Fellow John Marshall Barrister Carolyn “Jiyoung” Park (@ParkforJudge) joins us for the 88th episode of the podcast and our first interview with a practicing attorney! We discuss Jiyoung’s campaign for Judge of the Superior Court of L.A. County, office 118. Jiyoung also shouts out her slate, the Defenders of Justice, where she’s joined in her pursuit of a Superior Court Judge office by Holly Hancock for office 70, Elizabeth Lashley-Haynes for office 67, and Anna Reitano for office 60. Our conversation is nothing short of lit as we discuss L.A.’s criminal justice system–the largest in the world–its impact along racial and gendered lines, and how voters anywhere in L.A. county can vote for Jiyoung and the Defenders of Justice slate to transform the definition of justice for our cities and county. Register to vote for L.A.’s 2022 elections HERE. And spread the word! Your voice matters.


J.T. Supports the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) Coming to L.A.

At the same time that calls increase on our public officials to support not luxury, but humane housing in Los Angeles, a growing number of people are also calling for more Community Land Trusts (CLTs). CLTs maintain community ownership–or shared stewardship–over land and housing, committing to permanently affordable housing options for community members.

According to Matthew Vu, a resident of South Central Los Angeles and student at L.A. Trade Tech’s Community Planning and Economic Development department, CLTs require participation from homeowners and tenants, as well as other members of the community in their governing board meetings or governing structure. Vu also notes that renters in areas covered by CLTs can work with local CLTs to acquire a property together, facilitating the process of acquisition for tenants as well as the non-profit stewards..

The first modern Community Land Trust was born in the late 1960s in Southwest Georgia, when Black farmworkers and civil rights leaders, including members of the famed Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, founded New Communities Land Trust, turning nearly 6,000 acres of land into homesteads and agricultural area, as well as providing affordable housing for Black farmers and their families on the land. As of 2019, New Communities turned 50 years old and is still operating in partnership with Black farmers.

There are now up to 225 CLTs in the United States, twelve in California, and five in L.A. County. In June 2020, the city of San Francisco passed the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act, providing local CLTs there the first opportunity to purchase buildings and take them off the market once they’re on sale. At least six buildings in the Bay area at risk of being purchased by speculators have been saved by local CLTs since the law’s passage, keeping them affordable for low-income residents there.

Now, in an effort to create more for Community Land Trusts across Los Angeles County, which at 10 million residents is the largest in the U.S., CLTS in Los Angeles have formed a coalition and are urging communities to learn about the Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act. The L.A. Community Land Trust Coalition (LACLTC) is an organization of L.A.’s local trusts, “committed to the preservation of low-income communities of color by decommodifying housing, promoting education, community empowerment, the conversion of tenants to owners, and making housing a human right.”

The Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) is a proposed law that would give tenants in unincorporated areas of L.A. County the first opportunity to buy the building they live in if and when a building’s owner decides to sell the property. The five Community Land Trusts (CLTs) in L.A. County advocating to bring TOPA to L.A. include: Beverly-Vermont CLT (BVCLT) along the East Hollywood and Koreatown areas, El Sereno CLT (ESCLT) in the El Sereno community, T.R.U.S.T. in Historic South Central, Fideicomiso Comuntario Tierra Libre (FCTL) in the Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles area, and Liberty Community Land Trust for the Southwest and Mid-City communities.

Want to learn more? Check out the TOPA Town Hall hosted by the T.R.U.S.T. and Liberty Community Land Trusts this past February.


Hollywood Presbyterean Hospital in East Hollywood, Los Angeles

Please sign your name to the petition calling for justice for Andrés Guardado, an 18 year old fatally shot by the L.A. County Sheriff’s department in Gardena

(Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 93)

This past Thursday, June 19th, an 18 year old youth named Andrés Guardado was shot seven times by the L.A. County Sheriff’s department in the city of Gardena, becoming the 17th civilian killed by law enforcement in Los Angeles this year after another shooting earlier this week by the L.A. Sheriff’s department killed an African-American man in Palmdale.

Immediately after Andrés’ shooting, sheriff officers were seen taking down cameras outside a body shop adjacent to where Andrés ran for his final moments of life. The body shop’s owner also reports seeing officers entering into the body shop to confiscate the digital video recording device on which the footage was recorded, despite having no warrant to enter the building. Over 48 hours later, the department has still not heeded calls from Andrés’ family to release footage of the murder. In an online petition organized by friends and family of Andres, his childhood best friend shares with the community:

He was 18 years old and left behind a loving family, a full time student and a employee of two jobs with no criminal background. He was always helpful around the neighborhood and always cared for his family first. Please sign the petition and share it, we need this publicized. We hope to achieve the video shared to the public of both surveillance and the Sheriffs’ body cameras , a public service announcement by the Mayor Of Gardena and Los Angeles, and also a thorough investigation of the situation and hold accountable and file charges against every single sheriff involved in the murder.”

Please sign your name to the petition calling for the Sheriff’s department to be held accountable HERE.

Additionally, the Youth Justice Coalition and Union del Barrio are organizing a march for Andrés at 2:00 PM this Sunday, June 21st, at 414 W. Redondo Beach Blvd, Gardena, CA.


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