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CCHD’s $trange Affection for Coalition LA

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development national collection is scheduled for this Sunday, November 22. In earlier posts we have shown CCHD’s failure to observe basic standards of stewardship and demonstrated some of its grantees’ blatant disregard of Gospel principles.

In many ways the decade-long, strange-to-the-point-of-bizarre support and endorsement of Coalition LA by CCHD and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the poster child for everything that’s wrong with their applicant vetting process and grant oversight.

What They Say the Grants Were For

From 2002- 2011 Coalition LA received national and local ‘Community Development’, ‘Community Organizing’, and ‘Neighborhood Leadership’ grants designated to be used for ‘housing’, ‘neighborhood improvement’, and ‘economic justice’. Coalition LA, however, never had more than 1 or 2 paid staff and some volunteers. It is extraordinary to the point of absurd to believe these few had the skills and expertise to be successful in all these diverse areas. Either the categories are meaningless or the work was not being done.

Coalition LA Was Never Eligible

In 1997 and 1999, Coalition LA ran candidates (members of its own board) for public office. Such activity is prohibited to 501(c)3 non-profit organizations and is a violation of CCHD standards. Details of these efforts were published in the Los Angeles Times before the first CCHD grants were approved by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (ADLA).

In 2000, a ‘Voter Guide’ bearing the name ‘Coalition L.A.’ urged opposition to Proposition 22, the California Defense of Marriage initiative. In its document, For The Record– The Truth about CCHD Funding, CCHD claims the Archdiocese of Los Angeles pre-approved all Coalition LA’s published voter guides.

In 2001, Coalition LA was a supporter of AB 25, a bill passed by California that gave domestic partners all of the rights and responsibilities afforded married spouses under state law. In 2003, Coalition LA supported AB 205 that provided domestic partners the same status accorded married spouses with respect to state income tax filings and community property rights.

Both these bills were opposed by the California Catholic Conference (of Bishops) because they were part of the ongoing organized effort to gain state recognition for ‘same-sex marriage’. As early as 2003, opposition to the Catholic position on a fundamental issue disqualified Coalition LA from receiving CCHD grants.

Coalition LA’s Dubious Leadership

Even minimal background checks of Coalition LA’s two senior leaders would and should have raised red flags about the suitability of Coalition LA for CCHD grants.


After many years of relative stability, starting in 2007 there was a nearly complete turnover of the Coalition LA Board of Directors. Within a couple years the Board was dominated by active members of the FMLN (Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional), an El Salvadoran political party. (After the Salvadoran civil war, five left-wing guerilla organizations, including the Communist Party, formed the FMLN. Farabundo Martí was one of the early leaders of the Salvadoran Community Party.)

The new Executive Director of Coalition LA, Mario Cuéllar, was known as early as 1997 as the Los Angeles representative of the FMLN. In November 2007, Mario Cuéllar also worked as the press contact for CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) a support organization for the FMLN. And he was leading other organizations at the same time: “Mario Cuéllar, miembro de Coalition L.A. y coordinador del Comite de Base Feliciano Ama” (one of the local committees of the FMLN in Los Angeles. Feliciano Ama was a leader of a peasant uprising in El Salvador). Mario Cuéllar was also the director of and active in an organization named ‘Casa El Salvador”.

In April 2008, while employed by Coalition LA, Mario Cuéllar organized boycotts of local (Los Angeles) merchants who supported opponents of the FMLN in El Salvador’s election. In July 2009, in relation to a police involved shooting incident, Mario Cuéllar wrote that the Los Angeles Police Department were “child murderers” and a “body of murderers”.

For at least the years 2008 – 2010, and while under CCHD grants, Coalition LA’s designated ‘Community Organizer’ was Bilal Mafundi Ali, a long-time member of the Black Panthers. Concurrent with his work for Coalition LA, Bilal Ali participated in activities related to the Black Panther Party and its goals.

On his Facebook page, Bilal Ali displays a photo of Malcolm X holding an automatic weapon. He quotes Malcolm X, “It doesn’t mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time, I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don’t call it violence when it’s self-defense, I call it intelligence.” Bilal Ali states he is a founding member of MXGRM (Malcolm X Grassroots Movement) and his primary “interest” is “Revolutionary Nationalism”.

From the 1990’s through at least the year 2006, Bilal Ali was a principal of the Coalition Against Police Abuse (CAPA), which was a derivative organization of the Black Panther Party. He is also associated with the anti-police organizations ‘Copwatch LA’ and the ‘October 22 Coalition’.

