Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Recommend us on Google+ Watch us on YouTube Join us on LinkedIn NLC on Reddit
New Leaders Council

The must read blog for progressives.

Love Poem

(in Progress)


My girl Britt asked me to put together a piece for her show

My girl Marisa was like, do it, you got this, trust me I know


My girl Jess was like, YOOO write about your wife

I thought, great idea because Kelly’s the one who keeps me grounded in this life


Plus, Valentine’s Day is coming up and I need a gift

So I’ll use my talents and gifts 

to write her something that fits 

into my goals about shopping hella thrift


Let me wrap up some words with a bow and pass them from my lips to her heart like BAM

Girl, I love you, you make me happy, you warm me up inside like that Thanksgiving honey roasted ham


Just kidding, just started and I’m already going ham

Real talk though, let me get back to this love po-am


In Progress


So sometimes when I want to get serious I go right to the jokes

That’s natural for me when we start talking words that are spoke


I want to be serious, sentimental and sweet

But I’m feeling like my grandmother who spent her days cleaning and cooking for white folks, aw lawd, all day on her feet


See, I’m tired. I’m done. I’m spent.

Writing this love poem in progress is harder than figuring out what the fuck I want to give up for lent


Again, it’s not about Kelly over there looking beautiful and being my rock

It’s about the fact that to write about love, I have to look in the mirror and radiate self-love from my wet curls to my patterned heart socks


The health of our nation is at serious risk. Thirty-one percent of California school children are obese. Chronic disease, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are the #1, #2, and #6 cause of death in LA County, respectively. The situation becomes more dire everyday. The link between sugar consumption and obesity is well established, and some of our policies are feeding the problem.


Our government subsidizes the production of corn, much of which is used in the production of high-fructose corn syrup.  Corn syrup produces a sweet taste at a fraction of the cost of sugar. It can take on a variety of flavors, and sometimes works as a preservative, but when it enters our body it has the same effect as sugar and provides no nutritional value.  We have come to expect some of our foods to work this way. We know, for example, that when we buy a doughnut, a soda, or a dessert we are indulging ourselves a bit with regard to sugar.  However, many of the foods we buy at the grocery store surprisingly have as much sugar, if not more, than sweet treats: salad dressing, condiments, bread, yogurt, and cereal, just to name a few.  Many of our meals, if you break them down, consist of a bowl of sugar for breakfast, followed by a little meat between two slices of sugar for lunch. For dinner we start with veggies covered with syrup, then continue with a main course flavored in sugar, and top it off with sugar for dessert.  Without knowing it, we are consuming mass amounts of sugar in a way that was simply not possible in previous generations.


If members of the LAUSD Board of Education are curious as to why the district’s enrollment is declining, they should review how the district treated parents over the last few days in the Playa Vista and Westchester neighborhoods for some clues. In a tale that is unfortunately all too familiar to many LAUSD parents, district leaders publicly promised one thing, parents relied on that promise, the district broke the promise at the eleventh hour, parents were left scrambling.

It is no way to treat constituents — let alone run a school district. And the response from Board President Steve Zimmer acknowledging that parents may have felt communication was “inconsistent and at times confusing,” is quite the understatement. Parents were “confused” because they were misled.

Meet Heroes at Villains Honoree Anjuli Kronheim Katz
Before Anjuli Kronheim Katz moved to LA from the east coast, she didn't think of it as a city that would be a hotbed of social justice work. Like many people she had stereotyped it as being primarily the city of the entertainment industry. However, she quickly realized that it was rich with many of the advocacy opportunities she was looking for. She was selected as an NLC fellow in 2012 when she was still new to the area, which provided her with great opportunity to build connections in her adopted city.
Anjuli first honed her organizing skills at Common Cause where she worked primarily on campaign finance initiatives. Then she joined Bend the Arc where she organized the Jewish community around issues of social and economic justice. There, she successfully fought off an attempt to exempt non-profits from LA's minimum wage ordinance.
More recently, Anjuli has been appointed to the Santa Monica housing commission. It's a new policy area for her, but she's excited to use the skills she's acquired in her advocacy work to push for more affordable housing in an area that's quickly becoming inaccessible to many lower income people.

Sara Hernandez

Meet Heroes at Villains Honoree Sara Hernandez 
Sara Hernandez, who helped found HYPE (Helping Young People Excel) Los Angeles five years ago to provide opportunities for low-income students, is already a seasoned activist and community leader. Sara is strongly committed to improving opportunity through grassroots efforts. She believes that if you change the trajectory of one student's life, you can in turn shape the development of that student's community. 
A lawyer by training, Sara didn't follow the typical path into the legal profession. Passionate about education reform from a young age, she taught English and History for three years at Johnnie Cochran Middle School in Mid-City before going to law school. But Sara has always been inspired by her parents, both of whom were lawyers active in the farmworkers' rights movement. She learned from them that the law could be a powerful tool for advocacy and for effecting change. 
If farmworkers' rights was the civil rights movement of her parent's generation, Sara sees educational inequity as the civil rights movement of hers. Growing up in rural Salinas and attending public schools, she saw some students with a lot of potential didn't have the educational opportunities available to students in higher-income areas. Her commitment to fighting educational inequity first led her into the classroom. Then, with three years of teaching experience under her belt, she formed HYPE with a group of other teachers, and, after law school, she was named the Los Angeles Regional Director of Policy and Advocacy for the California Charter Schools Association. 
More recently, Sara has expanded the scope of her advocacy work as Downtown Area Director and Special Counsel for Council Member Jose Huizar, where she has worked  on various projects to revitalize the downtown community, which included an international design competition she launched as part of Pershing Square Renew. Sara has been a resident of downtown for six years, and her involvement in the community has cultivated a personal interest in its transformation. She is encouraged by the changes she's seen such as the explosion of restaurants and entertainment and says it's become "a real urban environment." She's excited to play a role in its continuing development and to keep looking for opportunities to give back to her community.

I know, I know. Who needs another well-written, funny, must-read-for-progressives blog in their lives? Really, who does?

You do obviously.

Today, New Leaders Council Los Angeles launches the blog feature on our new Nationbuilder website. Expect diverse content each week that highlights progressive news and happenings in Los Angeles as told by our NLC LA alumni. Their unique perspectives on education, law, travel, entertainment, politics, and food will keep you informed, interested, and intrigued.

See, told you one more blog was a great idea.

Stay progressive.

Eric Desobe
Governing Board President
New Leaders Council Los Angeles

Atlanta - Augusta - Boston - Broward - Capital District NY - Chicago - Cincinnati - Cleveland - Connecticut - Des Moines
Detroit - Houston - Jacksonville - Kentucky - Los Angeles - Louisiana - Madison - Maine - Maryland - Miami - Montana - Nashville - New Jersey - New York City
North Carolina - Oakland - Omaha - Orange County - Orlando - Palm Beach - Philadelphia - Pittsburgh - Rhode Island - Sacramento - San Francisco - Silicon Valley