Cityhood for East L.A.

The community of East Los Angeles is once again pushing forward an initiative to incorporate itself as a city, and if successful, it will be the 89th city in the county. This past Independence Day marked the launch of a drive to get the required 9,000 signatures to get the official process of incorporation. If you’d like to sign the petition, you can visit this website.

For more information on East L.A.’s push for incorporation, visit its official website. You can also check out the official pages at Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and Flickr.

12 thoughts on “Cityhood for East L.A.

  1. JAJAJAJA I know exactly what you mean. What do you fear about it being like Maywood? If you share, I’ll share what reservations I have against East L.A. becoming a city.

  2. Well, you get all these politicians who consider their cities as their personal little fiefdoms. In a large city, there are enough people for that power to be diffused but in smaller cities this overlord tendency can cripple activity and progress. Then there’s the whole embezzlement stuff and money hungry people are usually attracted to higher office. I don’t know, I’m pretty biased. I don’t think much of politicians or bureaucrazies in general.

  3. That’s a pretty pessimistic view. All communities have to deal with possible corruption and bureaucracy — the big difference is that other communities have a choice and get to vote for their local politicians. East Los residents don’t get a voice on how their community is governed. There’s literally no local representation. How’s that fair?

  4. Yeah, I can be pretty pessimistic when it comes to politics. However, within the realm of the messed up logic of this society, I think East LA should have a chance to become it’s own city. Can’t wait to find out what the city seal looks like!

  5. I’m kinda in favor of it, but it’ll be a battle between the cityhood people and Molina. ELA is a big chunk of votes for her.

    That economic study said that they have enough revenues to be like Bell or Maywood. Which isn’t a good thing if you happen to need extra money from the county to fund things… and the county supe is looking for revenge.

    The flipside is that ELA could start to focus on developing their own shopping areas. That is good and bad, because there’d be some motivation to expand areas or add more parking, and you can’t do that without taking some homes.

    I know what people would say, “nobody’s talking about eminent domain.” It’s just – look at the situation. It’d be a low income city but right next to Montebello and MPK, and close enough to LA, that they’d consider upgrading the eastern part of the city to raise property values and property taxes, and increase sales tax revenues. The train even goes there.

  6. I see what you mean by worrying about some level of corruption (I’m from South Gate, the poster city of political excesses!) and I worry about it often, too, but I see the benefits that come with incorporation far outweigh the possible negatives. I’d rather live in a small city with corrupt leaders whom I can agitate against and eventually elect out of office than be at the helm of the county.

    As for power hungry people, you can put some of the blame on the State Government and it ridiculous term limits for Senators & Assemblymembers. The constant turnaround of these offices demands for new local officials be elected to a state office every six or twelve years rather than keeping a trusted elected official stay in office.

    This news report states that Molina is neutral on the cityhood issue, but I feel that deep down she is against it because, as anon stated, she loses too much influence. East L.A. is her base and to have a level of government undermining her authority in East L.A. would simply be unacceptable to someone of her caliber. Granted, the citizens will still vote for a County Supervisor, but it will be less impacting than it was before.

    I have a feeling that South Gate, Huntington Park, Maywood, Vernon, Bell, and Cudahy may try to break from the LAUSD and form their own school district sometime in the next thirty years. If this happens, the City of East L.A. will be an important part of the new school district. Just being a city gives the community more control over the schools through the increased bargaining power. Don’t kids in eastern East L.A. go to Schurr High?

  7. ^
    Yes they do soledad. They have the choice between Garfield, Schurr and I think Bell Gardens or montebello as well depending on what part they live in. We used my abuela’s address near the Maravillas when I attended Schurr HS.

  8. I believe that it’s important to consider the present with the future when analyzing the effort for the cityhood of East LA.

    As has been mentioned above, there are many positives and negatives that have come about via the discussion for cityhood at this time. However, I think it’s important to analyze from the standpoint of where East LA is today and where it can be if it became a city and also where it will be if it chooses NOT to become a city.

    Do we think that county services will improve if East LA continues to be unincorporated to the point that we will be able to deal with the needs of our ever-growing East LA population?

    Do we think that county has an updated community plan, other than the outdated 1988 community plan that is currently in place, that will benefit the residents of East LA in its growth and development for the future?

