Boyle Heights Gentrification

To Issac’s question on who the organizers are against gentrification in Boyle Heights? Frankly, I don’t know. However, it is not a recent development dating back to the 1940s. From what I can see they are organizers are from the area. There are many groups, for example, Carlos Montes is active in one group that has been doing good work among youth. Many have been active for some time. See Lydia Avila-Hernandez’ “The Boyle Heights Landscape: The Pressures of Gentrification and the Need for Grassroots Community Action and Accountable Development,” Urban Environmental Policy, Occidental Colleges, 2007, https://www.laprogressive.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/The-Boyle-Heights-Landscape.pdf,
 
Off the cuff what is driving the desperation is the conversion of Wyverwood Apartments to middle class units, perhaps for upper scale renters and private condos. Weinstein, a billionaire from Santa Monica is developing the old Sears complex. The USC Medical Complex and the White Memorial plan to gentrify southern half of Boyle Heights. These forces are overwhelming.
 
In the meantime there is the erosion of the core that is being eroded by hipster bars, speculators buying and flipping houses (many of the latter are white). You see other neighborhoods, e.g. Echo Park, Silver Lake, Highland Park, Lincoln Heights etc being wiped out. The toxic waste dumps are dropping toxic acids on your streets.
 
Now you are a young nationalistic, idealistic an activist, what do you do? In the sixties were were fortunate, there were communist in Boyle Heights. Veterans of the the Henry Wallace Campaigns and the 1950s. Today the veteran leadership is thinner. are you going to make mistakes? The Chicano Movement was fortunate, it had its share of communists. The young organizers are on their own. They are lashing out. Have they made mistakes? I don’t see money pouring in to bring in veteran organizers. Labor taking an active role in training them.
 
I for one take pride that Boyle Heights has done what no other community has done momentarily stopped the gentrifyers. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not this is their finest hour.

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