Building Voice for Animo Pat Brown High School

and the Florence-Firestone Community

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The APB Democracy Lab is built on the premise that civic engagement and civic action are core to understanding American Democracy. Students at Animo Pat Brown Charter High School, located in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood of South Los Angeles, engage in this work through various non-partisan “Avenues to Action.” Through students serving as poll-workers, pre-registering to vote in class, and registering, educating and turning out voters, students are the key actors in empowering themselves, their parents and the broader community in building power that is so often kept from many low-income neighborhoods. In addition to election work, students engage in research to inform advocacy on issue areas of choice, allowing them to leverage their civic power while many are too young to vote.


What have we done?

Our inaugural year included:

—Student trip to see Hamilton at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre

—Primary Voter Guide made by students, tailored to local races

—Visit with 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge

What’s ahead?

This year’s highlights are:

—Lobbying trip to Sacramento

—Trip to see “Notorious RBG” exhibit at Skirball Cultural Center

—Screening of “California State of Mind,” about school namesake, Pat Brown, with filmmaker Q&A

Voices from the Democracy Lab

More to come on our Student-run Podcast.


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

—Wendy, Class of 2018


Annenberg TV News looks at the social media reaction to the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, an increase in LA County Sheriff's department rescue operations, and a new high school civic engagement program (Check us out at 12:18).