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African American people moved to Baldwin Hills after SCOTUS upheld equal housing right. CAAM Series Beginnings, Displacement, Planning.

Los Angeles’s View Park in the Baldwin Hills is one of the largest historically African American communities in the United States. The first CAAM program focuses on the beginnings of the community between the 1920s and 1950s, and looks at how the neighborhood changed after the landmark 1948 Supreme Court ruling that declared racial housing restrictions unconstitutional. African American people moved in, resulting in White Flight. The sessions are led by Karen Mack with LA Commons.

The Beginnings of View Park, April 19, 2018 2-4 pm
Making Sense of Gentrification, May 10, 2018 2-4 pm
Implications for Planning & Policy, June 28, 2018 2-4 pm

California African American Museum
600 State Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037


The history of the Baldwin Hills is the history of the struggle for equal opportunity. Visit Healthy Living in the Parklands.

Photo California Office of Historic Preservation

Count the Hummers!

Can you find 15?

Gottlieb Native Plant Garden is for the birds, and a certified wildlife habitat and pollinator habitat.


Kellogg Park Dream Comes True! Thank you Miguel Rodriguez & CAUSE | Ventura

Miguel Rodriguez writes:

On the eve of the ribbon cutting for Kellogg Park I’d like to thank all of the Ventura Avenue families who attended countless meetings, made tons of calls, and showed up to demand that their voices be heard and that we work together to address childhood obesity and gang violence. Thanks to all, We did it!

Thanks to The City Project and Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) for planting the seeds that helped us organize the community when no one would believe there was a need for a park. Thanks to Stephen DeBaun who spent many days and nights strategizing with me on how to gather public support. Thanks to Beatriz Garcia for investing in my development as a Community Organizer, thanks to The Westside Community Council for taking on the design process, and most importantly: gracias mama’ por sus oraciones!

And thank you to Miguel Rodriguez and @CAUSE for years of working with the community to make this dream come true!

Fair Housing Act April 11, 1968, Overcoming the Legacy of Residential Segregation #fairhousing50

Fair housing is a bedrock civil rights protection, crucial to our nation’s core values of equal opportunity, human dignity, and just democracy for all. A strong and effective Fair Housing Act must continue to help move our country beyond a legacy of segregation and discrimination and toward opportunity for all. The Act reflects the commonsense idea that unjustified obstacles to diverse, prosperous communities should fall in favor of inclusive approaches that work for everyone. The Act has helped free many communities from discrimination and connect millions of residents to opportunity. Due to a variety of factors – some influenced by government, some not – many neighborhoods and communities do not reflect the diversity of our nation. Racial and ethnic discrimination in housing has been practiced by individuals, municipalities, states, and by the federal government. The role of the federal government was perhaps the most powerful force in creating and perpetuating racially segregated communities through housing and economic policies since the New Deal and before. In the face of deeply entrenched patterns of residential segregation and exclusion, Congress enacted the Fair Housing Act to provide for fair housing throughout the nation on April 11, 1968, after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. days earlier on April 4.

Congress and the courts recognize comprehensive legislation is needed to target both intentional discrimination and seemingly neutral policies that have unjustified discriminatory impacts based on race, color, or national origin. Each form of discrimination is instrumental in creating and perpetuating the entrenched residential segregation the Act seeks to eliminate. The Fair Housing Act’s prohibition of unjustified disparate impact remains a powerful and necessary tool for dismantling discriminatory practices and barriers to equal opportunities on a community-wide basis. While public attitudes towards residential segregation have improved in important respects, racial and ethnic isolation continues to persist in ways that make the disparate impact inquiry necessary. Residential isolation has effects across generations that continue to limit the opportunities available to our children and grandchildren. Social science evidence confirms segregation is harmful and integration is beneficial to educational achievement, access to employment, personal, public, and environmental health, park access, and other keys to a fulfilling life.

Congress, the courts, and we the people recognize the disparate impact standard of discrimination plays an important role in uncovering discriminatory intent, and permits people to counteract unconscious prejudices, disguised animus, and implicit bias that escape easy classification as intentional discrimination. Without the disparate impact analysis, government and others would be able to pursue cleverly concealed, intentionally discriminatory acts and policies, as well as seemingly neutral policies no matter how harsh the impact, how unjustified the action, and how readily available the non-discriminatory alternatives. The adverse consequences would cause harm for generations. The Fair Housing Act demands that we remain conscious of the long-term legacy and effects of historical patterns of housing segregation..

