Text and Photos by Wendy Lopez, VoiceWaves Journalist.
The People’s State of the City took place on Wednesday, February 29, 2011. Before a packed house, Tongva spiritual leader Jimi Castillo opened the event with a prayer. After a quick welcome by organizers, speaker Tonia Reyes Urunga delivered a presentation featuring charts that mapped shootings, violence, open green spaces, and schools in the city. Some of these proved eye-opening for the public.
As the night went on, attendees were broken into five groups. They addressed specific problems and topics such as education and violence. They brainstormed together to find effective strategies to solving these pressing issues. Representatives were sent to speak on behalf of their group. Attendees became animated when city representatives left without hearing what they had to say. Shouts and chants of “Si se puedé!” closed the night.