Community Coalition President/CEO Alberto Retana engages with South L.A. resident and leader Sharon Webb as she shares her powerful story. (Courtesy photo)

Scores of South Los Angeles residents gathered at Los Angeles Trade Technical College on June 9 for the Community Coalition’s 3rdannual People Power Convention.

The symposium offered workshops, community discussions and information about upcoming campaigns on bail reform, education, gentrification, homelessness, and public safety that aim to transform South L.A.

The speakers included Alberto Retana, Community Coalition president/CEO; Cat Packer, executive director Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation; Mike de la Rocha, co-founder of Revolve Impact, and Angela Rye, whogave the keynote address.

Rye is Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm in the nation’s capital. Also, she is a CNN political commentator and NPR political analyst.

According to a spokesperson, “Angela has been featured as an influential politico, lawyer, and advocate by several publications and outlets from Marie Claire to Ebony and the Washington Post.  She has an unwavering commitment to ensuring positive change in the political process.”

Keynote Speaker Angela Rye joins a group of Community Coalition’s “South Central Empowered Through Action” youth leaders. (Courtesy photo)

During the convention, Community Coalition unveiled its “People First Platform,” an agenda focused on building a prosperous community for Black and Brown families in South L.A. Developed with the involvement of thousands of South LA youth and residents, the People First Platform is a community vision that places people first: people before corporations, bail bond industries, absentee landowners, or other special interests.

In addition, the event included a special youth track where students ages 13-to-18 engaged in different leadership development and skill-strengthening workshops geared towards building healthier schools and communities. A civic school was held to introduceyouth under age 12 to aid them in transforming their visions for their community into reality.

A popular highlight was the South L.A. Tour with residents sharing the community’s history, growth, and efforts to improve conditions. Musical performances, food and visual art were included as well.

The daylong convention was part of the Community Coalition’s mission to encourage positive economic development that reduces crime, poverty and substance abuse in South L.A. through resident organizing, direct advocacy and community support services.

South L.A. residents and allies discuss the opportunities and implications that come with economic development in South Los Angeles in the “The People’s Land” workshop. (Courtesy photo)