YJC Organizing Strategy
The YJC is focusing on the following strategies to strengthen our ability to improve conditions and opportunities for L.A.’s, the state’s and the nation’s youth.
A. ORGANIZATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE BUILDING
To develop and maintain a resource center that provides leadership training and apprenticeships; office and meeting space; phones and internet access; and equipment needed to support research, popular education and action for the YJC and other groups working to challenge L.A.’s and California’s over-reliance on police suppression and incarceration.
B. MOVEMENT BUILDING
- To strengthen the YJC’s communication infrastructure, including building our capacity to regularly communicate to and involve our members in program decision-making, development and implementation; as well as continue to provide a youth voice, vision and base to other alliances and coalitions.
- To strengthen and expand coverage of YJC activities and our issues by the mainstream media – TV, radio, print and Internet.
- To build a countywide movement led by youth with support from family and community allies that is united in its vision, clear and consistent in its message, powerful in its ability to demand change, and that can respond quickly and efficiently in times of crisis.
- To contribute youth, parent and community leadership to the statewide work group to end Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP) and other extreme sentences.
- To continue to support groups throughout the state working to close CYA/DJJ facilities while challenging the increased transfer of youth to state prisons.
- To support the larger movement for youth and community justice.
C. BASE BUILDING
- To mobilize the voice, vision, talents and power of young people, their families and allies through direct action organizing, advocacy, issue education and activist arts.
- To increase by at least 100% the involvement of YJC organizational and youth members in planning, decision-making and action.
- To continue to operate as a member-led organization by facilitating the election by youth, parents and community organizations of their representatives to the Board of Directors. A copy of the YJC’s decision-making structure is included with this report. (YJC 2009-2010 Structure and Impact)
- To increase and improve communication to our base and allies through the Internet, phone, street outreach, events, meetings and actions.
D. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
- Youth Members: 1. To support youth to progress as community leaders/organizers, and to help youth transition out of the (prison and Probation) system. 2. To develop programming that better supports youth in realizing their dreams in the areas of education, health, employment, culture/identity and spirit. 3. To continue to operate Free L.A. – an organizing high school which also serves as an alternative to detention and incarceration and a reentry program for youth returning to the community from lock up.
- Organizational Members: To engage youth-serving groups in building their capacity to work with system-involved youth and their families, and to mobilize their constituencies in direct action organizing and advocacy. As part of this effort, we are working to develop the abilities of member organizations to qualify and operate as community-based alternatives to arrest, detention and incarceration.
E. CAMPAIGN DEVELOPMENT
- To unite the YJC’s youth membership with family and organizational allies in order to challenge the race, gender and class-based inequalities in the Los Angeles County juvenile/criminal injustice systems.
- To engage YJC members, allies and system administrators in developing public policies and institutional practices that promote youth and community justice as well as youth development opportunities.
- To better hold system administrators, law enforcement and elected officials accountable.