter

Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE)

Paving the Way Foundation

Prison Policy Initiative


Public Interest Law Project

River City Food Bank

Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee

Sacramento Housing Alliance

Sacramento Hunger Coalition

San Diego Food Bank

San Diego Hunger Coalition

Second Harvest Food Bank, Santa Cruz County

SEIU California

Shields for Families Inc, Jericho Vocational Services Center

Silicon Valley Independent Living Center

St. Mary's Center

Starting Over Inc.

The Greenlining Institute

Time for Change Foundation

Union Station Homeless Services/Sources Career Development

United Job Creation Council (UJCC)

Violence Prevention Coalition

Women Organizing Resources, Knowledge and Services (WORKS)

Women’s Foundation of California 


Frank Tamborello

Hunger Action Los Angeles

961 S. Mariposa #205

Los Angeles CA 90006


[email protected]

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