Archive for Pete White

Predictive Policing? What’s there to predict?

Posted in civil rights, LAPD with tags , , , , on February 13, 2014 by Cangress

During a recent (February 11 2013) LAPD Police Commission presentation LAPD Capt. Sean Malinowski attempted to describe the science behind the latest policing craze, “predictive policing.” After a little joyful back and forth banter between himself and Commission President Steve Soboroff Malinowski asserts that he doesn’t really understand the science because its “high math and small boxes.” This gleeful assertion coming directly from the person in charge of, yep you guessed it, “predictive policing.”

As could be expected the presentation, and festivities surrounding it, felt more like a pep rally than a presentation geared towards informing the public. Left out of the presentation was the actual cost of the program and potential impacts (social and otherwise) in communities that found themselves located in one of those small boxes. The LAPD did, however, offer up that there was no criminal profiling associated with the new design–sort of suggesting that the computer is responsible for the selecting of squares thus removing bias.

That notion is of course flawed because a living and breathing human being will decide which of the multitudinous small boxes deserves the immediate attention of the LAPD.  Additionally, communities of color (and others) located in gentrifying neighborhoods will most certainly bear the brunt of this latest attempt to “put lipstick on a pig.”

Rest assure, new policing methods are simply new attempts to legitimate and legalize old and  illegal practices. It is important that we understand the tactics are the same soup warmed over and it is our job to reign in the police state.

Join the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition housed at LA CAN to learn more and do more.

LA CAN featured as a South LA Democratic Space

Posted in video with tags , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2012 by Cangress

“LA CAN is a leader in organizing and empowering members of LA’s downtown ‘Skid Row’ and South Los Angeles communities. Facing barriers related to economic, racial, and gender discrimination, their collaborative model of action helps give voice and power to local residents on issues that matter to their everyday lives.

The LA CAN headquarters is a vibrant space for conversation, education and organizing, as well as for artistic and media production. Their rooftop garden illustrates their commitment to encouraging vitality within spaces that are too often incorrectly and unfairly categorized as barren.” – Intersections South L.A.

More information at Intersections South L.A.

LA CAN’s FREEDOM NOW! and Operation Skid Row Events Make History!

Posted in art & culture, civil rights, human & civil rights, organizing, press coverage, Uncategorized, video with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2012 by Cangress

On Sunday, January 15, 2012, the Los Angeles Community Action Network, scholar-activists such as Gaye Theresa Johnson, Christina Heatherton, and Jordan T. Camp, artists including Chuck D and Public Enemy, and many others made history with the book release of FREEDOM NOW! and the Operation Skid Row Festival. View videos and photos below.

FREEDOM NOW! BOOK RELEASE AND AWARDS

FIGHT THE POWER – PUBLIC ENEMY AND LA CAN MEMBERS LIVE FROM SKID ROW

VIDEO PREVIEW: FREEDOM NOW! THE BOOK

November/ December 2011 Community Connection NOW AVAILABLE!

Posted in art & culture, civic participation, civil rights, community connection, education, food access, grassroots policy, health access, housing victories, human & civil rights, LAPD, legal, press coverage with tags , , , , , , on December 2, 2011 by Cangress

Click on the photo above to read the November/December 2011 Edition of the Community Connection
(or download a PDF version HERE).

LA CAN Back in Full Force!

Posted in anti-violence, civil rights, human & civil rights, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by Cangress

General Dogon was released from jail last night and is back with renewed energy to promote civil and human rights in Los Angeles!  The City Attorney had attempted to create a new charge and a probation violation, but the judge dismissed those unjust efforts yesterday morning.  Later in the day, he was released from County jail in full completion of his 120-day sentence for the convictions in early July related to the May 21st 2010 police abuse in City Hall.

Also, last Wednesday (July 27, 2011) the City of Los Angeles declined to file any charges against LA CAN’s Pete White following an at-best questionable arrest that occurred during a regular, legal protest of the Central City East Association’s (CCEA) supposed Skid Row Neighborhood Watch Walk.  Mr. White, after being distinctly targeted throughout the protest, was arrested for disrupting a public meeting. Following the arrest, an order to disperse was given and all others were threatened with arrest.  Members of LA CAN and numerous other organizations were simply exercising our first amendment right on a public sidewalk that was not closed to the public at the time.

The overzealous nature of this arrest was confirmed when the city decided to not file charges at this time (although they have the ability to file charges at a later date).

These recent criminalization and retaliation efforts are simply more examples of LAPD and the City Attorney’s ongoing targeting of community leaders who oppose the Safer Cities Initiative and its efforts to criminalize the residents of Skid Row.  LA CAN will not allow these attempts at intimidation deter our resistance and our work for justice and equality!

We will continue our protest of the so-called “Neighborhood Watch Walk” this upcoming Wednesday – August 3rd. If you would like to join, meet at LA CAN at 5:00 pm or at the Ballington Plaza (622 S. Wall Street) at 5:30 pm.

LAPD Continues Criminalization Efforts against LA CAN to Squash Organizing and Silence Dissent, but We Won’t Let that Happen

Posted in civic participation, civil rights, human & civil rights, LAPD, legal, organizing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2011 by Cangress

On Wednesday, July 6th, just hours after the conviction of General Dogon was announced, LA CAN and partners including Dream Team LA, Comunidad Presente, Hippie Kitchen and others gathered for our monthly protest of the supposed Skid Row Neighborhood Watch Walk.  Pete White, LA CAN Co-Director, was distinctly targeted and arrested during the protest.

This Walk is organized by the Central City East Association, a business improvement district which promotes criminalization of homelessness and the increased policing and enforcement under the Skid Row Safer Cities Initiative.  Often, City Attorney Trutanich, Councilmember Jan Perry, other business leaders, and media attend the walk.  What is conspicuously missing every month is Skid Row residents.

LA CAN and our partners decided to begin a monthly protest of this event for several reasons, including: 1) the City Attorney’s crackdown on protest and dissent which has impacted all of the participating organizations; 2) the lack of resident involvement in the Walk – instead using the walk to demonize and degrade residents; and 3) to protest the Safer Cities Initiative (SCI), since the Walkers are generally accompanied by several SCI officers who have made thousands of arrests of poor, mostly Black residents as part of the Initiative.

We have been doing this protest since March, but this month the response from LAPD was quite different and more intense.  Although there were only 10-12 people, mostly business reps, participating in the Walk, there were dozens of LAPD officers on hand.  Officers gave conflicting information to legal observers about our right to be there and our right to protest on public property.

LAPD at 6th and Gladys, a block before arrest

Although we were simply exercising our first amendment right on a public sidewalk that was not closed to the public nor occupied by a permit obtained by CCEA, Pete White was arrested for what LAPD claimed was disrupting a public meeting.  After the arrest, an order to disperse was given and all others were threatened with arrest.

A community partner who also attended the protest of the “Safety Walk” posted this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_4qOHHall8&feature=channel_video_title

LA CAN leadership has been targeted with arrests, detentions, false charges, degrading comments and public statements by LAPD, and much more because of our opposition to Safer Cities and our active resistance to criminalization efforts.  We believe this arrest, and especially this ridiculous charge, is unjust like all the rest and we will fight it all the way.  Pete has been released from jail and his first court date is scheduled for July 27th.  Stay tuned for ways to support.

 

For Immediate Release:COMMUNITY LEADERS CONVENE TO DETERMINE HOW TO RECLAIM THE DREAM

Posted in civic participation, human & civil rights, legal, organizing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2011 by Cangress

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Contact: Pete White, 213-434-1594, petew@cangress.org

COMMUNITY LEADERS CONVENE TO DETERMINE HOW TO RECLAIM THE DREAM
Los Angeles Community Action Network [LA CAN] Helping Set Groundwork for Improving Outcomes for Black Males by 2025

Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles Community Action Network is among hundreds of leading community organizations across the nation participating today  in a national meeting to advance an ambitious agenda to substantially reduce social and economic disparities for black men and boys.

The meeting focuses on strategies outlined in We Dream a World: The 2025 Vision for Black Men and Boys, a report formally unveiled today by the 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys and CLASP, the Center for Law and Social Policy during a convening of national, state and local leaders and advocates. The report identifies concrete policy solutions to close educational achievement gaps, ensure workforce success, reduce health disparities, improve conditions for low-income fathers and improve the overall well being of black men, their families and communities.

“As we approach the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. it is impossible to escape the sobering reality, his dream has been drastically deferred. Black men and boys continue to smother in an air tight cage of poverty and suffering disparate health outcomes,” said Pete White of the Los Angeles Community Action Network. “That said, We Dream a World: The 2025 Vision for Black Men and Boys, illustrates a nationwide breath of fresh air, opportunity, and courage”.

Currently, less than half of black male students graduate from high school on time and only 11 percent complete a bachelor’s degree. According to the latest Bureau of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate for black men is 16.5 percent, nearly double the 8.5 percent rate for their white counterparts. And among black males with a bachelor’s degree, only 43 percent have a job that pays at least $14.51 per hour, or enough to put them significantly above the federal poverty level if they have to support a family of four. In Los Angeles the collateral damage of institutions and systems heavily weighed against Black men and boys is clearly manifested in their disproportionate representation in the ranks of the homeless. In Los Angeles County 1 in 18 Black persons are homeless; this is compared to 1 in every 270 of their White counterpart.

