Purpose of Grant
For building regional and national movement for structural change that will improve the lives of families in low-income communities.
The Labor Community Strategy Center is a think tank for regional, national and international movement building, founded in 1989 and based in the 10 million-person world city of Los Angeles. Its campaigns, projects, and publications are rooted in working class communities of color, and address the totality of urban life with a particular focus on civil rights, environmental justice, public health, global warming, and the criminal legal system. It builds consciousness, leadership, and organization among those who face discrimination and societal attack–people of color, women, immigrants, workers, LGBT people, youth, all of whom comprise our membership. Linking mass struggles to the need for radical, structural change, it develops campaigns and demands that help build a revitalized world united front that can stop the rising tides of war, racism and imperialism, the ecological crisis and the growing police state. Its work often challenges both major political parties and takes on the organized Right. The Labor Community Strategy Center fights to win.
The Labor Community Strategy Center’s work began in the early 1980s, when the Center advocated to keep the GM Van Nuys auto plant open. That campaign was successful for ten years. Then in 1990, the Center moved to Wilmington, where it initiated a “clean up the refineries campaign.”
For the past 12 years, the Center’s work has focused on building and expanding the Bus Riders Union-the largest mass transportation membership organization in the United States. The work is built through a 12 person Planning Committee, 200 grassroots leaders, 3,000 dues paying members, 30,000 on-the-bus supporters, and hundreds of thousands of BRU supporters in L.A. County and California. Through the Center’s organizing work and litigation, the following have been won over the past 12 years: the retirement of 2,000 dilapidated diesel buses, the purchase of 2500 clean fuel CNG buses, and the creation of upwards of 1,000 green jobs through the hiring of bus drivers, mechanics, and maintenance people-$2.7 billion in funds for public transit.