While working for Coalition LA, Bilal Ali simultaneously worked for or represented other activist organizations, including the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN, aka CANGRESS). LA CAN was another long-time favorite of both the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and national CCHD, but in late 2009 or early 2010, LA CAN’s CCHD grants were cancelled for activities contrary to Catholic teaching.


In May 2010, CCHD grantees POWER, LA CAN, and Coalition LA organized a renter’s protest that disrupted proceedings of the Los Angeles City Council. Published reports identify Bilal Ali as a demonstrator who worked for both LA CAN and Coalition LA.

In December 2008, Bilal Ali spoke at the Black Panther Party’s ‘Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair.’ On video he says, “All power to the people! All power to all the people! All black power for black people! All red power for red people! All yellow power for yellow people! All brown power for brown people! All white pow … well white people got enough power.

In February 2009, Bilal Ali, representing Coalition LA, was a speaker at a ‘Fight Back – Organize and Fight Back in Your Community’ event sponsored by the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). The PSL is a prominent player in anti-police demonstrations. In August 2010, Bilal Ali of the ‘Nat Turner Guerrilla Cadre’ was promoting the ‘National and International Night Out Pig Watch’, part of the anti-police movement.

In August and September 2010, Bilal Ali publicly represented himself as from the L.A. Human Right to Housing Collective. He is quoted saying, “it is the role of the LAPD to oppress workers in Los Angeles.”

In September, 2010, Bilal Ali wrote “I’m talking about a movement to combat police state terrorism. A Movement that mobilizes the critical mass that is needed to combat Pig terrorism in our communities. A Movement that schools our people about the Real Nature and Role of the Pigs in a capitalist society.” In October of that year he wrote of the police, “These MoFo’s won’t go quietly into the night y’all.

Coalition LA was operating under CCHD grants during the years Bilal Ali was their designated ‘Community Organizer’.

Use of Facilities

During the time Coalition LA was receiving CCHD grants, Cuellar and Ali extended the use of its telephone and Wilshire Boulevard office facilities:

  • for meetings of the FMLN,
  • to celebrate dismissal of charges against Black Panthers accused of murdering a policeman,
  • for the FTPN, “a group formed after the May 1st police riot in MacArthur Park”,
  • for a meeting of the May 19th Movement for the purpose of running candidates for office,
  • for organizing an anti-police demonstration for the ‘People’s Network in Defense of Human Rights’.

A variety of emails and blog posts reveal that many Marxist, radical, and anti-police activists and organizations frequently held meetings at the offices of Coalition LA. 

Defended by CCHD and ADLA

In 2009, Reform CCHD Now documented the membership of Coalition LA, and of several other CCHD grantees, in multiple coalitions that held positions contrary to Catholic teaching. CCHD came to the defense of their grantees by arguing (quite seriously) that none of these organizations knew the positions of the coalitions to which they had lent their names and support.

In response to documented problems with grantees, the USCCB conducted a ‘Review and Renewal’ in order to deflect criticism of CCHD. In that review, CCHD found no problem with Coalition LA and defended its grants. Even after receiving warnings about Coalition LA, CCHD and the ADLA doubled down and increased its grant to $45,000 the following year.


Despite the clean bill of health written by CCHD and the Archdiocese, in early 2011 Coalition LA virtually disappeared. Its website was no longer updated. Its telephone was soon disconnected. Early that year its business ‘location’ and mailing address changed from a suite on Wilshire Boulevard to the ‘Community Center’ of the Clinica Oscar Romero on Alvarado St. in Los Angeles. The site is not an office building but merely a public meeting room. The name ‘Coalition LA’ did not appear on the building exterior or even on a mailbox.

The Money and the IRS

Coalition LA was the beneficiary of local CCHD grants from the ADLA in the years 2002 and 2003 and from 2004 to mid-2011 it received national grants. In all, Coalition LA was given $225,000 of parishioners’ contributions. CCHD grants represented on average about one-sixth of Coalition LA’s total annual revenue.

At its fiscal year ending June 2008, Coalition LA showed annual expenses of $185,000, but it also held $90,000 in cash. For each of the prior 3 years it had banked approximately $30,000 of donations received. [image]



The last 990 tax return ever filed by Coalition LA

Even non-profit organizations are required to file annual returns with the Internal Revenue Service, and their filings are public records. The last 990 return Coalition LA ever filed was for fiscal year 2007-2008. At the time it was approved for and received a CCHD grant for the 2010-2011 period, Coalition LA’s 2008-2009 IRS tax return was already overdue.

