Hanson

Abstract

In Los Angeles there is a severe housing shortage, in large part due to gentrification of lower class neighborhoods. City planners make the decision to remodel and replace older, more affordable homes/apartments in favor of trending, fashionable, money-grabbing corporations and/or luxury homes and apartments. This process frequently brings in middle to upper class residents at the expense of the original, poorer ones. Cities will often adjust or ignore certain ordinances so that they can build what they’d like in pursuit of a “better” city. In chasing these endeavors, developers directly, and more often indirectly, displace entire long-standing neighborhoods. Being in a place of power, they cannot connect on an empathetic level with the struggles of people losing their houses, and so they continue “renewing” neighborhoods without a thought for the residents who live there. Another issue and a big reason gentrification still happens today is that the city makes money from gentrifying neighborhoods, because when it’s “effective”[1] it brings people in who are willing to pay the higher rent and shop at a bunch of novelty stores. In this paper I’m going to expand on all of these topics and more, as I do my best to break down gentrification.

Kayla J. Hanson

Professor Rachel Collins

Writing 2

16 November 2018

Battling for the Heart of Los Angeles, A Journey Through Hell in The City of Angels

  1. Problem Description

“Gentrification” is a word with many meanings, depending on who you ask. Someone in charge of developing houses, for example, might associate this word with “progress”, or “renewal”. Some people may even look at it as some kind of do-over for what is perceived as a “down on its luck” kind of neighborhood. The people who call that neighborhood home, though, may have a different opinion. Lincoln Heights, of East Los Angeles, is one such neighborhood. Gentrification, to them, is very much a negative thing and bears such connotations as “displacement”, “unwanted” and “not good enough”. The LA Times, which regularly reports on gentrification in the county, discusses just some of the realities these communities face when thrown into this “reform”. A popular deli shop that had been a part of Lincoln Heights’ landscape for decades was replaced with a speciality “deli and bottle shop”. This doesn’t sound too problematic, until the fact is considered that by setting up a store that sells hundreds of different craft beers, it’s excluding anyone who relied on the previous deli for affordable meat and other products in order to feed their families. After all, a family can’t be fed on blueberry-flavored ale.

Limitations, expensive housing, niche stores, and the possibility of being without a home because of these things is a scary reality for a lot of people in Los Angeles right now. According to another LA Times article, the average amount of income nationally that goes to rent is 27%, compared to 37% in LA alone. This is a problem because renters are especially susceptible to gentrification movements, since they don’t actually own their property. When rent prices go up, the only person it benefits is the landlord, and anyone who buys the building from said landlord. This isn’t as much of an issue for homeowners, but generally neighborhoods who have a lot of homeowners don’t need to be gentrified in the first place.

Only when neighborhoods become desirable does gentrification begin to take place. In Westlake, otherwise known as Historic Filipinotown, “gentrification was not even a term on anyone’s mind” a few years ago, according to Michelle Magalong who

is the executive director of advocacy group Asian & Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation. This area, now highly trafficked with unwanted attention from the city, needed at the time to “attract businesses and generate interest in the neighborhood--not drive it out”. After years of trial and error, Magalong decided the best way to do this way to rebrand the town. Calling it “Historic Filipinotown” as a nod to the immigrants who found shelter there in the past. With Garcetti’s support, the renaming became official, and for a few years Historic Filipinotown made strides toward success. Now, however, the community faces the opposite problem that they had before. In 2014, the North Westlake Design District released an ordinance that “included art galleries, bakeries, bars and cafes, co-working spaces, and stationary stores on a list of encouraged businesses”. After a lot of backlash in response to that original ordinance, the current guidelines say that “new businesses must cover their walls with greenery or original artwork, install uniform signs that aren’t backlit or printed on a canopy, and work to hide driveways and parking lots”. While less specific, this revised plan still brings worry to the residents of Historic Filipinotown about the future of the lives they have built there[2]. The difficult part for this neighborhood, and indeed many neighborhoods facing gentrification, is that they do want to see improvement in their town. One resident comments on how the sidewalks in particular are in rough shape, making it hard for people to walk to and from work or the bus. They would like to see this improved, but they have to ask themselves if improving something comparatively small is worth the community’s livelihood.

