TCAL empowers our communities with the information, the principles, and resources needed to achieve health and stability for families, schools, businesses and communities.
TCAL and its alliance of members and partners which constitute an influential network of organizations at the local level, and span the spectrum of civil society including: civil society networks and organizations; trade unions; faith-based networks; professional associations; capacity development organizations and other agencies; businesses; and social responsibility programs. TCAL has worked to strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the Antelope Valley, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens' freedoms are threatened.
Stop the violence
PALMDALE, Calif. —On Wednesday, Sept. 1 at the home of grandparents Roger “Pudgy” Elliott and his wife Carmen, the family and friends of murder victim Ricky Elliott were supported by local community activists and clergymen to protest the recent violence that has taken the lives of young people within the Antelope Valley.
Ricky Elliott, who was 24-years-old, was gunned down in front of his grandparents’ home while sitting in his car. The drive-by shooter was in a white van. Elliott was hit by one fatal shot, while a passenger, who survived was hit three times.
“We, as a people, have to stop this madness. Our kids have only one of two choices—join a gang or become a victim of a gang,” said Pharaoh Mitchell, president of The Community Action League (TCAL). “This form of genocide against our people must stop. We, as community leaders, have assembled together in order to stop this senseless violence in our community.”
In conjunction with the Help Establish Learning Peace Economics Righteousness H.E.L.P.E.R. Foundation’s executive director, Ansar “Stan” Muhammad and several other community leaders, Elliott’s family hopes to see a massive transformation within the community.
Muhammad plans to bring H.E.L.P.E.R. Foundation, a self-improvement and intervention program, to the valley with the goal of providing young people with better resources and mentorship.
“We are calling for a citywide cease-fire. We are going to be creating a grass roots movement here in the Antelope Valley that is going to address the needs of our young people,” he said. “We are going to be providing intervention and prevention services. We know that suppression works to a degree, but we cannot arrest our way out of this problem … This was not a drive-by shooting. This was an assassination on Ricky Elliott.”
The Community Action League reveals plan to master community issues
Mar 24, 2011
Brittney M. Walker | OW Staff Writer
Aid for the disadvantaged
LANCASTER, Calif. —The Community Action League (TCAL) on March 18 unveiled its master plan to resolve issues involving low-income individuals in the Antelope Valley, as well as community ailments.
Made up of seven major programs and components, the master plan is designed to aid disadvantaged families and individuals throughout the Valley to become economically independent, educationally sound and stronger partners in community relations.
“There aren’t many effective programs out there, but our programs are geared to help our youth grow financially and spiritually,” explained Pharaoh Mitchell, one of TCAL’s founders. “We also have parenting classes and we want to focus on relationships.”
TCAL's fights for the rights of children
Protesters seek reform of child protection laws
LANCASTER, Calif.—A handful of protesters gathered just outside Lancaster’s Juvenile Court as part of a nationwide protest against “government abuse.” The purpose of the local demonstration, organized by the Community Action League’s Pharaoh Mitchell, was to make the community and government officials aware of what the protesters called a violation of the constitution.
According to demonstrators Alesander Little Bow and Danelda Robbins, judges have for years profited from keeping youth in the juvenile system. “We’re trying to [encourage] reformation of the child protective agencies,” Robbins explained. “We want accountability and responsibility.” Mitchell said that the court systems and Department of Child Services are splitting families by taking children from their homes to live with foster parents. He says, however, that is not the solution.
“We are fighting for the rights of our children and parents to keep families together. [Authorities] are keeping kids in the system and not giving them supportive services. Families need supportive services to keep them together,” Mitchell said.
We hosted two events the community justice form and TCAL Community Potluck and picnic. We design flyers and tickets to market the community justice form. We market in several locations like the Antelope Valley courthouse, the Department of Social Services and the juvenile courthouse. We passed out over 600 flyers to teenagers, young adults and adults. There were 65 people who signed at the justice form and 20 people who walked in during the event on the total there are over 85 people in attendance. The attorneys speakers on the panel was Steve Fox, Amy Konstantelos, Gary Blasi, Professor of Law and Maria Palmares from neighborhood legal services and investigator Ray Webb. The host was Artisha Hickman and Emmett Murrell with a special guest Darren Parker and Stand Iespen.
