South LA Democratic Space: Community Coalition

Aurea Montes-Rodriguez, Vice President for Organizational Growth of Community Coalition.

Community Coalition works to help transform the social and economic conditions in South LA that foster addiction, crime, violence and poverty by building a community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing and changing public policy.

U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass founded Community Coalition as a non-profit organization in 1990 in response to the 1980’s crack cocaine epidemic that devastated South LA. Community Coalition works with African American and Latino residents to build a prosperous and healthy South LA through campaigns that create safe neighborhoods, quality schools, a strong social safety net and positive economic development in order to reduce crime, poverty and substance abuse in the community.

Aurea, who has worked in South LA for 20 years, chose CoCo as a democratic space “because I came here in 1997 and for the first time I was exposed to community organizing. I haven’t left because the founders had a vision that CoCo could serve as a vehicle for everyday residents so they could come together and talk about the most pressing issues in this community and develop their own proposals to address those conditions through action campaigns that result in concrete public policies or tangible changes.”

Community Coalition se dedica a cambiar las condiciones sociales y económicas que dan lugar a la adicción, crimen, violencia y la pobreza en el Sur de Los Ángeles. La organización trabaja con residentes Afroamericanos y Latinos para crear comunidades seguras, escuelas de calidad, y el desarrollo económico.

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