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Recipe for Food Justice: A Recap of the Food Equity Panel at Upswell 2018

There is beauty in Los Angeles’ far-reaching geography: it is composed of many small pockets of towns and communities that sometimes define themselves through food. As a city of immigrants, food is often a means of keeping traditions alive, maintaining an identity to call their own, and bringing people together. In Los Angeles, these elements … Continued


Yes on 10: A Costa-Hawkins Repeal is One Critical Piece of the Puzzle

Pretty much everyone in California – and across the country – knows that we are is in the midst of a housing crisis. Part of the solution is more units being built. But it’s especially important for development to be done at an affordable price for all parties so that the state doesn’t continue to … Continued


Building and Financing Community Resilience: the Social, the Technical, and the Terrifying

Did you know that 40% of Los Angeles is asphalt? Or that 50% of households in LA County don’t have access to an air conditioner? Jonathan Parfrey, the Executive Director of Climate Resolve, shared those statistics with us at an event on Building Resilience to Climate Change, held by Enterprise Community Partners and the Federal … Continued


Reinvesting in Small Businesses: How the CRA Affects Small Business Lending

A couple weeks ago, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) requesting comments on how to update the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 (that was later updated in 1995). These typically come out when the government is preparing to update the Federal Regulations and there … Continued


Property Ownership: A Boyle Heights Case Study

  If you are familiar with our organization, you know that we care tremendously about a wide range of economic issues that disproportionately impact low-income communities of color, and that these issues directly shape and influence the projects and programs we develop. You may not, however, know that we also commit time and energy into … Continued


Thoughts from a Grant Writer: On the Illusion of Scarcity in the U.S.

Photo Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters Working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector for over eight years, there’s one thing that I know to be true for most small to midsize nonprofit organizations: we are always operating from a place of scarcity. Never knowing when we’ll get that next general operating grant, or when/if that dependable sponsorship … Continued


Where is Sidewalk Vending Criminalized in California?

  As we enter our 5th year of advocating and organizing for a comprehensive, equitable permit system for sidewalk vending in Los Angeles, we are often reminded that although progress in policy development is often incremental in nature, unique opportunities for broad-sweeping changes do emerge from time to time. We witnessed one of these unique … Continued


Entrepreneurism and the Case for Equitable Capital

The above featured photo is of one of LURN’s Semi’a Fund borrowers, José. Who was able to purchase a new fruit cart with capital and coaching from LURN. Many low-income individuals often become entrepreneurs because they are disconnected from, and unable to, integrate into the formal economy. For many of the same reasons as to … Continued


Credit is King

  On September 8th, the second largest credit bureau in the world, Equifax, reported to the public that its digital security was compromised and that the personal information of millions – possibly in the range of 140-150 million – was stolen. As the details slowly emerge and we learn more about what, or who, may … Continued


Yerevan, Los Angeles and the Culture of Public Space

  Last month I travelled to Yerevan, Armenia for two weeks. Each day was filled with dance and music, delicious food, and lots of walking and exploring; it was a true opportunity to recenter and reconnect with my homeland. As both a proud Armenian and a proud Angeleno, traveling between my two “worlds” is a … Continued