At the community picnic we discussed future TCAL events like the march against tyranny there were over 40 people in attendance at the picnic.
The forum impacted the issues we where addressing by increased community awareness, understanding, bringing people together through learning groups and networking with attorneys. The forum helped to make a difference around the racial profiling by acted as a catalyst for community change, civic action and readiness by offering support, guidance and training to educating and informing residents about their legal rights, and how they should respond when they are confronted by L.A. County Sheriffs’.
Help open communication line with the lieutenant of the Lancaster and Palmdale Sheriff Department which he expressed he wanted to change this sheriffs’ attitudes toward and engagement with the community; and participation in solutions; increased community dialogue; increased collaboration between organizations in addressing the crisis; and greater participation by the sheriff’s department to support the community.
It helped us with marketing, printing, event room rental, food at the events, t-shirts, business cards and newsletters. The forum helped us better educate our community by teaching people on their right when it comes to the justices system. The Forum increase the number of people involved with our efforts by helping TCAL with new members from people who attended the forum.
To fight against the injustice being perpetrated by the city of Lancaster and Palmdale with respect to Antelope Valley residents on Section 8. Both cities in their attempt to root out people on Section 8 have sanctioned the Sheriff’s office in their respective cities to conduct unannounced raids on residents homes, and to stop them on the street for the purpose of harassment if determined to be on Section 8. We have sponsored numerous forums, and have collaborated with legal organizations to educate Section 8 Tenants about their legal rights.
We hosted four (4) Section 8 community justice forms, we design flyers and tickets to market the form. We market in several locations like the Section 8 building in Palmdale, Antelope Valley courthouse, and the Department of Social Services. We passed out over 300 flyers to people on section 8. There were over 150 people in attendance. The attorneys speakers on the panel was Maria Palmares, from neighborhood legal services and Catherine Lhamon Director of impact litigation at Public Counsel. The host was Emmett Murrell and V. Jesse Smith from TCAL and members of the NAACP.
This Plan provides an important investment in driving the development and improvement of leadership capacity and capability across the Antelope Valley to support social justice, public policy and advocacy. It will require ongoing steering and review, to ensure it achieves the measures outlined and adapts to emerging issues. Ultimately, it supported TCAL in delivering these goals to improve the leadership development, public safety, social justice, public policy and advocacy of the people of AV. Our Leadership development is about cultivating leaders who have the ability and skills to embark on new ventures and discover new ideas in social justice.
The group meetings worked on capacity building to 1) Increase leadership sustainability and effectiveness, 2) Enhance ability to provide vital services to the community, 3) Improve knowledge of public policy and advocacy, 4) Engaging the community.
1. Leadership development2. Organizational development 3. Program development 4. Community engagement
Department of Justice December 13, 2011
Community Engagement meeting #1 ~ Community Awareness and Engagement
TCAL helped host the meeting with the DOJ in December 2011over 300 attended, we also hosted the LULAC meeting with DOJ. We design flyers to market the event. We market in several locations like the Section 8 building in Palmdale, Antelope Valley courthouse, and the Department of Social Services. We passed out over 1,000 flyers to people on section 8. There were over 300 people in attendance.
We made the problem visible
We Share the data
We told our stories
We enrolled new community leaders
We Built local allies
Community Engagement meeting #2 ~ Community Leadership
Work collaboratively with community advisors who are already engaged in addressing the problem and community crisis. The TCAL membership served as extension of our larger community by bringing forth and implementing ideas and programs which will empower community residents in the areas of business, housing, public policy research, seniors, youth, politics, community organizing and other programs which advance the economic, political and social success of community residents.
Pharaoh Mitchell said community leaders should reach out to struggling parents as well and treat them with respect and dignity.
“What we have to start working on is getting those parents together and letting those parents know that there are people out here that care about them,” Mitchell said. “When you have nothing to reach for, you can’t go get a job, you can’t fulfill your family’s needs… then you will reach for something else – alcohol and drugs. And this is what our community is reaching for, and now our kids are going home to hell every day.”
