In Quotes: “Eastside as Homeland”

I was looking for a quote from a Norman Klein book on google when I found this passage instead (in a book about TELACU by John Chavez published way back in that ancient era of 1998) which mentions the vague boundaries of the Eastside:

The Eastside as Homeland

Though the federal government once confined TELACU to a clearly delineated “special impact area,” the Eastside as a whole has vague boundaries. Most observers would agree that it includes at the least Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, El Sereno, and East Los Angeles; … Others would add Highland Park, Commerce, Montebello, and even Monterey Park. … Though not initially within TELACU’s purview, Eagle Rock, Vernon, Maywood, Huntington Park, and Bell also merit consideration as parts of the Eastside. … This political fragmentation is nevertheless obviated by a high degree of demographic and cultural unity, for the Eastside shapes distinctly Mexican-American Los Angeles. TELACU’s founders dedicated the institution to the recovery of this “homeland” in 1968.

Click here for a link to this text

I guess back in 1998, when we still hadn’t received the latest “fluidity” memo the boundaries were also vague, but oh so very far from Echo Park and Silver Lake. And a history lesson from 10 years ago? C’mon Mr. Chavez, new people just moved into the city a few years ago and they want to try their hand at defining their new playground. Who are we to dare such a minor resistance to this “erasure of memory“?

Speaking of resistance, the person that made the “This is Not the East Side” stickers got in touch with us and gave us a small stack (thanks Comrade!) which we plan to share with you, dear readers! Send us a mailing address via our contact page and you’ll get a few of your own.

12 thoughts on “In Quotes: “Eastside as Homeland”

  1. I agree that there is fluidity with borders — always is, look at the culture of the U.S.-Mexico border — but come on, fluidity does not mean it becomes flubber, jumps over Downtown L.A., and lands on a completely different neighborhoods, albeit with the same name! The fluidity argument is just an excuse to say “Our words are more significant than yours!”

    Significance. It’s all in who says it, not in who says it louder. There could be millions of people letting the world know that the Eastside of Los Angeles is east of the river, but the moment the English-language mass media outlets starts changing the names, it’s all downhill from there (Univisión and the other channels never will change. They know where they started and who they served originally.)

    You yourself, Chavo, have touched on the fluidity thing in your post on Resurrection Cemetery in Blogging.L.A. The Eastside continues over to SSG and Resurrection, Montebello, even Pico Rivera (a veces). There is fluidity and a certain interchangeability of terms, but only when the terms almost mean the same thing.

    I don’t ever call any of the Southeast cities “East Los” but I totally see how they fit with the definition of “Eastside.” That organizations like TELACU have spread south into Commerce, Vernon, South Gate, but have pretty much stopped at Alameda Ave. says a lot about their “newer” territories.

    I laugh whenever I meet someone calling anything other the Eastside “the Eastside.” I ask them their reference point and then point out that the Eastside in L.A. already exists, they just have to get off their ass and go to it (take the 40! or the 251!). The name Eastside is all over the Eastside. To ignore it is foolish.

  2. Screw em! We know where the Eastside of LA is (east of the LA River (and NE too), in years past it was always where the invisible people lived (The Mexicans!), and was only mentioned on the evening news as a location of some murder or crime or gang fight.
    And for many years it wasn’t even a complete Eastside as it was gerrymandered politically into a dozen different voting districts to prevent the Mexican Americans from having any political representation or power.
    Once our antepasado’s got it together and became educated, both politically and professionally,( thanks to the GI Bill of Rights after WW2 and groups like LULAC, MALDEF, GI FORUM, and others), they took political power through legal means and the Eastside was able to have their own representation finally.

    So if some knuckleheads want to refer to Silver Lake or East Hollywood as the “Eastside” then so what, whats new? A large part of the more affluent LA citizenry think LA proper consists of everything west of the 405 and considers everything east of that freeway the “Eastside” and not to be visited except in traversing it on the way to Palm Springs.

    If you hear someone referring to the “Eastside” as SL or East Hollywood I suggest just laughing in their face and educating them a little about the history and people of the real “Eastside”.

  3. “Fluidity”
    “Telling people that they never really owned something in the first place, makes it a lot easier to steal from them.”

    In the event of a major Southern Calif earthquake, I will not argue that fluidity may occur, when violent tectonic plate movement causes the Eastside to shift it’s geographic location dramatically sending it up and over the Westside to land somewhere on top of Malibu, where Eastsiders (Now Westsiders!) will finally get to enjoy some of those private beaches we’ve heard so much about.

  4. Right On Al! And I’ll take dibs on the now private Malibu Beach Colony. But I promise to have access to the beach for the public and no fences like they use now. Even the rico’s can come to the beach when I take over. Hey didn’t Malibu at one time belong to the Mexicans, “the Carrillo Land Grant” ?
    Well as they say, “what goes around comes around”.

  5. You guys suck! 🙂 The Militant obviously wants summa dat T.I.N.T.E.S. sticker action, but for obvious reasons, he cannot give out a mailing address. Arggggh! Can’t you leave it under a rock somewhere?

  6. A militant without a po box? How you gonna get the revolution started without a secure box in which to receive theoretical manifestos and strategic coordinates? 😉

  7. The Militant had a P.O. Box address up until last year. But you know, people can always stake out the post office and find out who checks the mail…Besides the zip code can be traced and it would make it all the more easy to narrow down where the Militant’s compound is located. That, and the USPS’ skyrocketing P.O. box rates have gotten the Militant a little, you know, P.O.’ed.

    Theoretical manifestos and strategic coordinates? Of course. But the Militant goes paperless most of the time.

  8. Thanks El Chavo! for the stickers, I got some spots in Silverlake Junction and Echo Park picked out…

    Gotta get me some of those “I <3 Lincoln Heights” post-its. Cheers!

  9. I got my stickers in the mail..I know JUST where I’m going to put them!

    Mil gracias Chavo

    *now if only they had I <3 El Sereno Stickers*

    …i digress..

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