    I raise these concerns, as a community resident, in evaluating where East LA is today and where it will be in a few years. As such, I truly believe that its more than worth it to push forward toward the creation of a city, at least to the point where we can see (officially) how much money/revenue is being raised by our community and how much money we are being charged for the services we receive

    I think its only fair and right that we analyze where our community is today and where it could be tomorrow.

  9. “On the other hand, I think of places like Maywood.” chimatli…

    Don’t forget South Gate, Lynwood, Bell, Bell Gardens, Huntington Park. I don’t see how as a resident, I will benefit from the incorporation. Maybe, if I shut up and give me an overpaid position… wait, that’s what these politicians and activists are looking to get. Looking after the interests of the residents… ¡mis huevos!

    A esos huevones – ¡Ponganse a trabajar y dejen de pensar en pendejadas!

  10. First off, what’s the strategy and feasible execution action plan for improving the problems East LA faces- education, poverty, access to social mobility?

    East LA needs a strong leader who will be respected outside of the city to attract business and influential advocates for change. When I first heard about East LA trying to become its own city I was all for it…’Let’s do it!’ After reading through the East cityhood website, about the individuals leading this effort and the fiscal plan, I am very skeptical. Why form another South Gate or Huntington Park??

    The leader of this effort is Oscar Gonzales, the individual Im assuming will be running to be the 1st mayor of East Los Angeles. What experience of credentials does Gonzales have to improve East LA? I read his bio. Great accomplishments and contributions to our community but his fiscal, business management and strategic execution skills are lacking. Now lets say Mr. Gonzales isn’t trying to become mayor and we have someone else run…is this person going to get things done and provide real change or is this just a ploy to get rich, earn a place in history and boost an ego??

    In order to make sure East LA is on the right track there needs to be a more transparent vision and strategy for addressing issues and strategically solving problems East LA will tackle as an incorporated city (ie/ prioritizing issues, timelines, systems/structures to address identified problems, influential allies, models of success, etc.) Until then, I second Urbanistas thoughts- Sounds like a buncha opportunistic jargon…A trabajar, huevones!!

  11. I know it’s been a while since this was posted but I think the debate is still open.

    I also started out with some ambivalence around unincorporated East LA’s efforts to become a city. My reasons for not being crazy about the idea are purely selfish, however. Probably the main reason is that I grew up moving east and west across Indiana Street, the dividing line between the city and the unincorporated area. And I’ve always conceived of “East LA” as being everything between the LA River and Atlantic Blvd. Even if not all in the same jurisdiction, I think the residents of both areas have also historically seen themselves as part of one big neighborhood, hence the name “East LA Classic” between the two rivaling “East LA high schools” (even though Roosevelt is in BH). Other institutions based in Boyle Heights also bear the name “East LA”, like the East LA Community Corporation or the East LA Occupational Center, further proving this common neighborhood identity.

    Incorporation as its own city would tear away from Boyle Heights as the other half of this singular entity. I wish, instead, that that whole area would simply become part of the city of Los Angeles. But I know LA city officials don’t want to annex a poor neighborhood, even if it’s way closer than Malibu, a place it tried to hold onto against the will of its rich residents.

    Given that they’ll never be part of LA, I’ve come to finally agree with their efforts to incorporate. The benefits are unquestionable, so I disagree with the last two comments.

    If you have a mayor, a city council, and various city departments there in a small city, it’s easier for residents to hold them all accountable. Who holds Gloria Molina accountable? Who gets her attention? She’s got millions of constituents. Are the poorer residents of East LA going to compete for influence over her decisions with some of the wealthiest cities and neighborhoods in her district? Of course not. And even if they got her to champion their cause, if residents wanted rent control laws to protect them, for example, she’d just be one of five supervisors on the board voting on the issue, so East LA residents’ interests would be weighed against those interests of everyone else in the county. So it’s clear it’d never happen, even though East LA is overwhelmingly made up of tenants.

    Of course, as Chimatli says, corruption could occur, as often happens in small cities. But this usually happens where people are uninvolved, uninformed. There is a learning process for the electorate and, especially after every scandal, stakeholders become more politically sophisticated and able to avert those problems. In the end, I think cityhood will increase each resident’s share of power over government policy–and their lives. And that, Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *