Archive for the art & culture Category

Freedom Now Awards Celebration: June 14, 2014

Posted in art & culture, women's issues with tags , , , , , , on June 19, 2014 by Cangress


Slideshow of Photos from This Past Weekend’s Homeless Bill of Rights Action in Venice

Posted in art & culture, civic participation, civil rights, Homeless Bill of Rights, photos with tags , , , , , , on January 21, 2014 by Cangress

More photos and video coverage to come from this past weekend’s amazing celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and in support of a California Homeless Bill of Rights.

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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Operation Skid Row, and Making the Invisible, Visible.

Posted in art & culture, civil rights, human & civil rights, video with tags , , , , on April 24, 2013 by Cangress
Pre-Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Press Conference

Pre-Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Press Conference

Public Enemy Pre-Induction Press Conference: (Photo by Piero Gunti)
LA CAN Remarks

Los Angeles is a “tale of two cities.” It’s home to one of the largest media markets in the US and is also the homeless capital of the United States. Within a stone’s throw of where we sit exists the densest pocket of poverty—-skid row. Skid row can be considered the epicenter of this crisis. And to be clear, the crisis is heavily racialized with African Americans disproportionately representing the ranks of those “smothering in an airtight cage of poverty” borrowing from the words and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Since 1999 LA CAN has been on the front-lines battling poverty and against the structures and institutions that reinforce the socially crippling effects. We have used every social reform tool at our disposal, community organizing, policy reform, popular education, participatory action research, leadership development, social media, arts and culture and the list goes on and on……all to secure justice.

Two years ago, while collaborating on a book entitled Freedom Now: Struggles for the Human Right to Housing in LA and Beyond, Chuck D was struck by what he saw in skid row. I recall him saying: “I see Black until the eye goes dim” I have never forgotten that moment…

Our conversation quickly switched to the historical role of culture in building sustainable social movements geared towards healing our communities; and, dispersing our efforts to a larger audience. And the rhetorical question we wanted to answer was: Can Hip Hop make the Invisible, Visible? That conversation planted the seed that would blossom into Operation Skid Row. The answer, of course, was yes! Yes in Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and the list goes on…that hip hop certainly makes the invisible, visible.

Additionally, Operation Skid Row was about building a platform for local artists to infuse the movement with their art and creativity–ultimately, fighting for our right to occupy the voices of those being heard on local and national media outlets. Occupy the Air! Coming to a neighborhood near you in 2013.

LA CAN congratulates Public Enemy for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—more importantly, we thank them for providing generations with a library of social anthems that have been used to explain social conditions, root causes, and activate the masses of those forgotten towards liberation.

I close with words of Nelson Mandela…
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”


NEW Public Enemy Music Video featuring LA CAN Footage

Posted in art & culture with tags , , , , , , , on March 11, 2013 by Cangress

BRAND NEW Public Enemy Video for “Get Up Stand Up” (feat. Brother Ali) featuring LA CAN footage and clips from our Operation Skid Row Mini-Documentary!



THIS Thursday: Housing, Homelessness, Health, and Human Rights Event at Charles R. Drew University

Posted in art & culture, education, health access, human & civil rights with tags , , on September 10, 2012 by Cangress


The August/September Community Connection is NOW AVAILABLE!

Posted in art & culture, civil rights, community connection, health access, housing victories, organizing, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2012 by Cangress

Click on the Photo above to read the Community Connection Online.
You can also download a PDF version HERE.


Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: An LA CAN Week in Review

Posted in art & culture, civic participation, civil rights, DWAC & Women's Issues, grassroots policy, health access, housing victories, human & civil rights, LAPD, politics, press coverage, video, women's issues with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by Cangress

Last week LA CAN organized numerous actions and events across the state that received a lot of media coverage. Here is a quick review of just some of the highlights of a busy and successful week.

Play Fair Farmers Field

On May 16, residents from Downtown LA, Pico-Union, and South LA testified at a public meeting on the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed stadium and Convention Center project. Although the hearing was largely filled with boosters who have direct ties to AEG (the developer of the project), community members spoke powerfully about the potential negative impacts that a stadium might have on the community, including gentrification, increased policing, housing displacement, and increased traffic. Another one of the main issues brought up by residents was the lack of sufficient time – 45 days – that the public had to read and analyze the 10,000 page EIR.

The event was covered by a number of outlets. LA CAN’s Pete White was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying “The current and unrealistic 45-day comment period insists that residents and stakeholders read, digest and analyze nine pages per hour, 24 hours per day, starting the day the EIR was released up until comments are due. This is an unrealistic expectation and raises many due process concerns.”

Also covering the event were KPCC, The OC Register, and the Associated Press. In addition, the Natural Resources Defense Council, who early on backed the stadium project, has come out and said that the stadium EIR failed to fully analyze the increased traffice-related health impacts that the stadium would have on the community. They’ve called on AEG to redraft and recirculate the EIR.

Women’s Day in the Park

Last Friday the Downtown Women’s Action Coalition it’s 11th Annual Women’s Day in the Park. The event was covered by ABC7, Spanish TV networks, as well as local media/blogs, like Blogdowntown.

Camping Ban

LA CAN’s Becky Dennison was quoted in the Los Angeles Times last week as saying that the proposed City Hall camping ban is “such a waste of legislative time.” The ban would prohibit sleeping bags, hammocks and bed rolls at City Hall. It is direct response to Occupy LA and in anticipation of the reopening of the City Hall lawn this month. Dennison was specifically speaking to the redundancy of the ordinance since camping is already banned in city parks.

Hunger Action Day

On May 17, members of LA CAN joined over 300 residents from across the state for Hunger Action Day. Hunger Action Day is an annual lobby and advocacy day organized by the California Hunger Action Coalition that provides the opportunity for communities to travel to their State Capitol to push their elected representatives to support and vote  for statewide policies that increase food security and nutrition.

Dale Garrett

Last week Our Weekly published a piece covering LA CAN’s May 10 Action and Vigil to Stop Police Murders which was held in remembrance of LAPD slain community member Dale Garrett.