This fall marks my 2nd year working at CPA and 5 years since I was a fellow through the Seeding Change program.
This year, I want to share about some of the work that has transformed me and the way our communities can build power.
1) This June our youth led our mental health campaign to victory and won 1.25 million dollars to fund mental health in their schools. I stretched my language skills and supported our youth in telling their heart stories
2) Our work is broad in range and deep in impact. One project that I support on is Sisterhood Gardens, a community garden in the Ocean View district of SF. I coordinate communications with our elderly, monolingual gardeners who brighten up my life with their phone calls and resilient gardening practices. I believe that we already have deep knowledge and relationships with land, and this is one way I get to practice that in my work.
3) Last year, our Common Roots youth organized a housing action to support 100% affordable housing in the quickly gentrifying Excelsior neighborhood. Growing up in the Tenderloin and watching it displace more and more working class immigrants and criminalizing houseless folks, organizing around housing justice and environmental justice is deeply personal.
I hope you'll join me in donating to support our self determination fund so that we can continue to build resilience and contest for power!
In this moment, we know that many people are feeling heartbroken from the losses and destruction that are happening each day, from the violent separation of children from their families, the fatal shootings motivated by white supremacy and toxic masculinity, the threat of public charge taking away basic needs for immigrant communities, and the burning of the Amazon rainforest -- the very lungs and heart of our Mother Earth. In order to survive, we’ve seen people turn towards isolation and disconnection.
At CPA we know that we survive and thrive in connection and solidarity. This year, we’ve built even deeper relationships so that we can continue to contest for power.
This year, Shaw San Liu stepped in to her role as the new Executive Director. We deepened meaningful connection with the Heart to Heart Campaign, where we deeply listened to 100+ members of our beloved community to understand what issues matter most to them. Youth MOJO courageously claimed their agency and authority in their fight to transform the way SFUSD and our broader communities think about mental health, and won the support of the Board of Education to approve the $1.5 million estimate to implement the demands of the youth-led mental health campaign, Our Healing in Our Hands. We saw immigrant workers courageously speaking out for respect and dignity in the workplace through the Dignity for Kome Workers campaign.
This Fall, we’ve been organizing around ballot measures up for election this November to build affordable housing, generate money for public infrastructure by taxing Uber and Lyft, and campaign finance reform, with an eye towards contesting for power with the 2020 census, primary and general elections, and winning Schools and Communities First statewide to restore $11 billion annually to California.