Why are “you people” so protective and uptight?


Top: Slum houses on Mateo St,
The Flats before being torn down for Aliso Village
outhouse and Clover St. 1940’s
Art’s Market, DogTown 1950’s

The question is often asked by people who didn’t grow up on the Eastside, “what’s the big deal about the Eastside? “Why is it that you people are so uptight about changes and gentrification, and all the concern about Echo Park, Silver Lake, or whoever, claiming they are Eastside?

Well the photos (from the archives of the LA County Housing Authority), show some of the reasons why the people of and from the Eastside are so thin skinned and protective. None of these neighborhoods (and many, many, others), as poverty stricken and rough as they were, exist anymore except in memories.  Some of the destruction happened because there were people with good intentions who felt that tearing down neighborhoods and building housing projects was a positive step in alleviating poverty.
Some of the destruction was just an easy way to create wealth at the expense of the poor powerless people of the Eastside.



Destruction in the form of freeway building, stadium building, so called urban renewal that destroyed mostly Mexican American neighborhoods with the empty promises of affordable housing.
Neighborhoods and homes leveled for cheap industrial sites that nowadays sit mostly vacant and abandoned.
The history of the Eastside is long and deep for many people and families who came from many different places, thrown together in a brother and sisterhood of struggle, gumption, and toughness that amalgamated one into a distinct Eastside person.
Many are the success stories of these now and former Eastside residents and there are also negative and dark histories too.
The history of the Eastside is hundreds of years old, and as new as yesterday, but it is a wonderful and colorful history that is appreciated and protected by the Eastsider who has every reason to be protective and thin skinned.

42 thoughts on “Why are “you people” so protective and uptight?

  1. I still say there is no greater example of the chronic disdain and disregard held for the Eastside than how the 5 Freeway was allowed to plow directly over the southwestern portion of Hollenbeck Park Lake in Boyle Heights. As if keeping that section of lake (rather than filling it in and paving it) was some sort of consolation prize.

    I just recently found out that original plans for the 2 Freeway were to continue it to the coast from its present terminus in Echo Park through Silver Lake and then across the westside along Santa Monica Boulevard. It’s no surprise that never happened.

  2. No seas pendejo, there are plenty of intact neighborhoods built before the 40s in Cali, they all happen to be white and middle class (south pasadena, DT monrovia, claremont village, hancock park, etc.).

    The point DQ is making is that there is very real and devastating history of outsiders destroying Latino communities to make “improvments” that do not have benefits that outweight the negatives to the community’s residents. Both my grandparents had to move more than once for freeway construction (5, 10 and 710 fwys), a large chunk of my dad’s side was evicted from Chavez ravine and Bunker Hill and almost every historic (and not coinicdentally Latino) neighborhood that circled the old pueblo has been demolished or given away to industrial uses. The old Dogtown, most of Little Tokyo, Barrio Macy, Barrio Clover, etc.

    DQ, muchas gracias for the great post! If you can note where you got those pics, or put up some more it would be great. I am obsessed with these areas that were once communities around DTLA. I’d love to find some old 18th street, clanton street and temple beaudry pics as well. When i can Im applying to grad school and would like to do my thesisi on these communities, the civic actions that destroyed them and the social reaction. Much of my pre-college urban planning knowledge came from listening to my drunk veterano family or other older veteranos.

  3. Will, there is almost no multi generational family with roots on the Eastside (include Bunker Hill, Chavez Ravine), that has not experienced the gut wrenching scenario of having your home and neighborhood condemned for the sake of “progress”, families and friends scattered, watching the old timers just fade away and die with the neighborhood. Much of this occurred in the 50’s and 60’s due to the old political “gerrymandering” of the Eastside voting districts into multiple, chopped up, parts of other districts that insured not only that there was no solid political representation but that the representatives we had were all non Mexican American and almost exclusively part of the LA Chamber of Commerce, business for business’s sake at any cost cabal.
    It took a lot of legal and legislative action to get the Eastside consolidated into solid sensical voting districts. And the sad fact is that even though the Eastside is now represented in a more politically (Democratic), and ethnically correct way, this still does not preclude the selling out of constituents by “representatives” that have agendas based on crass development and good ol boy personal financial gain.

    I’m old enough to remember the neighborhoods destroyed by the 5 freeway in Boyle Hts, Lincoln Hts, and Elysian Valley. Some of those homes were architectural jewels of the Craftsman and Victorian periods, some were poor little wooden houses, some of the streets in Lincoln Hts were paved with old beautiful brick and cobblestone.
    And it wasn’t just the 5 but the same thing happened with the Pomona Frwy, the Long Beach Frwy, and the San Bernardino Frwy.
    The Eastside has more than paid it’s dues in the name of “progress”.

  4. Thank you Art,

    “Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles Photograph Collection”

    Also a source you may already know of is the book and photos by the great Don Normark on Chavez Ravine and recently put to music by Ry Cooder.
    “A Los Angeles History, Chavez Ravine”

    I hope this helps and if I locate more I will post them up for you.

  5. Oh, i get it “no seas”, this is white guilt or the brownies that love it on display.

    Glad to know people think the scars of minority community devastation arent as important as not making rich kids feel guilty, thanks for letting me know.

  6. I don’t think you’re a pendejo. A lot of us younger folks don’t know much about the communities razed by the freeways. I know it happened, but I have little connection to the area. Parents came to east LA when most of the damage had already ocurred.

    Thanks for the post and the photos.

  7. Bingo! Soledadenmasa, this troll has a sick infatuation with me and that’s OK like the old song “There’s a Thin Line, Between Love and Hate”.

    But it cracks me up how this person reacts to anything Mexican American of a stand up and say it loud nature.
    The troll is just reacting to the sharing of power that is a reality nowadays with people of European Heritage.
    Multiculturalism is still a tough pill for some to swallow.
    Has anybody else noticed this angry reaction from the former right wing racists now that we have an African American President and a Latino Mayor?
    I sure have lately.

  8. Don Quixote said,
    Bingo! Soledadenmasa, this troll has a sick infatuation with me… How this person reacts to anything Mexican American of a stand up and say it loud nature… Has anybody else noticed this angry reaction from the former right wing racists now that we have an African American President and a Latino Mayor?

    Don Quixote, it seems the lunkhead applauds privilege, elitism, and Inequality. Horror!!

    Rumor says that the blockhead and bedfellows are absorbed in the pursuit of repealing female suffrage!!

