Leadership and Advocacy
Words That Inspire Us
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
Leadership Training: As natural leaders emerge in the context of housing communities and as relevant issues are articulated by residents, WORKS supports resident leadership and advocacy skill building through policy training and issue-focused workshops. In collaboration with public policy experts and other community partners, residents work together to advance policies focused on increasing equitable access to quality food and expanding programs that support healthy living. Each year, senior and youth leaders of WORKS housing communities travel to Sacramento for Hunger Action Day to champion anti-poverty and anti-hunger issues, and to educate lawmakers on the importance of protecting food safety net programs. WORKS leaders have participated in advocacy efforts to increase land access for neighborhood food growing efforts, as well as in Renters’ Day, to bring attention to the shrinking supply of reasonably priced rental apartments.
Issue Advocacy: WORKS is active in advocating for increased and sensible funding strategies for affordable housing and for sufficient funding to offer meaningful services to residents. Channa Grace, as CEO, speaks to groups about the importance of affordable housing along with the dire need for healthy food access and the role of urban agriculture. She serves on the Policy Committee of the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, the premier advocate for nonprofit affordable housing, having served on the board of directors for six years. Today she and her colleagues are working to achieve passage of a bipartisan package of state legislation aimed at facilitating affordable housing as well as a proposed local City of Los Angeles linkage fee that would provide a consistent ongoing stream of funding for affordable housing. Without that legislation, in communities like Los Angeles, where the pace of gentrification is accelerating, rents will continue to escalate, the supply of affordable housing will continue to shrink, wages at the bottom of the economic ladder will remain too low to cover area rents, and the affordable housing and homelessness crisis will just get worse and worse.