1994

1994.jpgVladimir Cerna, a CARECEN youth leadership intern, is one of the first Salvadoran students to speak out about the discrimination against undocumented youth seeking access to higher education. He is accepted at UCLA but due to his immigration status he is not eligible for any financial aid. He enrolls at Cal State University Northridge (CSUN).

The Northridge earthquake causes massive destruction in Los Angeles. CARECEN and a handful of other organizations strive to meet the needs of the more than one thousand families in Pico Union left homeless and without public and little private support following the earthquake. Anti–immigrant Republicans move to deny emergency aid to undocumented persons. CARECEN organizes and draws attention to the needs of families sleeping in the parks and streets of Pico Union. CARECEN is selected by the City of LA Community Development Department to lead a Pico Union Earthquake Preparedness Network. It coordinates more than 34 service agencies with one thousand employees and thousands of residents.

CARECEN staff and other Latino leaders travel to Sacramento to urge Governor Wilson not to support Proposition 187. Wilson reaffirms support for the measure. CARECEN joins with other immigrant groups to organize a May 29 march against Prop 187, pulling together 125,000 individuals and marking the largest march in Los Angeles in over a decade. CARECEN continues to play a central role in the national immigration debate.

Proposition 187 passes. CARECEN and other Latino organizations challenge the constitutionality of the proposition in Gregorio T. v. Pete Wilson. There is an immediate injunction against implementation and the federal district court in 1995 declares the law unconstitutional.

CARECEN works with the Street Vending Coalition of Los Angeles (SCVLA) to develop special vending districts and mobilizes hundreds of street vendors at City Hall, most of whom had never been to City Hall and most people in city Hall had never dealt with vendors. The historic interaction leads to the eventual passage of an ordinance creating vending districts.

CARECEN continues to support the movement for democracy and justice in El Salvador. CARECEN organizes a 50–member delegation to observe the first democratic election in 60 years following the signing of the 1992 Peace Accords.

Ruebén Aguillera-Samaniego becomes Chair, Board of Directors.

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