Our organizing work aims to engage low-income community members in Boyle Heights, East LA and beyond through leadership development and capacity building, campaigns for social and economic justice, and advocacy for community needs. We provide the megaphone, and community members drive our campaigns. Together, we fight to ensure responsible economic development that benefits current residents.
Learn more about our organizing campaigns, including the LA Street Vendor Campaign and our work for equitable transit oriented development.
Base Building & Leadership Development
We provide leadership development within our community through education and opportunities to engage in the decision-making process around key community issues.
In an era where more of our workforce is in the informal economy with zero protections and safety nets for emergencies, the LA Street Vendor Campaign demonstrates how local solutions can scale up and reach thousands of precarious workers across Los Angeles and beyond.
It all started in Boyle Heights in 2008, when ELACC community organizers responded to a call by our resident leaders to support their street vendor neighbors that were having issues with the police giving them tickets. Today, we’ve grown beyond those initial conversations with a small group of street vendors to hundreds of vendors involved in the policy and strategy development of the LA Street Vendor Campaign.
After ten years of engaging our neighbors and policymakers, the Los Angeles City Council voted in Nov. 2018 to legalize street vending through a permit process. Now, there is much more work to be done by ELACC, street vendor leaders, and our partners, as we continue organizing to ensure the permit regulations are fair and inclusive. ELACC’s efforts include outreach to vendors across California to ensure they know their rights under SB946 Safe Sidewalk Vending Act (Lara), which legalized vending statewide.
Equitable Transit Oriented Development
Since 2004, ELACC has worked with community leaders and residents to organize and advocate for equitable development on lots owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and for a robust community engagement process around any new projects on these sites. Thanks to this pressure campaign, Metro finally recognized the ridership benefits of affordable housing near transit, and the Metro Board of Directors approved a Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Policy in 2018 to ensure low-income, transit-dependent residents can stay and thrive near Metro stops in their communities. Now in the implementation phase of this campaign, we continue to support efforts to identify dedicated sources of funding for affordable housing and activities identified in the TOC Policy, as well as support strong anti-displacement efforts in all local jurisdictions receiving new transit infrastructure.
With historic fights for rent control and just cause emerging both in LA County and across the country, we are in a historic moment in the movement for renter power. To that end, ELACC is committed to fighting for tenants' rights on the local and statewide level to protect longtime community members from displacement. We believe adopting strong, permanent tenant protections — from rent control to a right to legal counsel for tenants facing eviction — will quickly, cheaply, and effectively improve the housing stability of hundreds of thousands of residents, keeping them in their homes and off the streets.
Base Building & Leadership Development
Our membership program seeks to build practical skills, decision-making capacity, political analysis, and personal transformation to challenge the power structures of oppression. Our work centers those historically oppressed to lead the transformation of their communities, impact systems of power, and enact a world where everyone lives with dignity, self-determination, and in cooperation. By developing a leadership development and retention framework, we can assess, track, and create spaces that are intentional in developing power, led by those most impacted.
At ELACC we believe in the development of members and their potential as leaders and organizers, and it all starts with our Leadership Academy — a seven week course held twice a year in the spring and the fall. Participants cover introductory and advanced organizing training, introductory and advanced lessons on systems of oppression (capitalism, heterosexism, patriarchy, and white supremacy), history of land and housing under capitalism, and history of social movements. We have a strong emphasis on popular education because we believe that community members have a wealth of knowledge in resisting injustice and building healthy communities and economies. Through the Leadership Academy, we create a space where member-leaders can build trust with each other and the organizing team to share vulnerable experiences with systems of oppression and strategize how our organizing works against it.
Grupo del Derecho a la Tierra
Grupo del Derecho a la Tierra is our core membership meeting, where members organize and advocate for truly affordable housing, tenants' rights, and community control of land. The group meets every 4th Wednesday of the month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 2917 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033.
Coalitions & Movement Building
Right To The City Alliance (RTC) emerged in 2007 as a unified response to gentrification and a call to halt the displacement of low-income people, people of color, marginalized LGBTQ communities, and youths of color from their historic urban neighborhoods. ELACC is an original member of RTC and sits on the national Steering Committee, which directs and advises the Alliance on strategy for its national campaigns.
ELACC is also a member of the Homes For All campaign launched in 2013 by RTC. A federation of tenant activists across the country, Homes For All aims to protect, defend, and expand housing that is truly affordable and dignified for low-income communities by engaging those most directly impacted by this crisis through local and national organizing, winning strong policies that protect renters and homeowners, supporting efforts at building models for truly affordable community-controlled housing, and shifting the national debate on housing.
ELACC is a founding member of Unincorporated Tenants United (UTU), a coalition of tenants, legal advocates and community organizations advocating for tenant rights in unincorporated LA County, including East LA. Together, we pushed the LA County Board of Supervisors to pass a temporary rent stabilization ordinance in unincorporated LA County, limiting rent increases to 3 percent and placing restrictions on evictions. As part of UTU, we will continue to push the Board to make the ordinance permanent in 2019.
As part of the Los Angeles Renters’ Right to Counsel Coalition, we’re fighting for a Universal Right to Counsel for tenants facing eviction, including legal representation, eviction prevention services, and emergency rental assistance.
ACT-LA is a citywide coalition of 35 tenants’ rights and affordable housing advocates, transit equity advocates, and community development organizations striving to create community transit and a more sustainable city that prioritizes the needs of low-income communities and communities of color first. ACT-LA envisions a Los Angeles that is a transit-rich city where all people have access to quality jobs, affordable housing, necessary social services, ample transportation options, and a voice in decision-making.
ELACC is a founding member of Eastside LEADS — a coalition of residents and local community organizations working together to create an inclusive community engagement process that demands equitable and accountable development policies for Eastside communities without displacement.