The number of gentrified neighborhoods, according to an urban displacement map calculating hot spots for this process, has risen 16% between the 1990’s and 2015 in Los Angeles. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but, to put it in perspective, this means the number rose from 962 tracts[3] to 2346 tracts, which should be something of a call to action (urbandisplacement.org). Echo Park, in particular, has seen a lot of changing numbers. There, “the percentage of Latinos in census tract 1974.20...dropped by 10 percent…[while] the white population climbed 10 percent” (scpr).

When looking for people who are for the process of gentrification, the majority of support can be found from the people who stand to gain from the act of gentrifying. Very little support comes from the communities who are actually being built over, and the support that does come is  from people who feel they don’t have any other choice in the matter, or would like to have things improved. One resident from Filipinotown, Chrysanthe Oltmann, was quoted saying, “How can we address the top-down[4] nature? How can we involve the community more in every step of the decision-making process?” She poses a good question. If these cosmetic fixes need to happen, why can’t the community be involved in that process? In the Curbed article, senior city planner Patricia Diefenderfer makes a claim that her intent is to include the citizens and improve their lifestyle, not take away from it. But is she telling the truth? Unfortunately her statements were very vague, so it cannot be known for sure what her real intentions are (la.curbed). Unfortunately, something similar was said about the apartment complex in Lincoln Heights. The developer promised to make things better, the residents were paid off, and the developer who claimed he would remodel the building, presumably for their benefit, sold it to investors, making a profit off of the purchase instead. Everyone who lived there were forced to relocate just because one person changed his mind.

        In most instances, developers, landlords, city officials; they all view gentrification as a sign of economic growth and progress in their city. Therein lies a big problem, because when someone on the board for the city sees the B.H.A.A.A.D. (Boyle Heights Alliance Against Artwashing and Displacement) and their ski masks and their protests (LA Times), it’s easy for the city to justify displacing members of the community, because by getting rid of these so-called troublemakers, they’re “making it better” by doing so. A lot of the justification for gentrification is mainly cosmetic. A bill that was meant to help integrate different kinds of housing in the same area, instead of exclusively single-family housing, was brought down because, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti, “apartments wouldn’t “look right” mixed in with detached houses” (LA Times). Not only is that false, but with nearly 10,000 people facing homelessness for the first time in 2018 alone (laweekly), bigger issues are at stake than what “looks good” to the mayor. The hole in a lot of the arguments for gentrification is that it “fixes” run-down areas, when in reality it’s just spreading it out by creating more poverty, which accounts for the 10,000 newly homeless citizens of Los Angeles (laweekly). A developer will buy an old apartment building and either turn it over for a profit, or remodel it into luxury apartments and make money off of well-to-do people instead of the former tenants, like the previous example in Lincoln Heights. Helping a community back on its feet is not the kind of project that can be finished overnight.

So while companies and developers claim to care about helping neighborhoods, what they’re really doing is covering them up. They claim to help anyone displaced by the “progress” but in reality what that ends up being is a mediocre check and little to no time to relocate (LA Times). As long as city ordinances and planners continue to be uneducated on the realities of what they’re trying to do, the issues with gentrification will persist.