“This work requires an unprecedented level of collaboration and alignment of resources,” said Greg Hodge of Community Development Associates. “Our window of opportunity is rapidly closing and the needs of young people are painfully urgent.”

The We Dream a World vision is the culmination of five years of research and dialogue. The seeds of the project and the 2025 Campaign were planted when a group of thought-leaders met to discuss the many challenges facing black males. By 2007 the campaign had cemented its grand vision – ensuring that by the time black boys born in 2007 turn 18 (in 2025), the nation’s policies and social mores will have changed drastically enough that collectively they will fare far better than today’s young black men.

“Our goal is not to point out the disparities, which many of us know about all too well, but to create a local, state and national movement for real change,” said Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt, We Dream a World author and senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). “Neither the nation nor the African American community can afford to lose yet another generation of young black men.”

Read the full report at http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/documents/files/2025BMBfulldoc.pdf.

Join the live webcast on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. ET http://www.ustream.tv/channel/clasp (Password: BMB2025)

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The 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys is a national collaborative effort of several organizations and individuals. The mission of the 2025 Campaign is to collaboratively develop and implement an initiative for the educational, social, emotional, physical, spiritual, political and economic development and empowerment of black men and boys in the United States. The Campaign is currently housed at the Twenty-First Century Foundation (21CF).  Visit http://2025bmb.org/index2.php for more information.

CLASP develops and advocates for policies at the federal, state and local levels that improve the lives of low income people. We focus on policies that strengthen families and create pathways to education and work. Through careful research and analysis and effective advocacy, we develop and promote new ideas, mobilize others, and directly assist governments and advocates to put in place successful strategies that deliver results that matter to people across America. Visit www.clasp.org for more information.

The mission of the Los Angeles Community Action Network is to help people dealing with poverty create and discover opportunities while serving as a vehicle to insure they have voice, power and opinion in the decisions that are directly affecting them. www.cangress.wordpress.com

We Dream A World: The 2025 Vision For Black Men And Boys

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 16, 2010 by Cangress

We Dream A World: The 2025 Vision For Black Men And Boys [click link to read entire report]

LA CAN, as part of the National 2025 Campaign, is proud to present, “We Dream A World: The 2025 Vision For Black Men And Boys.” The report is the culmination of hours of community engagement, planning, research, and documentation. The report serves as national “call-to-action” while local efforts continue to blossom.

Stay tuned, much more is headed your way.

New Report Presents Path to Closing Disparities for Black Males in U.S.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by Cangress

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 9, 2010

Contact: Jenice R. Robinson, 202.906.8007 NATIONAL or Pete White, 213.434.1594 LOCAL

 

New Report Presents Path to Closing Disparities for Black Males in U.S.
By 2025, A Black Boy’s World Should Look Different

(Washington, D.C.) – The 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys, a broad coalition of national and local organizations, today has released a new report with recommendations aimed at drastically altering life outcomes for black men and boys. We Dream A World: The 2025 Vision for Black Men and Boys identifies concrete policy solutions to close educational achievement gaps, ensure workforce success, reduce health disparities, improve conditions for low-income fathers and improve the overall well being of black men, their families, and communities.

 

“It’s old hat to talk about how too many of our young black men don’t live up to their potential,” said Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt, We Dream A World author and senior policy analyst at the Center for the Law and Social Policy (CLASP). “The state of black men in the United States calls for bold and immediate action. The status quo won’t do. We need fresh ideas, political will at all levels, and a clear vision forward to ensure that we don’t lose yet another generation of young black men who could contribute to the economic and social well-being of our country.”

The We Dream A World vision is the culmination of five years of research and dialogue aimed at taking a candid look at outcomes and conditions for black men and boys and what it will take to improve their lives. The project was established after a series of meetings between 120 participants from 22 national organizations led to the formation of the 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys. The campaign’s vision is grand. It wants to ensure that by the time black boys born in 2007 turn 18 (in 2025), the nation’s policies and social mores will have changed drastically enough that collectively they will fare far better than today’s young black men.

 

“This report effectively creates a platform and plan of action to respond to a national crisis facing America’s Black Men and Boys. Moreover, it also creates the impetus to organize our communities and demand immediate attention,” says Pete White of Los Angeles Community Action Network and the Los Angeles Black Men & Boys Coalition.

 

Currently, less than half of black male students graduate from high school on time and only 11 percent complete a bachelor’s degree. In June of this year, the unemployment rate for black men was 17.4 percent – nearly double the rate for their white counterparts. And among black males with a bachelor’s degree, only 43 percent have a job that pays at least $14.51 per hour, or enough to put them significantly above the federal poverty level if they have to support a family of four.

