Take Action Against Racism

Racism is the root cause of homelessness for the overwhelming majority of the young people we serve at Safe Place for Youth. As a SPY community, we have to fight for racial justice, teach love to our children, and challenge the institutions that have created and normalized the violence and inequality in our country. SPY exists to lift up, empower, and fight for those who have been most oppressed, and we will not stop until the playing field has been leveled and every young person has equal opportunity to thrive. 

Join us in taking action against racism now.

Change Starts with Your Vote

Every voice matters. Every vote counts. Get involved in local, state, and federal legislation and policy.

VOTE. Check your voter registration status at When We All Vote. The deadline to register online in California for the November 3rd election was October 19th. If you missed this deadline, you may be able to submit Same Day Voter Registration. Learn more about the process hereAdditional information about upcoming elections in California can be found here.

If you haven’t yet made a plan for how you’ll vote, please do! Change starts with you. Together, we can create real, meaningful change. On November 3rd, there’s so much at stake. In addition to the Presidential election, local policies and measures that can have direct impacts on the young people we serve at SPY are on the ballot. Here's how we're voting.

 

Proposition / Ballot Measure

Vote

Why?

Measure J 

YES

SPY is a part of the Reimagine LA coalition and supports the People's Budget. Vote YES on J to dismantle systemic racism by reinvesting tax payer dollars from law enforcement to community counseling, mental health services, youth development programs, small businesses, jobs-creation, and affordable housing. To learn more, visit www.reimagine.la

Prop 15

YES

Proposition 15 aims to tax property owners their fair share by reversing property tax limits. The new influx of revenue would increase funding for public schools, community colleges, and local government services.

Prop 16

YES

Prop 16 would repeal Prop 209 (1996), which banned affirmative action in the state of California. Prop 16 would reinstate affirmative action, as it states that the state cannot discriminate or grant preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, education, or contracting. 

Prop 17

YES

Vote YES on Prop 17 to allow those on parole and/or with previous felonies to vote in elections. This would give 50,000 Californians voting rights after returning home from prison.

Prop18 

YES

YES on Prop 18, which allows 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in primary elections and special elections.

Prop 20

NO

Vote NO on Prop 20 to oppose adding crimes to the list of violent felonies for which early parole is restricted. This initiative would recategorize certain types of theft and fraud crimes as wobblers (chargeable as misdemeanors or felonies) and require DNA collection for certain misdemeanors. This can further criminalize SPY members. Vote NO on Prop 20 to support decriminalization efforts!

Prop 21

YES

YES on Prop 21 allows local governments to enact rent control on housing that was first occupied over 15 years ago. Voting yes on Prop 21 is critical to ensure that individuals and families stay housed and to help make housing affordable in California. 

Prop 22

NO

Vote NO on Prop 22 to ensure app-based drivers, such as with Uber and Lyft, receive benefits and are not defined as independent contractors. This way, app-based drivers can receive benefits such as healthcare and unemployment. Many SPY members work as app-based drivers, so this can significantly impact their well-being. 

Advocate

Get - and stay - involved in local legislation and policy. SPY is proud to join the Bring CA Home Coalition. Homelessness isn’t color blind. We know racism is a root cause of homelessness—the legacy of decades of disinvestment in communities of color. As a part of Bring CA Home, we are calling for bold, systemic investments to ensure all Californians have a safe place to
call home.

CURB, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, are working as part of the powerful national movement to divest from incarceration and invest in public health. Read their #Budget2SaveLives report here.

JusticeLA is a coalition that works to "reduce the footprint of incarceration by stopping jail expansion and reclaiming, reimagining and reinvesting dollars away from incarceration and into community-based systems of care."

Take a look at the Los Angeles County Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative. The ATI is working to provide the LA County Board of Supervisors with an actionable plan so that care is provided before jail.

Sign petitions

Raise your voice. If you’re protesting, take a look at these safety tips from Amnesty International. 

Make your money count by spending intentionally and supporting Black-owned businesses. For starters, the LA Times compiled this list of Black-owned restaurants across Southern California.

Commemorate Juneteenth

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the US. While Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the decree took two-and-a-half years to fully enact. On June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas telling nearly 250,000 enslaved people that they were officially free. All but four states currently recognize Juneteenth and there have been multiple congressional attempts to recognize the date as an official holiday, but so far none have been successful. 

Juneteenth is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the strength of the Black community and their continued contributions to fight for equality and justice in the United States. It is more important than ever that we continue to lift up the voices in this community and advocate for continued change to finally dismantle the systemic racism that has infected our country for so long.

What is Juneteenth?

Junteenth.com

Demand Change: Six Nineteen

Check out this interactive Juneteenth tour put together by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Reflect

Teach & Learn. It’s never too early, or too late, to educate someone or to expand our own knowledge or perspective. As parents, children, siblings, colleagues and friends - we all play a variety of unique roles in life. We urge you to communicate the importance of love and equality, as often as possible. Be open to learning from others. Encourage schools, religious institutions, and businesses to do the same. It’s going to take every single one of us to make a lasting change. While we can’t all do everything, we can all do something.

Have conversations with your loved ones, friends, and family...even if they are difficult and uncomfortable. “10 Ways to Have a Conversation about Race” from Race Forward can help you get started.

Racial Healing.  As you engage in this work it is important to note that a lot of trauma and blame may come up. You may wish to stop because the work becomes too hard. We encourage you as allies to continue and realize that people of color are constantly having to do this work each day. You can check out a great reading called My Grandmothers Hand: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem to support your growth in this work.

Share. The Good Good Co has put together a beautiful post on “How to Become actively anti-racist.” It summarizes an essay by acclaimed professor Ibram X. Kendi for the New York Times. Read it. Share it.

Read one of the many books out there including When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors or Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde or White Like Me: Reflections on Race from A Privileged Son, ‘Between the World and Me’ by Ta Nehisi Coats.

Listen. NPR’s Code Switch. Each episode is worth a listen, but their recent episode: “A Decade of Watching Black People Die,” is especially important.

Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast

1619 Podcast

Watch.

When they See Us and 13th on Netflix.

Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu or Prime.

I Am Not Your Negro on Prime.

Follow

Use social media to stay engaged and informed. Here are some suggested organizations to follow:

Black Lives Matter

Showing Up for Racial Justice: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Safe Place for Youth: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook 

Donate

Make a donation to support an organization. In addition to the work we do at SPY, these are some of the other organizations that we’re supporting as we continue to fight for equality. 

If you’re financially able—setting up a recurring donation is a great way to provide continuous support.

Black Lives Matter LA

Campaign Zero

ACLU and their Southern California Chapter

NAACP and their LA chapter

Thank you for standing in solidarity with us as we demand justice, take action, and teach love.  Together, as a SPY community, we can help create a future where everyone is equal. Enough is enough. 

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."

- Edward Everett Hale