LA Voter Website
Find Your Voter Center
LA Voter Website
Find Your Voter Center
Free Food Resources During Coronavirus
LA Public Library
While all Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) locations are physically closed, you can still access online resources.
Los Angeles Unified students are automatically assigned a Student Success Card. That means they can use their cards to access all online resources from LAPL. They don’t need the physical card, just the library card number and PIN.
Don’t know your library card number or PIN? Fill out this form and LAPL will look up the information.
With the Student Success Card, you can:
• Borrow up to 3 books
• Instantly get digital books, magazines, music, movies, and newspapers
• Find an online tutor
• No fines and fees ever
Other Online Resources
Resources for Black Parents During the Coronavirus Pandemic
California Families – Free Meals at Grab & Go Centers
Grab & Go Food Centers are open this summer, Monday through Friday from 8-11 a.m. through August 14th.
As of Monday, June 22, 2020, the Grab & Go Food Center that is currently located at Verdugo Hills High School will move to Mount Gleason Middle School, located at 10965 Mount Gleason Ave., Sunland-Tujunga 91040.
There is an interactive map on the page to locate the nearest Grab & Go Center to families.
Hotlines: (LA Unified School District & Coronavirus Updates)
For families: (213) 443-1300
For employees: (213) 241-2700
Mental health hotline for students and families: (213) 241-3840
The hotline is open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Free Educational Resources from PBS SoCal | KCET and KLCS-TV
Los Angeles Unified, PBS SoCal | KCET, and KLCS-TV have partnered to provide free supplemental educational resources to help your family support learning during the school closures. This multi-platform initiative includes Pre-K–12 educational programming and robust online resources through the online platform PBS LearningMedia. The resources are free and designed to be used by public schools throughout California to help students continue learning at home.
The above channels are for viewing on television. Please check your local listing for more information or at pbssocal.org/athomelearning
Los Angeles Unified is committed to ensuring the health and well-being of students and staff and providing a safe, secure learning environment for all. Please refer to the following resources to help you supplement your learning while at home.
Available in Schoology’s Top App Menu
Also available at achieve.lausd.net/Page/15747
General Practice for K-12: khanacademy.org
SAT and ACT Practice for Grade 10 and 11: bit.ly/38y3xNc
Log In: lms.lausd.net
Getting Started on Schoology for Students: bit.ly/StudentGettingStarted
K2 Students, sign into Schoology in a simplified way with QR Codes: bit.ly/PLSStudentQRCodes
FREE ONLINE LEARNING RESOURCES
Download this information as a PDF: Free Online Learning Resources
Bajar esta información en formato PDF: Recursos Gratuitos De Aprendizaje En Línea
Los Angeles Unified students, including English Learners, Standard English Learners, Gifted Learners, and Students with Disabilities will be able to access the following free resources during school closures. Below is a list of some free online learning resources for your child’s continuity of learning. To access the following resources, students may sign in using their LAUSD Single Sign On (SSO) via one of several methods:
For a complete list of free resources, please visit: bit.ly/LAFreeEdSites
|*ABC Mouse||PreK – 2/3||Clever|
|*Amplify Reading||K – 5||LAUSD|
|*Brain Pop & Brain POP ELL||K – 12||Clever|
|*Brain Pop Jr||K – 5||Clever|
|*Edgenuity Elementary||K – 5||Clever|
|*Edgenuity Secondary||6 – 12||LAUSD|
|*Eureka||K – 6||Clever|
|*EVERFi||K – 12||Clever|
|Khan Academy||K – 12|
|*ST Math||TK – 8||Clever|
|*Zearn||K – 12||Clever|
The following resources are for people impacted and affected by coronavirus.
EDD and Unemployment
Info: If you are furloughed or lost your job due to covid-19, you can apply for unemployment.
Pro Tip: Also, if you have applied for unemployment and have not received it, call unemployment and request the Spanish customer service line. The Spanish customer line has a shorter wait and the person on the other end is bilingual.
Info: Individuals who are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim.
Disability Insurance provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50 – $1,300 a week.
Paid Family Leave (PFL) Claim
Info: Californians who are unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim.
Paid Family Leave provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.
Additional Financial Resources
Paycheck Protection Program for Business Owners and Freelancers
Info: the CARES Act earmarked $10.25 billion dollars for business owners & freelancers. The PPP loans can be forgiven if you meet certain criteria – “if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 60% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll).”
Economic Injury Disaster Loans – Small Business Administration
Info: Small business owners and freelancers can receive a free $1000 grant.
