Grand Opening Robert Garcia of The City Project . . . organized a civil rights challenge under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial or ethnic discrimination in federally funded programs. They filed this complaint with HUD, which was providing loan guarantees to Majestic and helping pay for environmental cleanup.
Garcia argued that the fight for the Cornfield was part of the historic struggle for low-income people of color in Los Angeles to find livable communities with parks, playgrounds, schools, and recreation. Garcia cited the eviction of Latinos from Chavez Ravine to build Dodger Stadium and the relocation of Chinese families to make way for Union Station as examples of communities of color dislocated in the name of larger development goals. The Cornfield was not only a matter of environmental importance, but a matter of social justice.
Much of Majestic’s business plan depended on that support from HUD.
[HUD Secretary] Andrew Cuomo responded with alacrity, appointing a team to visit the Cornfield to assess the situation. Then, in a September 2000 Los Angeles visit, he announced that the $12 million package would not be released for the River Station without a full EIR.
Garcia lauds the victory — “This kicked off the green justice movement in Los Angeles,” he says — but laments the speed (or lack thereof) in development. “It’s been 17 years and that’s a long time in a life of a child without access to a park.”
The Grand Opening for L.A. State Historic Park is April 22, 2017, at 10 am.
Los Angeles State Historic Interim Park 2006