On Thursday, May 24, I had the privilege to participate in the 21st Annual From Slavery to Freedom gala hosted by CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking). If you have ever read this newsletter, you know that CAST, its team, and their wonderful Executive Director Kay Buck are near and dear to my heart.
Since my first day in office, I have championed anti-human trafficking policies and have worked closely with CAST to ensure that our City provides the necessary support and resources to our most vulnerable. It is thanks to them that survivors have access to support services, like housing, legal services, mental health, advocacy, and healthcare - all of which are essential to the well-being of a human trafficking survivor.
Speaking of advocacy, it was my distinct pleasure to welcome Yalitza Aparicio to Los Angeles and bestow her with the 2019 Changemaker award. In addition to breaking down barriers to tell the story of a Mexican woman of indigenous origin in the Academy Award-winning film Roma, Yalitza has used her voice to raise awareness of human trafficking. She is an inspiration to survivors and thousands of women and girls who see her and say “yo también puedo.” Congratulations and thank you to Participant Media, Lynda Lopez, Avelino Tandag Reloj, my dear friend and CAST Los Angeles executive director Kay Buck, and all who joined us in supporting this wonderful organization.