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Community Coalition Urges South L.A. Residents To Support Prop. 30

Gracie Zheng |
October 20, 2012 | 5:49 p.m. PDT

Senior Staff Reporter

Gracie Zheng/Neon Tommy
Gracie Zheng/Neon Tommy

The non-profit group Community Coalition and Congresswoman Karen Bass kicked off a door-knocking campaign Saturday to reach 22,000 South Los Angeles voters by Election Day.

Despite the cloudy weather and drizzling, about 40 volunteers, including high school students and parents, showed up at Community Coalition's event to urge new and occasional voters to vote Yes on Prop. 30 and No. on Prop. 32.

Proposition 30 is a ballot initiative proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown that would raise $6 billion a year for education, health care and other social services through a tax increase on the wealthiest Californians and a quarter cent sales tax.

“Yes on 30! No on 32! Down with 32! Stop on 32!” Volunteers chanted before they were divided into three groups to go to the neighborhoods of King Park, Westmont and West Athens, and Vermont and Manchester.

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The volunteers received some quick training and each left with a bag containing newspapers and handouts on Prop. 30 to inform local residents. Each was assigned to identify 15 residents to vote Yes on Prop. 30 on Election Day.

“Without Prop. 30, I just don’t know what’s going to happen to the public education and social service,” Bass said.

If Prop. 30 fails, the state of California is looking to reduce the number of days that kids will be in the classroom probably by a number of weeks, she added.

Volunteers at Community Coalition gather to urge community members to vote Yes on Prop. 30 Saturday mroning. (Gracie Zheng/Neon Tommy)
Volunteers at Community Coalition gather to urge community members to vote Yes on Prop. 30 Saturday mroning. (Gracie Zheng/Neon Tommy)
Marqueece Harris-Dawson, president and CEO of Community Coalition, said about 700 volunteers across the state today knocked on people’s doors to urge voters to support Prop. 30 and vote against Prop. 32.

“We’re going around making sure the voters in our community know what’s on the ballot and can hear it directly from one of their neighbors...so they don’t have to rely on commercials and fancy mailers,” said Harris-Dawson.

He said the campaign is expected to turn out 30,000 new and occasional voters in the community to vote on Prop. 30.

Aurea Montes-Rodriguez, vice president of organizational growth at Community Coalition, paired up with Edgar Campos, a lead organizer, to knock on the doors of residents at King Park. They marked their sheets of registered voters after talking and explaining the Prop. to each resident.

Volunteers will go back to houses that did not answer their doors.

Marco Acosta, a resident at King Park is going to vote for Prop. 30. “We don’t have young children anymore, but we do have grandchildren. In general we want the schools to provide better education for all children,” he said.

Marcelo Perez, also a resident in the community, said he is going to vote for Prop. 30 and against Prop. 32.

“Proposition 30 is what my kids really need,” he said. “I hope (the money) will be used in a right way, not for the political things, or the government uses it for their own purposes.”

Volunteers returned to Community Coalition at noon to turn in the results of their door-knocking campaign.

The 40 volunteers went to 21 precincts, including nine in King Park, five in Westmont and West Athens, and six in Vermont and Manchester, according to Alberto Retana, executive vice president of Community Coalition.

They knocked on 1,604 doors and spoke to 509 people by the end of the day. They identified 364 Yes, or 72 percent of the people they spoke to on Prop. 30, and 351 No on Prop. 32.

Read Neon Tommy’s coverage of Proposition 30 here.


Reach Staff Reporter Gracie Zheng here.



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