New Laws & Props

  • Welfare Reform Law (’96);
  • People on Welfare organizes South LA residents (’98 – ’03);
  • Immigration Reform Law (’96);
  • Crime Bill (’94);
  • Prop 21 to Treat Minors as Adults in Court (’94);
  • Three Strikes Law (’94)
  • Prop 187 (’94);
  • Prop 209 (’96); and
  • Prop 227 Ban on Bilingual Ed (’98)

South LA leads the resistance against a sustained assault on the poor, people of color, and the disenfranchised, waged by policy and narrative shifts at the federal and state level in the 1990s. Nationwide, the Republican Party is seized by the right wing Gingrich Congress who pass a “Contract on America,” to establish extreme right wing policies, while the Democratic Party puts the Presidency in the hands of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, whose leaders reject New Deal social safety net and identification of the Democrats with Blacks and minorities. Together, they pass a massive crime bill, welfare reform, and immigration reform, gutting the social safety net and increasing deportation. The State of California follows suit, with the prison guards union becoming the #1 contributor to Legislative campaigns and steering billions of dollars to expand incarceration. California voters approve propositions to adopt 3 strikes laws and sentence minors as adults, end affirmative action and bilingual education, deny undocumented immigrants access to hospitals and schools, and ban gay marriage. In South LA, People on Welfare won major campaigns to address the failures of welfare reform and led a statewide coalition against the drug felon ban. South LA emerges as the hub of cross-racial organizing after the 1992 LA Uprising, is home to thousands of low-wage immigrant janitors who revitalize the national labor movement by winning new contracts, while forming new institutions dedicated to leadership development and civic engagement. The political center of the State of California is shifted and over the next 2 decades, pro-immigrant, pro-labor, pro-gay policies become mainstream. The foundation gets laid to begin reducing criminalization, recognize trans people and discrimination, and the need to address environmental racism — issues that persist into the new century.

Most Recent Tweets

August 12, 2022
In 2020, we released our #SouthCentralRooted Report: but what even is it? Today we share the frameworks and histori……
— @BHCSouthLA
August 11, 2022
#DriverOfDisparity #4: Environmental Racism. South Central residents have endured decades of racist policies and……
— @BHCSouthLA
August 09, 2022
#DriverOfDisparity #3: Policing, Suppression, Deportation, & Mass Incarceration. Swipe through to learn how decad……
— @BHCSouthLA

Follow @BHCSouthLA

Sign up to get the latest updates