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Social Justice Committee: May 2021 Updates + Events

Please take the opportunity on May 11 at 6 p.m. to join a Social Justice discussion with Los Angeles County District Attorney, George Gascón. His approach to criminal justice has met with spirited debate, controversy, and even legal pushback through lawsuits that are having an impact on the changes he hopes to accomplish. The Los Angeles Times editorial of February 8 had the headline: “Archaic ‘tough-on-crime’ holdouts are refusing to let George Gascón do his job.” Whatever your opinion of our District Attorney, please join the meeting and bring your questions to post in the chat. Zoom at:

    The Social Justice Committee dedicated our first April meeting to hearing from community groups whose initiatives impact a range of social justice challenges in our own back yard.

    MHCH  (Making Housing and Community Happen) is a group comprising a range of mostly faith-based organizations promoting the informed development of affordable housing, including a bill in Sacramento and advocacy in Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley to permit expedited construction of affordable and permanent supportive housing on land owned by religious organizations. While PJTC lacks space to benefit from this initiative, committee members are committed to supporting the development of affordable housing. The discussion of this and other options in meeting housing needs in equitable ways will continue to be a focus of SJC.

    These housing issues are components of the Pasadena General Plan and other similar strategic visions of neighboring areas. SJC provided a letter to the Pasadena Transportation Committee supporting the inclusion of bike lanes as a social justice issue impacting people who cannot afford cars and need the most economical ways to reach jobs, social services, shopping, etc.

   We heard from a newly organized group (PEPPEG) advocating for the enfranchisement of the parents and guardians of PUSD pupils.  The proposal is to allow these individuals to vote in school board elections, no matter what their citizenship status might be. 

    Finally, we celebrated the Honorary Doctorate bestowed on SJC member Louise Derman-Sparks by Bank Street College of Education, a premier institution known for graduate programs preparing teachers. On June 10 an SJC-sponsored Social Hall will feature Dr. Derman-Sparks as she discusses her work and the new documentary for which she is a prime consultant. Please watch the film, streaming free to the PJTC audience at: Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years - Anti-Bias Leaders in Early Childhood Education (

Upcoming SJC meetings: 4/25 (same day as Sisterhood Artisan Fair), 5/16 , 5/23, 6/13. Zoom in at:

    New discussion group on the historical roots of current social justice issues: Next meeting April 28 at 7:00 p.m. Same zoom as the address for meetings. For information, please contact Carl Selkin at


By Carl Selkin

Wed, June 23 2021 13 Tammuz 5781