Rachel Reyes is a community organizer from Los Angeles. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, she started her journey in activism during high school as a member of the Bus Riders Union and continues to organize around local politics. Rachel’s activism seeks to defend Angelenos and their right to the city.
Lexis-Olivier Ray is a multimedia reporter, writer, and artist based in Los Angeles. His primary beats are housing and justice, but he also writes about culture in L.A., as well as ghost towns and dive bars across California. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in L.A. TACO, LAist, The LAnd Magazine, KCET, HyperAllergic.com, InvisiblePeople.tv and RoadTrippers.com.
Melissa Acedera is a Filipino-American activist and community organizer focused on food justice & homelessness, living and working in Los Angeles. She is the founder & director of Polo’s Pantry, co-founder of Home-y Made Meals.
I’m a Los Angeles-based multimedia journalist specializing in arts & culture, civil rights, crime, and human interest stories. I have several years of experience as a multi-media journalist across print, television, and audio.
I’ve produced and hosted segments for the Emmy-award winning nightly news program, VICE News Tonight, Los Angeles NPR affiliate KCRW and nationally syndicated radio program Marketplace. I’ve also produced two series for the podcasting giant, Wondery. My reporting and commentary have been featured in publications like The Daily Beast, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine and MTV.
In my free time, I’m an avid hiker and stargazer.
Kelly Gonez is a member of the LAUSD Board of Education representing Board District 6, which encompasses most of the East San Fernando Valley. As a Board Member, her policy priorities include ensuring all students graduate ready for college and careers, supporting and empowering teachers and school leaders, and increasing community input in school board decisions.
Culver City Vice Mayor Daniel Lee became the first African-American Member of the Culver City Council in its over 100 year history in 2018. A veteran of the US Air Force and California Air National Guard, he currently works as Project Director at the James Lawson Institute. Daniel has a Master’s Degree in Social Welfare from UCLA and is a doctoral candidate at USC. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Move to Amend, the Backbone Campaign, Mockingbird Incubator and the Clean Power Alliance.
Born in Opelika, Alabama and raised in Pensacola, Florida (with frequent trips back home to visit family in and around Tuskegee, Alabama) Daniel credits his grandmother, who participated with Dr. Martin Luther King in the Montgomery bus boycott, for his desire to be of service and for his own social justice perspective. He served on the Culver City Martin Luther King Celebration Committee for 7 years, planning its citywide celebration of the iconic Civil Rights leader.
Much of Mr. Lee’s local effort has been with youth. A filmmaker and actor, he has volunteered with El Rincon Elementary School students in an artists and communication program for the past 17 years. He also developed a Civil Rights curriculum that he implemented at the Teen Center to increase young people’s understanding of their country’s history.
Eunisses Hernandez is a policy advocate and campaign strategist with over 5 years of experience in working with local and state legislators, system actors, and communities most devastated by criminalization, the war on drugs, and mass incarceration. As a native of Los Angeles, the daughter of immigrants, and loved one of people with mental health needs and substance use disorders Eunisses knows the detrimental impacts that criminalization has on immigrants and communities of color.
These experiences inform Eunisses analysis and policy development. Eunisses has been a leader in helping develop and implement sentencing reforms and sentence enhancement abolition policies. Her efforts have led to the repeal and reform some of the most devastating tough on crime policies in California. Most recently, she has been a leader in the JusticeLA jail fight that stopped a $3.5 billion dollar jail plan in Los Angeles County. Eunisses has extensive experience in developing and implementing alternatives to incarceration. Most recently, she was appointed as a voting member to the Los Angeles County Alternatives to Incarceration Work Group and Co-chair of the Community Based System of Care AD HOC.
Eunisses is an alum of the Women’s Policy Institute Local Government and State Policy fellowship programs. In 2017, she was named one of the 40 Under 40 Emerging Civic Leaders by the Empowerment Congress and the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas. Eunisses holds a BA in Criminal Justice from California State University, Long Beach and currently resides in Los Angeles.
City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson proudly represents the Eighth District of Los Angeles and chairs the city’s Planning Land Use and Management committee. City Councilmember, Harris-Dawson has introduced policies that combat homelessness, create quality jobs, clean streets, and encourage community policing. Within his first 18 months as a Councilmember, he authored Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond for permanent supportive housing, the largest investment towards ending homelessness in the nation and has authorized more affordable housing than anywhere in the city in his first two years in office.
The Eighth District is home to over 248,000 people and the Councilmember proudly represents the district with the highest concentration of African Americans in the city. Never afraid to discuss issues of race and equity, Councilmember Harris-Dawson understands how decades of systematic disinvestment have harmed our communities and believes the people of South LA are its greatest resource. As a long-time community organizer in South LA, Harris-Dawson relies on his deep roots and relationships to build public trust and collaborative solutions.
Albert Corado is an activist and organizer with People’s City Council. People’s City Council (PCC) is an actions-oriented coalition of social and climate justice organizations and organizers from all over Los Angeles. PCC emerged in the absence of definitive City action to protect the most vulnerable — the unhoused and tenants. The LA City Council repeatedly failed to enact protective measures, putting our neighbors at increasing risk during a time when they are worried about the health of their families and communities. We formed to call attention to the failures of Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles City Council. At the same time, we have a mission to uplift the work being done every day, on the ground, by neighbors helping neighbors, organizing, and building community power — a Peoples’ City Council made up of communities fighting for an LA that is racially, economically, and environmentally just. We continue to evolve to meet the needs of our comrades. This dynamism is what makes us who we are.
Spike Friedman is the editor and co-founder of Knock LA, and organizer at Ground Game LA and NOlympics LA. NOlympics LA was launched by the Housing & Homelessness committee of the Los Angeles chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America in 2017. The coalition has since expanded to include over two dozen partner orgs based in LA and California, as well as a growing transnational movement with dozens of groups around the world.