Important note: to receive the grant, you have to check receive advance at the end of the application. You have to fill out an application for a loan; however, you don’t have to accept the loan. You can just accept the grant. Takes about two weeks to receive payment.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Info: Gives two weeks of paid sick leave at 100% of your normal salary – up to $511 per day – for a total of $5,110. That is just the first of many qualifiers for this program so check with your company’s Human Resources Department before making plans.
Mortgage Relief Options: Steps to Get Relief
A federal law passed on March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, puts in place protections for homeowners with mortgages that are federally or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) backed or funded (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae,Freddie Mac).
How to Request Forbearance for Mortgage Payments
Artist Resources/Free Money
Cash Assistance for Service Workers & Tip Workers
Restaurant Worker/Tip Worker Relief
Info: Grants for restaurant workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have been quarantined
California Resource/East Side Riders
Info: The East Side Riders provide free breakfast for students in Watts from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
#blackcovid #covid19 #coronavirus
The documentary, Tongues Untied by Marlon Riggs engrained in me the importance of storytelling and using personal experience to create art. Marlon interweaves Black gay culture, poetry by Essex Hemphill and Joseph Beam, striking imagery, and a snapping tutorial. I have watched it repeatedly to learn more from Riggs.
Years later, I used some of the techniques that he used to produce my first documentary, Genitalic.
Genitalic centers on life for gay men in West Hollywood in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Eight older men were interviewed (seven in Los Angeles and one in London). Their narratives interweave as they discuss HIV/AIDS, race, racism, ageism, passing, daddy culture, and desire in the older male body.
I read Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing, after completing my first draft of Pangaea: Unsettled Land. When likening the writing process to archaeology, he wrote, “Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.” I completely understood this to be true. When beginning to write a story, you already have an idea. Now, you just need to uncover all of the elements that make it work.
Know Your Idea
Forcing things like magic and ancient lore into your story isn’t going to work if they weren’t at the core of your idea to begin with. If they are, then you can go places. When I began writing Pangaea in 2009, I started with this core storyline: ‘three friends go on a quest to find a rare magical artifact that would make a huge impact on their world’. I also had the idea of a maniacal antagonist who had gone mad after being in a dungeon for so long. If you read the book, then you know right away what has changed and what hasn’t. None of this is groundbreaking stuff, and in fact could very easily be cliché. What makes fantasy unique are the things only you can bring to it.
Focus On The Story
First, I would strongly suggest an outline – not necessarily for plot in the beginning, but for your characters. This website showcasing the snowflake method is a great source. It helped kick-start me towards completion after multiple start-and-stops over the years. It’s a great way to uncover more about your characters and the world around them. Once you know their motives and barriers, things like the ancient mythology of the land, the world/character’s histories, and a timeline will begin to fall into place. That’s because you’ll have the mindset that “A needs to happen in order for B to happen”. Again, this is not about forcing things into place. It’s about naturally discovering what it is about the world that makes your characters behave the way they do. If you can’t prevent the love interest’s death without changing your story a great deal, it’s probably supposed to happen.
Be cautious! Just because you know the timeline and all of the mythology and history, does not mean your reader needs it. They only need what’s absolutely necessary to the development of the character and the furthering of that story. Otherwise, you could make the mistake of info-dumping and bogging down your story with needless details.
Once you have a firm grasp on all of the details, you can decide on whether plot outlining is best or if you want to get straight into writing. In both cases, don’t be rigid. Allow for some unforeseen changes.
Go With The Flow
When you begin writing, you’re going to learn even more about the world you’ve created and the characters. Things are going to change. Initial ideas are going to seem way overblown, and some of the minor ones will need to be brought to the limelight. This sense of discovery is the fun part! I remember wanting to end my novel with a bang by having Pangaea separate from one super-continent into the world as we know it now. This does not happen. My ending is much simpler and has more impact now because I paid attention to the path of the characters. By not remaining inflexible, I brought the far-fetched (and horrid) idea back down to Earth.
Time For Some RER: Revising, Editing, and Rewriting
It’s so important to edit your work. This is a must for writers in general. However, when creating a fantasy world, it’s highly important to look not just at the grammar and story, but at all of the world-building elements. Look at the government, society, technology, and magic. What works? What doesn’t? Here’s an example of my editing:
My book involves a mixture of old and new technologies, so I had a scene where my characters are flying somewhere on a plane. My editor let me know to make my world a bit more distinct by paying attention to the structures and names of certain technology. I changed the structure of planes into a stingray-like airship called a supertrop. Phones are all called comms, cars are called wheelers, etc. These changes helped distinguish my world from the one we live in today and added even more of that fantasy allure.