Even though it had substantial revenue from donations, records indicate Coalition LA never filed returns with the IRS for the 2008-2009, 2009-2010, or 2010-2011 tax periods. Nonetheless, during those same years, CCHD awarded Coalition LA $85,000, while other charitable foundations provided it with at least $120,000 in grants. No publicly available record shows Coalition LA ever reported this $205,000 to the IRS.

In November 2011, the Internal Revenue Service revoked Coalition LA’s non-profit status for failure to file the required tax returns. In 2013 the California Secretary of State suspended Coalition LA’s corporate status for failure to file the required report for the prior 3 years. 

The Structural Poverty of the CCHD

Whatever the rationale or excuse, in the case of Coalition LA, CCHD was obstinately negligent in its responsibility as stewards of parishioners’ contributions.

Even after being alerted to problems with Coalition LA,

  • CCHD failed to sufficiently research and vet Coalition LA senior people, those who spent the grant money to carry out the supposed purpose;
  • CCHD failed to follow Coalition LA’s activities, even those reported in readily available from public media;
  • CCHD failed to confirm if Coalition LA complied with the legal requirements for filings with government agencies, including financial filings.

Instead, upon hearing questions or criticisms, CCHD often dismissively responds everything is fine.

No matter how often CCHD has performed a ‘review’ or ‘renewal’ of itself, it has always failed to realize that no agreement, no protocol, no standard, and no assessment can ever ensure the integrity of grant recipients. This stubborn fact explains the past and present embarrassments of the CCHD, and assures these will continue into the future.

The ideology and goals of activist organizations are the ideology and goals of the people who run them. You can’t pay people to act with a Catholic mind and a Catholic heart.


When promoting this weekend’s CCHD collection, can your Bishop or Pastor explain CCHD’s blindness to the problems manifest over a decade with Coalition LA?

Or can they answer even this question, What happened to the money?


Grant Recipient Dishes Up Hate; CCHD Pays the Check

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Another Catholic Campaign for Human Development grantee uses tactics contrary to Catholic teaching and Gospel principles.

CCHD grants are supposed to combat the “root causes of poverty”, but only within the Catholic principles of justice and charity. Read here how the Bishops’ grants to a favorite activist organization generate only the spiritual poverty of combativeness and contempt.


What Restaurant Opportunities Centers really does with CCHD grants

Following is a further example from among the 2014-15 CCHD grants approved and made by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles – this time to the Restaurant Opportunities Centers of Los Angeles (which is really based in New York City!).

ROC Press Release“A Senseless Act of Hate”

In a press release commenting about the shootings at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, ROC writes:

The mainstream media’s tendency to pathologize and dehumanize communities of color while presuming the individuality of white criminals maintains and reinforces our country’s systemic racism.     [emphasis added]
Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, June 18, 2015

The way ROC sees it, this horrific crime was committed not by one person, but by an entire class of people motivated by racial hatred. (Isn’t making that characterization also a senseless act of hate?)

Such tragic moments ought to be occasions for grace and healing, not seized upon as opportunities for lashing out at real or imagined enemies.

But then, condemning whole groups based on the acts of a few is ROC’s stock-in-trade. Currently their daily fare is vilifying owners of restaurants across America in the persona of their trade organization, the National Restaurant Association. This “Other NRA” (get it?) is so evil that no form of attack against them is too vile for ROC to employ.

Just this year, while under 2014-15 grants from the CCHD programs of the Archdioceses of Chicago and Los Angeles, ROC followed this plan of attack:

“The Enemy”

At a demonstration in Washington, DC on April 15, 2015, Saru Jayaraman, ROC co-founder, said:

It’s always the restaurant association that is the biggest enemy to raising wages. Always. And that why it’s important to know that the Other NRA is not just an enemy of restaurant workers. They are right now an enemy of all workers in America.

Big talk. But if you’re not swallowing it yet, she goes on to claim the restaurant industry is also responsible for the prevalence of diabetes and cancer in this country. (Watch it here. )

ROC wants you to know just how evil are the executives and lobbyists for the restaurant industry. So they prepared this cartoon video to illustrate the horrors going on behind the scenes in your favorite local eatery.


