The cityhood train marches on

One hurdle on East L.A.’s path to incorporation was cleared on Friday. The County registrar certified the signatures on the cityhood petition, all 11,000-plus. What’s next? The fiscal study on the feasibility of cityhood, which should be complete by September 2009, according to the timeline in the official cityhood website. An initial study conducted in 2007 showed the possible City of East Los Angeles would be economically feasible.

If the new study finds East Los Angeles to be economically feasible, a cityhood vote would be held in 2010 and the city would be incorporated in 2011. If anything, the Gold Line will work in East L.A.’s favor.

My favorite part of this drive for cityhood is explained in this statement by Oscar Gonzales, the President of the East Los Angeles Residents Association:

Gonzales says the 140,000 residents are represented by a county supervisor whose district covers 2 million people.

State Senator Gloria Romero currently supports this process and Supervisor Gloria Molina has stayed quiet. I wonder when she’ll speak or abstain. Very interesting…

I know we got urban planners/awesome people who read this blog. Please, give your insight into East Los.

Image above taken from Cityhood for East L.A.’s Flickr. To learn more, visit their official website.

10 thoughts on “The cityhood train marches on

  1. I always ask who is behind the cityhood movement. And it is business people (who are not residents) for the most part rallying residents to go ahead and push for cityhood. I don’t think that as an incorporated city I would get more services than I am currently getting. I feel well represented as it is right now. If I have issues, I call the local offices and I get a response right away.

    I have a planning background and I’ve been great in sales and it is pretty hard for someone to sell me and I know when they are trying to sell me BS.

    I did research and found out that the headquarters for the East Los Angeles Residents Association belongs to a business owner who lives in hills of Montebello. Why is he quiet? What will he gain if the cityhood goes thru? Contracts (millions of $$$)? It seems that the only people that are pushing for cityhood want a pinche hueso!!! Someone wants to be a mayor, councilmember and the business opportunities are endless — have I mentioned South Gate, Maywood, Cudahy, Lynwood, Bell Gardens??? Do you think that those volunteers deep down inside are helping out because they aren’t expecting a paying job??? Come on, wake up!!! They are in it for some gain and unfortunately they will not be the best people qualified for the jobs if cityhood goes through.

    These business owners are very close knitt and obviously want to keep getting away with substandard buildings, businesses that don’t pay their fair share of taxes (besides being an eyesore), the emergence of brothels, etc… because such and such are compadres and are looking the other way.

    If we go through cityhood, we’ll soon be bankrupt with druglords and extortionist running the city. In a way, I am glad that we have a “crisis” because that will just show that it is not feasible for East LA to operate independently from County in a very long time. Come on, we would need to annex the Commerce Center, The Citadel, and maybe Atlantic Square to make it. So many residents demanding many services. Tax ourselves and be patriotic to make this happen… ni madres.

    Ask yourself what exactly do you want that you are currently not getting right now??? I know that we don’t have enough parks, but under cityhood, well, that is not going to change!!! Some claim lack of representation — have you tried writing or calling Gloria Molina’s office? I have, and was treated very well (and I was a total stranger to the people in GM’s office). If you want to change things, why don’t you start as a neighborhood captain and talk to your neighbors??? I have! Things have changed in my neighborhood for the positive. I’ve had a few cowards vandalize my property, but never done in front of me yet; and that will not stop me from continuing to organize and inform my neighbors.

    He dicho.

    ps. Additional info on the Alternative Analysis Study for the Second Phase of the Goldline extension.

    “January 8, 2009 Completion of Alternatives Analysis (AA) Study

    Metro has completed the Alternatives Analysis (AA) study that evaluates potential alternatives for the second phase of the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension currently under construction. The goal of the proposed study is to improve mobility in the corridor by connecting to communities further east of Los Angeles.

    For this Alternatives Analysis (AA), Metro is recommending the advancement of four light rail transit (LRT) alternatives into a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/DEIR) for further technical and environmental review. The four light rail alternatives are: SR-60, Beverly, Beverly/Whittier and Washington. In addition to these alternatives, Metro will also study a No Build Alternative and a Transportation Systems Management (TSM) Alternative (i.e., service improvements to existing bus lines) in the DEIS/DEIR.

    Alternatives Analysis (AA) Executive Summary (January 2009)

    The adoption of the Alternatives Analysis (AA) will be considered at the next meeting of the Metro Board’s Planning and Programming Committee on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. This meeting will be held in the Metro Board Room at Metro headquarters, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (adjacent to Union Station). Public comment at this meeting will be limited to one minute per person.

    If you have questions about this project, please visit the project web page at or call the Project Hotline at 213-922-3012.”

