Throughout her career, Sade Elhawary has shown undeniable leadership. Decades of her effort reflect her devotion to positive change and future growth. Multiple pillars of the community confirmed that Elhawary would be a strong advocate for the 57th District.
Los Angeles Sentinel had an exclusive interview Elhawary to discuss the growth in the 57th District. Noted public servants that recognize Elhawary’s talent and support her running for the seat include State Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, current 57th District Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, L.A. Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Assemblywoman Tina McKinnor.
Elhawary dedicates her energy to justice and uplifting the next generation. As a foster mother, college counselor, youth organizer and high school teacher, Elhawary has felt first-hand the pains and frustration as a concerned parent and the duality of faculty maneuvering through institutionalized youth programs. She holds the experience and comprehension to work both sides of the educational spectrum, creating a sense of unity.
“My experience and history have been focused on young people,” said Elhawary as she described her life patterns that led her to have a hand in shaping the future. “Young people are truly the next generation of leaders. And how we invest in our next generation – especially when we think about areas like South Central and Watts—how do we make sure that our folks have quality services to thrive in our neighborhood?”
To address that issue, Elhawary aims to develop a range of projects including youth career leadership programs, entrepreneurship for young people of color and pathways that invests in their growth. She looks to support the youth of the community throughout different seasons and stages of their life.
Elhawary understands the astronomical impact that takes place when one focuses on nurturing future generations. She wants to protect and elevate local youth through more after school programs and creating spaces that feel like safe havens; a place to prevent and avoid violent environments. She gained experience in this field while directing youth engagement for Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass throughout her campaign season.
“The Karen Bass campaign was centered around organizing, but also engagement strategies—like how you would get the youth’s voice involved within this process,” Elhawary said.
Elhawary does the work with no fear. When her focus was on the Community Coalition, she exercised her deep-rooted persistence and worked with the Community Coalition team to raise $12 million that supported the construction of a center for like-minded social activists.
As a woman with a genetic makeup that includes Black, Egyptian and Guatemalan— Elhawary calls for justice and liberation through her presence. She has dedicated 15 years to facing racially charged issues head on.
Elhawary continues to face the eyes of the unsheltered, looking directly at the overcasting crisis happening in L.A., she has aligned her future initiatives to the ingenuity Mayor Bass has already demonstrated.
Recognizing the synergy that circulates between the mayor’s office and the L.A. County Supervisors, Elhawary said, “We have to be really, really bold and innovative with solutions and work closely with local government.” She spoke with a tone of understanding in the importance of all parts of public service to push for change.
In addition to advocating for more of an aggressive approach to solve the unsheltered crisis, Elhawary intends to support to groups that have been on the frontlines assisting people who are experiencing homelessness. She outlined the concept that homelessness is a multi-layered issue that includes the extremities of mental health and government regulations.
When it comes to prosperity in the community and providing more job opportunities, Elhawary is focused on creating apprenticeship programs for unions and she complimented the expansive opportunities that different unions offer.
Additionally, she is leaning heavily into introducing proactive measures for community safety. “We have to be thoughtful around community safety and prevention programs that really work in our community. I’m really invested in being able to provide stronger opportunities, pay and benefits for gang intervention,” Elhawary stated.
Elhawary closed with the following issue that holds a massive space in her heart by stating, “We have to solve the housing crisis—and knowing that it’s going to take bold solutions, in particular, attacking the root causes.”
She continued, “Mental health is a huge reason why folks are on the streets, so if we don’t actually think about how we are going to increase and make mental health treatment better, the housing crisis doesn’t go away, substance abuse treatment as well – how do we make sure that the providers have what they need, how do we make sure to expand access to those things, and even beyond that.
“We are in Black and Brown communities, where mental health is often seen as a stigma. If we aren’t actively providing more treatment for folks around mental health, then we also see more folks on the streets or more folks that don’t have the support that they need.” Elhawary is also addressing this thread of mental health that is caught within the mind of youths as well.
An alum of UCLA and Harvard, Elhawary has been attracted to public service since being elected student body president in elementary school. Her desire to serve others and her deep commitment to community make Elhawary a strong candidate to represent the 57th Assembly District.
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