creating a “laboratory of democracy” for Animo Pat Brown HS

and the Florence-Firestone Community


The APB Democracy Lab trains young people in the act of "citizenship" (irrespective of legal status) through education, action and engagement.  Students will practice citizenship not through simulations or role plays, but through the very acts that shape our nation--including voter registration, education and turnout efforts, along with community education, direct interactions with legislators, and other acts of civic participation.


What have we done?

In our first year,  students engaged in democratic action through creation and distribution of a voter guide, voter registration efforts, letter writing and calls to their elected representatives, a visit to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and a trip to see Hamilton at the Hollywood Pantages Theater.

In this, our second year, students have engaged deeply in the work of citizenship. This work has included an Election Project that included a bilingual voter guide, 40 students serving as Student Pollworkers, and a voter registration and education drive.

Students expressed greater internal an external efficacy through these efforts, building the skills and experiences that will serve them as civic actors for many years ahead.

What are we working on?

In our second year, we have:

—Hosted a polling site for the November 6 election, -

—A collaboration with USC course “How to Be An American: Global Histories of U.S. Citizenship,” including a joint conversation about Look Tin Sing and birthright citizenship.

—Engagement with local officials including (but not limited to): state legislators, City Councillors, County Supervisors, Mayor’s office

Still to come this year:

—A visit to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and visit with a Federal Judge

—A lobbying trip to the state capitol in Sacramento

 —A visit to the “Notorious RBG Exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center

What do students say?

Read Our Blog »


Many people think that government is just laws, but it’s about the people involved in this process, including ourselves.

— Wendy, APB Class of 2018

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“Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”
– Dolores Huerta