Established in 1999, the Progressive Los Angeles Network (PLAN) grew out of the 1998 Progressive L.A. Conference, which was co-sponsored by L.A. Weekly, the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Occidental College, and The Nation Institute. PLAN’s stated purpose is to “bring ‘progressive’ organizers, activists, researchers and policy practitioners together across issues, constituencies, geography, class, race and gender to forge a common public policy agenda for the Los Angeles region.”
PLAN drafted a 21-point agenda that would, in the organization’s view, improve the city of Los Angeles. This plan includes demands for businesses to pay a training wage to new employees; for the drastic reduction of pesticide use; for the city to convert to solar power, wind power, and alternative-fuel vehicles; for the construction of affordable housing; for the production of more organically grown food sources; for the construction of more walking paths and bicycle trails, coupled with more restrictions placed on motor vehicle usage; for “smart growth” land usage to reduce suburban sprawl (a plan designed to prevent the phenomenon commonly known as “white flight”); for police to stop “harassing” illegal aliens; for employers to pay a “living wage” and provide health insurance for illegal aliens; for the elimination of privatized city services; and for the participation of illegal aliens on all city commissions and councils.
Among the many organizations represented on PLAN’s Advisory Board are the American Civil Liberties Union, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the Liberty Hill Foundation, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Service Employees International Union.