ROC’s Image of the National Restaurant Association

The cigar-smoking, chubby, bald guy, clearly identified as a representative of the (other) NRA, laughs while toxic bio-waste, metallic debris, and unidentified gloppy substances fall into the food being prepared in a restaurant kitchen.

And if this visual condemnation isn’t enough, at the end of the video, ROC puts more words in the mouth of the NRA man, who screams: “Stay out of the kitchen, G-d damn it!”

Blasphemy is the use of the name of God, of Jesus Christ, of the Virgin Mary, and of the saints in an offensive way. CCC 2162

Hey, Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Gomez, CCHD, is this not offensive? Or is it the Second Commandment that’s humorous?

Caricatures and cartoon antics can’t conceal ROC’s message of hate in urging 1 in 10 working Americans to regard their employers with contempt and hostility, as “the enemy”. With money contributed by Catholic parishioners, CCHD and ROC are intentionally “sowing discord among the brethren”, 12 million of them.

And the cherry on top of this frothing from the mouth is ROC’s claim that the National Restaurant Association is feeding us to death.

“They Kill More People”

The reason for the fact that you have the largest and fastest growing industry in American proliferating the absolute lowest paying jobs is the power of the National Restaurant Association, which we call the Other NRA. They really are, we like to say that they kill more people annual that [sic] the Rifle Association because of obesity. Saru Jayaraman, co-founder, ROC

You’d think Saru was talking about Planned Parenthood. Au contraire. Instead, she and ROC have enlisted some of Planned Parenthood’s closest friends to support the very work the CCHD has paid ROC to do.

Should this close partnership with organizations that strenuously oppose the fundamental values of the Catholic Faith disqualify the Restaurant Opportunity Centers from any CCHD grants? Read on.

ROC’s Partners

ROC United is a ‘partner’ with the Washington DC based Women’s Equality Center which states its primary goal thus:

Women’s Equality Center is a non-partisan project that brings together like minded organizations to respond to attacks on women’s reproductive health and freedoms, promote economic security and opportunity for women across the economic spectrum and build permanent capacity for groups who organize and represent women and their families. [Emphasis added]


Saru Jayaraman is featured on WEC’s main web page

The Women’s Equality Center says:

“I STAND WITH WOMEN to support pro-active policies to expand access to women’s health care, including birth control and abortion.”

WEC also stands with Planned Parenthood even after the recent revelations of PP’s sale of body parts of aborted babies.

“Why Tipping is Wrong”

Also, while under a grant from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, ROC enlisted as participants in their November 2014 ‘NotOnTheMenu’ campaign the MS Foundation, Equal Rights Advocates, HollaBack!, One Billion Rising & V-Day, and NOW. Each one of these allies in ROC’s campaign is a supporter of ‘reproductive rights’ and/or ‘same-sex marriage’.

V** Monologues, One Billion Rising, V-Day

MS Foundation

V** Monologues, One Billion Rising, V-Day




Equal Rights Advocates

The speakers at ROC’s event believe the practice of tipping your server should be abolished because it’s a “two-tier pay system” (base wage plus tips) and is thereby a primary cause of sexual harassment of restaurant employees. (You have to watch to understand.) As past of their misinformation campaign, ROC says some restaurant workers can be paid only $2.13 per hour. (That’s contrary to the federal minimum wage law.)

And as a topper, Saru claims the whole tipping thing is an “unfair system that dates from the days of slavery”. According to ROC, tipping is really just another kind of racism propagated for all these years by the restaurant industry. (However, if your dining party consists of 8 or more, then adding an “automatic gratuity” is not racist, but a moral imperative. See ROC’s #bringbackautograt campaign.)

Those D**n Lobbyists

Every year, ROC’s arch-nemesis, the National Restaurant Association, sends representatives to meet officials in Washington DC. But Saru Jayaraman, co-director of ROC United cannot abide that exercise in free speech:

They descend on Capitol Hill and they meet with every legislator on Capitol Hill to spread their message. … Today’s action is about actually stopping them. We’re going to set up a restaurant in the intersection to stop them from going to Capitol Hill.

On that occasion, April 15, 2015, ROC indeed resorted to blocking traffic to suppress the right of NRA representatives to speak with members of Congress.  (Watch here.) (You’d think someone at the CCHD headquarter in Washington could explain to ROC about Pope Francis’ admonition to “Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue!” )

Perhaps ROC wants you to eschew “lobbying” as that nefarious activity in which only greedy, underhanded “special interests” engage. But from 2009 to 2013, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United spent over $240,000 on its own lobbying activities. And in 2014, it was disclosed that ROC had to amend its federal tax filings because it had for multiple years reported no expenditures for lobbying whatsoever.


