Purpose of Grant
For organizing, research, leadership, and community-based policy development to build an economic justice movement of low-income families.
SAJE’s tireless efforts on behalf of economic democracy, neighborhood integrity and tenants’ rights help make L.A. a happier, more just place. They take slumlords to court, help establish land trusts, and work to find positive solutions to conflicts between institutions (from AEG to USC to the LAUSD) and low-income city residents, negotiating landmark agreements that benefit all participants. In partnership with other organizations, from churches to labor unions, they do their utmost to make sure the fate of city neighborhoods is decided by those who live there.
SAJE has achieved numerous victories since our establishment in 1996. SAJE created the nation’s first welfare-to-work account; negotiated a first-of-its-kind Community Benefits Agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group (owner of Staples Center and L.A. Live), which stipulated the hiring of neighborhood residents at a living wage; assisted the City Attorney in convicting a record number of slumlords (and then helping relocate their tenants); helped establish a community land trust to ensure public stewardship of local land; and countered a false choice of shattering a neighborhood or building a needed new school by convincing the LAUSD to move the new school’s construction a few blocks away, to the site of abandoned Santee Dairy.
SAJE frequently partners with churches, labor unions, youth-services and community-health groups, and others on behalf of underrepresented constituencies. As part of the UNIDAD campaign, SAJE mobilized to make sure that new student housing wouldn’t displace local communities, while recent efforts to secure a community benefits agreement with developer Geoffrey Palmer have drawn enormous response.