Local groups like “Khmer Girls in Action” turned out high-school students to knock on doors in the city’s Little Cambodia neighborhood. The Filipino Migrant Center sent out canvassers who spoke to Filipino immigrants in their native Tagalog. Long Beach is California’s seventh largest city with nearly half a million residents. A quarter of them are aged under 18 and an equal number live below the poverty level. The city is 41 per cent Latino, 30 percent white, 13 percent African American and 13 percent Asian Pacific Islander – a prototype of America’s multi-cultural future.
The living wage campaign has strengthened ties between the different communities that make up Long Beach, but it has also transformed organizers like Nikole and Jeanine. “Relationships are the most uplifting thing about organizing” says Nikole, “matching up what I believe in with how I work.” "We have to stay creative, stay vigilant, and stay positive. In the future, we’re going to have people who are not scared to challenge power.”