About Vivian Rothstein

Vivian Rothstein has been employed at LAANE since January 2003 after many years of working with LAANE as an ally. She has a long history as a community organizer, beginning with her work in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project of 1965. Her experience includes organizing in low-income communities around welfare and housing rights, involving citizens in issues related to U.S. foreign policy, and reproductive rights campaigns. Vivian founded one of the first independent women’s liberation organizations in the 1970s. For ten years she served as executive director of the Ocean Park Community Center, one of the largest Southern California nonprofits serving homeless adults and families and battered women and their children. She directed the union/community-led Respect at LAX project (in which LAANE was a lead partner), aimed at raising wages for service workers at the airport. Vivian later directed Santa Monicans for Responsible Tourism, the LAANE project that worked to lift wages in the booming Santa Monica tourism industry. In addition to her role as deputy director she oversees LAANE’s development team and Century Blvd and Long Beach Hospitality Projects and works closely with LAANE’s interfaith partner, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Development (CLUE). Vivian attended UC Berkeley and holds a master’s degree in administration from Antioch University.

School Daze: The Attack on Public Education Continues

chicago school closings

Vivian Rothstein: In the name of quality education, the business model reformers are working to contract out many of our public schools to private for-profit and non-profit charter schools which are largely excluded from the public decision-making processes.

How the One Percent Spends Its Money

hotel maids

Vivin Rothstein: While the No on Measure N campaign charges that the living wage measure is backed by outsiders from Los Angeles, 66 percent of its money has come from hotel corporate centers in Oklahoma and Kentucky.

Living Wages Would Boost Long Beach’s Economy

long beach shoreline

Vivian Rothstein: Most Long Beach hotel workers live, work and shop in the city. And if the hotel living wage passes, they’ll have more money to put into the Long Beach economy.

Voter Suppression: One Man, One Picture ID?

voter registration mississippi

Vivian Rothstein: That was a fight we won, right? Not exactly. In 2011, more than 30 states introduced legislation to once again restrict the access of regular people to the voting process.

Los Angeles Teachers: A Solomon’s Choice

cap and gown

Vivian Rothstein: By refusing to raise property, we’ve left it to the teachers to volunteer for the sacrifices the rest of us are not willing to make for the welfare of our state’s public school children.

Help Working Mothers: Motherhood on a Wire

hummingbird

Vivan Rothstein: As a result of the intense conservative politicking around motherhood and its related issues, our country is far behind others in actually supporting moms.

What’s Happening to the “Human” in Human Services?

bowery

Vivian Rothstein: We seem to be taking the humans out of a system that I thought was organized to make life better for actual people. As the cynics say, human services would be so much easier if it weren’t for the humans.

The Making of an Activist

robin-doyno-10

Vivan Rothstein: In my first act of civil disobedience, I mixed up all the index card files of clients and contracts so no one could figure out who had received which threatening letter, effectively destroying the company’s system of harassment.

Your Choice: The Just Life – Or Just Life

volunteer work

Vivian Rothstein: All the important justice movements of our times – civil rights, women’s liberation, gay rights, environmental protection — were started and driven by volunteers whose lives were transformed by their participation.

Retirement: Sitting on a One-Legged Stool

fdr social security agency

Vivian Rothstein: According to the American Association of Retired People (AARP), a frightening 35 percent of Americans over 65 currently rely only on Social Security (an average person gets benefits of $14,000/year) to survive.

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