Restaurant Opportunity Center United's 2012 Form 990

Restaurant Opportunity Centers United’s 2012 Form 990

In the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, failure to report is a big no-no. It ought to be for the CCHD too.

Getting a Piece of the ROC

Over the years CCHD grants to ROC have been ostensibly for advancing “Community Development – Workers’ Rights” in the restaurant industry, or the like. You can learn a lot about an organization by examining those who financially supports it. In recent years, various ROC activities and studies have been funded by these ideologically-driven foundations and politically-motivated contributors, some of which have given ROC really big money:

The Ford Foundation
The Open Society Foundations (George Soros)
The Rockefeller Foundation
The Ms. Foundation
The Women’s Equality Center
Department of Labor (Obama Administration)

You know these guys will get what they are paying for.

In the last 12 years, ROC has been the beneficiary of national grants from the USCCB CCHD office or of local grants from the Archdioceses of New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, sometimes both national and local grants in the same year.

The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (based in New York City) is the legal entity that receives grants given to ROC’s affiliates such as those in Los Angeles and Chicago. ROC New York, the NY affiliate, is a separate entity, but they share resources and goals. Their combined CCHD grants since 2002 (at least 18 of them) total over $400,000. National or local, in effect it’s the same money going to the same place for the same purpose. Every grant dollar was approved by a bishop.

The Pathology of the CCHD

The CCHD has a long enough history with ROC to be completely familiar with their tactics: like playing race cards, demonization of their opponents, alliances with advocates of abortion and ‘same-sex marriage’, and now even blasphemy.

But all that is OK if you believe the ends justify the means, or that St. Paul had it wrong,

“And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.” Rom 3:8

Apparently to the Bishops’ CCHD offices, the genuine Catholic principles of building harmony and cooperation just don’t matter when there’s an opportunity to mete out some tough social justice to the hated enemy. It shouldn’t be so. Gospel ends require Gospel means.

The annual CCHD national collection is coming soon in November. Why not see if your pastor knows about the tactics and affiliations of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers and other CCHD grantees. If he doesn’t, how can he ask for your money?

CCHD Recipient Campaigned Against True Marriage

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

With the June 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (the “Roe v. Wade for Marriage”), the effort to legalize ‘same-sex marriage’ in the United States has attained its long-coveted goal.

In the last 20 years, many of the efforts to preserve in law the definition of true marriage (the Federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, California’s Proposition 22 of 2000, and Proposition 8 of 2008) have been overturned, in whole or in part, by unelected judges. Beyond nullifying the democratically expressed will of the people of California and the United States, these court decisions disrupted “the ordered relationship between man and woman created by God”.

At this juncture, and in view of the upcoming annual collection, it may be useful to once again remind Catholics how the Catholic Campaign for Human Development has often funded opponents of traditional marriage both in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and across the country.

It has already been well documented by the American Life League, Reform CCHD Now, the Lepanto Institute, and others, that the leadership of many CCHD grantees, and the coalitions in which they participate, have often taken positions in favor of the redefinition of marriage.

The oft-repeated CCHD retort to such revelations is that no funds were spent on activities contrary to Church teaching. However, that claim reveals itself as meaningless and disingenuous if we understand the concept of “fungibility” and simply “follow the money”.


This is How Fungibility Works!

Take this example of how one CCHD grant recipient campaigned against traditional marriage in full view of officials of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

During years 2007 to 2012, one of the recipients of CCHD funds from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was the Institute for Urban Research and Development (‘IURD’). IURD was one of the names (DBA’s) used by the Episcopal Housing Alliance (‘EHA’), a non-profit organization based in Pasadena. In toto, CCHD gave to IURD approximately $40,000 in local grants, typically $10,000 per year, ostensibly for an IURD food industry training project called “Mama’s Hot Tamales”.



However, the EHA/IURD is an entity of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles (‘EDLA’), and the Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, serves as president of EHA/IURD.


In the years before the first CCHD grant to IURD, and at least since year 2003, Bishop Bruno has publicly endorsed the blessing of ‘same sex unions’.