This also highlights the importance of an editor. Don’t expect to publish anything that’s been self-edited. Leave that version for beta readers. After accepting or refusing suggestions from them, have a professional with a focus on your genre look over your work and let you know what needs to change. This especially helped me understand what fantasy readers expect and to meet those expectations without compromising my own ideas.
Follow these steps and you can soon have readers escape to a world of your own!
Subscribe to my mailing list for a free preview of Pangaea: Unsettled Land now!
Since I discovered that I wanted to write professionally, I have sought out countless writing jobs. Thousands actually. I searched through my Gmail to count how many cover letters I have emailed to potential employers. Ninety-nine percent of the cover letters are pure trash. So I decided to share them. People, learn from my mistakes.
Cover to DListed.com
Greetings Michael K,
Amanda Bynes is the only person more qualified than me for this job, but she is preoccupied at the moment standing outside Drake’s hotel room since I forwarded her his exact location.
Imagine if Bieber had the charisma of Mario Lopez, and he was a journalist, that visual summarizes who I am. A focused writer with a magnetic personality who is a pop culture devotee. I can’t leave my house without logging onto Dlisted (or TMZ. Bad habit, I know. Don’t judge me). Some of the names that I have recently interviewed include Icona Pop, Skylar Grey, Ester Dean, and Pedro Almodovar.
I have experience working with tight deadlines from home and the office. Also, I have experience interviewing and reporting on musicians as well as blogging about lifestyle and cultural events like (mentally) anal probing Hot Sluts of the Day. Key skills that I bring to the table include tight editing, quick deadline writing, content generation/pitching, self-discipline, known knowledge of pop culture, an eye for target-audience writing, and most importantly, how to give face.
To see my work, I have attached two interviews and a blog post for you to peruse.
If you need more information, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Since I live in L.A., I die every time I see Angelyne and her pink car (that’s not a vagina euphemism). I cry a little every time I see Bobby Trendy being utterly untrendy. However my life won’t be complete until I see Chicken Cutlets eating at the KFC on Hollywood Blvd.
– Take a magazine or newspaper.
– Choose an article from the magazine or newspaper
– Use a pair of scissors, to cut out the article
– Next carefully cut out each of the words from the article and put them in a brown paper bag
– Shake the bag
– Next take out each cutting one after the other
– Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag (you can glue or tape down the words in your notebook or write them out)
– The poem will resemble you
Twitter exploded the second Olivia Jordan was crowned Miss USA. Her gown for the evening wear segment sparked controversy (aside from Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants during that same time). The dress polarized the Internet. Some loved it, while others hated it and thought she should not have won based on the dress. The dress was pink and strapless with a flowing skirt that had slanted lines of ruffles. In an interview with The Huffington Post Live, Jordan stated it was the dream dress of her five-year-old self.
A beauty queen’s dress is purely aesthetic and superficial. Her wardrobe choices are less important than who she is as an individual and what she represents. That ideology applies to Hailie Sahar, a pageant winner, whose story of triumph over adversity can be overlooked if the viewer only looks at the surface.
At In The Meantime’s pre-pride party, she dazzled the audience with her charm and hand placement-ography (choreography for a beauty queen’s hand). See her as the crowd saw her. First her dress, gray, and chic, paired smartly with an ornate gold necklace. Her sash for Miss L.A. Pride 2015 accentuated her figure. Then, her arms, bare and thin, then her flash of red hair. The spotlight caught her face at an angle that gave her the glow of a pregnant woman. She smiled, waiting for Karamo Brown to finish. They both were handpicked to be Brand Ambassadors for BrothaFest. Many of the people in the audience did not know (from only looking at her) that she was born in the wrong body and transitioned into her female body.
In a sit down interview, Sahar discussed the difficulty of being transgender, biracial, and young in L.A., being abused at a young age, and how she has overcome numerous obstacles to be a role model for girls like her.
What did it mean for you to be asked to be the Ambassador for BrothaFest?
It was touching to be asked to be an Ambassador for BrothaFest. I felt humbled. It meant that I was doing something good in life. It told me that I have a duty to be a role model as a transgender woman. Also, I saw it as a blessing.
Also, you were this year’s Miss L.A. Pride. Tell us about that experience.
It happened out of nowhere. One of the previous contestants called me the day before the pageant. I didn’t know too much about it. That experience was another blessing. Once I got there, I knew what it was working toward. And, being in the Parade was overwhelming. There were people crying and waving at me in the convertible that I was in. It furthered my belief that I had a duty to be a role model for others.
What were the components of the pageant?