2. Historical Analysis

A lack of rent control is an issue that continually emerges when looking into the causes of gentrification. In 1985, California passed a law called the Ellis Act. This allows landlords to undermine rent control laws, as well as evict their tenants in order to take affordable housing units off the rental market. Originally, it was passed “to protect "mom and pop" landlords who could no longer tend to their rental property”. When a housing unit is taken off the rental market, it opens up the property to commercial or luxury development, which landlords love to take advantage of. In fact, “The City of Los Angeles saw 997 more Ellis Act Eviction application filed by landlords and developers for the first half of 2018, January through June”. An alarming statistic, seeing as this is usually a favorable turn of events for everyone except the renter. The landlord makes money from the developer, who then in turn makes money off of either middle to upper class renters/homeowners, or rich business owners willing to pay the insurmountable rent costs for the property. Currently, there have been 24,478 Ellis Act declarations since 2001(cesinaction.org), and plenty of well intentioned housing efforts made by the city have been corrupted over the years.

It’s difficult to pinpoint any one starting point for gentrification, although it is known that the word “gentrification” was coined in 1964 by a woman named Ruth Glass. What she described at the time as something that “goes on rapidly until all or most...are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed” (nextcity.org)[5] does not sound too different from what we see in gentrification today, as covered in the previous pages. She talks about people being displaced, which has been shown to be an issue in places like Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights, Echo Park, and possibly Westlake sometime soon. I visited Los Angeles recently, and I was able to see first hand how different one town, Los Feliz, has become since I was a kid. The whole “social character” is totally different now.

One pivotal moment in the history of Los Angeles, and how generations react to gentrification now is how the Dodgers Stadium came to be. In the 1950’s there was a place in East LA called Chavez Ravine, which was known to be a sanctuary for most Latinos in a time where zoning laws prohibited certain races from mostly white neighborhoods. As the years went by, though, and the land became more desirable to developers, plans were made to use the property for public housing. The community put up a fight for land they had lived on for years: recruiting lawyers, picketing town hall, and pleading with city officials in defense of their home. Eventually, the plans did change, but not in their favor. The project was shut down by Norris Poulson, a Republican running for mayor at the time due to “anti-public housing campaign[s] using Red Scare[6] tactics”. Because of the political climate at the time, public housing was seen as a support to communism. Poulson was quoted saying that, “public housing was a secret communist strategy to create communist cells in the heart of downtown” (npr.org) and so when he won, the plan was at a stalemate. The residents weren’t allowed to stay in Chavez Ravine, but they had nowhere else to go, and so a small portion of the community stayed behind in order to try and protect their former home (pbs.org).

For almost ten years nothing changed, until interest in the land piqued again when the Brooklyn Dodgers needed a new home. It was a life altering day, in June 1958, “voters approved (by a slim, 3 percent margin) a referendum to trade 352 acres of land at Chavez Ravine to the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Walter O'Malley”. New plans came about for a stadium, and in 1959 on what came to be known as “Black Friday”, the last few families who were clutching to their home were forcibly evicted from their places of residence. Despite all their work, and despite the promises made to them, the community was torn down for good (pbs.org).

Now, no one would ever have known the battles that were fought underneath what is now one of the oldest major league baseball fields that is still being used. Only third behind Fenway Park and Wrigley Field.

Using Chavez Ravine as a jumping off point, not much has changed in that displacement, evictions, and communities losing their spirit still happen in Los Angeles. Today the problem is a little more complicated, but there are ways of tracking gentrification now that could potentially help predict and prevent such painful events from happening again. Census tracts are one way of doing that. From 1990-2000, 10 tracts were gentrifying, 340 did not gentrify, and 661 did not qualify for the process. From 2000 on, though, the shares of eligible tracts gentrifying jumped from 2.9% to 15.1% with 51 tracts gentrifying, 287 who did not gentrify, and 661 were not eligible for the process. This is an alarming rate for gentrification to be accelerating, and something needs to be done soon in order to slow the process down (governing.com).