“In addition, we no longer understand procreation to be the chief reason for sex,” he said. “Even the marriage service in the Prayer Book states that the purpose of marriage is to provide mutual joy, help and comfort, and only lastly procreation.” [LA Times December 7, 2003]

Subsequently, in a well publicized 2004 ceremony, Bishop Bruno blessed the same-sex union of an Episcopal priest in Los Angeles. [LA Times June 2, 2004]

These actions reflected more than his personal opinion and some niceties of Episcopal liturgy. In 2000, the Episcopal Church in California publicly declared its opposition to Proposition 22, the California Defense of Marriage initiative that specified only marriage between one man and one woman is recognized in the State of California:

“The uphill campaign to defeat the measure got a boost Sunday night when bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church showed up to denounce the ballot measure.” [LA Times, January 24, 2000]

And in 2006, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church resolved to “oppose any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions.” [Episcopal archives]

In May 2008, while under the first of four Archdiocese of Los Angeles CCHD grants, Bishop Bruno celebrated the overturning of Proposition 22 by the California Supreme Court, writing:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision on same-gender relationships is important because it reflects our baptismal vow to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being” and our commitment to justice and mercy for all people.

“The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has been a leader in working for the rights of all people in the State of California, and that work is honored in today’s ruling. The canons of our church, under “Rights of the Laity” (Canon 1:17.5), forbid discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, disabilities or age. We affirm equal rights for all.

“We will continue to advocate for equality in the future and will do so at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which will meet in Anaheim in 2009.

“I celebrate and give thanks for this decision of the court and look forward with joy and excitement to a future of justice and mercy for all people in the State of California and the Episcopal Church.

“To paraphrase St. Paul, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, gay nor straight in Jesus Christ our Lord.” [EDLA Website]

The subsequent effort to reverse the California Supreme Court’s decision was Proposition 8, the California Marriage Protection Act. Supported by the Catholic Church, it qualified for the November 2008 ballot. In response, Bishop Bruno and the EDLA then redoubled their efforts to oppose true marriage and to legalize ‘same-sex marriage’ by creating a ‘Marriage Equality Task Force’. “[C]onvened in 2008 during the Proposition 8 campaign, the task force brings together pastors, activists and scholars to resource the Bishops and Diocese to advocate for marriage equality.” [EDLA website] 

Nonetheless, during each of the next 3 years, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles CCHD office approved local grants to the Episcopal Diocese’s EHA/IURD agency. And all the while, Bishop Bruno and the EDLA continued their efforts to undermine the meaning of marriage.

In January 2009, Bishop Bruno was one of the signators of an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court of California in opposition to Proposition 8. In 2013, he joined in another amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States opposing Proposition 8 and the 1996 Federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Supreme Court finally rendered its decision in June 2015, which was duly hailed by Bishop Bruno and the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

Since the day of his elevation, Rev. Bruno’s position in support of ‘same-sex marriage’ marriage was no mere private opinion or offhand remark. Every twist and turn of this prolonged battle, and every action of the Episcopal Bishop, has been a major news story in Los Angeles.

These consistent, overt, and public efforts to redefine marriage disqualified the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and all its entities from CCHD grants even before the first grant was approved. Moreover, during this same time frame, the EHA/IURD had net assets of over $500,000 with its annual revenue sometimes reaching $1.5 million, more than sufficient resources of its own to fund the designated project.

Once again, the CCHD ignored the evidence right before its face that a grantee was working against the teachings of the Catholic Church. And not only were these grants made to an unqualified organization, but were made in preference to all other more deserving projects.

In net effect, CCHD grants from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles served to free up $40,000 of the EDLA’s available resources, allowing the money to be spent elsewhere. At that very time, one of the major initiatives of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles was advancing the cause of same-sex marriage. This is a quintessential example of how the CCHD refuses to understand the meaning of “fungibility”, and thereby supports the undermining of Catholic teaching time and again.


How does the Archdiocese of Los Angeles explain that, while parishioners were praying and working for the legal protection of true marriage, it was funding one of its major attackers?

When you are asked for donations to CCHD this year, can you be confident they will be used to promote causes consistent with the Catholic faith?

Anti-Police Protests and the CCHD

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014


There is a direct connection between recipients of Catholic Campaign for Human Development (‘CCHD’) grants and the anti-police protests in Los Angeles and across the country.


POWER (‘People Organized for Westside Renewal’, Santa Monica), is a recipient of $50,000 for the 2014-2015 grant period and of more than $300,000 from the CCHD in the last decade.