    What can possibly be next on their ominous and disquieting docket?? Restoring the gallows, the gibbet, and the lash??
    Drinking With Tony

  9. http://books.google.com/books?id=iEFHmiJ1VXkC&pg=PA207&dq=freeway+boyle+heights#PPA206,M

    There’s a lot of references on google books about the freeways.

    Who is really owed are all the people whose houses and apartments are up against the freeways. They deserve hundreds of millions of dollars, because the freeway is so toxic to their health. UCLA had a study proving that the closer you were, the more likely you were to suffer asthma.

    When caltrans put the freeways through, they should have bought up buffer space next to the freeway, too. Instead, they let people live there.

  10. Man oh man, that person who keeps trolling is a) some punk 26-year-old from Duarte, or b) some punk using the email address of the 26-year-old from Duarte.

  11. Soledadenmasa, if only that were true, a punk 26 year old living with his Mommy. No unfortunately this punk is a 60 year old living in Kansas or Arizona who listens to his police scanner at night listening for reports of Mexicans committing a crimes, and wears a uniform that proudly says “Minuteman” and suffers from multi personality complex.
    He refers to Mexican Americans as frog people and amphibians and is scared shitless of them taking over America, or at least European ruled America.
    If you ever get one of those feelings like wanting to witness a train wreck, check out this weirdo’s blogsite that he has dedicated to all things don quixote and Mexican, it’s called “Barf in the Hat”, brrrrrrr, Snake Farm!

  12. The other night on the excellent PBS program “History Detectives” they had a segment on the origins of hip-hop. In it they talked briefly about the history of the Bronx. They explained how it used to a be a multi-racial middle class area in the 60s but then a series of highways was built which sliced the neighborhood in pieces. Soon after, the neighborhood deteriorated rapidly.
    Physically, highways destroy so much including the continuity of neighborhoods, streets and communities. In rural areas (and recently converted suburbs), they disrupt the migration patterns of wildlife. I’m not sure what the alternatives to highways would be but I’m sure there are enough creative minds in the world to come up with some ideas.

  13. Rethinking Freeways
    Across the country and across many disciplines, people are re-evaluating post-World War II federal urban policies that had destructive effects on cities, despite their good intentions. The following are parts of this destructive legacy.

    -Promulgation of model zoning codes that criminalized the mixed-use development patterns that were the norm in traditional American neighborhoods and main streets, replacing them with the now familiar pattern of sprawl: city housing, office, and retail separated into pods and sprawled across the land.

    -The Federal Housing Authority created in 1934 helped popularize the low equity mortgage. FHA subsidized home ownership to millions of Americans – which was great, except that for many years FHA only subsidized newly constructed homes, meaning you couldn’t use FHA to buy a house in your old neighborhood. FHA also required race segregation covenants until 1949 and allowed them until 1962.

    -The urban renewal program subsidized wholesale demolition and clearance of urban neighborhoods. In 1945, many European cities were wastelands. Berlin, for example, was 80 percent destroyed at the end of the war. Thirty years later, London, Rotterdam, Berlin, and Hamburg were all rebuilt cities while U.S. cities looked as though World War II had happened in the United States.


  14. Thank you John Q. Norquist! I think that the study and work you have so graciously provided on the history and the destruction that freeways and toll ways have caused to urban neighborhoods relates perfectly with what my post and the many posters here at LA Eastside are trying to express.
    Many of the stories LA Eastside posters have contributed clearly illustrate the history that many of us here on the LA Eastside have personally witnessed, lived and experienced.

    The destruction was not only to homes and neighborhoods by the insidious freeway construction and so called urban renewal projects, but also to the familial and village like roots, community ties that were severed and scattered to distant new suburbia’s.

    Older existing, and emergent politically based connections that were rapidly forming in the de facto segregated communities of the Eastside post WW2 were interrupted and in many cases became stunted and ineffective for decades by the scattering of forceful community leaders and elders.
    John I think your fine article deals with many of the destructive elements the building of freeways and toll ways has had on the urban neighborhoods across the USA but if I may I would like to encapsulate and expound a little with my own personal experience and view of the history of the sinister plotting and conspiracy that occurred behind the scenes, in my opinion.

    The post WW 2 war period in Los Angeles brought back not only Chicanos that had been tested in battle, and had surpassed all other ethnic groups in garnering medals and honors, but who also had a legitimate claim of being “real Americans”, who then realized they were as brave, smart, and intelligent as any other “American”.

    The pre war economic depression in Los Angeles had basically been a time of discrimination, exploitation, segregation, and brutality for the Mexican American community, that was based almost exclusively in the central and Eastside areas of Los Angeles, (other smaller outlying Mexican population centers were usually agricultural and service based).
    The new Chicano veterans not only wouldn’t stand for the same old racism but in many cases took advantage of the GI Bill of Rights and educated themselves at University’s, and Trade Schools.
    This new Chicano awareness ushered in a wave of community organizing in the old tight knit Barrios of the Eastside and groups like the GI Forum, LULAC, MAPA, and various trade union, and religious based organizing was established.
    This new awareness and demand for equality and justice became problematic for the powers that be in Los Angeles. The century old white business and political power structure that by and large did things as they pleased for their own enrichment and social class was under attack by the formerly docile and colonized Mexicans (and the African American community), and something had to be done to protect the continuity of white Anglo Saxon control.
    Another tried and true device aiding the consolidation of power by the Los Angeles wealthy business and political class was the devious use of political “gerrymandering” or the cutting up into politically powerless slivers the otherwise unified ethnic communities of the LA Eastside.
    This practice also came under relentless attack by the newly educated and legally savvy Chicano. Gerrymandering was an obvious unconstitutional and corrupt practice of political reward to the representatives of the LA power structure and a dispersal of political power aimed at the minority communities of LA.
    Another threat to the LA power structure of the time was the sudden enlightenment of the industrial workers of LA. Los Angeles had always had a reputation as a virulent anti union town going back to the days of General HG Otis of the LA Times, the LA Chamber of Commerce, the Hearst newspapers, and the LA Police Dept goon squads.
    Many of the neighborhoods of the Eastside were built around industrial plants and in the village like communities of the Eastside most of the workers in the various industrial sites lived in the surrounding neighborhoods, Most of the workers walked or took the streetcars to work.
    These tight knit communities were organized rapidly and almost entirely at the local industrial sites, as organized labor saw and understood the new Chicano mind set of no more “manana” or good boy Pancho, crap that had been the attitude of the LA power structure for so long.

