Above, an elder discusses district mapping at the MAYE Center, a healing and organizing space based in Long Beach’s Cambodia Town. Photo by Crystal Niebla.
On Wednesday nights, about 20 Khmer Rouge refugees attend a government and community organizing class at the MAYE Center, a trauma-healing space often used by Cambodian elders.
After 13 weeks of learning the ins and outs of Long Beach city politics, there was one question that left student Vy Sron perplexed.
“How do we organize our community for more political power?” Sron asked her teacher, Marc Coleman, a Long Beach organizer and attorney.
“You’re limited because your community is diluted,” Coleman responded.
The class was at a quagmire. Since the 70s, the Cambodia Town area has been divvied up among various districts—currently districts 1, 2, 4 and 6—and, for them, the answer explained why they had such little say in city affairs and no ethnic representation on city council.
Read the rest of this story on VoiceWaves.
VoiceWaves is a Long Beach youth-led journalism and media-training project. The youth, ages 16-24, are learning to report, write, and create digital journalism content. Read more at VoiceWaves.org.
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