My name is Amber Rose Howard and you are all welcomed to call me by my first name, Amber Rose. I am very excited to serve as CURB’s Statewide Co-Coordinator alongside Ivette Alé. I am looking forward to getting to know each of our members and would also like for you all to know a little more about me as we begin working together.
I am a native southern Californian, raised in the Inland Empire’s city of Pomona. All of my education was completed in the Inland Empire, including an unconventional learning experience at West Valley Detention Center, as well as traditional undergraduate studies at the California State University, San Bernardino. After having lived through unfair criminal justice practices as a young adult and having been denied gainful opportunities to move my life onward and upward despite extraordinary efforts, I felt a sense of urgency to dedicate my life to fighting for justice and the dismantling of the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC).
Before joining CURB, I served as a Community Organizer for All Of Us Or None, a national organizing effort to strengthen the voices of formerly incarcerated people to advocate for the full restoration of our human and civil rights. I met Diana Zuñiga at the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Quest for Democracy Day of Advocacy in 2014. After learning that CURB’s focus is decriminalization, decarceration, divestment from law enforcement agencies, and reinvestment into communities most impacted by the PIC, I realized that my vision for a safe and just society is reflected in the work done at CURB.
It is with great honor that I step into the Statewide Co-Coordinator role at CURB. The lives of those trapped in human cages across our state, as well as their families on the outside are depending on people like CURB members to restore hope and community. Each day and in every way I will offer my best efforts at leading the CURB coalition. With your continued support, and my partnership with Ivette Alé, I know that we will continue to move mountains!
My name is Ivette Alé and I am thrilled to be joining the coalition alongside Amber Rose. Like too many of us, I have been directly impacted by the prison system and draw on those experiences as I step into the Statewide Co-Coordinator position with CURB. I look forward to hearing your individual stories as we forge relationships together, and would like to share a bit of my story with you now.
My family immigrated to Southern California from Mexico when I was four years old and I have spent the majority of my life as an undocumented person. Throughout the last 20 years, I have watched my father cycle through the prison system and experienced first hand the destabilizing effects the PIC has on families and communities. So much of my passion for social justice is rooted in and informed by this personal history.
My education brought me up to the Bay Area, where I spent my undergrad years at the University of California, Berkeley. During this time, I became activated through organizing labor rights clinics with Centro Legal de la Raza, participating in Justice Now’s summer internship program, and leading LGBTQ organizing as a Hargraves Fellow with And Castro for All. After college, I continued building in New York City as a grassroots organizer, LGBTQ community leader and artist. In 2010 I founded Azucar, an incubator for Queer, Trans People of Color (QTPOC) artists and fundraising platform for LGBTQ and immigrant rights organizations.
After many years in New York, I came back to Los Angeles determined to organize with the communities that shaped my youth. I have continued organizing queer artists spaces as part of the THrōz Collective, as well advocating for my community through more mainstream channels. I currently serve on the board of my neighborhood council and as a Budget Advocate representing South Los Angeles’ District 9. It was my work as a Budget Advocate pushing back on police spending that lead me straight to CURB, and I could not be more excited to push back on injustice together! Armed with the understanding that my liberation is tied to our collective liberation, I am fully committed to realizing the coalition’s goals and dreams for our communities. I could not imagine a better partner in this fight than Amber Rose Howard and I know that together we will reach new heights!
We look forward to working with each of you. If you need to get a hold of us you can reach us at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amber Rose Howard and Ivette Alé
Californians United for a Responsible Budget