 

We Dream A World’s strategy focuses on five areas: education; employment and wealth; health; fatherhood and families; and justice, rights, responsibilities and opportunities.

 

On January 12, 2011, CLASP and the 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys will convene a meeting of national advocates and organizations to advance the vision and policy solutions presented in the We Dream A World report.

 

Read the full report at http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/documents/files/2025BMBfulldoc.pdf.

 

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The 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys is a national collaborative effort of several organizations and individuals. The mission of the 2025 Campaign is to collaboratively develop and implement an initiative for the educational, social, emotional, physical, spiritual, political and economic development and empowerment of black men and boys in the United States. The Campaign is currently housed at the Twenty-First Century Foundation (21CF).  Visit http://2025bmb.org/index2.php for more information.

CLASP develops and advocates for policies at the federal, state and local levels that improve the lives of low income people. We focus on policies that strengthen families and create pathways to education and work. Through careful research and analysis and effective advocacy, we develop and promote new ideas, mobilize others, and directly assist governments and advocates to put in place successful strategies that deliver results that matter to people across America. Visit www.clasp.org for more information.

Racial Profiling: Much More Than A Phenomenon

Posted in grassroots policy, LAPD, legal, organizing, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2010 by Cangress

LAPD: BIASED POLICING UPDATE, QUARTERLY REPORT, 4TH QUARTER 2009

“For purposes of clarity, data in this report is for calendar year 2009. In summary, statistical trends in biased policing investigations remain relatively unchanged. Biased policing continues to be a male white and Hispanic versus male African American phenomenon.”

BPC_10-0079 [click link to read quarterly report]

phenomenons:

a rare or significant fact or event b plural phenomenons :

an exceptional, unusual, or abnormal person, thing, or occurrence

–Merriam – Webster

The LAPD and many of its media allies have launched a vigilant publicity campaign to fix its image as a corrupt, racist, abusive and murderous institution.  As part of that campaign there was an all-out effort to rename things that were considered “hot button” issues, such as racial profiling now termed “biased policing”.  Over the past several years there has been a retrenchment of the LAPD policing themselves, with the full support of the civilian oversight committee, while in the throes of a Department of Justice Consent Decree attempting to undo that culture. Unbelievable but true.

The LAPD wanted nothing more than to end the Department of Justice’s consent decree–nobody wants strangers looking through their perpetual dirty laundry. In political circles the consent decree stained the image of a “transformed” LAPD.  However, that transformation is usually sold by placing the unapologetic racist Chief Gates on one end of the spectrum and the slick presentation of Chief Bratton as dedicated to community policing and building bridges with communities of color. But under either of these bookends, and those in between, there is a noxious mix of powerful peace officer unions, over-cooked crime stats, fear mongering, intense racial profiling, campaign contributions and political aspirations. All the more reason to get the feds out of their business quickly.

The community of Los Angeles, particularly Black and Brown communities, measures the supposed transformation in an altogether different way.  First, if you were to ask the average person in the neighborhood about the purported transformation you would most likely be laughed at and run out of the community. In our communities, unarmed people continue to be shot and killed; police brutality continues; racial profiling is a cultural norm; and the LAPD are still in the business of policing themselves. So you can only guess how the community feels about the self-reported transformation of the LAPD into this new color-blind institution.

The consent decree forced a number of reforms and successfully put in place safeguards to reduce evidence theft, rings of rogue cops running criminal enterprises, financial disclosure as an early warning system and a number of other things.  However, there was simply not any substantial effort or progress in stopping racial profiling. Year after year we were promised in-car cameras, only to hear later that technology or financial constraint would not allow it. Reports and investigation of misconduct complaints continued to favor officers with the lion’s share of complaints recorded as “unfounded.”

In reality it is not an easy task to reverse a violent and racist culture, fraught with civil liberties violations, that is constantly reinforced by training, hiring practices, indoctrination, and “head in the sand” tactics to absolve responsibility.  So instead of stopping racial profiling, or at least documenting any real progress, the LAPD Police Commission, led by Civil Rights Leader John Mack, and Chief Bratton just renamed it.

Last year, racial profiling in Los Angeles was removed as a category of complaint and replaced by the all-encompassing term Biased Policing. With that bit of word-smithing, racial profiling was removed as an issue for LAPD and its oversight Commission and the LAPD could tell a new story to the Department of Justice and the general public.   And tell a new story is exactly what they did.  That is, until somebody forgot to turn off that damn tape recorder and captured officers complaining about not being able to do their job WITHOUT racial profiling. LA Times November 14 2010 Justice Department warns LA to take a tougher stance on racial profiling ..

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