Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Your Community, Your Voice
By Congresswoman Karen Bass
Published June 16, 2011

Two weeks ago Saturday marked the launch of the 33rd Congressional Council, and a standing room only crowd of over 400 people showed up to Wilton Place Elementary to take part in this moment. All leaders in their own communities, they came from all over the 33rd District–young activists and old warriors, ministers and organizers, all ready to reaffirm their commitment to take back their country from the Republican extremists that have controlled our national dialogue.

The atmosphere was electric.

So just what is the 33rd Congressional Council? The Congressional Council is an all volunteer, grassroots organization designed to involve constituents in taking action in their own communities. Through providing access to experts from the federal government, hosting town halls and forums, and taking community concerns directly to decision makers in Washington DC, the Congressional Council will serve to amplify the voice of the people.

This type of broad-based coalition is essential to a functioning democracy. During my six years in the State Assembly we maintained a People’s Council, which many of you reading may have participated in, which took an active role in addressing the issues most important to them. Our Health Commission conducted an annual Health Fair that served over 700 residents per year, our Education Commission put on “Cash for College” events to help students and parents access funds for higher education, and our Environmental and Small Business Commissions joined forces to create a Green Jobs Fair that attracted over 1000 people. And while the issues we address now at the federal level may be different, the need for action is still the same.

That is what made Saturday’s event so special.

We addressed our nation’s most pressing issues–the budget battle, the debate over raising the debt ceiling, and the Republican plan to end Medicare. Then the audience spoke out, and one by one they got up to tell their stories and share their concerns. From the record unemployment amongst our young African American men, to the efforts by the Republicans to balance our nation’s debt on the backs of hard working low and middle income Americans, they made their voices heard loud and clear.

By participating in the 33rd Congressional Council, everyone in that room was taking action to help move their community forward and make their government work for them.

The Congressional Council is designed to not just talk about issues, but to provide constituents with the resources to make positive changes in our movement towards social and economic justice. We’re not just going to talk about the Republican’s plan to end Medicare–we’re going to organize and stop it! When the Republicans talk about cutting the programs that our community depends on, we won’t just hold town halls–we’re going to fight back!

But you need to add your voice to the chorus of those who are already speaking up. You need to get involved and get active! Your voice, your expertise, and your passion are what make the 33rd Congressional Council work. YOU can help to define the issues that matter in the 33rd Congressional District and how they can be addressed.

If you were not able to make it to the kick-off but still want to be involved in the 33rd Congressional Council, or even if you just have questions about it, call my office at (323) 965-1422 and ask how you can participate. Go to and sign up for my e-newsletter to learn how you can be involved in this powerful movement.

It’s your government–make your voice heard.


Categories: Op-Ed

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