We expanded leadership at community level
Our communities claim responsibility for solutions
Our community investment in efforts to address the issue
We made community-based decision-making re: strategies
We engaged stakeholders who have been the biggest critics of the system as solution-builders & advocates
Community Engagement meeting #3 ~ Community Organizing
The development of community partnerships to help guide the work online and in the community their leadership, now more than ever, is critical to the future success of people living here in AV.
We went to the community, being guided by it to learn what strengths exist, what the needs are, and bringing community members, families and youth and natural community leaders into the process
We selected of practices that are needed from the community’s perspective
We gave community members the chance for meaningful contributions
We operated from the premise that the community knows best
Call for Action Community organizing during and after the Engagement meeting
TCAL and United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) helped hosted a call to action press conference about the 3 shootings by the Palmdale and Lancaster sheriff department. Latino community leaders, joined by TCAL and other community activists like the NAACP to called for an independent investigation into three deputy-involved shooting. The groups gathered outside the alley off Avenue J-4 and 10th Street West where 26-year-old Christian Cobian was fatally shot by deputies on January 21, 2012. Cobian’s family members attend. The shooting was called a “waistband shooting” deputies claim Cobian moved his hand toward his waistband and deputies feared he was reaching for a gun. No gun was found which is what has been the case in 47% of such shooting by deputies countywide between 2005 and 2010. Also attending were members of Darrell Logan Jr., who was also fatally shot by deputies on October 13, 2011.Mr. Logan was shot to death in his garage by Palmdale sheriff’s deputies he was hit by officer’s bullets 11 times mostly in his back. TCAL founder Emmett Murrell spoke about the tragedy shooting of Donald Handy a 68-year-old white man shot and killed by Lancaster sheriff’s department deputies February 1, 2012. The deputies enter the residence with a battering ram.
Federal Government eye Section 8 reparations
In an eight-item conciliation proposal emailed from a Department of Housing and Urban Development attorney to Lancaster officials in November, the federal agency asks that the city “establish a victims” fund in an amount to be determined to compensate those demonstrate that the respondent has violated their fair housing rights.
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Housing Authority settle section 8 lawsuit with TCAL and NAACP
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to suspend the agreements with Lancaster and Palmdale for 90 days just days after the lawsuit was filed and before the 90 days was up after hearing from members of TCAL and NAACP the Board of Supervisors suspend the agreement for 90 days more. Many residents who spoke to the Board of Supervisors were transported to the meeting, via bus, by The Community Action League Los Angeles County officials who voted to change significantly the way authorities root out section 8 housing subsidy program fraud in the Antelope Valley. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in a 4-1 vote promised not to assign additional housing authority investigators to the Antelope Valley for at least three years. The lawsuit, which was filed June 7, 2001 in federal court, contends the Section 8 inspections were not merely to combat fraud, and that the targets were largely black and Latino families.
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department settle Section lawsuit with TCAL
In the past, the Valley investigators were frequently accompanied by sheriff’s deputies when visiting homes, but under the settlement deputies will no longer be a part of such investigations “except in cases where the investigator documents a legitimate threat to his or her safety” In those cases, one deputy may accompany the investigator but must stay outside unless the tenant says he or she can come in. The Housing Authority and Sheriff’s Department also will restrict the amount of information they share with both cities of Lancaster and Palmdale.
2012 Hoodie March
Hundreds voice their support for slain teen. In Lancaster hundreds of people, dressed in hooded sweetshirts like the one Trayvon Martin wore February 26 when he was shot and killed. We passed out flyers to teenagers, young adults and adults. We market in several locations like the Antelope Valley courthouse, the Department of Social Services and the juvenile courthouse. The group swelled quickly around 5 p.m. near the train station we marched from the Lancaster Metrolink station to Lancaster City Hall, carrying signs and chanting: “Justice for Trayvon” The march helped to make a difference around the racial profiling by acted as a catalyst for community change, civic action and readiness by offering support to community members and community engagement.