    All these factors threatened the old existing Anglo Saxon Power Structure of LA and something had to be done to establish order and to retain control over the colonized minority communities that now had the moral high ground and the legal representation to be a real threat.

    As John so correctly points out and illustrates, a new plan was conceived and conspired to alleviate problems with not only minority communities but with the working class as a whole.

    Multi purpose Capitalism is sometime insidious yet genius.
    What better way to not only scatter and disperse the power base of the newly educated, politically savvy Chicano, but the working class political machine represented by Organized Labor, than to convince, or by any means possible subject the evolving communities of the East Side of LA to the dream of suburban living.

    First they destroyed the excellent and cheap, electric and non polluting, transit system in the city, then they destroyed the old tight knit communities by building freeways and urban renewal projects leveling thousands of homes, this honeycombed system of freeways also separated and divided many Eastside neighborhoods into a checkerboard or pie slice of the once consolidated communities.

    Devious yet genius,
    · Splinter the emerging Chicano power base.
    · Destroy the roots of the old established communities.
    · Instill a new sense of entitlement, privilege, one ups-man ship, and class separation, that caused the newly educated more upwardly mobile Chicano to leave for suburbia, thereby abandoning the less fortunate more poverty stricken brethren in a consolidated and powerless vacuum for many years.

    ·Without educated legal representation the practice of political gerrymandering continued unabated for another twenty years on the Eastside.

    ·The closing down and relocation of organized labor’s industrial base in the inner city was enabled by the new freeways access to far outlying suburbs where non union labor became the norm.

    ·The building of the new freeway system at the expense of the now destroyed electric transit system benefited the power and wealth of LA in accumulating vast new economic power through various schemes and opportunities.

    ·The Chandler’s of the LA Times, O’Melveny and Meyers, and the other established law and accounting firms, the Doheny family, The Hearst Corp, The wealthy established land holders and real estate developers, the large hooked up construction firms, the industrial giants of cement, sand and gravel asphalt, oil and gas, auto, tires, lumber and building materials, public and private utilities, all made enormous fortunes by the building of freeways to suburbia.

    All this happened to the detriment of the inner city and especially the Eastside in LA.
    Now a reversal is occurring due to the collapse of laisse faire Capitalism, the price of oil and gas, pollution caused by the fossil fuels needed to support conspicuous consumerism, the killer suburban commute to jobs and industry located further and further from these suburban enclaves, and a lack of cheap and efficient mass transportation,
    WE now see a rejection of the suburban lifestyle, and a desire for a more multicultural, cultural, and village style urban existence by younger generations.

    That’s why we’re on guard in the Eastside!

    Thanks again John!

  15. DQ you just wrote one of the most important essays I have ever read.

    When can you give a talk to other people about this? I have spent years filling the the blanks on this story of L.A., and you filled in what feels like all the other puzzle pieces in the comment you typed.

    Where do I send my check for the “DQ Survival Fund”?

  16. That comment by dq would make a great post.

    When I was doing little bitty community protest stuff in the sgv, something I noticed when you went to the less “professional” organizations (meaning the ones not lorded over by professional activists) all the community folks would come out. Over time, I learned that, at one time, a big fraction of the older folks were from East LA and Boyle Heights, and were living in the nearby ‘burbs because the freeways took away their homes. The way they said it, the freeways destroyed the community, tore it up. Some even revealed that they were part of the active Chicano or Asian American movement, which was sometimes a surprise, because some were now more conservative. Others were as progressive as ever.

    Anyway, I wanted to really comment about the forces of gentrification, partly because I had some conflict with a friend who had his own theories.

    People definitely want to be in the city, but it’s not just desire causing this. There’s some economics too.

    A lot of the “creatives” or artists and technical people who work in the postindustrial businesses like media are freelancers. They are temps. In order to scare up work, they need to have meetings with clients.

    By being closer to the clients, they can save money on commuting to meetings. Driving to a far-away meeting can cost over $100 to the freelancer, due to un-billable time, fuel, etc. This is for someone billing around $30, which is a low wage for a freelancer. (People billing more care less about delays because they’re paid better.)

    Imagine spending 5 hours to have a meeting, and billing $90 on a day of work. Taxes take out $30, leaving you making $60 that day.

    (Comparatively, someone billing $70 an hour can bill $210, and net $140. Maybe they’re not living rich, but getting by, even with that huge commute and meeting. So they don’t mind the drive.)

    Because this is a temporary workforce, they are sensitive to costs, especially during down markets, when they have to seek more work. Then, the cost of driving 3 hours roundtrip to a meeting really hurts. So the motivation to move closer to work increases.

  17. One thing I’d like to insert, after DQ’s excellent comment, is that I wouldn’t look to Capitalism to blame. The idea, like Communism, was never actually practiced.

    We have “Capitalism” with large, state-created pseudo-human beings that can own property indefinitely. These pseudo-humans are taxed at a lower rate than regular humans, and are immune to imprisonment and death for crimes they commit.

    The insterstate system was one of the biggest top-down, command-economy style, infrastructure projects to spur consumerism in the history of the world. That wasn’t private money – it was tax payer dollars (and future earnings) building that system.

    So, I would blame “Capitalism-In-Name-Only” for a lot of the stuff you talked about, not the idea of Capitalism (which to me is alive and well and serving the people in small markets and street corners every day of the week).

  18. Thanks ubrayj02 and alienation. It is very interesting how the suburban existence that was propped up to us all as the ideal Ozzie and Harriet family situation has been unmasked as not that great after all and in fact a pain in the ass in many cases. The move back to urban centers is due to many factors among which are, avoidance of long commutes and all the bullshit involved with it, being closer to cultural and entertainment centers, and just the plain old convenience of living in the city.

    ubray02, Capitalism, I think has run it’s course in history. It is a system based on profit and greed but it caused and abetted the industrial revolution and moved humanity from an agricultural and craft based system that depended on barter and exchange to a manufacturing, industrial, consumer driven world that created economies run on capital, credit, money and financial manipulation.
    As valuable a system that Capitalism has been in creating industry, and modernization of societies, it had to depend on Imperialism, Colonisation, and a world market where the class system demanded that some had wealth and riches and most had a meager existence based on battling for wages.
    Capitalism reached it’s zenith in the later part of the 20th century, but the fuel of Capitalism is greed, which was also a large part of it’s downfall.
    The greed of the financial institutions that are the engine of Capitalism was allowed to run at hyper speed, unchecked and unregulated, and the engine blew apart.
    Monopoly and laisse faire Capitalism reigned supreme but without controls Capitalism devoured itself, cannibalism is an inherent ingredient in it’s DNA.

