This year, we continued our momentum from 2018 and geared up for 2020. Building on our robust 2018 campaign efforts - when we took up a core, leading role in the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley’s Campaign HQ - we kept the pace by continuing to grow our membership, foster youth leadership, and stand up actively for progressive ideals.
We contributed to the new wave of progressive grassroots politics by supporting movements such as the Green New Deal, Abolish ICE, demanding police accountability, protecting Native American land, supporting public school teachers, and #MeToo. As with every year, we put on our Robert F. Kennedy Awards - which was a huge success! The RFK Awards serve to power our campaign outreach and leadership building efforts throughout the year and provide a platform for our members to recognize extraordinary honorees who demonstrate unwavering dedication to progressive values.
As our ONLY fundraiser of the year, we rely on our RFK efforts to keep SFVYD going strong, so please save the date for our 17th RFK Awards! You can purchase tickets now by clicking here.
We are also extremely proud and honored to support Loraine Lundquist’s campaign for City Council (CD 12). As one of the earliest Democratic clubs to endorse Loraine, we are confident in her ability and believe she is exactly the leader we need! SFVYD has delivered dozens of volunteers to her team, heavily invested in her campaign, and will continue to do so for the 2020 election!!! To get involved, please contact any of our board members!
Throughout 2019, SFVYD continued its political action efforts by taking stances on important issues and collaborating with community allies. Additional items may be placed for endorsement at the Political Director’s discretion. Below are some of our highlights.
LAUSD Strike - SFVYD stood in solidarity with our teachers who are fighting to better invest in our students. Earlier this year, more than 32,000 Los Angeles teachers and staff members went on strike to demand better pay and a better learning environment for students in the second largest school district in the nation.
SEUI and Kaiser - SFVYD supported and stood with Kaiser Workers, who were fighting to protect patients and good middle-class jobs that we need. We are extremely happy that SEIU-UHW reached a tentative contract settlement with Kaiser Permanente! The historic agreement revitalizes the long-standing worker-management partnership, protects good, middle-class jobs, bans subcontracting and strengthens protections against outsourcing, and establishes a $130 million workforce development program.
CSUN Hotel - SFVYD is proud to have joined the efforts of UNITE HERE Local 11 to ensure that CSUN prioritizes the needs of its students over profits in CSUN’s recent contract to develop an on-campus hotel. This effort cultivated attention from the LA Daily News and Senator Warren. Unfortunately, the CSU Board of Trustees approved the plan but we are grateful that CA Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis voting in dissent of this plan.
Unionize Legislative Staff - Currently, California State Legislative Staff are excluded from collective bargaining with their employers due to the Ralph C. Dills Act. Further, there are workers in the California State Legislative Staff that work more than 40 hours a week, earn little more than $3,000 a month, and do not have protections against retaliation from their employer. For these reasons, SFVYD was glad to endorse this resolution in support of the right of CA State legislature staff to collectively bargain towards more equitable pay and their own worker protections.
Community Roundtable - SFVYD sponsored a Food & Water Watch for a Community Roundtable discussion, alongside Save Porter Ranch and Women’s Alliance of Los Angeles (WALA) on Los Angeles’ 100% renewable energy plans.
Charity Drive - In November, SFVYD held a charity drive at the residence of SFVYD board member, Mayra Valadez, and donations were distributed by the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. They help support struggling families and homeless people in need of clothes and other household items.
Holiday Toy Drive - Last month, SFVYD held our annual holiday toy drive and donated toys to brighten up the season for children in need. The collected toys were distributed by Northeast Valley Health Corp (NEVHC). NEVHC has made it a priority to donate thousands of toys every holiday season and we are very grateful to be partnering with an amazing corporation.
We are also proud to have endorsed the following bills in 2019:
Assembly Bill 1057 - AB 1057 will play an integral part in California’s efforts to protect the golden state environment by expanding the Oil/Gas company liability for deserting wells.
Assembly Bill 5 - AB 5 is a pro-worker bill that will provide crucial guidance to administrative agencies to ensure that victims of wage theft and misclassification are able to efficiently obtain long overdue recovery judgments.
Assembly Constitutional Amendment 6 - ACA-6, if passed, would restore voting rights to nearly 50,000 Californians on parole.
Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8 - ACA-8, if passed, lowers the voting age from 18 years-old to 17 years-old, thus allowing youth a larger voice in the democratic process.
Assembly Bill 1753 - Protects abuses of immigrants by unscrupulous immigration consultants, i.e. “notarios”.
Assembly Bill 392 (Weber) - This is the second version of a bill we endorsed last year which will create stricter legal standards for police officers who use lethal force. This bill is integral to saving lives and preventing future tragedies.
The SFVYD executive board has made the following recommendations:
Los Angeles District Attorney - No Consensus
Congressional District 43 - Maxine Waters
Congressional District 33 - Ted Lieu
Congressional District 25 - Christy Smith
CA State Senate District 21 - Kipp Mueller
LAUSD District 3 - Scott Schmerelson
LA County Supervisor District 5 - John Harabedian
Los Angeles City Council, District 6 - Nury Martinez
Los Angeles City Council, District 12 - Loraine Lundquist
Los Angeles City Council, District 2 - Paul Krekorian
SFVYD has remained active every election cycle alongside the time in between cycles with community action. There is a plethora of work that must be done to gear up young activists from across the valley through social media, monthly membership meetings that highlight current events, build up coalitions with different community groups and voter education. SFVYD will continue to stay connected to the community and team up with different community groups to push for another surge of young people to stay informed and get out the vote for the 2020 elections Lastly, SFVYD is proud of our growing and strong membership as well as our strong, diverse, women-majority leadership executive board. We can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store!
“I couldn’t be prouder of the powerful progressive advocacy and leadership building that is represented by our plucky collection of young activists. As we head into the 2020s, I feel extraordinarily confident that the club will carry on this tradition while also evolving in new and inspirational ways. Of course, that starts with mobilizing young activists to take grassroots action in 2020. SFVYD is poised to play its part and go all out in this election because we all keenly understand that our futures depend on it.”
President of SFVYD