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✨Season’s Greetings, friends! ✨

As we jingle our way merrily out of 2022, we want to wrap it up with a bow by sharing some of our wins with this year-in-review. We also want to celebrate YOU - for showing up with bells on 🔔 to support our efforts to uplift #AlternativesToIncarceration, to #TransformTheJudiciary, and continue building a #CareFirst future for Los Angeles County. 

We’re ready for  some rest and restoration after this busy election season, so we hope you’re reading our last newsletter of the year curled up with a hot mug of something sweet and a moderately warm blanket (really, it’s like 60 degrees in LA County right now). Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Christmas, the Solstice, another holiday, or just the season, we hope you get to spend it in safety, love, warmth, and community. 

Join us on this holiday journey as we recap our favorite moments of 2022 over five days. On our first day of holiday time travel, we’re taking a look at the important work being held down by Megan and Mya in the Reimagine LA Coalition. 

With gratitude and love,
The La Defensa Team

These are some of our favorite moments of 2022:
From left to right, starting at top left: Mya Hendrix & Janet Asante on IG Live for Reimagine LA Coalition & JusticeLA; The Defenders of Justice; Titilayọ on Reproductive Justice; Megan, Gabi, and Bryanna at Rate My Judge community outreach; Little Miss Abolitionist meme; Ivette & Eunisses Leadership Transition Announcement; Leah on Voting Day; Election Analysis; We celebrate our La Defensa team at The Robinson Space
Come on, friends - hop in the sleigh!
We begin our adventure with:

With La Defensa’s MEGAN CASTILLO as the Reimagine LA Coalition Coordinator, we have moved $300MM in funding out of systems of harm and into systems of care through LA County Care First Community Investment (CFCI). We’ve also fought for our vision for a #CareFirstBudget and participatory budgeting in LA County more broadly. We’ve co-created strategic recommendations via the CFCI advisory body to redirect CFCI funding in ways that will #CloseMen’sCentralJail , #FullyFundODR, #DefundProbation , and invest in #YouthJusticeReimagined. 

Because of grassroots advocacy by directly impacted folks, this year, the first dispersal of CFCI Funds has gone to projects that are 96% percent Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-led. While we’re still fighting for the FULL reinvestment our communities are promised, week after week, Megan, Mya, and other RELA coalition members continue to show up: to organize and rally, call in to BOS meetings and CFCI meetings, and to work together as coalition partners to build real public safety in LA. 

MEGAN brought relational leadership and a strong political analysis to our work in the Re-Imagine LA Coalition, creating a Coalition climate where each member can shine. 🌞 She strategically mentors new organizers, relentlessly focuses on basebuilding, and always strives – come what may – to remain focused on #DoingTheWork and on embodying our deepest abolitionist values.

Instagram Reels Highlights
Click the images below to see some of our work from this year
Clockwise from top left: Care First Budget Rally with Micháe De La Cuadra of B2SL, Richie Reseda talks about Care First; TransLatin@ Coalition x Reimagine LA; Megan Castillo Interview on LA Progressive

We also welcomed to La Defensa and the Reimagine LA Coalition,
✨ MYA HENDRIX 
(our RELA Community Organizer), a young femme organizer and who recently arrived to the LA area from Chicago. Mya is a beloved addition to our team, showing tremendous leadership in our community outreach and basebuilding efforts. She has already been lighting up the digital airwaves with her all-star presence on IG Live, and brings fresh perspectives, a deep understanding of this work, and a beautiful heart to our org & coalition. 

TAKE THE CARE FIRST BUDGET SURVEY

Keep an eye on your inbox for Day 2 of La Defensa’s 5 Days of Year-In-Review, where we revisit the electoral work we did in the 2022 midterms, and continue the holiday journey.

Donate to La Defensa to keep this important work moving forward! 

🤍 Donate to La Defensa 🤍
The La Defensa team is taking a winter sabbatical for restoration and reflection from December 16, 2022 through January 17, 2023, during which time our offices are closed. We can’t wait to keep building together upon our return! 
 
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