NCRC’s membership includes more than 600 community-focused organizations in 44 states. Here’s an introduction to one of them, Inclusive Action for the City, from their Development and Content Manager, Marco Covarrubias.
Tell us about your organization’s mission/focus area.
Inclusive Action for the City (IAC) is a community development organization whose mission is to bring people together to build strong local economies that uplift low-income urban communities through advocacy and transformative economic development initiatives.
Describe a current challenge in your community and how your organization is addressing this?
IAC serves Los Angeles County and beyond through dual interventions: research-informed advocacy and community-centered microfinance. IAC is a community development financial institution (CDFI) that serves low-income, BIPOC microentrepreneurs and street vendors through the provision of low interest micro-loans, micro-equity investments and small business grants all in an effort to increase access to capital among underserved entrepreneurs and small businesses. All of our access-to-capital programming provides participants with individualized business coaching that offers small businesses with a wide range of support to meet their unique needs.
IAC is also well-known for its policy work, including co-leading a coalition to legalize street vending in Los Angeles in 2018. Currently, IAC is co-leading a statewide campaign, the California Street Vendor Campaign, to change the California Retail Food Code (via SB972) so food street vendors have pathways to permitting and vending without fear of harassment.
IAC also participates in a number of other policy advocacy coalitions aligned with our mission, including the Immigrants are LA campaign and the LA Small Business Alliance for Equitable Communities. All of IAC’s advocacy and lending is underpinned by robust research that is informed by and that centers the lived experiences of street vendors and microentrepreneurs with whom IAC holds deep and trusted relationships.
Why did you join the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)?
Inclusive Action for the City knows that collaboration and solidarity are critical to our organization’s growth and impact and to that of the collective efforts to create a more just economy for low-wealth communities. We believe that being part of NCRC will be a mutually beneficial partnership to advance key issues, learn from one another, and leverage resources and knowledge to better serve our communities and build a better future.
How did you hear about NCRC?
Have you collaborated, or would you like to collaborate with other organizations to successfully achieve a goal?
IAC values collaboration in its many forms and has a deep network of cross-sector partners that are part of our collective work to advance economic justice. We have a number of active partnerships and are always eager to learn about new ways to work with other organizations.
Please share a success story or memorable moment from your work.
One of our proudest achievements is that in 2020 and 2021, IAC launched the Street Vendor Emergency Fund, a COVID-19 response program that provided emergency cash aid to over 2,000 street vendors in the Los Angeles area. The vast majority of the people we served had little to no access to other forms of assistance. Through this fund, we deployed over $1 million in emergency aid and we leveraged our distribution days to also provide other local resources to the people we served. Our team is really proud of that work because it was a moment where people needed a lot of support and together with our partners and volunteers, many of whom are street vendors themselves, we were able to help out this marginalized group of entrepreneurs.
Connect with Inclusive Action for the City:
Marco Covarrubias is the Development and Content Manager for Inclusive Action for the City.
Pictured above is Inclusive Action for the City staff (Photo courtesy of Inclusive Action for the City).