About ACT-LA

ACT-LA envisions a Los Angeles that is a transit-rich city where all people have access to quality jobs, affordable housing, necessary social services, ample transportation options, and a voice in decision-making. We believe in building a sustainable community through the  reduction of toxic air pollution, the promotion of public health, and the strengthening of community culture and heritage.

By calling for a new Los Angeles that is accessible and affordable for all people, we seek to reshape existing development patterns. For example, in the Southland many low-income communities and communities of color live in inner and outer ring suburbs, miles away from the region’s biggest economic engine. Those who are able to live in the city are often without reliable, affordable, or accessible transit, and may not make a livable wage. ACT-LA works tirelessly to ensure that smart growth and urban revitalization do not mask, ignore, or deepen, the negative human and environmental impacts of the affordable housing crisis in Los Angeles.

As Southern California plans for the future, ACT-LA strives to eliminate the barriers and institutional policies that unduly and historically burden low-income communities and communities of color. Our goal is an equitable transformation that benefits and includes the low-income communities and communities of color who live in the transit areas and preserves the cultural resources that already exist in these neighborhoods.

Expenditure of public funds must be for all the public to benefit. Planned public investment in transit infrastructure can be done in a way that empowers communities and improves the lives of the existing residents who have invested their lives into the creation of culturally rich, vibrant neighborhoods. Community transit has the potential to benefit, rather than harm, the low income communities and communities of color that are currently living in transit corridors.

Principles

  • Creation of Community Transit: The ability to travel to your job, your doctor, your family is a human right and transit should be useful, affordable, and accessible for everyone.
  • Accountability of Public Dollars: Expenditure of public funds should be transparent and accountable.  Public funds should be used for public benefit, not to drive forward displacement or destroy existing low-income communities.
  • Growth of Affordable Housing: Prioritize the production and preservation of affordable housing in transit corridors for the majority of workers and core transit riders, both groups consisting mainly of extremely low-income households.
  • Community Preservation: Strengthen, enhance, and preserve low-income communities and communities of color including small businesses and local nonprofits with community-serving purposes.
  • Community Self-Determination: Low-income communities and communities of color should drive the change and the vision.
  • De-Criminalize Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color: Shift perceptions and biases from identifying low-income communities and communities of color as breeding grounds for violence and crime, to celebrating and embracing our neighborhoods’ culture and contributions.
  • End Poverty: Create high standard jobs with integrity and dignity that provide low-income people, especially those with additional barriers to employment, with a strong quality of life.
  • Community Health Improvement: Development of housing and transportation should promote community and individual health.
  • Promotion of Sustainability: Environmental challenges need to be addressed through responsible development practices that reduce air, water, and other pollution.

Values

  • The Alliance for Community Transit-Los Angeles places low-income communities and communities of color at the center of the decision-making process as the Los Angeles region transforms its public transportation system and the neighborhoods, businesses, and communities around transit hubs.
  • Our coalition roots itself in economic, environmental, and racial justice.
  • We stand for the proposition that all people have the right to live their lives with dignity, to have access to a source of income that provides for their basic human needs, and to live, work, and play in a safe and healthy environment.
  • All people have the right to participate in the political decisions that affect their lives, and the low-income communities and communities of color who ride our buses, live along our rail lines, and work in our businesses should have priority in deciding our future.
  • Race, ethnicity, skin color, gender, national background, disability, sexual orientation, and English proficiency should not be determinants of economic status, life expectancy, or over-exposure to environmental toxins – nor should they be the basis of limited opportunities for success in our communities.