Joann Lo

InterAct Member

  Joann Lo

Age:  35

Profession:  Non-profit Organization Coordinator

What city or neighborhood do you live in? Glendale

What is your proudest accomplishment?  My 2 1/2-year-old son – he is the most amazing person in the world.

What’s your favorite thing about L.A.?  The diversity of people from all around the country and the world

How long have you been a member of InterAct?  1 year

How did you hear about LAANE?

I learned about LAANE when I worked for SEIU Local 1877 organizing airport security and support service workers. I worked with LAANE staff to educate workers about their rights under the City of Los Angeles’ living wage ordinance.

Which of our campaigns interests you the most? Feel free to pick more than one.

1) Cleaning up pollution around the ports and improving worker conditions and 2) Ensuring all areas of the city have access to quality grocery stores and healthy food

LAANE is often fighting for workers’ right to a “living wage.” What does “living wage” mean to you, not necessarily in dollars but in results?

A living wage means that a worker can support him/herself and his/her family without working crazy hours, can actually have the time to spend with family and friends, and can enjoy life.

Our Don’t Waste LA campaign is fighting for improvements to the city’s waste industry, including better recycling for apartment buildings and businesses. What improvements do you think the city’s recycling program needs?

The City should begin a composting program to collect food scraps.

When you think about where to spend your dollars, do you take into account the company’s policies, whether environmental, political or worker-related? Can you give an example?

Yes, we try to buy fair trade and union-made products as much as possible.  We also participate in the community-supported agriculture program run by Community Services Unlimited, which delivers grocery bags of organic fruits and vegetables grown in Los Angeles.  The CSA supports CSU’s youth programs.  Lucky for my family, LAANE staff have let us join their program so we can conveniently pick up our weekly bag at LAANE’s offices.

What does a “new economy” mean to you?

A new economy means a just, equitable economy in which workers of all races, ethnicities, and immigration status are paid a living wage, receive benefits, and have a strong, organized voice on the job, in their communities, and in their government at all levels. A new economy means that corporations and the rich have less power than the poor.

What makes you hopeful about L.A.’s future?

So much amazing and fantastic organizing is happening in L.A., and I see so many more groups working together and making progress here in L.A. than I’ve seen in other cities.  The only way to win social justice is through organizing.