LOS ANGELES, CA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–April 22, 2003–Local officials and community leaders, led by Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn, Council President Alex Padilla, California State Senator Richard Alarcon and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors joined Community Action Partnership’s National President, Derrick Len Span, in announcing a community rally to raise awareness about the epidemic levels of poverty that exist throughout the region and state. The event is scheduled to take place on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall on Wednesday, May 14, 2003, from noon to 2 p.m.
“Poverty is the most pervasive domestic threat that Americans face in this century, particularly in the nation’s major metropolitan areas,” said Mayor Hahn. “The ‘Community Rally to End Poverty In California’ is key to educating Angelinos about poverty’s grip on this City, and encouraging our communities and leaders to work together in new and dynamic ways to provide access to promising economic opportunities that will make this City a better place to live for people of all ethnicities and income levels.”
An estimated 2,000 residents throughout the region are expected to attend the rally. They will be joined by local and state elected officials and recognized leaders throughout the region, representing business, labor, entertainment, education, social service agencies and faith-based communities.
“More than 1.6 million men, women and children currently live in poverty in Los Angeles County,” said Council President Padilla. “Poverty jeopardizes the quality of life and the future of these individuals, and undermines the social fabric of our community. The future safety, integration and health of our neighborhoods depend on our ability to eliminate this epidemic once and for all.”
The event will mark the kick-off of the Community Action Partnership’s “A Conversation with America National Poverty Tour,” in which Span will visit several of the most poverty-stricken areas throughout the United States. “It is appropriate that the national poverty tour is launching in California since our state is home to 4.7 million residents who currently live at or below the national poverty line,” said Senator Alarcon. “It is sadly ironic that while some enjoy a high level of prosperity, many others must struggle with the resulting high cost of living in order to achieve simple economic subsistence. Now, more than ever, we must be committed to creating substantial wage-earning opportunities that will help to end the cycle of poverty and unlock the gates of opportunity for generations of working families living in California.”
The non-partisan rally is sponsored by Community Action Agencies (CAAs) located in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino, and the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Pasadena. One thousand CAAs are located throughout the country and provide programs, services, support and advocacy that meet the needs of 10 million Americans each year.
In addition to bringing poverty back into the national spotlight, the purpose of the May 14 event and the Partnership’s national poverty tour is to advocate for continued and additional resources for the Community Action network to help people change their lives. “For 40 years, the Community Action Partnership has been one of the most effective national networks dedicated to eradicating poverty,” said Span. “It is critical that our CAAs have access to as many resources as possible. We hope these visits will open up more avenues for them to tap into additional funding resources and greater opportunities in serving the local in-need population.”
During his visit to Los Angeles, Span will accept Proclamations in support of his organization’s efforts to curb poverty from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, May 13, and the Los Angeles City Council, on Wednesday, May 14. On Tuesday, May 13, Span will join media representatives throughout the region to tour social service agencies that have proven immensely successful at helping to end the cycle of poverty and create substantial economic opportunities for thousands of Southland residents each year. Tour stops will include People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), Orange County Food Bank, Long Beach Community Services Development Corp. and the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC). For more information, interested media representatives should contact 818/203-4082.
“The Community Action Partnership’s national campaign highlights the ‘working poor’, a fast growing segment of our population of workers who receive wages far lower than what they need to adequately provide for the basic needs of their families,” said Miguel Contreras, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Decent wage-earning opportunities are critically needed to provide affordable housing, adequate nutrition and other basic needs of the family unit, and to make upward mobility, the hallmark American dream, accessible for millions of workers and their families currently living in stagnant economic living conditions.”
Parking and general information
On the day of the rally, the public is advised to park in one of the surrounding public parking lots to City Hall. $4 parking is available at the lot located on the corner of 2nd Street and Los Angeles.
The general information line for this event is 213/473-3683.
Local CAAs provide advocacy and direct assistance that help to improve the quality of life for thousands of residents throughout the region. Based in Washington, D.C., the Community Action Partnership is the national association representing the interests of the 1,000 CAAs organized to change people’s lives, embody the spirit of hope, improve communities and make America a better place to live.
For the Community Action Partnership
Leilani Sinclair, 818/203-4082