Last week, in response to the grand jury decision in Ferguson, POWER’s Executive Director wrote, “It’s time for us to get our bodies in the streets”; he then gave a place and time to join the protests in Los Angeles.

People of color face terrible injustice when interacting with police and the courts on a daily basis in Ferguson—and around the country.”

“It is not us, the movement, who should be on trial here, but our corrupt and immoral system that shields killers if they’re wearing a shield.”

“This fight is about justice for Mike Brown, and until we have justice, it is folly to expect peace.”

The sole comment about Ferguson on POWER’s Facebook page links and quotes an August Washington Post opinion piece: “Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.


LA VOICE-PICO is the Los Angeles affiliate of the PICO Network (‘People Improving Communities Through Organizing’). LA VOICE-PICO is a current recipient of a $55,000 grant for 2014-2015 and has been given over $300,000 in local and national CCHD grants over the last decade.

At least 17 PICO Network affiliates are CCHD recipients in 2014-2015 and they have received over $1.6 Million from CCHD in the 2013 and 2014 grant years alone.

On November 24, PICO declared “the Ferguson Police Department and St. Louis County officials do not value Black livesand expressed their opposition to “heavy-handed police violence”.

Six weeks before the grand jury had finished its investigation of the facts, PICO had pre-judged the case and demanded indictment of the police officer. They said police should repent “for the murder of Michael Brown”.

PICO calls for civil disobedience “to build the growing movement against police violence” and “an end to the police abuse that continues to plague communities across the country”.

On their Facebook page PICO posts, “Ferguson is everywhere. Police are killing unarmed people of color all across the country. #ShutItDown
#ShutItDown is the movement that suggests protesters engage in the criminal and life-endangering tactic of blocking intersections and
freeways, as we have seen multiple times in Los Angeles.

Such blanket charges of racism, of unjustified violence by police officers everywhere, and the wholesale indictment of ‘the system’ accomplish none of the stated goals of the CCHD.

On the contrary, the philosophies and tactics demonstrated here infect the activities of these and many other organizations receiving funds from your parishioners via the CCHD. Calumny and provoking racial animosity are contrary to the Gospel.

All grants to these organizations are approved by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. So as he transfers his parishioners’ money to the CCHD account, does your pastor really believe they wish to fund these organizations and others like that them the CCHD has judged worthy?

Illegal and Anti-Police Protests in Los Angeles

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014


For several days following announcement of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, MO, Los Angeles saw protesters in the streets. Some of these protesters vented anger specifically at Police Officers and engaged in dangerous and illegal activities.


 ProtestingPolice Anti-Police protests in Los Angeles continued all week after announcement of the Ferguson grand jury findings.


A protester hurls obscenities at a Los Angeles Police officer.View the video here.  ProtestingWithObscenity


 ThrowingBottleAtPolice Another protester throws a bottle at a Los Angeles Police officer.

View the video here.


 Blocking Intersections.  BlockingIntersections


 BlockingTheFreeway  Blocking the Hollywood (101) Freeway.





Facts About CCHD Grantees

Friday, November 21st, 2014

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (‘CCHD’) is the official anti-poverty agency of the Catholic bishops in the United States. It was founded to bring about “the changes people needed to get themselves out of poverty”.

People Organized for Westside Renewal (‘POWER’) is a community activist organization based in Santa Monica, CA. Since 2003, POWER has received over $300,000 in cash grants from the CCHD.  These funds were collected from the people of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as part of the national CCHD collection every November.

Below is documentation of only some of POWER’s activities during the last few years. A common theme of recent campaigns from CCHD grantees is that we are the “99% vs the 1%”, that is, “It’s Us against Them”. Sometimes these campaigns even characterize whole groups of people as killers, warmongers, pigs, Death, and the like. Such language robs others of their human dignity and violates basic principles of Christian charity. It cannot but tend to foment resentment, create social unrest, instigate class warfare, and flame racial animosity, and as such is unworthy of support by Catholics, much less by our Bishops.

There are hundreds of recipient organizations in the recent history of CCHD and many in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles that have similar goals and employ such tactics. The USCCB’s CCHD office knows this. The Archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice, and Peace knows this. The Archdiocesan CCHD office knows this. And now you know it too.

POWER is just one of the many CCHD-funded ‘community organizing’ groups with goals and using tactics such as you see here. Year after year, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development takes no notice.