    Capitalism is not a religion or some Godly gift to humankind as the Calvinist’s believe, it’s just a system of economics that ran it’s course and imploded.
    I’m hoping for a replacement based on more humane ideals, real free enterprise, smaller, non corporate industry, craft and artisan based workers, less conspicuous consumerism, one more concerned with the quality of life for humans than in propping up a failed class system of social Darwinism.
    Everything changes eventually nothing is static for long in nature, we may be witnessing a new era for mankind, I hope it’s a positive one.

  19. Um, ubrayj you have the whole capitalism thing all wrong. Mothers selling tamales in the parking lot is not capitalism. That’s just trade or exchange. When its engaged at the individual, informal scale, it’s “work”. Capitalism describes an economy where capital is critical. Capital affects the economy in profound ways. The typical situation is where small businesses won’t compete against big ones, because the small ones are undercapitalized. That is, they lack the capital to initially build the business, or sustain it until it’s a viable business.

    That’s why you’ll see a chain like Chipotle open up and exist (and eventually become profitable) in the gentrification zones, while hundreds of smaller family-owned taquerias can’t even enter that market. Chipotle has the “bank of McDonalds” backing the business, while the small taquerias do not. Some small operators may not even have access to mainstream bank loans, and use community-based credit (family loans, credit clubs, etc.) They also lack access to the coordination of businesses that bankers perform — the boards of directors will try to prevent competition between the businesses in which they invest.

    That’s why it’s called “capitalism”. Capital is what makes the difference.

    There’s also an element of racism involved, obviously. Maybe it can be called “racist capitalism”. LOL.

    Speaking of – ethnic banking is one reason why some communities have done better in small businesses than others. The relative dearth of Black-owned and operated banks is probably one of the reasons why the community has economic problems.

    Look at who works at Chipotle, and how a restaurant like Chipotle structures who gets to work at what, and how it takes advantage of the people’s lack of capital. That’s capitalism.

    Now, to DQ – what will follow capitalism?

    I don’t know – but I don’t think it will be the return to less efficient means of production. I’d like that kind of life, because I’m into the whole “make it myself” thing, but it doesn’t seem efficient. (Barter is not efficient, and even I don’t like it — for example, the bartering people want to trade massages for web development. I don’t have a need for eight hours of massage, nor will they be happy with a quickly produced website. There’s a mismatch there.)

    Rather, look at the things capital fights against, and that will be the character of the next society. They fight against things like welfare, file sharing, community intellectual property, public space, public education, minimum wages, etc.

  20. I disagree with you alienation. Ladies selling tamales on the corner are trading goods for cash, exchange, or barter. They are participating in the purest philosophical meaning of a market, and they are moving capital.

    Big banks that have exclusionary policies to favor one type of consumption over another are things that only happen with an intricate and complex STATE to back the whole system of loans and guarantees up. The “capitalism” that we are convinces is “capitalist” is little more than sanctioned state policy under the guise of tamale (or what have you) slangin’.

    I am reminded of how the temples in Egypt provided both religious and commercial guarantees for debts to be payed and collected. Our modern nation-state (and other community bank systems) allows for complex arrangements of the fruits of the earth and productive behavior.

    The basic buying and selling of goods and services, and any efficiencies and benefits therein, are often overlooked to serve the interests of those that control “the temple” or the source of regulation on the flow of capital.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not instruments of capitalism – they are extension of the power of the state in our economy. Real estate values are typically set by public officials through zoning codes and code enforcement – this is state meddling in the highest degree.

    The large housing projects, freeway building, and the lack of local credit were used as DQ explains above, to further the interests of a powerful minority in L.A. That is state spending to help specific private needs – sounds like the way the so-called “commies” were running things at the end of the USSR.

    I think that this has little to do with Capitalism, and everything to do with Capital. That is, amassing it in select hands, and protecting one groups’ interests over another groups’ interests using law and the state. All about Capital, not about Capitalism.

  21. Let me guess. You’re influenced by those von Mieses and Hayek fansites.

    Almost nobody these days agrees with their ideas. Not only that, but their ideas of supply-side economics have failed. The current crisis is a product of the failure of supply-side.

    Also, your definitions of Capitalism and Capital are the exact reverse of those presented in the Capitalism articles in Wikipedia. Capitalism is the economic and social system integrated with the state. Capital is an aspect of production and trade prior to the emergence of Capitalism.

    I’ve just read both articles and a few linked articles, and think you might benefit from doing so as well.

    I won’t go on about this. I’ve written a long-winded, meandering comment, but, won’t inflict it on anyone at this time.

  22. ubrayj02,
    “The large housing projects, freeway building, and the lack of local credit were used as DQ explains above, to further the interests of a powerful minority in L.A. That is state spending to help specific private needs – sounds like the way the so-called “commies” were running things at the end of the USSR.”

    What you have described above ibrayj02 is an almost perfect description of ‘Fascism” ,
    “private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism, and militarism”
    Fascism is Capitalism gone insane, Capitalism at it’s zenith, Capitalism in total control without hindrance from government, much like what we had under the right wing Bush/Cheney regime.

    Capitalism without control turns into Monopoly or laissez faire Capitalism, we are now suffering the results of it. Free enterprise and democracy is something completely different than uncontrolled supply side economics better known as the trickle down theory, which fell on it’s face and failed, and the results are being seen at present, a world economy in chaos.

    Monopoly Capitalism like the Soviet style of fascist Communism both failed in the 20th century and what will replace them is still to soon to be determined.
    Stay Tuned for results at 5:00

  23. I’m late to this but just wanted to say in response to the original post (haven’t really read the comments once the whole capitalism discussion started): hell yeah.

    What your saying here is so crucial to what is going on now especially when we’re being sold out by the people who represent us re: Ed Reyes and the Dogtown project. I got a campaign mailer from ER the other day that said that most of the housing in our area is “substandard” and overcrowded. It’s just sowing the seeds for more slash and burn, it’s a dump so let’s bulldoze it all. The Eastside has some of the most solid, stand the test of time, quality housing stock in the city and it’s situated in the street planning that all the new Urbanists try to replicate (poorly) in their crap developments. We got problems, no doubt, but they won’t be solved by massive new developments and highways that just benefit everyone else and worsen conditions for the people on the ground.

  24. pitbullgirl nailed it. The housing is being condemned in the media, in preparation for it’s destruction.