3. Advocacy and Possible Solutions

When looking at possible solutions to this problem, one can look back to communities we visited before and what they are doing in order to remedy the attacks on their homes. Lincoln Heights, a popular spot populated with deep-seated residents, is unhappy with the newcomers in their area. However, most of the residents of Lincoln Heights resigned themselves to protest through social media, unlike their very active neighbor, Boyle Heights. They run fairly successful protests against such reforms and changes as art galleries taking over their space and skyrocketing rent. So why is the activism in Lincoln Heights so non-active? Mejia, Mozingo, and Castillo of the LA Times don’t know for sure, but it seems that the residents feel, more or less, that fighting those responsible for the changing of their community will only delay the process of eminent displacement. Most leave or move in with families rather than put up a fight, since the risk is simply not worth it sometimes. The heartbreaking part of this neighborhood in particular is that, by the end of the article, it’s found out that Neilson Hammer, a developer who bought an entire apartment building with the means to renovate it, displacing everyone in the process, decided to sell the property to a group of investors rather than do what he had promised. He’s quoted as saying “Lincoln Heights hasn’t really developed the way we thought it was going to develop. Lincoln Heights hasn’t had that ‘pop’ yet.” Which is shocking not only in the way he backed out on his promise, but also in the way that he talks about Lincoln Heights, as if it were goods to be bartered with, instead of home to so many people who live(d) there.

Gentrification has many ways of hurting people. One of the many issues with its practice is that it treats older neighborhoods as pet projects, instead of established communities with deep roots and traditions. In another report on gentrification by LA Times, Robert Zinn Stark, an owner of a gallery in Boyle Heights sat down with an organization called the Boyle Heights Alliance Against Artwashing and Displacement (B.H.A.A.A.D.), which was mentioned briefly above. He had agreed to meet with the coalition group in an effort to better understand his actions as perceived by the community. This is rare, but even in Stark’s circumstance there was a gap in thinking. Although Stark made the decision to “ceremoniously clos[e]...his space”, there was still a moment of poking some fun at the group, describing the meeting as a scene from  A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut,  Despite Stark’s arrogance, Boyle Heights, one of the most popular spots for gentrification of late, has been making progress in shutting down galleries[7] like his in an effort to bring back what they say the neighborhood really needs: grocery stores, laundromats, and affordable housing. With the lack of affordable basic amenities coupled with a drop in affordable housing, it’s no wonder that groups are protesting. They are fed up. (LA Times).

In a letter published by Hyperallergic, the B.H.A.A.A.D. show through statistical evidence and personal anecdotes how gentrification hurts them, and how they aim to change it. They write that artists who “seek out” a more difficult path do so at the expense of people who are actually living in that difficult path, and by taking their space it puts them in an even worse position than before. They use statistics such as “989 public housing families were displaced by efforts to ‘to improve the community”’ and the fact that “Boyle Heights has a poverty rate of 33% and a median income of $33,253, which is a lower median income than all of Los Angeles” in order to further get their point across. The point being that this coalition group, along with many others, needs the artists and city planners to understand what’s going on in their world, which is something many people disconnect themselves from. Miscommunication is such a frustrating thing when it comes to this movement. The class gap just does not leave room for well-off developers and city officials to see things from the community’s perspectives. The coalition group speaks directly to Charles Gaines, an artist who published an essay which downplayed the struggles of those in Boyle Heights. He basically made their hardships into a lesser deal than they were but more broadly the letter is directed at any artists moving in on poor communities, making it clear that they are not welcome in the home of the B.H.A.A.A.D. (Hyperallergic).

B.H.A.A.A.D. is not alone in its fight against gentrification. A group called Defend Boyle Heights (DBH) is also fighting against galleries moving into their town. They are a smaller group, but still very active in the ongoing fight for their home. Recently, DBH has been targeting an organization called Self Help, a Latino-run art space in Boyle Heights, and a defender of the community, or so they claim. Defend Boyle Heights, known to be more openly vulgar at times than their counterparts[8], apparently rebuked them and made Self Help an enemy of the people, despite them making progress of their own according to Alexander Nazaryan, the writer of the Newsweek article. This kind of behavior looks bad for DBH, but they view the issue as either in or out, with no inbetween, and that’s where Self Help currently sits (newsweek).

