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Mapping the Use of Injunctions to Push Gentrification and Metro

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by Jimmy Ramos

Ellen Reese, Deverteuil, and Thach describe strategies of poverty deconcentration as a way to control and discipline the poor and their command of space in order to create ‘spatial fixes’ of capital accumulation by transforming social landscapes . 

These strategies include the placement of police officers, homeless shelters, and other social services for the poor as efforts to deconcentrate Skid Row which includes the collaboration between government, business and development interests, and nonprofit agencies.  The authors believe that there are two mechanisms of poverty deconcentration.

The displacement of housing and services which includes HOPE VI (Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere) program.  A program that funded the demolition of public housing, its dispersion, and/or efforts at income mixing .

The second mechanism of poverty deconcentration is the criminalization of low-income residents and the displacement by police action and harassment.  This encompasses implementations of ‘zero tolerance’ policies of crime that tends to target poor racial minorities.  These were recognized as ‘Homeless Reduction Strategies’ titled Safer City Initiative which hired additional officers to police Skid Row, ordinances that prohibit camping, urination, and defecation in public areas, and dispersement of social services.  LAPD promoted these police strategies based on the ‘broken windows’ theory of crime. 

The theory is authoritative and involves the elimination of what is believed to be the root of violence in an area (violence can only be suppressed if the ‘quality of life’ offenses that encourage social disorder are punished swiftly and eliminated).  The displacement by police action and harassment justified through ‘zero tolerance’ policies and the ‘broken windows’ theory of crime resonates with civil gang injunctions.

Gang injunctions are civil court orders that prohibit a gang and its members from conducting certain specified activities within a defined geographic area known as a ‘safety zone’.  In Los Angeles, restrictions are the association with other gang members, the use of gang signs, colors, and attire, illegal drug activities (possession/the selling and transportation of illegal drugs), the possession of alcohol, possession or ownership of any dangerous or deadly weapon, graffiti/vandalism and/or possession of graffiti/vandalism tools, intimidation, threats and harassment (ACLU).  The violation of this order can be up to six months in jail or juvenile hall and/or a $1,000 fine. Once a person is listed on an injunction, they are not allowed to congregate in groups of two or more, stand in public for more than five minutes, wear certain clothes, and make certain gestures. According to Ana Muniz from Youth Justice Coalition, they can be arrested if they engage in any of these activities and subject to a ten year sentence .

The map bellow depicts current Gang Injunctions in Los Angeles in grey.  The map also features Metro Gold, Red, Purple, Blue, Green, and Expo Lines. 

The map was designed to visualize the greater context of gentrification which begins with displacement. Gentrification is a process influenced by housing policies, private interests, and the revitalization of Cities and its inner cities.  Revitalization refers to returning capital to the City.

Map of Gang Injunctions and Metro Areas

Both state and corporate power contribute through public-private partnerships and policies that use public funds for private development. This is very relevant concerning the neoliberalistic U.S. housing policies beginning in the 1980s. In the process of gentrification many people of low-income communities of color are displaced. Displacement in Los Angeles’ inner cities are supported by law enforcement through police action and harassment justified through the legal system.  These tactics have been repeated in past waves of “revitalizing” the city such as Bunker Hill and Chavez Ravine where police forcefully removed residents.

In the case of Chavez Ravine, the use of eminent domain was used by the state to hand over Chavez Ravine to the owners of the Dodgers (Private developer). Mayor Norris Poulson and his urban renewal committee were behind Bunker Hill, Chavez Ravine, and the scheme to annex Boyle Heights, City Terrace, and Belvedere to private developers.  Residents of those communities were able to prevent this from happening after what was done in Bunker Hill and Chavez Ravine. Dodger Stadium is a form of revitalization as it attracts people and brings capital. 

This is true with Metro light rails /Transit-Oriented Development and its relation to housing.  Downtown is surrounded by low-income communities of color and the largest homeless population in Skid Row.  Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is a tool to maximize the amount of residents, business, and walkability. Los Angeles County has planned Transit-Oriented Development around certain stations including the Gold, Blue, and Green Line for the future.

This map aims to visualize the relationship between Gang Injunctions and Metro Light Rail /Transit-Oriented Development.

Gentrification Engulfs Grand Central Market

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    picture of grand central market in downtown los angeles

by Guadalupe Canales

Chile Stand Grand Central Market Downtown Los Angeles
Chiles Secos: Grand Central Market

Living in the Valley at times can feel as if you need to venture out a bit more and discover all the other things this city has to offer. Grand Central Market in downtown LA should be one of your pit stops to discovering various foods and witnessing the change in the Los Angeles gentrified landscape.

Grand Central Market, back in the days was known as the only place to find fresh produce for many families who not only lived in downtown but also worked in downtown. This location was not visited a few years ago because it was part of skid row where many suffered from homelessness. Now that Downtown has amped not only Broadway, but also most of the downtown, Grand Central Market has become a major attraction for its various food stands and other foodie attractions. I personally love going to Grand Central Market because I can eat tacos, ramen, buy some Chinese food and even pick up a few groceries along the way it’s a one-stop wonder.