    All the new urbanist ideas are realized in the old eastside communities, and should be preserved, and become the basis for improvement.

    How about, instead of building a New Urbanist condo-mall and adding a few “affordable” units, just let some affluent folks buy into low-income, rent-controlled neighborhoods. Voila! The gaze of the upper middle class intellectual is now “present”! New Urbanism realized at no cost.

  25. I just wanted to thank you for your insights, and everyone else for the ideas that have been generated in response. I would only want to amplify your point by adding the elephant in the room to the discussion: so-called “white flight.”

    Obviously, due to the convergence of both the anti-urban philosophies of people like architect Eliel Saarinen (who wrote “The City: Its Growth, Its Decay, Its Future” in 1942 where he argues that slums are the result of the supposed “poor quality” of 19th century architecture and “undesirable” new people “invading” the city) and clever programs like FHA forcing people out to the shiny new suburbs, which dovetails neatly with Saarinen’s notion of “organic decentralization,” cities were abandoned wholesale in the mid 20th century, especially by middle and upper class whites.

    What isn’t said very often anymore is that they were often leaving rather than share their neighborhoods with anyone who wasn’t white enough. And “white” back then didn’t necessarily even include all caucasians, the Irish and Polish being among those not considered white. (In fact, where I grew up in Seattle there were still Irish and Polish kid gangs beating the crap out of each other along ethnic rivalry lines as late as 1971. So that phase of American history has really only just faded away, and it is already totally forgotten by almost everyone.)

    The point being that the destruction of the train system, the noise and pollution of commuting by car (especially in beautiful old Victorian neighborhoods where pre-car houses were directly next to the street), the great swaths of destruction created by freeways and the devastating “redevelopment” of inner city neighborhoods (usually anywhere that was predominantly latino, black or asian) into “projects,” skyscrapers, ball fields and other “Utopian Parkway” nonsense would have been enough. Add to that the fact that the white urban dwellers who became a part of white flight pulled not just their families out of the center of cities, but also their money and their votes.

    In a system that they dominated, their absence was most definitely economically devastating to the the fabric of the city as a whole. Think of absentee landlords who don’t care, absentee owners who demolish beautiful or useful properties and leave behind empty lots rather than sell or repair their “worthless” property, boarded up houses, empty business blocks whose owners will not rent to the people who remain in the neighborhood, etc.

    As cities declined due to this kind of lack of involvement, they were condemned by suburbanites who “didn’t want to get involved” as crime-ridden rat holes inhabited by dirty people who would rob you as soon as panhandle you. I heard this all the time even about Seattle, 20 years ago. Let me tell you, while historically Seattle had some grit and crime in the central city, it was never exactly an urban wasteland. And yet it was held to be the center of all evil and danger by the white folks in the suburbs. (Happily, back then you mostly only had to deal with them if you were stupid enough to go out to where they lived.)

    I can see that the situation was amplified to the extreme in Los Angeles and even more in East Los Angeles, where to this day there are (to me, anyway) beautiful areas that most white people will not even walk through, so certain are they that they will come to harm. That is, of course, if they have even HEARD of them.

    Now add to this that laws are passed for the protection and convenience of the wealthy–who mostly live outside of cities– first and foremost, and add as you have the gerrymandering of the remaining city dwellers and you can bet that the suburban voters will naysay any bill that would improve the lives of those who actually live in cities.

    Cities, in desperation, began to remake themselves into suburbs. Clear out all those houses, we need a greenbelt. Tear down all the little businesses, we need the tax dollars from a corporate office park, you know the drill.

    But somewhere along the way, the stark facts of sprawl and the sheer ugliness of the ‘burbs became apparent to the same white people who had formerly rejected being urban. After decades of preaching decentralization and lowering density by clearing “slums,” they decided that they wanted to be in the center of the city again, and that what we needed now was density.

    Bingo: “New Urbanism.” It is my opinion as somebody who has always lived in the middle of a city that so-called New Urbanism is anything but. The descendants of the people who became part of white flight are back, and they want to live downtown. I call it “the white flood.” I don’t think most people realize that this is a major, MAJOR demographic shift, and the consequences for urban-ness itself are going to be enormous. As one friend of mine remarked in Portland, speaking of the so-called “Pearl District” there, “It’s a vertical suburb, with trains to take you around to go shopping, just like a mall.” Yes, it is like the Epcot center version of Portland. All shiny and nice (said with that hideous, hissing “s” and a venomous smile).

    So suddenly, now the cry is for more density. Now there should be trains. Let’s all live downtown! Let’s buy a condo! These are the same blind, racist people who write idiocy in the downtown news like “There’s just no businesses on Broadway.” Sure, I like the fact that Broadway no longer looks like most of it is about to fall down, because those old buildings are beautiful. But at some point, New Urbanist ideals begin to replace actual urban businesses. Take, for instance, the idiocy of the “doggie daycare,” where dogs are offered massages.

    Again, speaking of Portland, where I briefly lived and watched this nonsense snuff out about all that was left of the original city, there is a “home acoutrement” shop selling objects for $100 and up called “Hovel.” Right in the middle of what was once a black business district that had been redlined to death. Boy, I bet reading a sign that says “Hovel: acoutrements for your shack” makes the few black folks now left anywhere in the area feel really good, right?

    (Lord, then there’s redlining. The other elephant in the room. I knew people in the central district in Seattle who had owned their homes for 40+ years, but they could not get insurance on their properties. They could not get equity loans. They city wouldn’t even repave the streets. I found out personally how it all worked in 1992 when I talked to the only insurance agent for the only company in the whole neighborhood who would insure any property in the central district and became the first owner to ever insure my house since it had been built in 1889, for about double what it cost a few years later when the white flood began to start trickling in and suddenly everybody wanted to insure me or offer me a loan. When I bought the place, it was on a loan from the owner because no bank on earth would give me a loan for a central area property. But, I digress.)

    I moved to Boyle heights last May, so obviously I know the history only from talking to people and reading articles like yours. But the strength and character of the neighborhood were clearly such that even the most ghastly, savage freeway building I have ever seen could not snuff out the community. I could see that the new train spelled trouble, but I moved here despite the train, despite having watched anything I could call “Seattle” or “Portland” destroyed by the white flood and its trains and land-grabs and condos and “nice” businesses meant for one class and culture, because my gut level was that East Los Angeles was as protective of itself and its history as your writing demonstrates.