Besides protesting and getting wild in the streets, a researcher by the name of Chris Bousquet has created a collection of maps showing different data on gentrification in order to predict and prevent displacement from happening[9]. His hope is that the data he’s collected will be able to help cities with their struggling lower class. Each map goes into detail on different aspects of neighborhood change, and ways cities can use the data to predict and prevent displacement of lower income families. Portland, Oregon was one of the first cities to use these “data visualizations” to help understand “neighborhood change and displacement”. Bousquet’s main purpose is to equip policymakers with the tools to help disadvantaged people before they lose their homes, using the maps and knowledge of the citizens themselves in order to do so. He says multiple times throughout his website that he hopes cities and policymakers will take advantage of all this data, and he seems to be really passionate about his research. Through my own research I’ve encountered a lot of maps tracking gentrification, but Bousquet’s seem particularly detailed in their scope, and could bring about change if utilized correctly (harvard.edu).

Politicians often let their own agendas get in the way of solutions. In 2011, an urban renewal program was shut down by Governor Jerry Brown, which promised to build affordable housing back up. After years of pushback, the program could be making a resurgence in an effort to again build affordable housing. When it was shut down the first time, it was because the state was supposedly short on funds and couldn’t support it, but what LA Times author Liam Dillon’s sources found out was that the money meant for affordable housing was, more often than not, squandered away on frivolous things like “a luxury public golf course” in Palm Desert. Dillon explains that, with the program, “Redevelopment revenue could be spent on road, park and transit upgrades among other efforts to spur growth, and at least 20% of the funds had to be set aside to help build low-income housing.” a program like this could potentially do wonders in the housing shortage, but if executed poorly it could become another gentrification mess. Dillon mentions different ways that the money intended for the renewal program was spent the first time: money was spent to buff up employees salaries, developer subsidies, and Sacramento even “spent millions financing the construction of a downtown bar featuring women dressed as mermaids swimming in an aquarium[10]”. All of which is obviously very bad. Dillon insists she wants to build affordable housing by bringing the program back, but she does not give any assurances that these frivalities won’t repeat themselves (LA Times).

Once and for all, gentrification is not a solution to the poverty problem. I worry the most about people who still think that it is. Joe Cortright, a writer for The Atlantic wrote, “...a study from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank finds that there has been much less displacement of existing residents from gentrifying neighborhoods than is commonly feared—and that those who do leave aren’t necessarily more likely to move to lower-income neighborhoods.” After making such a bold statement, Cortright does not provide any evidence in order to backup his statement. Where are the numbers for this claim? So many articles are published about people being thrown out of their homes, and his optimism comes off as incredibly naive. “...may even, with smart management, lay the groundwork for the kind of integration and reinvestment that has been a major goal of housing policy for decades.” Well that’s the problem, isn’t it, that the management is rarely ever smart. Joe never once gives any data on the claims that gentrification doesn’t hurt people as badly as they think. He just cites different articles and claims that they found “not too many people were displaced”. How did you find that data? Where are your statistics? Give me real evidence.

4. Conclusion

        Gentrification is a topic rife with pain, miscommunication, and hardship among the people of Los Angeles. Right now, the most viable solution seems to be activism, but the events of Chavez Ravine prove that sometimes even that isn’t enough. I hope that the city finds community in these homes, among the barrios and former sanctuaries held sacred for generations by the people who live there. This has been a complicated subject, and I am profoundly glad to be better informed now from my research. It’s hard to think that when I’m done with this paper, I will (hopefully) never have to deal with gentrification again, but for many people in my city it is a reality they need to come to terms with everyday, and we need to do our best to do right by them.

Works Cited

Andrew, Romano, and Garance Frank-Ruta. “A New Generation Of Anti-Gentrification Radicals Are On The March In Los Angeles – And Around The Country.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 5 Mar. 2018, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-new-generation-of-anti-gentrification-radicals-are-on-the-march-in-los-angeles-and-around-the-country_us_5a9d6c45e4b0479c0255adec.

