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MONUMENTS, DIVERSITY, AND DEMOCRACY: REVISE CULTURAL AND HERITAGE ORDINANCE

NEWSLETTER SPRING 2008

The City Project has been appointed, along with 14 other community groups, to the Cultural Heritage Ordinace Working Group.

Cultural, historical and artistic monuments should reflect the diversity of a place and its people. People of color and women have been vital to the creation of Los Angeles throughout the history of the City and the area.

Yet with almost 900 official cultural and historical landmarks in the City of Los Angeles as of January 2008, only about 76 relate to people of color, women, and Native American tribes. Images of 60 of those diverse monuments are shown in The City Project’s Monuments and Minorities set on flickr.

Things are not getting any better as Los Angeles gets increasingly diverse — only about 16 out of 199 monuments added since 2000 relate to people of color or women.

Prof. Judy Baca and SPARC, Mujeres de la Tierra, and The City Project are presenting public comments to the Culture and Heritage Commission on April 17, 2008. We make two major recommendations. The first redefines the criteria for designating monuments. The second defines the responsibilities of the Commission. Both should promote monuments that reflect diversity and democracy.

Community members, activists and advocates have identified over 100 links along the Heritage Parkscape to serve as a “family album” for diverse communities from the Great Wall of Los Angeles to the Rio de Los Angeles State Park, the Los Angeles State Historic Park, and El Pueblo de Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Cultural and Heritage Ordinance should be revised to promote the addition of cultural, historical, and artistic monuments that reflect diversity and democracy and celebrate the contributions of people of color, women, and workers.

Learn more about Monuments, Diversity, and Democracy.

Visit the Heritage Parkscape online and on flickr.