    So tell me, are people in East Los Angeles concerned with the details of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood plan that is in the works? I went to one of the public meetings about it recently because I got a flier in the mail that none of my neighbors seem to have even received. I walked out with an 11″ x 17″ paper titled “Draft Summary and Purpose of Proposed Changes (for Discussion): Boyle Heights Community Plan Workshops.” And I must say, the proposed changes are breath-taking. This plan is as extreme a makeover as anything I have ever seen from living in the Pacific Northwest.

    The people in community planning who are working on it are quite genuine and undoubtedly sincere and well meaning, at least that was my impression when I actually was invited to their office to meet with them in private to air a few of my many concerns with the proposed plan as it now stands.

    But I know where this all probably leads from my own experience. They told me that the train is of necessity a “social justice” issue, and maybe it is. But they also told me that the city and the county had invested a billion dollars in putting the train through Boyle Heights to East Los Angeles, and there would need to be development and density around the train stops to justify the expense. Of course, they also told me that the plan was not concerned with increasing property tax revenues.

    Then I heard that the goal was to create more livable low-income housing, since supposedly the whole neighborhood is crumbling to the ground (I can see for myself that this is ridiculous). Of course, there’s no legal “set asides” to force developers to include low-income and median-income units in otherwise “market-rate” developments. Naturally, even though the original outline for the plan praises the low-rise nature of Boyle Heights as it now stands, the incentive for developers to include low-income housing is that they can build taller, larger, mixed-use commercial/residential buildings near the train stops with way less parking than is usually required.

    I was told that the major concern of lower income people in the neighborhood is that they don’t want to be displaced, that Boyle Heights cannot afford to lose housing. Yet the goal of turning ALL of East 1st and nearly all of East 4th into higher-density mixed use developments will surely displace quite a lot of people in and of itself.

    Of course, the philosophy behind all of this is that the kind of people that want to live downtown (and who call Silverlake “The Eastside”)will inevitably want to live in Boyle Heights because it is right next to downtown and has a train running through it, so therefore change is coming with or without a plan. And so I was told if the old houses don’t get torn down for new condos to get built to house all these professional people who surely are coming, they will buy houses in the neighborhood, convert them back to single-family homes and cause displacement. But somehow, between being turned out for development and being able to move back in when the building is finished, there’s supposed to be no displacement?

    One of the planners informed me that Boyle Heights is the closest to seeing what Los Angeles looked like in the 1950’s. Yet, they are planning for developers to build an undoubtedly gigantic series of new buildings along the major corridors, arguing that the physical place and character of the neighborhood and its attendant deep well of memories is not as important to the people who live there as newer, “better” housing and supposed new job opportunities. I can only hope to be wrong this time, but I must say that I cannot recall even a single shiny-new “nice” shop in any of Portland’s now-thriving, formerly black business districts that ever employed anyone who actually had lived in the neighborhood.

    What has always frustrated me about this kind of redevelopment is that it is never organic, in that it never looks at what’s actually on the ground, and what would actually improve what’s already there. It never sees what’s already working with what’s there already. No, a billion dollars have been spent on a train, now there must be development.

    There will always be change, but this kind of potentially obliterating change is anti-urban in its very nature. Just like the people who now go to clubs and bars downtown from the suburbs on Saturday to play at being “urban,” so too New Urbanism, when they decide to play at living in a loft downtown.

    As I said, I have been trying to talk to the planners myself about not erasing Boyle Heights and replacing it with a new Disney-fied “Boyle Heights tm,” because I don’t see how it will actually help the neighborhood to destroy large areas of urban fabric that somehow avoided destruction for all those years when the city did not care about anything between the freeways. I would recommend to all concerned to get in contact with the community planners, because the city has decreed “change,” and I have a feeling unless the message is really clear about what is and isn’t of any benefit to the people who have lived here for years, like the history, there is a good chance that a lot more of it will be obliterated.

    Keep up the good writing!

  26. Somewhere up there in the last comment, I take issue with your concern of under parked development. I say, bring it on! The last thing this side of town needs is more land, and more amenities for cars. The automobile infrastructure has played huge role in destroying L.A.’s historic neighborhoods. Underparking is an idea whose time has come.

    And define “big” buildings, please because 3 to 4 stories is what should be expected in a traditional downtown, with groundfloor ceilings that are at least 12′ high and large windows and doorways to interface with the street. This type of development wouldn’t require crazy big-box developers – it would require business owners to own the buildings they are now leasing, and get access to knowledge and capital to expand their operation. This is what the white settlers to L.A. did when they owned this town, and it’s how an area gets improved without corporatations invading.

    What you get if views like yours prevail is a system where only the corporations and uber-wealthy can afford to bribe their way to gigantic developments. We need to allow merchants to expand their businesses up to three or four stories without building expensive, and wasteful, underground parking.

    The city needs to come through with BRT, light rail, and sidewalk amenities to keep the public shopping and coming back to the local retail.

  27. what about a local economy that involves jobs that pay better than $20 an hour for people who live there? and less polluting? what about public schools that have the resources to educate kids who don’t have the benefit of parents with college degrees or even high school diplomas?

    I got that idea from this paper:

    i’m all for trains and bikes and pretty old houses, but, what about these other things that i take for granted, but can’t be taken for granted on the eastside?

  28. Dave, thank you for the thoughtfulness and insight you have produced here for us in regards to the insidious conspiracy by both the developer/urban planners and the so called community representatives like Councilman Ed Reyes.
    The Eastside has not only been the recipient of historical destruction and displacement of neighborhoods and inhabitants but also the new benefactor of so called urban development and master planning for future high density construction.

    If the younger generation of Eastside residents refuse to view the new (but same old, same old), master plans for their neighborhoods in a truthful and historical context, and chose to believe at face value the empty and usually deceitful line of shit about affordable housing and beneficial development, then history will indeed repeat itself and the Eastside will become nothing but a caricature of it’s former unique self.

    All one has to do to see what these “urban planners” have in mind is to look at what they have already “succeeded” in tearing down, and what the replacements look like.
    Multi story, stucco monuments to condo-mania that are impersonal, guarded and gated, mind numbing, desensitized and sanitized, minimally landscaped, living boxes that maximize profit for the benefit of developers and their minions.
    We have heard the same bullshit and empty promises of affordable housing and real benefits to the Eastside communities all before.
    Whats wrong with building on the existing communities with affordable single family homes that have a front yard on the street and sidewalks where community interaction takes place?
    As far as industry and jobs, why not use the numerous industrial sites already existing, for renewal and modernization? Many are empty or under-productive and outdated, why not utilize what already exists?
    Why not build on what makes the Eastside unique and desirable?
    Could it be something called the profit margin or maximizing profits for the powers that be.