Huffington Post finds that the youth are fighting back against gentrification with a viscosity rarely seen in the past.  Through interviews of various youth involved in Defend Boyle Heights, the article shows their acts of protest against gentrification through vandalization, veiled threats, and blasting businesses on social media. The authors show this side of the fight not to condemn the violence, but to show that sometimes it’s the only thing that works. The intended audience for this article would be people similar in age to the kids fighting back in Boyle Heights, because it’s very empowering.

B.H.A.A.A.D., Hyperallergic. “A Boyle Heights Alliance Challenges Charles Gaines and Other Artists for Ignoring Local Voices”. Hyperallergic, Hyperallergic, May 31, 2017, https://hyperallergic.com/382283/a-boyle-heights-alliance-challenges-charles-gaines-and-other-artists-for-ignoring-local-voices/.

Explains through collective personal experiences as well as statistical evidence how artists can hurt those who are being gentrified. The B.H.A.A.A.D. write that artists who “seek out” a more difficult path do so at the expense of people who are actually living in that difficult path, and by taking their space it puts them in an even worse position than before. They use statistics such as “989 public housing families were displaced by efforts to ‘to improve the community”’ in order to further get their point across. The point being that this coalition group, along with many others, needs the artists and city planners to understand what’s going on in their world, which is something many people disconnect themselves from. The intended audience, directly, is Charles Gaines, an artist who published an essay which downplayed the struggles of those in Boyle Heights, but more broadly the letter is directed at any artists moving in on poor communities.

Bousquet, Chris. “Where is Gentrification Happening in Your City? Using Mapping to Understand Gentrification and Prevent Displacement” datasmart.ash.harvard.edu, Harvard University, June 5, 2017, https://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/news/article/where-is-gentrification-happening-in-your-city-1055

This is a collection of maps which show different data on gentrification, and is something that Chris Bousquet hopes will help inform cities on how it arises. Each map goes into detail on different aspects of neighborhood change, and ways cities can use the data to predict and prevent displacement of lower income families. Portland was one of the first cities to use these “data visualizations” to help understand “neighborhood change and displacement”. Bousquet’s main purpose is to equip policymakers with the tools to help disadvantaged people before they lose their homes, using the maps and knowledge of the citizens themselves in order to do so. He says multiple times that he hopes cities and policymakers will take advantage of all this data, and so that seems to be the intended audience, but he also uses pretty simple language, so it’s for the people as well.

Cortright, Joe. “In Defense of Gentrification.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 31 Oct. 2015, www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/in-defense-of-gentrification/413425/.

“Second, a study from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank finds that there has been much less displacement of existing residents from gentrifying neighborhoods than is commonly feared—and that those who do leave aren’t necessarily more likely to move to lower-income neighborhoods.” You can’t say that and just blatantly ignore all the evidence that proves it wrong. Where are the numbers for this claim? I’ve read so many articles now that talk about people being thrown out of their homes. This sounds like garbage. “...may even, with smart management, lay the groundwork for the kind of integration and reinvestment that has been a major goal of housing policy for decades.” Well that’s the problem, isn’t it, that the management is rarely ever smart. She never once gives any data on her claims that gentrification doesn’t hurt people as badly as they think. She just cites different articles saying “yep we found that not too many people are displaced”. How did you find that data? Where are your statistics? Give me real evidence.

Dillon, Liam. "Sharpening a Pitch for Urban Renewal; Lawmakers Hope to Resurrect State Funding Program." Los Angeles Times, Feb 13, 2018. ProQuest, https://ezproxy.ivc.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.ivc.edu/docview/2001290842?accountid=39837.

