Immigrants Empowered = Lives Saved
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
The Covid-19 crisis has exposed what we have known for decades: millions of immigrants and mixed-status families are among the most vulnerable in our community. Although they are essential workers that continue to work in our ICUs, drive delivery trucks, and feed us from the farm fields, they are left behind in this emergency. CHIRLA needs support to be a life line for immigrants in this crisis. An LA2050 grant would allow us to advocate for the needs of 1 in 4 Angelinos while informing and legally protecting them.
Please describe the mission of your organization.
CHIRLA’s mission is to achieve a just society fully inclusive of immigrants. We are a California leader with national impact working for freedom of mobility, human rights, and a true participatory democracy. CHIRLA educates, legally protects, and advocates for immigrants to build their own power.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- County of Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.
CHIRLA has been around for almost 35 years and has developed an extensive network of collaborations and partnerships throughout the years. Our role as a coalition builder statewide and a leader in immigrant rights nationally has allowed us to work closely with many powerful groups deep in the movement. Locally our community education and outreach efforts, as well as our organizing, advocacy, civic engagement, youth development, and legal work connect our strategies with hundreds of public, private, and nonprofit entities. Together we move the needle in supporting our communities by partnering on events, local and statewide campaigns, and other initiatives impacting the lives of immigrants. In light of Covid-19 those networks are growing, we are in the process of updating our lists.
What is the need you’re responding to?
As we all face the Coronavirus emergency, there is a truth we can not deny: millions of immigrants and mix-status families are among the most vulnerable and overlooked in this crisis. As COVID-19 continues to take its toll, we must protect those most at-risk who are disproportionately affected due to lack of healthcare, unemployment relief, and fear of immigration enforcement. Mixed legal status is common in immigrant households, which can hinder families from seeking assistance due to fear of losing legal protections or putting a family member at-risk. Undocumented immigrants working in sectors hard-hit by the crisis may be ineligible for worker supports such as disability, unemployment aid, or paid family leave. Those who face language barriers, particularly seniors, need multilingual testing and treatment information. Meanwhile, immigrants working in essential industries are risking their lives, often without adequate healthcare, as they continue to serve the community.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
Improving the lives of immigrants and their families is at the core of who we are. CHIRLA has been advocating for immigrant rights for 34 years, spearheading grassroots organizing and power building initiatives across California. Guided by the vision and needs of our community, we have been driving progressive social change for decades. We were formed in response to the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 which made hiring undocumented workers illegal, thus creating a situation ripe for worker exploitation and abuse which continues in this crisis. Since then, we have been on the front lines defending our communities in the face of attacks and family separation. Our advocacy and education at various levels of government reaches nationally driving systematic change improving the lives of millions. We have also earned a position as a trusted source of information and support proving our communities with timely, in-language information for the critical help they need.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
CHIRLA’s work creatively engages and advocates for over 10 million immigrants living in California. Our existing infrastructure of 10 regional offices, especially our headquarters in L.A., serve in great part the over 2 million undocumented in the state. We help a majority of the 19% of LA County residents that are either undocumented or live with someone who is. Of those individuals, 12% are in occupations hardest-hit such as janitorial and food services or in essential roles like farming, production and transportation. Supporting a pillar organization like CHIRLA will have incredible impact on saving lives regardless of status, providing safety net resources to sustain families, and empowering individuals to recover in the future.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
COVID-19 has exposed already existing gaps in our health, economic, and labor sectors. It is imperative that CHIRLA continues to lead the way to ensure equal justice for immigrants, particularly during this time of crisis. We define success by continuing to work to inform, protect, and advocate for immigrant communities as: (1) a multilingual information and benefits referral hub connecting immigrants to essential services; (2) a trusted source of legal advice and protections (3) a policy leader and catalyst for measures and critical funding and programs that ensure immigrant and refugee communities are included in the emergency response. Our ultimate goal during this health crisis is that lives are saved and that the health of immigrants is valued in the same way as those with full citizenship status.
Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?
- Government responsiveness to residents’ needs
- Immigrant integration
- Voting rates
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the healthiest place to LIVE
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Host public events or gatherings
- Communications support
- Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
- Strategy assistance and implementation
Conscious Kids Project
Our project goal is to develop engaging, innovative strategies for teaching yoga to special education students that supports not only their physical health, but also their social and emotional well-being. This project will research, implement, assess, and design yoga curriculum aimed at meeting the needs of these students and support their movement towards their unique learning goals. We aim to reach 100 special education students in Los Angeles area public schools to deliver weekly yoga classes throughout the 2020/2021 school year.
Climate Resolve’s One Day campaign will encourage Angelenos to get out of their cars one day per week and either bike or walk or take public transportation to get where they’re going. The One Day campaign would not only reduce traffic, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, but, most importantly, would also show elected leaders that the public supports modes of transportation other than the automobile.