Grand central market became a huge hit after it was featured in the hit film LA LA Land. It was then that I realized that Grand Central Market was changing fast. But perhaps not all change is good for many business owners within the facility. The changes are visible to those who are frequent visitors to the market. Many vendors have left because of the high rents, and for those who stay, they have increased the prices to meet costs.

Gentrification has left many of the GCM vendors out. Thus leaving the Grand Central Market without some of the uniqueness that the place had when I first walked the aisles . 

National Poetry Month: El Popo Remembers the Poems of Gloria Anzaldúa

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by Jose Medrano

Gloria Anzaldúa is a major figure in the world of chicanx literature and queer theory. Raised in Harlingen and Hargill, Texas, Anzaldúa’s work was heavily inspired by border culture. Her writings focused on the idea of mestizaje and the various cultural influences in one’s life that create a unique, individual experience. In her book Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Anzaldúa dives into this concept as well as exploring intersectional feminist ideas ranging from violence against women of color to the learning of culture and language and how our words can create obstacles. 

At the end of National Poetry Month, it is important that we look at the greats of our community, and therefore we honor the late Gloria Anzaldúa. It is a shame that her work is often hard to easily find outside of her books, so we are sharing a selection of her poems here: 

“Compañera, cuando amábamos (for Juanita Ramos and other spik dykes)”

¿Volverán, campañera, esas tardes sordas

Cuando nos amábamos tiradas en las sombras bajo otoño?

Mis ojos clavados en tu mirada

Tu mirada que siempre retiraba al mundo

Esas tardes cuando nos acostábamos en las nubes

Mano en mano nos paseábamos por las calles

Entre niños jugando handball

Vendedores y sus sabores de carne chamuzcada.

La gente mirando nuestras manos

Nos pescaban los ojos y se sonreían

cómplices en este asunto del aire suave.

En un café u otro nos sentábamos bien cerquita.

Nos gustaba todo: las bodegas tiznadas

La música de Silvio, el ruido de los trenes

Y habichuelas. Compañera,

¿Volverán esas tardes sordas cuando nos amábamos?

¿Te acuerdas cuando te decía ¡tócame!?

¿Cuándo ilesa carne buscaba carne y dientes labios

En los laberintos de tus bocas?

Esas tardes, islas no descubiertas

Cuando caminábamos hasta la orilla.

Mis dedos lentos andaban las lomas de tus pechos,

Recorriendo la llanura de tu espalda

Tus moras hinchándose en mi boca

La cueva mojada y racima.

Tu corazón en mi lengua hasta en mis sueños.

Dos pescadoras nadando en los mares

Buscando esa perla.

¿No te acuerdas como nos amábamos, compañera?

¿Volverán esas tardes cuando vacilábamos

Pasos largos, manos entrelazadas en la playa?

Las gaviotas y las brizas

Dos manfloras vagas en una isla de mutua melodía.

Tus tiernas palmas y los planetas que se caián.

Esas tardes tiñadas de mojo

Cuando nos entregábamos a las olas

Cuando nos tirábamos

En el zacate del parque

Dos cuerpos de mujer bajo los árboles

Mirando los barcos cruzando el río

Tus pestañas barriendo mi cara

Dormitando, oliendo tu piel de amapola.

Dos extranjeras al borde del abismo

Yo caía descabellada encima de tu cuerpo

Sobre las lunas llenas de tus pechos

Esas tardes cuando se mecía el mundo con mi resuello

Dos mujeres que hacían una sola sombra bailarina

Esas tardes andábamos hasta que las lámparas

Se prendían en las avenidas.

¿Volverán,

Compañera, esas tardes  cuando nos amábanos?”


“Ceremony” by Jose Medrano Velazquez

Is it vile to crave touch?

Is it sacrilegious to crave blood?

Do I speak the words of a heretic

Singing songs of worship

That honor false idols?

All the stars seem to gather at my wrists

And I gravitate towards heathen gods

Each night, the ritual occurs as follows:

The mantra – 

I hurt therefore I am 

I hurt therefore I am 

I hurt therefore I am 

I hurt

The motions –

Up and through

Down and under

Choking

Suffocating

Exhaling, gasping

Breathing 

Seething

Loving

The same silent screams and aching whispers

As the moon teases me

Pulling at the tides of my mind

So that each wave comes with a thunderous roar

Louder and louder each time and I can’t ignore it

Even though I try to blind my eyes

And silence the thunder

Under pillows that smother

I wonder

I wonder if…

Do you?

Do I?

Is this?

Endometriosis: A Hidden Health Issue

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by Jacquelyn Andrade and Melody Medina

Going to the doctor may seem dreadful and somewhat mentally exhausting.

Like many other immigrant communities,  Latinx communities bypass the yearly doctor checkup, whether it is due to superstitious beliefs, the inability to pay for the medical costs, or simply because the lack of communication that establishes the importance of a regular doctor’s visit. Many times, the Latinx community rely on religious beliefs and traditional home remedies to help aid in the “healing process,” but what happens when there is a complication that requires critical medical attention that isn’t well known by physicians? Endometriosis is one of the main concerns that women all around the U.S. today struggle to understand.