Dillon describes how a urban renewal program that had been shut down by Governor Brown’s hand could be making a resurgence in an effort to build affordable housing. When it was shut down the first time, it was because the state was supposedly short on funds and couldn’t support it, but what Dillon’s sources found out was that the money meant for affordable housing was, more often than not, squandered away on frivolous things like “a luxury public golf course” in Palm Desert. Dillon explains that, with the program, “Redevelopment revenue could be spent on road, park and transit upgrades among other efforts to spur growth, and at least 20% of the funds had to be set aside to help build low-income housing.” a program like this could potentially do wonders in the housing shortage, but if executed poorly it could become another gentrification mess. The intended audience, I’m sure, is to people who have any say over this program, whether voting or otherwise, just by the way she states her case.

“Gentrification: A Timeline.” Next City, Next City, 2015, nextcity.org/gentrificationtimeline#intro.

Ko, Lisa. “The History of Chavez Ravine”, PBS SoCal Independent Lens, PBS, 2017, http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/chavezravine/cr.html

The purpose of this documentation is to give some background on the tragic happenings of what happened to the Chavez Ravine. It explains how people were pushed out of their homes despite any protest or outcry that was attempted, all circumstantial evidence, but also the city bent the rules when it came to kicking everyone out. The author’s intent was to educate on a dark time in Los Angeles, and I included it as a comparison to today and the struggles with gentrification that still go on. The audience is very general, just anyone who wants to learn.

Llamoca, Janice. “Remembering The Lost Communities Buried Under Center Field.” NPR, NPR, 31 Oct. 2017, www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/10/31/561246946/remembering-the-communities-buried-under-center-field.

[]. “Los Angeles Gentrification Maps and Data.” Governing Magazine: State and Local Government News for America's Leaders, Governing, www.governing.com/gov-data/los-angeles-gentrification-maps-demographic-data.html.

“Map of Ellis Act Evictions in Los Angeles.” Map of Ellis Act Evictions in Los Angeles | Coalition for Economic Survival, CES, 2014, www.cesinaction.org/MapofEllisActEvictions.aspx.

Mejia, Brittny, et al. “A Dream Displaced.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2018, www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-a-dream-displaced-gentrification/.

This article is a part two in a series by the LA Times covering gentrification in Los Angeles, specifically Lincoln Heights, in this particular article. Evidence for the drawbacks of gentrification are brought forward in the form of heart wrenching anecdotes from citizens as well as cold accounts from developers taking over renters homes. When I first read this article I thought it was leaning toward guilt trip-territory, but once I read the whole thing I understood why. It is meant to provoke an emotional reaction because gentrification is an emotional, personal topic for a lot of people. The intended audience is the public, but I hope developers read it too because if anyone needs to feel bad, it’s them.

Miranda, Carolina A. “Art Galleries Are Leaving Boyle Heights, but More Anti-Gentrification Battles Loom on the Horizon.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 8 Aug. 2018, www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/miranda/la-et-cam-gentrification-protests-future-of-boyle-heights-20180808-story.html.

Miranda gives an in-depth look at how galleries affect neighborhoods like Boyle Heights, and what the community is doing to fight back. Like many other sources, this one uses anecdotes from citizens and coalition members, but it uses statistical evidence as well to show how rents have been peaking and such. The author's purpose, much like the Lincoln Heights article, is to stir a feeling up in the heart of her readers. She wants to show that people oppose something that too many people find acceptable. It is meant for anyone who doesn’t understand why galleries in gentrified areas are such a big deal.

Nazaryan, Alexander. "The 'Artwashing' of America: The Battle for the Soul of Los Angeles Against Gentrification." Newsweek, vol. 168, no. 20, Jun 02, 2017. ProQuest, https://ezproxy.ivc.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.ivc.edu/docview/1902446876?accountid=39837.

