Education for Liberation
PICO California is organizing parents, teachers, students, and community members to ensure that every child has the opportunity for an excellent public education. PICO California works for equitable and consistent funding for schools, improved teacher quality, and meaningful opportunities for parents and communities to partner with schools and districts for student success. Recognizing that far too often K-12 public schools serve as feeder to the criminal justice system, we focus significant energy through various state and local policy efforts to dismantle the school to prison pipeline.
PICO California is making it easier for children, working families and the elderly to obtain the health insurance and medical services they need to stay healthy. PICO California, working in partnership with PICO California federations and children’s advocates from around the country, has led the campaign to win health insurance coverage for all children in California.
PICO California is organizing to develop civic leadership within immigrant communities and address a range of local and national issues affecting immigrant families. We believe that full citizenship rights for 11 million aspiring Americans is the only response to our broken patchwork of immigration laws consistent with the American values of freedom, fairness and family.
The main values that represent our immigration work are: Liberation, Action, Respect, Equity and Dignity. These words form LA RED, which translates to “net/web” from Spanish. LA RED’s main purpose is to end the criminalization of communities of color specifically undocumented immigrants and the detention/deportation machine. We promote pro-immigrant policies including affordable housing, living wage, access to healthcare, education, and fighting against local law enforcement’s collaboration with ICE. Our federations engage in local fights that challenge the profiteering machine and private corporations that create and sustain racist systems and inhumane treatment of undocumented individuals.
LIVE FREE is activating faith-based communities to fight systemic inequality using the voices of those closest to the pain in order to build communities where all of God’s children can live free. In California, our LIVE FREE movement is committed to addressing the causes of pervasive violence and crime in our communities. We focus on the criminalization of Black, Brown, and Native bodies by targeting issues like police accountability, racial profiling, mass incarceration, and the womb to prison pipeline.
Our state and local federations’ work is deeply aligned with the national LIVE FREE Campaign (a movement of the PICO National Network). We believe that the mass criminalization and incarceration of people of color, coupled with the lack of meaningful and quality opportunities, have contributed to a state of crisis in our country.
To learn more about our national LIVE FREE work, please visit: http://www.livefreeusa.org/
Moral Economy and Housing Equity
PICO California and our member organizations were deeply involved in the fight to raise the wage across California. Our local organizations have played a key role in helping to raise the wage in local cities and counties across California and we worked closely with allies in the labor movement to support the historic fight for $15 in the spring of 2016. We are committed to a building a moral economy that works for everyone. Far too many communities in California have amongst the highest rental markets in the country with significant numbers of residents being considered “rent burdened” (paying more than 30% of their income on rent). Throughout the state, PICO California organizations are working to fight against gentrification, which disproportionately impacts Black, Latino, and immigrant communities. We advocate to increase local and state resources for affordable housing and organize communities to fight for local policy changes to create more affordable housing development.
Grassroots leaders and clergy from across the state, with our community allies, are organizing to create a California where everyone has access to clean water, clean air, and good jobs. In fact, the World Health Organization declared the Central Valley as having the most toxic, unhealthy air in the country in May 2016. Due to environmental racism, there are communities where children have a higher probability of contracting asthma than graduating college.
PICO California federations are working to address the environmental crisis while simultaneously shifting the underlying basis of the economy towards equitable outcomes for state’s most marginalized people. We leverage the nexus between environmental justice, racial justice and economic opportunity through new economic/employment opportunities to advance alternative energy sources that create healthier environments, de-contaminating our air and land, and decreasing strain on the water supply.
Together We Vote: Civic engagement and voter development
PICO California federations educate the public on critical civic issues, and provide a means for people to participate in shaping public policy. PICO California is using the power of relationship to ensure that congregation members are registered voters and active citizens in their communities. Through our participation with the Million Voter Project, we are striving to achieve a strategic change in the California Electorate to more closely reflect the diversity of its population and build an identifiable, sustained voting base around a justice agenda. Such a base will result in winning more ambitious, systemic economic, racial, social, and climate justice policies and the election of more progressive candidates.
Along with PICO California, five additional statewide community networks, anchor the Million Voters Project: Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), California Calls, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), and Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV). The Million Voter Project convenes a core of community-based groups, unions and other allies, with demonstrated capacity, to plan and execute a coordinated multi-year program with the goal of identifying, motivating, and turning out 1 million new and infrequent target voters by November 2018.