  2. If we go through cityhood, we’ll soon be bankrupt with druglords and extortionist running the city. In a way, I am glad that we have a “crisis” because that will just show that it is not feasible for East LA to operate independently from County in a very long time. Come on, we would need to annex the Commerce Center, The Citadel, and maybe Atlantic Square to make it. So many residents demanding many services. Tax ourselves and be patriotic to make this happen… ni madres.


    If more gavachos were living in East L.A. would such a racist comment be made?

    Just because mexicans will be in charge, East L.A. will be like Tijuana?

  3. francisco,

    I am not a gabacho, nor do I work for Gloria Molina’s office or any other County or public office and I have no interest in getting a freebie position. I thought that qualified Mexicans were in charge of East LA for the most part.

    Francisco, do you live in unincorporated East LA? If so, have you done anything to improve your neighborhood? Or do you think that with cityhood, it will magically make the problems disappear?

  4. I think urbanista makes a good point about needing to annex those areas. Several years back, I did some reading about the area, and those areas were part of East LA until Commerce was established, and MPK annexed the college. (I’m not sure how the area up on Monterey Pass Road became MPK.) Anyways, the point is, these areas form a tax base for the neighboring cities, and they won’t give them up without a fight. They want their services too.

    Someone should argue for a study about how much money, in services, people qualify for, and people consume, and whether that amount could increase if cityhood is established. That is, if someone qualifies for federal or state or county assistance, could city services supplant or augment it? Could cityhood result in better access to services?

    During this political fight, it should be a lot easier for residents of ELA to get community improvements, if they do as Urbanista recommends, and organize. Start complaining, and things will happen. They may even work harder to bring money down from the federal level to fix things. Go to the Molina offices on Beverly and ask about what they’ve got going.

    PS – I’ve dealt with Molina’s office a couple times. (I lived in SSG.) It was mostly positive. One time, we didn’t get her to take our side, but, the people at the office listened and our requests were noted. Another time, I complained about a traffic issue, and they surveyed the area and took action. (This was in LA.)

    I feel that she’s too tight with developers, and the taco thing was a fiasco, but dealing with the office has been okay. My impression is that she gets solid votes from ELA, and pays more attention to them than smaller unincorporated areas like SSG. I don’t know how people see her in Hacienda Heights or other areas.

  5. Maybe it’s time that more people stopped waiting and depending on government to do everything for them and use this as a catalyst to get more involved in greater numbers, begin an empowerment process and manifest destiny by becoming active players in their local government.
    Coming from our Mexican culture, many of us retain that legacy of little faith in governing powers and we’ve become acustomed to resignation and saying “NI Modo”. Hopefully we can start changing that perception more deeply within all people of our communities.

    Looking realistically at the changes or lack of in ELA over the past 100 years, I’d say, What has ELA got to lose?

  6. I think you are missing the point about east LA cityhood. It isn’t taxes (prop 13 takes care of that, and how much more could we possibly raise sales taxes without driving shoppers away), and it’s not about crony capitalism and “brothels”. It’s about creating a level of respect and representation that doesn’t exist currently, and about creating a distinct identity separate from LA County.

    Now, on the other hand I agree that it’s not likely to be economically feasible without commerce center, atlantic square and ELAC. None of the residents in those areas are going to want to join East LA because of the stigmata associated with that name, city or not, so it seems like a non-starter.

    As much as I would love to see ELA become an eastside West Hollywood, it seems more likely to become a latino version of Wildomar.

  7. By the way I get so tired of that crap like in the LAT link, “…but it’s also plagued by poverty and gang violence,” it’s nothing like the shit that goes down in south LA and even Highland Park. Just because the name is “east LA” the writers have to make it sound so bad.

  8. No doubt some of those folk leading the charge…would not mind getting elected as a city councilmember/mayor to then have a REAL shot at running for State Assembly. Isn’t that how its done in the SGV with all these small city pols? FYI, I believe the spouse of the guy you quoted has run for different Assembly seats (AD-45 Eastside/Northeast LA/Silverlake) and not been very successful. Maybe this is their way in…get some governmental management resume, access to interests to fundraise, raise your name ID, and take a shot at an Assembly Seat and be on your way to be a Career Pol.

    In the end, residents will have the opportunity to vote for the direction of their be or not to be a city, and that’s good.

  9. Well put Urbanista and MVaquero, pretty much how I feel about the situation. MV’s comments are especially disheartening about the chicano political machine on the eastside, it is also exclusive and paternalistic/fraternal, kind of like a snobby MECHA.

  10. Art,

    I was in MEChA back in college and I remember this particular opportunistic MEChA member who used us to launch her political career and is now pushing the whole cityhood issue. Never felt so betrayed.

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