There was a cocktail dress round, evening dress round, and Q&A round. The question that I was given was what was the most pivotal moment in your life as a trans person. I grew up being abused. Not too many people know that. I was also a preacher’s kid. Not too many people know that either. In that environment I was confused. I would go to church and a family member was abusing me. For me, to come out of that and be the person that I wanted to be in a religious and strict household that was my most pivotal moment. That’s why I want to tell my story. People might see me and say she’s beat or beautiful. But, no matter what I’ve been through or you’ve been through, you can still persevere and don’t let the situation mold you into a negative person.
What is it like to be transgender, young, and Black?
It is a lot of hard work. It takes discipline. As a minority and being biracial and transgender, you have to go through obstacles and then find your way in the world. As a trans person, it is often difficult trying to get people to understand who you are.
People don’t know what it means to be trans. They do not fully understand that your biological makeup can be different from your physical body. I have a doctor that I go to and l learned that there are studies looking at chromosomes when babies are born. Sometimes a child can be born in the male form, but the baby thinks in the female state. There are so many diversities of how people are born. People are visual. They trust that because you are born with a male body, you are male. But there is more to a person than their sexual parts. They are shallow-minded and see physical parts and identify that person as what they see.
Why did you come out as trans when you could pass as a biological woman?
I feel that it is a blessing to be passable. A lot of people don’t have that blessing to pass and be beautiful. I’m not saying that to be overly confident. When God gives you these gifts, you use them. I want to use my beauty and intelligence to uplift others and give back to people that do not blend into regular society. They will see someone like me and know that there are people like them that can be successful and achieve what they want in life. I’m Black and trans and am doing what I want to do. I like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock because they are going about it in a classy and elegant way. They are intellectuals and carry themselves well.
Who is the private Hailie?
I am a shy person and a workaholic. I have a hard time showing people my true self as I am. They might take me not opening up as being a diva, but that’s not the case. It takes a while for me to open up. Then you’ll see I’m a big kid. I love amusement parks and don’t take things too seriously.
Is the transgender community in L.A. connected or disconnected and how so?
In general, the transgender community is a bit disconnected. A lot of trans people are afraid because they do not know how they will be treated after they come out. They might be ridiculed. But I will say, this year there have been a lot of people in the public eye like Laverne Cox, Caitlyn Jenner, Isis King, and Janet Mock. People like me; we see more of it. I see it in the city and when I meet girls like myself, I see a spark in their eyes as we talk about the movement.
Do you have any trans mentors that have helped you during your transition?
I did not have a trans mentor to help me during my transition and do not now. In that sense, the trans community is detached. There is not a lot of help. I thank God that I have the mother that I have and my brother. My mother has helped me in my journey.
Last year, there was a huge scandal concerning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and with the words “tranny” and “she-mail” being used. What are your thoughts on those words?
She-male is a pornographic term like cock or the p-word [or the female anatomy]. These words are used in a sexual environment. The word tranny is equivalent to the n-word. When someone says tranny, I hear the n-word. A lot of people are not educated. A lot of Black people aren’t educated [on the history of the n-word]. Also, a lot of trans people aren’t educated [on the history of the word tranny]. They go along with it and use it, not knowing that it means something sexual.
What would you like to leave our readers with?
I am following all my dreams. I am working on some acting projects, getting more into music, and doing more pageants. Follow my journey on Instagram at Hailiescommet and on Twitter at 213sahar.
What a year it has been. And, none of it would have happened, if I continued to listened to the voice of doubt. Self-doubt and pessimism plague me on a consistent basis. However, after I published my novel, a number of miracles happened. I was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Debut Fiction. I had the opportunity to read at the Carl Bean House, the West Hollywood Library (with other Lambda finalists), and the Playa Vista Library. My crowning achievement was winning the Lambda at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York on June 6th.
The awards celebrated excellence in LGBT literature and 28 years of groundbreaking literary achievement. Back in March, when the finalists were announced the Lambda Literary Foundation revealed that over 933 submissions were received from major publishing houses, independent presses, and on-demand services from around the world.
The recognition has given the book greater visibility and presence. I will be forever grateful to the Lambda Literary Foundation for that.
Grand Park’s social media coordinator edited together this amazing video of Proud Stories. I am so honored that I was part of this inclusive and affirming event. My hairy mug makes an appearance at 1:26.
The Q Youth Foundation curated the SOGIE Human Library at Grand Park’s Proud Stories on October 3, 2015. At Proud Stories, the community was invited to hear stories of love, acceptance, and joy through the powerful voices of L.A.’s LGBTQ and ally community. The PROUD Series celebrates the LGBTQ experience with readings, kids’ activities, and theater performances.
