Civic Engagement

VAYLA's Get Out The Vote (GOTV) work consists of strategic coordination of robocalls, community canvassing (Cutting Turf), voter registration, trainings/meetings, poll monitoring, and provide transportation for voter mobilization. VAYLA has reached out to over 20,000 voters and potential voters within their community's voter opportunity zones. As a result of many years of civic engagement the New Orleans East community is a more informed group of residents who now participate in the electoral process more than ever before. We at VAYLA are fortunate to have the ability to hire staff from the communities we serve, sparking a sense of self determination and ownership in the process and its continued success.


Language Access

Since filing a federal complaint with the Department of Education and Justice, schools in New Orleans have increased their services for English language learners and administrative staff. Another victory from these efforts is that the Recovery School District allocated $2.9 million towards programming for English language learners. News coverage: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3

Community High School

The Reed Renaissance Initiative (RRI) is a school-based organizing effort that seeks to improve educational quality and increase student voice at Sarah T. Reed, a school slated by the Recovery School District for closure. Reed Renaissance is advocating for participatory governance, community control and the rights of students to access the resources and tools they need to learn.

In 2011, RRI youth leaders surveyed over 250 members of their community and put together a report, called the Student Blueprint. This report reflects the community’s vision for transformation of Sarah T. Reed Senior High School, and includes a list of 29 recommendations to improve school conditions. Covering areas ranging from college prep courses to expanded extracurricular activities and health services, the Student Blueprint was designed to be a resource in developing a quality, sustainable framework for a community high school in Village De L’est.