But will this story be told on November 23 when parishioners are asked by the Archbishop of Los Angeles and by their pastors to contribute to this organization and many others like it?

POWER has received $300,000+ from CCHD

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

People Organized for Westside Renewal (‘POWER’) is a community activist organization based in Santa Monica, CA. Since 2003, POWER has received over $300,000 in cash grants from the CCHD. Following are only some of POWER’s activities in recent years.

POWER is an active, participating affiliate of National People’s Action (NPA). NPA has lobbied for continuing public funding to support Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States.



POWER (upper left) is part of National People’s Action

POWER is an active, participating affiliate of National People’s Action (NPA). NPA has lobbied for continuing public funding to support Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States.
NPA’s February 5, 2011 Letter of support for public funding of Planned Parenthood

(from 2011 report)


NPA’s February 5, 2011 Letter of support for public funding of Planned Parenthood


“CCHD will not fund groups that are members of coalitions which have as part of their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.”

USCCB – Review and Renewal of  The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, September 15, 2010

Nevertheless, 4 current CCHD grantees (totaling $155,000 in 2014 alone) are members of NPA.



NPA posts a job offering to work with Planned Parenthood


And NPA is still connecting with
Planned Parenthood.

On its Facebook page, POWER promotes a video providing a report from National People’s Action 2014 conference and endorsing “Global Economic Amnesty”.

“Global Economic Amnesty” is a plan to solve the problem of poverty by unilaterally and summarily canceling all debt. (POWER does not address the fact that such a scheme means confiscation of the invested savings of individuals, pension funds, charitable foundations, and churches.)

“When we speak of overturning the system of Capitalism, we are going directly after the root causes of poverty that we see in our every day lives.”


From “Global Economic Amnesty” and the Communist Manifesto



The “Global Economic Amnesty” video linked on POWER’s Facebook page was written  and narrated by Mark Lipman, an activist for POWER.

POWER was one of the groups participating in the demonstration for extension of rent control that disrupted a meeting of the Los Angeles City Council May 21, 2010 and that resulted in many arrests on May 21, 2010.

City Hall Demonstration, May 21, 2010



99Spring existed for only the 2012 Election

In early 2012, POWER helped found 99Spring, which has been revealed to be a front organization for MoveOn.Org, intended to operate as part of the 2012 election campaign. 99Spring disbanded immediately after that election.


Fixing streets by attacking banks

POWER is a member of the FixLA coalition. Its stated goal is to repair city infrastructure, but its target are financial institutions and their employees, and its tactics are intimidation and demonization by word and image, as illustrated in a demonstration on October 28, 2014.



FixLA says “Go After Bankers, Stand Up for Workers”


“Banks are Sucking the Life out of L.A.”

Posting on POWER’s Facebook page promoting FixLA.

Almost 40% of the member organizations of FixLA are past or present grantees of CCHD.

The names or logos of LA VOICE, CLUE LA, LAANE, SAJE, KIWA, POWER, ONE LA / IAF, ACCE aka ACORN, CHIRLA, and SCOPE are printed at the bottom of this announcement.

POWER (with several other CCHD grantees) cooperated with the Occupy LA movement from its inception. The November 2011 occupation of Los Angeles City Hall grounds caused over $1,000,000 in direct damage and clean-up costs. Hundreds were arrested in the Occupy LA protests.

The aftermath of Occupy L.A. at City Hall; photo Los Angeles Times


Today, POWER coordinates activities with Occupy Venice and has links to the Occupy movement on its Facebook page.


Invasion Tactics

On October 5, 2011, as a member of ReFund California’s ‘Make Banks Pay’ campaign, POWER, along with CCHD grantee ENLACE and ACCE (the former ACORN), led an Occupy-style protest into the front yard of the home of a bank executive.
On behalf of National People’s Action, the current Executive Director of POWER (Bill Przylucki) was an organizing contact person for the October 6, 2011 ‘Make Banks Pay’ protest.

POWER is an organizer for these protests



POWER activist at ‘Make Banks Pay’ rally; Photo by Robert Stuart Lowden

One of POWER’s activists is seen here at the October 6, 2011 ‘Make Banks Pay’ protest at which many arrests were made.
Again as part of ReFund California, POWER participated in the November 9, 2011 protest near UCLA that shut down the intersection of Wilshire & Westwood and led to 11 arrests.


Blocking traffic in Westwood