InnerCity Struggle's policy wins demonstrate the organization's ability to effectively build youth and community power to effect change for thousands of students in East Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District. The policy wins resulted from strategic campaign planning and training of community/youth leaders to lead the organizing and advocacy work. ICS engages in consistent base-building that involves outreach and education to thousands of youth, parents and community members on issues of educational justice and how they can become involved in the change efforts led by members of ICS.
ICS has a database of over 20,000 youth, parent and community members who have signed up in support of ICS campaign demands and are interested in becoming involved. ICS facilitates a process among the organization's members to identify the problems impacting their own education or that of their children/siblings/cousins etc. and the root causes. Members also conduct research on the issues and then establish demands and goals for a campaign. The entire youth and parent membership is involved in the campaign development process, including identifying targets, conducting an analysis of their power and supporters, determining strategies and establishing a timeline.
ICS is the only organization in the East Los Angeles supporting and organizing youth and parents to influence educational policy and works with 400 youth at Garfield, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Wilson High Schools, Stevenson and Hollenbeck Middle Schools and 200 parents to organize for equitable opportunities and educational justice and advocate for both their children and youth of Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles.
ICS work will continue to build from the following accomplishments to ensure all students in the Eastside graduate from high school prepared for college or the 21st Century Workforce:
- ICS was one of the lead organizations of Communities for Educational Equity (CEE) that won A-G Life Prep curriculum as part of the new high school graduation requirements to ensure all students graduate college eligible. ICS continues to participate in CEE.
- ICS won 3 more counselors, 6 Mexican-American and Latin American Studies classes and policies to improve college going rates at Roosevelt High School in 2002.
- ICS won implementation of assemblies that inform all students about the A-G requirements needed for college eligibility and the expansion of time that counselors are available to meet with students at Garfield High School in 2003.
- A new elementary school, a new high school and a new adult school for East Los Angeles in 2004.
- Participated in a city-wide coalition to win the A-G Life Prep curriculum as part of the new high school graduation requirements to ensure all high school students graduate eligible for college in 2005.
- Systems for informing parents and students of students' progress in completing A-G courses, the hiring of three additional counselors, a policy of keeping all bathrooms open and expansion of electives to include Inter-cultural Awareness classes at Wilson High School in 2006.
- In March 2007, ICS won the prioritization of Eastside high schools and middle schools in their being awarded $200 million in state funds to reduce class size and increase A-G course availability over seven years through the Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA).
- ICS was a lead organization in ensuring the parent vote victory of the Partnership for Los Angeles (PLAS) campaign which has empowered schools, teachers, parents and students to have governing power over budget and curriculum decisions at Roosevelt High School and its feeder schools in 2007.
- Over 80 youth leaders led community outreach efforts in ICS' 2008 November election program which led to 3,500 voters educated about ICS's ‘Education Not Incarceration' vision for the Eastside and successfully turned out 80 % of voters in targeted precincts.
- In collaboration with CEE (Communities for Educational Equity), ICS organized a mass mobilization to LAUSD offices on June 10, 2008 with over 120 Eastside students, parents and community residents. The purpose of the mobilization was to call attention to the lack of effective implementation by LAUSD of the A-G resolution.
- ICS hosts annual week-long Educational Justice Weeks events at each of our high schools and middle schools engaging and educating thousands of students through workshops and lunch-time outreach on current issues in education and their community and encourage students to play a role in fighting for educational justice.
- In 2009, United Students launched a mass-based survey campaign, providing a space for students to have their voice represented in their schools. Youth leaders successfully collected 7,500 surveys from students attending all of our Eastside schools. US members are currently analyzing the data in order to develop policy demands that will target LAUSD.
- In 2009, InnerCity Struggle mobilized 3,000 parents, students and community members to support the implementation of Pilot Schools for the new high school in East Los Angeles: Esteban E. Torres.