Even if a Latina, or any woman for that matter, decides to go to the doctor’s for endometriosis, there is no cure, it is relatively unstudied, and the treatments are expensive.  We had the opportunity to interview a Latina with endometriosis, who gave us an insight on what it is like to live daily with endometriosis.

Interview

 

Endometriosis is the disorder where the tissue that regularly lines the inside walls of the uterus grows outside of the uterus, even attaching onto outside organs. The tissue located on the outside walls still functions as it normally would – shedding and performing menstruation, which leads to internal bleeding. With no place for the blood to exit the body, it pools inside the body, creating extremely painful cysts. Even with the extremely high rate of women who experience this disorder – one out of every ten women, there are very few options for those dealing with this disease. As explained by Christie, upon arrival to the doctors, she had already researched her possible illness due to the initial uncertain diagnoses given by the doctor who initially thought it was simply cramps caused by menstruation. Once discussing with the doctor she believed she had endometriosis, the doctor looked into the possibility. Not only is the diagnoses hard to come by but the treatments are even harder to obtain due to its  high costs. The only real “treatment” for endometriosis is the cauterization of the tissue growing outside of the uterus lining which costs on average $2,000-$5,000 dollars per treatment. And this is not to say that the tissue will never grow back, in many cases it does, leading to multiple laparoscopies, which can cost thousands of dollars over a lifetime.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the Latinx population had the lowest rate of any health coverage and also the lowest rate of private insurance at about 56%. One reason is the lack of documents, but the larger issue is not having employer sponsored healthcare. If they do have employer sponsored health insurance, employees can pay twice as much if they want to include a family members into the insurances.

Having Endometriosis means patients have to pay ten times as much if you don’t have any insurance. This means someone who is going through this would have to be referred by a regular physician to a specialist, several required testing’s to make sure it is actually endometriosis, and end up only to be prescribed over the counter medications that have no effect in helping painful menstrual cycles.

Even though most of the Latinx communities bypass the yearly doctor’s visit, it is not right for those communities to keep on continuing this path. Sure, some traditional home remedies may work from time to time but the fact of the matter is that it will not always work. We need to try and visit the doctor to insure that all is covered. There could possibly be a bigger health issue than what one might think where only a certified physician can possibly know. Especially when it comes down to Endometriosis most physicians ignore the agonizing pain that patients go through so it’s even twice as important to go and get yourself checked out. Only you know what is going on with your body, do not undermine the pain that your body is trying to tell you.

La Raza Exhibit Display Photos of a Past that is Present

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by Tania Villegas

chicano power at the autryOn September 16th 2017, the Autry Museum at Griffith Park opened up its new exhibit La Raza. The exhibit features photographs taken by La Raza Newspaper photographers during various events throughout the Chicano Movement.

La Raza Newspaper served as a voice during the Chicano movement with photographers acting not as journalist but as artist capturing moments during the activism.

Walking around, analyzing the photos, it was emotion because looking at these photos is like looking in a mirror and seeing what is currently happening in our country. Protests seem like they’re happening almost every week, from huge protests like the NFL Player protest to the Protests happening on schools.

This January, being apart of the Women’s Marches across the country or seeing the news coverages shows the extent of how far our current administration has done to create this type of activism against them. It’s an emotional time where we have someone as a leader who threatens not only women’s right, but rights of human beings. This exhibit not only shows the history of  Chicano roots, but it’s also showing that history can repeat itself and its our duty to continue to fight for our rights when they are threatened.   

This exhibit is not just photographs showing the history of the Chicano Movement, as Luis C. Garza, a Photographer for La Raza Magazine during the Chicano Movement, put it, it’s a mission statement.       

LA RAZA is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America. For more information, visit the Pacific Standard Time website.

Trump Ends DACA: Historical Shift Leaves Students Behind and in Danger for Deportation

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This morning, Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration is calling for an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – an immigration policy created in 2012 by President Obama that allowed undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two- year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

The loss of these immigrants would hurt the American economy, especially in states like California and Florida because of the high number of DACA participants. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said “Ending the program is devastating not just for recipients, but for our economy. California businesses would lose more than a billion dollars in turnover costs.”

Many CEO’s of large companies that include Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and various other businesses have fought against the rescinding of DACA. This is not a surprise because the deportation of the individuals protected under DACA would mean that these companies lose thousands of employees. According to MSNBC, 91 percent of immigrants under DACA are employed with social security and pay taxes. While the majority of the students are handling a full time work schedule and are full time students, the majority of their money is being spent to provide for their family. Monica A, a student at Cal State Dominguez Hills pays approximately 30% out of pocket to pay for her tuition and on top of that pays $495 every 2 years to request for her renewal.

At Cal State Northridge, 76% of undocumented students are protected by the DACA program. President Dianne F. Harrison and Chancellor Timothy P. white released statements to the student body and staff, commenting on their disappointment towards the rescinding of this program. The CSUN Dream center was opened in 2016 in order to provide students under the program by providing resources that would be particularly helpful for those in need.
https://www2.calstate.edu/attend/student-services/resources-for-undocumented-students/Pages/systemwide-communication-and-guidance.aspx

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