Nazaryan argues in favor of the group Defend Boyle Heights and their cause to remove art galleries from their community in order to stop gentrification. There are many examples of evidence in the text that Alexander uses, most of which are personal stories and experiences he recorded from residents, gallery owners, activists, and even a real estate agent. The most relatable anecdote was that just because another activist group, Self Help, supported Latino-run art spaces, Defend Boyle Heights apparently rebuked them and made Self Help an enemy of the people, despite them making progress of their own. Nazaryan wrote this piece in order to give his own detailed account on what has been going on in Boyle Heights, and to show that, even after researching both sides of the argument, gentrification is still a negative thing. It’s definitely for people in LA, because without living there or at least in California, most of the places he talks about wouldn’t mean anything. It could be for some East Coast readers, too, because he alludes to places in Chicago and New York.

Rojas, Leslie Berenstein. “There Are More Latinos in California, but Not in Echo Park.” Southern California Public Radio, 5 Jan. 2016, www.scpr.org/blogs/multiamerican/2011/03/10/7472/there-are-more-latinos-in-california-but-not-in-ec/.

Saldivar, Steve. “Virgin Mary Apparitions Are Said to Be Miracles. For This Artist, They're Casualties of Gentrification.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2018, www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-ca-cm-boyle-heights-gentrification-20180817-story.html.

The author is appealing to the better nature of people who are for gentrification by showing that even someone as poor as an artist is doing what he can to stand up for his home. The evidence is focused on Nico Avina, a man who uses his Virgin Mary artworks as a protest against gentrification in his neighborhood. The author’s purpose here is to focus in on a single person trying to make a difference. It’s not all just big-name groups like DBH and BHAAAD. The audience is the citizens of Los Angeles. It’s about one of their own.

Shatkin, Elina. “What Dodger Stadium Looked like When It Was Chavez Ravine.” Southern California Public Radio, 31 Oct. 2017, www.scpr.org/news/2017/10/31/77135/remembering-dodger-stadium-when-it-was-chavez-ravi/.

Swann, Jennifer. “The Future of Historic Filipinotown.” Curbed LA, Curbed LA, 2 Feb. 2018, la.curbed.com/2018/2/2/16961240/westlake-historic-filipinotown-gentrification-design.

Vallianatos, Mark. “L.A.'s Land Use Rules Were Born out of Racism and Segregation. They're Not Worth Fighting For.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2018, www.latimes.com/opinion/livable-city/la-oe-vallianatos-sb-827-housing-zoning-20180402-story.html.

Zuk, M., and K. Chapple. “Urban Displacement Southern California Map.” Urban Displacement Southern California Map | Urban Displacement Project, 2015, www.urbandisplacement.org/map/socal.


        


[1] “Effective” as in the poor people have been effectively kicked out to be replaced with rich folks

[2] Thai Town in Los Angeles went through similar anxieties over gentrification. Thankfully they were able to protect themselves, but they had a lot more protections than Filipinotown, whose historical value is not backed up by anything on paper. (la.curbed)

[3] A “tract” is a way of saying a neighborhood is or should be gentrified

[4] When she says “top-down”, she is comparing the way “renewal” is done by someone looking down on the community without really being involved in the everyday moments of the neighborhood

[5] This site has a really interesting timeline that I wish I could incorporate into the bulk of the essay, but I’ll just link it here: https://nextcity.org/gentrificationtimeline#intro 

[6] In the 50’s, people were terrified of Russians infiltrating the U.S. with their communism ways.

[7] Interestingly, I’ve found out that artists are a big problem for anti-genrtifyers like BHAAAD. They will often move into poor neighborhoods in search of cheap buildings so that they can experience the “starving artist” lifestyle, pushing out their new neighbors in the process.

[8] DBH was quoted as saying “we are engaging in class warfare that leaves our friends, families, and neighbors, homeless, devastated, deported or dead. So get with down friends and make s*** crack.” A seemingly violent statement, but are they not entitled to that? (huffingtonpost)

[9] Although it’s a little concerning wondering if developers will use this information to their own advantage

[10] Really a horrible thing for them to have done, but it is so ridiculous it’s almost funny