During the SOGIE Human Library experience, guests were invited to flip through the catalog, read book summaries, check out a human book, and learn more about them. The human books’ role was to engage the reader to start a dialog in hopes to gain better understanding about alternative perspectives in the SOGIE/LGBTQIA+ community.
Aaron Saenz, a founding board member and current President of the Pasadena Pride Center, was one of the human books. Along with Amaury ‘Ketzal’ Reducino (behind East LA Art Walk), Claudia Rodríguez (writer/performer), Omowale Oniyide, Juan Castillo Alvarado (Latino Equality Alliance), Jesse Gutierrez (film director), Kyle Sawyer, Karene Daniel, Arturo Hernandez, and myself.
There was also a SOGIE Stories Recording Booth, were guests and human books recorded thoughts about, “Who they are proud to love?”
The event just happened to take place on the same day as Amber Rose’s “Slut Walk” and a sign language event. Therefore, the attendance was larger than normal.
Q Youth Foundation is a start up non-profit organization dedicated creating environments of Safe/Brave Spaces for LGBTQIA+/SOGIE community in Los Angeles.
Writers and performers from In The Meantime, Eastside Queer Storytelling, Asian Pacific Islander LGBTQ, Writ Large Press, Gender Justice LA Theatre, and Better Brothers LA shared their stories on the main stage.
I am excited to announce the first stops in my book tour. The tour information is subject to change.
April 30: Oakland – The Knocturnal Project Presents Victor Yates at Qulture Collective
Address: 1714 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94607
May 6: Palm Springs – Welcome Reception for Blatino Oasis with Johnnell Lyric Terrell at The Hyatt Regency
Address: 285 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
May 24: West Hollywood – Lambda Literary Finalists Reading at West Hollywood Library
Address: Council Chambers – Lower Level 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
June TBA: Playa Vista – Playa Vista Library/Friends of the Public Library Present Victor Yates at Playa Vista Public Library
Address: Community Room – 6400 Playa Vista Drive, Playa Vista, CA 90094
June 5: Brooklyn – Victor Yates Reading
Address: Private Residence – Invite Only
June 24: Chicago – Ubuntu Center of Chicago Presents Victor Yates
Address: 1525 East 55th Street Suite 205 Chicago, IL 60615
The Black Artist Collective hosted Chris Cotton and I at In The Meantime in the Carl Bean House in the historic neighborhood of West Adams. The reading was significant to me because of the location. In the 80’s, when the AIDS epidemic first swept through the country, the Carl Bean House was a hospice were people went to die. Now, the property is owned by AIDS Health Foundation and the old management office space is leased by In The Meantime.
The reading was everything I hoped it would be – magical, emotional, and intimate.
It definitely prepared me for the next tour stops.
If you enjoyed this excerpt, then you will love the book. You can purchase “A Love Like Blood” at any of the links below.
If you have Kindle Unlimited the book is free.
Create Space: https://www.createspace.com/5793911
Use the code XBFGEU69 to receive $10 off.
South African blog, Queerlife featured “A Love Like Blood.” The blog bills itself as South Africa’s “largest Gay, lesbian, trans, bi and other queer folk portal.”
The post is copied below:
What happens when a Muslim family converts to Catholicism to be more American? Or, when a son removes himself from his family to avoid an honour killing? Or what about being pummeled, close to death, is confused as love?
Author Victor Yates answers these questions and more in A Love Like Blood. Half Somali and Cuban, 17-year old Carsten Tynes, deals with the intricacies of race, Americanism, syncretism, migration, and sexuality under his dying father’s abusive hand in A Love Like Blood. Set in 1998, his family relocates to Beverly Hills, MI to expand their photography business. His father has lung disease and promises to give him the business if he marries his ex-girlfriend. Faced with an unwanted marriage and the slow death of his father, Carsten retreats behind his camera. His camera becomes the loose thread that slowly unravels his relationship with his father and reveals the unseen world of “men who move at night.” However, it is his infatuation with his neighbor, Brett that severs the symbolic umbilical cord between his father and him. When death pushes his father and Brett together, he makes a dangerous decision to protect them.
Victor Yates was raised in Jacksonville, Florida and now lives in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in Windy City Times, Edge, and The Voice. As a graduate of the Creative Writing program at Otis College, he is the recipient of an Ahmanson Foundation grant. He is the winner of the Elma Stuckey Writing Award (1st place in poetry) at Morehouse College. He received an Oprah Winfrey scholarship and appeared on Oprah’s Surprise Spectacular show. Two of his poems were included in the anthology, “For Colored Boys,” which was edited by Keith Boykin. The anthology won the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award. Continue reading