    We’ve heard it all before but this time it’s also coming from our own wolves in sheeps clothing.

  29. alienation, Thanks for the website tip, Avila Hernandez is right on and put together a great history and opinion of Eastside experience.

  30. Don Quitxote, thank you again for bringing up the issue in the first place. To my eyes, you are seeing what’s happening with enormous clarity. I just hoped to be able to bring some perspective to what has happened in the past from my own direct experience, because I am not kidding you, there is no way to even recognize so much of Seattle and Portland (small though they are), that it makes me feel sick when I visit.

    Put it this way: what happens when one house with a big yard in a neighborhood that is 80-85% renters, supposedly worth something like $400,000, which nobody who rents in the neighborhood could ever possibly afford to buy, is bought and demolished for a mixed-use condo building with commercial space on the ground floor?

    Well, one has conveniently replaced a mere $400,000 of unaffordable “value” with 6-8 $300,000-$400,000 condos worth of unaffordable “value,” and suddenly the county gets to tax on more than two million dollars worth of “value,” which does not benefit anyone who already lived there, since they can no more afford the condos than the original house.

    Several shiny new “nice” shops open up at “market rate” on the ground floor, of course almost always hiring from outside the neighborhood. They survive because they cater to the new, more wealthy condo dwellers and their friends visiting this “edgy” area. The other landlords catch on, and raise their rents to “market,” thereby driving the businesses from the neighborhood out of business or forcing them to cater to the new dwellers, who are, as we have said, rather obviously significantly more wealthy than the renters who were already there.

    When I moved into Buckman, or inner Southeast Portland in 2003, the neighborhood was actually over 85% renters, a higher number than the city’s estimate for Boyle Heights. In less than four years, a huge number of large houses were reconverted to single family and sold for staggering sums between $500,000 and a million dollars, while new developments were charging ahead as well. A huge number of existing apartment buildings became converted into cynically-crafted “condos” where renters who could afford to do so desperately bought their own crappy studio apartments for upwards of $90,000 each only to discover that the LLC in charge didn’t repair any of the wiring or plumbing. And this, for a neighborhood with meth labs, pot growers blowing up transformers constantly, petty street crime (mostly smashing windows out of working people’s beat-up cars for no reason), an enormous (though sub-Los Angeles) homeless population, mentally ill people pooping on the sidewalk and hypodermic needles everywhere, that kind of thing. (Buckman was, despite all of that, a remarkable neighborhood.)

    Nobody could believe it, but by Heaven, the city of Portland succeeded in reducing the number of those rascally Buckman renters down to below 50% (I think that’s right, I could be wrong) of the population.

    Now that nobody who lived there before–and who didn’t own their own home from before the boom–can afford to live there unless they are really lucky (the landlord owns outright and doesn’t need the money from “market” rent), or they live in genuine squalor, the city decided to work on the social problems they had ignored for many decades. The drugs got cleaned up for the new, more wealthy home owners and fancy condo owners, and I hear they’re going to be pushing the homeless out next. Ta-daa! Planning has worked to “improve” the lives of people who live in Buckman. Except that they’re not the same people.

    And now, as an example, instead of “Belmont” being a street in the Sunnyside/Buckman neighborhood in Portland that you go to, its now part of the rebranded notion of “living IN Belmont.” The new people do not even know what they have replaced.

    Physically, inner Southeast in Portland and Boyle Heights in Los Angeles relate to the central city in almost the exact same way, bridges, warehouses and all. The process of totally replacing the population in inner Southeast Portland was made easier for the planners and developers by the fact that almost everyone there originally was white, and white people seem to generally hold that they are somehow “beyond” class issues, so nobody noticed when working people, musicians and artists were replaced with wealthy condo dwellers. How people can stick their heads in the sand as far as they do is totally beyond me. It’s still gentrification, and it’s still class warfare against working and low income people. The next step (if they move forward like Seattle did) will be to make landlord participation in Section 8 housing voluntary…By that time, of course, it will be far too late.

    Anyway, moving back to the present and East Los Angeles, you are totally right that these promises of housing and opportunity from new development are usually empty.

    And just to clarify for ubrayj02, I think Don Quixote picked up what I mean by large buildings, but because I neglected to report what I was told by planning, here is what I mean.

    The head planner for Boyle Heights (who is again, a very earnest and sincere young guy)suggested that they were conceiving of developers erecting 4-6 story buildings with very little parking (an incentive to developers because parking costs about $60,000 per parking space)that could be much larger (significantly taller, and taking up more property) than otherwise allowed, provided that the resulting building has “some” low-income and so-called median-income housing. I did not get a percentage figure as to what “some” indicated.

    Frankly, I have painted houses, done carpentry and worked in a foundry in my past, and I unfortunately needed a car to haul lumber, paint and ladders, although I was able to take a bus to the foundry when I had 2 hours to spare both directions. So I have to guess that any number of other people who are described as “low income” are actually hard-working people who in many cases need to have a vehicle.

    Should we try to minimize car travel, ownership, pollution, etc? Yes, of course! But is it feasible in the fashion that city planners want to go about it? When have you ever seen condo dwellers who didn’t have cars? It seems to me, far from my being pro-parking, I am arguing for livability the same as you are.

    In my example of Portland above, several condos that nobody from the neighborhood can afford have been created where there was one old house (that nobody could afford).

    Suppose now that the house was divided into four units. Now add three other properties to the “footprint” of the new, 4-6 story Boyle Heights condo building. The other existing houses, let us say, are a pair of two-unit properties and a single family rental, for a total of nine dwelling units that are either “low income” or less than “market-rate.”

    First of all, where do those families go in the meantime, out of curiosity? Second, even if we assume eight condos per pre-existing lot, that gives us 32 new units. Unless the developer is somehow forced to, do you really suppose the new building will contain more than 25% below “market-rate” housing? So that is a net loss of affordable housing, right? Eight units versus nine before? And too bad if an elderly renter, who now is in this building with inadequate parking, wants to have a mini-RV for going out to the ocean that there’s nowhere to park now, or whatever.

    I know, I know, none of us are “owed” a parking space, but I have never seen an instance where increasing density has ever gotten people with money to not drive, because it’s a status symbol, and those who work in labor often can’t work without a car. If you have some idea of how to enlighten the wealthy while making it so you can carry a 32′ ladder on the train, let me know.

