Los Angeles Mayor's Office Declines CVE Funds

LOS ANGELES — A coalition of community and civil rights organizations, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, and Vigilant Love, welcome the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office’s rejection of nearly $500,000 of federal funds from the Department of Homeland Security to carry out the so-called Countering Violent Extremism (“CVE”) program. 
“Community groups have consistently pressured the City of Los Angeles to reject efforts to implement a program that effectively amounts to surveillance of Muslim and other vulnerable communities in the Greater Los Angeles Area.” Asmaa Ahmed, policy manager at CAIR-LA, said. “Though it may not have wished to do so, the Mayor’s Office has made the right decision.” 
“This really shows the power that lies within our communities,” said Sahar Pirzada of Vigilant Love. “We came together to let the City know that what they are doing endangers the health and safety of our communities, especially Muslims and Black and brown youth. No one should underestimate the power we have to protect our communities, and we’ve done that here.” 
“The Mayor’s Office’s decision to decline funding does not necessarily indicate that they reject CVE itself,” said Laboni Hoq, litigation director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. “And that is what we have been advocating all along: not only should the City reject CVE funding, but they should reject CVE altogether. We applaud the decision, but we remain vigilant.” 
“CVE violates core civil rights of Muslim and brown communities, and is constitutionally suspect,” said Mohammad Tajsar, staff attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. “We call on the City and all local agencies to unequivocally reject CVE and continue to safeguard California’s values.”   
“This is just one part of our community-led advocacy to stop CVE in Los Angeles,” said Kifah Shah of MPower Change. “Our fight against this corrosive and ill-conceived surveillance program continues.” 
The coalition consists of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the Council on American-Islamic Relations – Los Angeles, the Vigilant Love Coalition, Muslim Student Association West, MPower Change, Palestinian Youth Movement LA, OC, and IE, and the California Immigrant Policy Center.
Jessica Jinn, (213) 241-8817, [email protected]
About Advancing Justice - LA: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles is the nation's largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice-LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice.
Friday, August 17, 2018


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