How will you show up this year?
When Daría Nuñez first got involved with LA Voice, her dream was that the kids in her neighborhood would be able to safely cross 4th street. In the decade of organizing that followed, Daría helped her community cross so much more than 4th street. She built bridges across race, faith, neighborhood, and income towards a county with racial equity and abundant life.
Everyone who loved Daría knew her in different ways: as a community-based member of the HACLA Board of Commissioners; the mother who organized community for her children’s sake; the God-lover who always prayed; the Dolores Mission and Proyecto Pastoral comunidad de base and Comunidad en Movimiento faithful; the LA Voice board member who made sure everyone had a seat at the table; the woman who took 20 other women to Stephen S. Wise Temple to learn how to make challah and then invited Wise members to come make tortillas. Daría showed up where she was needed and wherever there was an opportunity to bridge toward belonging.
In turn, when Daría was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and eventually passed away this fall, the greater community showed up for her. LA Voice members came to support her and her family financially and spiritually. A Jewish leader took her to mass. Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and a rabbi came to her velorio. When we talk about belonging, this is what we mean.
When I look back on this year, I see you showing up in that same spirit to build power, bridge across difference, and win policies and system changes for a county where we all belong.
Justice system impacted leaders showed up to Alternatives to Incarceration work groups, committees, and more. LA Voice leaders of all backgrounds showed up and supported efforts that won cancellation of the McCarty Jail Contract. We showed up as a faith voice in the PUSH coalition to end LAPD profiling in South LA, winning a decrease in racial profiling through traffic stops.
Organizing teams showed up with partners and won rent increase moratoriums and retroactive renter protections in Inglewood, Pasadena, Baldwin Park, Alhambra, and unincorporated LA County and supported the construction of hundreds of new supportive housing units.
We traveled to Sacramento and met directly with Governor Newsom, inviting other PICO California federations along with us to share our people’s priorities for California and leading to the passage of a rent cap and just cause for evictions (SB 1482) and the most significant police use-of-force bill in the nation, AB 392.
We showed up for immigrant families in crisis: Our Safe Haven Network grew to 27 congregations. As LA Voice leader and Latino Muslim organizer Marta Galadary says, “we are protecting people physically and morally.”
Four new staff members showed up! We welcomed our first Director of Organizing, Marvin Andrade; our first Director of Civic Engagement, Tina McKinnor; Census Organizer Chapman Clark; Faith in Housing Project Manager Pastor John Oh; Lead Organizer Rev. Rae Huang; and Operations Assistant Ebani Abrams.
We are moving into a momentous election year where together we will make our communities’ voices heard through our votes, the census, and every other place we show up. I will be missing Daría’s sense of purpose, her faith, and her lovely smiling face as we work.
Peace and Blessings,
Rev. Zachary Hoover, Executive Director