    I guess what I’m trying to say here is that it is the system itself that is driving the process.

    You wrote, “What you get if views like yours prevail is a system where only the corporations and uber-wealthy can afford to bribe their way to gigantic developments. We need to allow merchants to expand their businesses up to three or four stories without building expensive, and wasteful, underground parking.”

    Actually, my view is that gigantic buildings–which is what the city is currently planning for–are already going to be being built by said “corporations and uber-wealthy” because that’s what the city of Los Angeles apparently wants to see built.

    It is not because of my view, it is because the view of developers who stand to make a lot of money by replacing the existing low-rise streetscape with out-of-scale developments is shared by the city as a common goal.

    Believe me, if you could get the city to agree that current landowners could “expand” (i suspect that should read: demolish) their current buildings without spending $60,000 a parking space and build something from within the community, that would be far, far better. You should suggest that to the planners. It sounds better than what they have in mind to me, anyway.

    But right now, the parking requirements would only be dropped if the residential portion of the building contained enough “low income.” All I can say is, Ive seen a lot of crappy “low income” box developments in my time, because even if the owner means well, you gotta pay for the construction somehow, and not including a bunch of “market rate” units makes it hard to profit, let alone break even…

    I agree with alienation about good jobs. I’m not sure how fine I am with trains except in the abstract, because trains are almost always cover for a land-grab by wealthy developers. And Don Quixote, you are totally right on about recycling the under-used industrial buildings. Too bad the city wants to keep the industrial areas the way they are, claiming “job loss” would be a problem otherwise.

    There are no easy answers. Something is apparently going to happen, large or small, from within or from without, and if it is not done with the best interests of the community as it exists in mind, it will surely deplete what makes East Los Angeles East Los Angeles, just like Don Quixote is saying, and potentially reduce it to a caricature.

    Like I said, I’m new here, but I would hate to see massive disruption and displacement of the community and people of Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles.

    I’m not saying, “don’t improve the lives of people who live there.” I’m not saying, “nothing should change.” And I’m certainly not saying “don’t provide opportunity.” I just hope that what gets done doesn’t “improve” things for a completely different group of people.

  31. Thanks again Dave, excellent description and synopsis of what happens when so called “representatives” of the people are in collusion with the large development firms and Chambers of Commerce, who always hunger for more money, juice and power, and are given Carte Blanche to ride roughshod over working class people who suddenly find themselves and their neighborhoods expendable.

    It’s curious what these termites come up with when posed with the question “why destroy what exists when improving the traditional lifestyle and environment of the inhabitants would seem more beneficial to them?”.

    This is when these so called “representatives” and PR men start in with the old, “we envision a multi use, multi economy based, multi mixed use, all inclusive, multi generational, green based, Energy Star rated, LEED award for inspirational design, Arcadian pastoral and doggy parked, Starbuck approved setting, surrounding clean family oriented affordable housing,(and it’s always 25% of total new units), underneath the train station restrooms, that will afford the more populated, more ethnically inclined, but greatly appreciated, more labor intensive, citizen, the opportunity to share in water reclamation and refuse recycling.
    In short fellow citizens, you are all fortunate to be able to be in the vanguard, at the head of this march, towards the future and crepuscular for the new city, formerly called the Eastside.”

    Oh yeah! The Godfather to his son Michael, “so whoever comes to you first with an offer of a meeting, he is the traitor”.

  32. I second DQ. That second paragraph says it all.

    I was traveling through Chicago years ago, and came upon one of the strangest sights. It was a street undergoing gentrification.

    I’d been walking through some ethnic neighborhood that was mixed Polish and Mexican. The neighborhood was quiet, but as I walked onward, it was getting a little less busy, and there was a bright new storefront, empty, on the corner ahead. It looked like it might be a cel phone store or something.

    Once I reached that corner, and turned, I saw gentrification. The entire street was empty. The street-level was refurbished and completely empty. The towers went up several stories, and the upper floors appeared empty too. Nobody was on the sidewalks for an entire block.

    All there were, were ads trying to sell the retail spaces and the housing upstairs.

    It was as if a neutron bomb called gentrification had hit.


    I think Dave makes a good point about cars.

    Educated, middle class or quasi middle class people without cars are often making the choice not to drive. They’ve already “made it” past the point when they don’t need the car.

    If you only have the hs diploma and are trying to get out of the service industry jobs, you usually need a car. The better paid jobs aren’t nearby. The entry level career ladder jobs often require you to pick up things for someone else, or deliver things to other companies, or haul equipment around to a work site.

    This isn’t just construction work. Even office jobs have these kinds of requirements.

  33. If you want a good example of how this mixed-use, faux-who-knows-what, stucco, condo crap doesn’t work, check out the Ave 26 lofts. (They have a fancy name that escapes me at the moment.) The lofts have been open for a couple of years now and the bottom floor retail spaces are still empty. Of course, the developers tried to win community support by promising decent retail but so far, nothing.

    One neighbor has remarked that the tacky checkerboard pattern that lines the stucco is well suited to a Baja Fresh. But really, who’s gonna eat that corporate food when you have La Llamarada, Carnitas Michoacan and Atacor within walking distance?

  34. And wait till you see what these stucco condo shit-boxes are going to look like when the Sago Palms and the Verbenia plants and the ivy stops being manicured and dies or goes wild.
    Another disintegrating ugly stucco shit-box with massive roof leaks, mold growing down the side of the bldg. sewers and storm drains that back up into the underground parking which floats the rubbish from the overfilled trash bins out onto the street.
    But not to worry because the Contractor who lives in Montecito or Palos Verdes, and his lawyers will claim that all guarantee’s were voided when the gardener pulled the weeds out of the roof drains and rain gutters without giving prior notice to the Building contractor who is represented by O’Melveny and Meyers who also represent the city and everyone else of substance and worth who all play golf together at Riviera and will deal with the problem over highballs in the clubhouse.
    And after all, the city can always take control and the former condos can become much needed multi story Section 8 housing, all for the good of the community of course,

  35. I’ve seen some multi-units on the eastside offered for sale at relatively low prices (around $100-$125 per sq ft). I think they are in REAP. Is any organization out there trying to help the renters form “tenancy in common” to buy the buildings? ELACC?

  36. Here’s some more information on how the IRE (insurance and real estate) people get what they want.
    Gideon Kanner gives a great background story on the horrible Kelo case.
    Or a recent case concerning the citizens of nearby Maywood.
    Wells Fargo recently settled a reverse redlining case. The beat goes on.

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