Action Research

Invest in Youth Campaign

Only 5% of our city’s budget is allocated to positive youth development programs and we believe our city can do better! We demand our city leaders to INVEST IN YOUTH and have equitable budget practices that reflect that our community’s future and values matter!

Youth members of Khmer Girls in Action and our allies in the Long Beach Forward Youth Committees, in partnership with Advancement Project and CSULB, surveyed over 750 Long Beach residents on what resources and programs our communities need to succeed and thrive.

The survey results revealed a disconnect between what residents valued as priorities and how our city plans to spend down public dollars.  7 out of 10 residents support an increase of public funds for youth programs and 80% of those surveyed believe that the best way to make our communities safer is to invest in community- based youth development programs.

However, Long Beach’s current budget priorities does not reflect our community’s voice.  Not all youth and teens have access to positive youth development programs and resources to reach their full potential.  Only 5% of the city’s 2018 adopted budget is allocated to youth programs and services, with a foreseeable decrease in the years ahead.   A closer look at how our city spends down public dollars shows that only $204 is spent on positive development programs per youth but an overwhelming $10,500 is spent on suppression for each youth arrest.

A balanced budget is equitable and ensure that all young people have the resources they need to thrive. Our future starts today and this is why now is the time to invest in youth!

Through our Invest in Youth Campaign, we call on the city of Long Beach to:
  • Establish a Long Beach Children & Youth Fund supported by revenue from the general fund and by allocating at least 50% of marijuana sales taxes to the Long Beach Children & Youth Fund.
  • Protect funding for youth development and positive support programs and resources from budget cuts especially during deficits.

In 2020, the Invest in Youth Coalition, in partnership with the City of Long Beach & Health Department, will host a city -wide strategic plan to engage youth in all 9 districts to learn about how to best support their needs.

In January and February 2020 we look forward to hosting focus groups.  Stay tuned for upcoming details on how to participate!

For more information on the Invest in Youth Campaign, please visit

Meet the Invest in Youth Team!

Anchor Organizations:

Steering Committee:

Research Team:

Learn more and Get Involved:
Individual Endorsement
Organizational / Company Endorsement

Summary of Survey Results
Summary of Budget Analysis, Advancement Project (coming soon!)

For more information contact Lead Organizer, Jennefer Heng at


Step Into Long Beach:
Exposing how Cambodian American Youth are Under Resourced, Over Policed & Fighting Back!

Starting in January 2010, KGA members collected surveys from about 500 peers as part of our Participatory Action Research (PAR). That summer KGA partnered with UCLA to analyze the results, recording Khmer experiences and organizing them into tangible facts that can be used to identify community needs and build momentum for change. Our preliminary research results revealed injustices in the areas of Reproductive Justice, Immigrant & Refugee Rights, and Health & Safety.  In our 2011 Summer Organizing Institute, KGA members and staff used those results along with feedback from community listening sessions held in the spring to create a five-point platform that was the basis of our Wellness Center Campaign, Youth at the C.O.R.E (Creating Opportunities & Resources for Empowerment).

Step Into Long Beach: Exposing How Cambodian American Youth are Under Resourced, Over Policed, and Fighting Back for their Wellness!

Step Into Long Beach: Exposing How Cambodian American Youth are Under Resourced, Over Policed, and Fighting Back for their Wellness!




Youth Wellness Platform

YOUth at the C.O.R.E
Creating Opportunities & Resources for Empowerment

Based off our action research KGA members developed a platform that demands that all young people’s wellness gets placed at the center of decisions, and the creation of resources and opportunities in Long Beach.

1. WE WANT CULTURALLY RELEVANT EDUCATION that reflects our community’s history, diversity, and strengths (this includes ethnic studies, history, language, food & dance).


3. WE WANT TO BE TREATED WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT in schools and in our community (regardless of our age, race/ethnicity, or immigration status).

4.  WE WANT COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION AND ACCESS TO SERVICES in our community about our bodies, genders, sexualities, relationships, and reproductive health (regardless of our age, sex, gender, or sexual orientation)

5. WE WANT ALL FAMILIES TO BE ABLE TO LIVE SUSTAINABLY with access to economic opportunities, education, affordable housing, and healthcare.