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What We’re Doing – A Roundup of First 5 LA Events and Activities

Raising the Future: First 5 LA leaders joined representatives from First 5 San Bernardino and the Child Care Resource Center on July 6 to lead State Senator Connie Leyva (who represents the 20th district) on a tour of Marquez Family Child Care in Ontario. The visit focused on Marquez Family Child Care as an example of a high-quality family child care home and was an excellent opportunity for the senator to see, first-hand, how providing convenient, flexible, local care meets families’ needs.

“When I was raising my twins, if I didn’t have infant care, I don’t know if I would have been able to pursue serving others. I’m grateful for my husband’s work in raising our twins, and my family’s ability to help out. Not everyone has that level of support, which makes local family care centers like these part of the solution,” said Sen. Leyva, who also serves as vice-chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.

"You are raising the future. Thank you,” Leyva said to the Elizabeth Marquez, the lead child care provider at the facility, at the conclusion of the tour.
Meetings like this, in a lawmaker’s district, are an important way for First 5 LA to demonstrate its expertise on issues and advocate decision makers on the critical need to prioritize early care and education in policy and budget decisions.

America's North Coast:  Colleagues from First 5 LA’s Communities and Community Relations departments presented at the 2018 National Family and Community Engagement Conference in Cleveland, OH, earlier this month with their workshop, “Co-Leading with Parents & Caregivers for Community, Policy and Systems Change.”  The conference is an annual convening where school administrators, educators, families, and others come together to focus on solutions to enhance and expand engagement through family-school-community partnerships. This year's conference theme was “Organize. Harmonize. Amplify.” “For partnerships to have an impact, they need to be inclusive and diverse, which means having parents and caregivers at the table,” said Director of Community Relations Rafael González during the workshop.

You Are So Beautiful: Colleagues from the Community Relations and Communities departments joined local and state elected leaders earlier this month to celebrate Pacoima Beautiful, a Valley-based advocacy organization, for their 22 years of commitment to environmental justice. The event, held at The Garland Hotel in North Hollywood, honored Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon (pictured here with First 5 LA Program Officer Brandi Sims and Community Relations Officer Bill Gould), L.A. City Councilwoman (7th District) Monica Rodriguez, and Built Environment Consulting Group ARUP for their enduring commitment to improving the environment in the San Fernando Valley. First 5 LA sponsored the event as part of its built environment strategy.

Imagine Me and You: A cross-department group of colleagues attended the Jenesse Center "Imagine" Cocktail Party at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles earlier this month. The event was co-hosted by actress Halle Berry, who used her star power to bring attention to Jenesse Center and its key issue - domestic violence prevention and intervention. Among the honorees were the Black Women’s Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the President of SEIU Local 2015 Laphonza Butler. Colleagues were able to connect with prominent local leaders at the event, including First 5 LA Commissioner and retired physician Sylvia S. Swilley and Chief Deputy Director of the LA County Department of Public Health Cynthia Harding.

Culture of Respect: Best Start Metro LA held its 3rd Annual "Culture of Respect" event in late June centered on the values of love, equality, and respect for children, families and the community. Organized and led by Best Start parents, the event had activity booths promoting the "Culture of Respect" values as well as an opportunity for attendees to sign a pledge to uphold the values. First 5 LA Commissioner Romalis Taylor joined in the celebration and enjoyed learning about the work of Best Start Metro LA.

Contributing to the Field: Spreading the message of learning and knowledge sharing, First 5 LA's Vice President of Integration and Learning Daniela Pineda published two blogs this month in different trade publications. For Governing Magazine, she published, "Government’s Data-Accessibility Challenge," focusing on making information accessible.  For Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, she penned, "To Move Forward, Look Back," sharing about reflective learning.

Next Gen: First 5 LA's Director of Community Relations Rafael González and Vice President of Policy and Strategy Kim Pattillo Brownson spoke in late June at "Funding the Next Generation," a convening of advocates, organizers, service providers and elected officials to discuss local funding streams to support youth programs. Held at the California Endowment, the day-long event welcomed more than 150 youth advocates. González spoke about efforts locally to increase funding for children and youth in L.A. and Pattillo Brownson facilitated a workshop focused specifically on early childhood. First 5 LA sponsored the event.

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