Read the “friend of the court” brief focusing on the discriminatory impact inquiry and segregated neighborhoods where many people live, isolated by race, ethnicity, and income from high-performing public schools, good jobs, safe parks and streets, a clean, healthy environment, and reliable public services. Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and other civil rights advocates, including The City Project, filed the brief before the US Supreme Court in the case of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project in 2015. The Court held that the Fair Housing Act prohibits unjustified discriminatory impact discrimination, as well as intentional discrimination.

See the moving video on the fight for fair housing for all by our colleagues and friends at NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc.

The civil rights struggle continues to protect equal opportunity, human dignity, and just democracy for all in and out of court.

Residential isolation today reflects the legacy of racial and ethnic housing restrictions.

The South Gate home of former California State Assembly member and city councilman Hector De La Torre includes this deed restriction.

See Ira Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White (2005) and Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time (2013).

UCLA Public Health Masters’ Students Health Equity, Civil Rights, Environmental Justice & Healthy Living in the Parklands

Students in Prof. Diana Bonta’s seminar discuss health equity, civil rights, environmental justice, and Healthy Living in the Parklands. The seminar is in the Master of Public Health for Health Professionals program at the UCLA Fielding Public Health School.

The outstanding students are Anna Gorman, Caitlin Gallardo-Sebti, Catherine Pham, Elaine Kim, Erin Van Hoy, Frances Walsh, Kristen Wolfe, Michael Esters, Neek LaMantia, and Vivian Kanchian with Prof. Diana Bonta and Robert García.

Visit Healthy Living in the Parklands


Comey Choked When it Counted & Disgraced Justice

Comey’s great mistake: “He was the F.B.I. director overseeing the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. He and his team decided that she had not done anything that warranted criminal charges. And he knew that Republicans would blast him as a coward who was trying to curry favor with the likely future president.
So he decided to go public with his explanation for not charging Clinton and to criticize her harshly. He then doubled down, releasing a public update on the investigation 11 days before the election, even as other Justice officials  urged him not to . Department policy dictates that investigators aren’t supposed to talk publicly about why they are not bringing charges. They especially don’t do so when they could affect an election.
Comey, however, decided that  he knew better  than everyone else. He was the righteous Jim Comey, after all. He was going to speak truth to power. He was also, not incidentally, going to protect his own fearless image. He developed a series of rationales, suggesting that he really had no choice. They remain unpersuasive. When doing the right thing meant staying quiet and taking some lumps, Comey chose not to.
His tragic mistake matters because of the giant consequences for the country. He helped elect the most dangerous, unfit American president of our lifetimes. No matter how brave Comey has since been, no matter how honorable his full career, he can never undo that damage.
Read the complete story The Tragedy of James Comey in the New York Times . . .
Comey disgraced the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where we both served as AUSAs. Robert García, former AUSA for the SDNY.

Photo USAO SDNY, One St. Andrew’s Plaza, New York, NY

Low Riders at the Beach? Yes! Ballona Postcards Student Mural

The student mural Postcards from Ballona “reflects historic and current events in the life of the creek and Culver City.” A close reading reveals remarkably diverse people, values, and insights presented by Culver Middle School students working with the county library.

One panel, for example, depicts a “scene within a scene.” A student spray paints the words “OG VATO” on the wall behind an Original Gangster dude, and there’s a low rider pick up at the beach. Low riders at the beach? Yes. Low riders hold summer rallies near the mouth of Ballona Creek. The rallies bring Latinos and others together to have fun, hang, barbecue, eat and drink, primp their rides, flirt, listen to Latin music, and spend healthy time outdoors. Latin R&B, boleros, and corridos fill the air from weekend shows on local radio station KXLU, Alma del Barrio and Serenata de Tríos. Art LaBoe has sent out dedications for decades (“Smooch! This song goes out from Letty de Lynwood to Freddy in Fresno, ‘I love you, baby!'”).

See low rider beach rallies at The City Project photo gallery!


Billie Holiday April 7, 1915

Billie Holliday Dunbar Hotel South Central L.A. The Great Wall of Los Angeles
© Judith Baca.Sponsored by SPARC

Los Angeles Business Council 12th Annual Sustainability Summit – Getty Center April 20

Register now for LABC’s 12th Annual Sustainability Summit!

Click here to register and see the list of confirmed panelists.

Generations of Diverse Advocates for Green Justice LA State Historic Park WAPOW

L to R: Kenneth Mok, Robert García, Sam García, Dorcas Mok, Kit Hing, Bo Gun, Tim Mok

Tim Mok recently talked at a site tour of LA State Historic Park. “I live on Bunker Hill Avenue in Chinatown. My family have been residents of Chinatown for three generations. My grandparents and parents are here today. My grandparents have lived in Chinatown since the 1960’s. This is their first time at this park. They just told me they really like the park. My mom used to tell me she didn’t have many places to play and couldn’t afford sports leagues growing up in Chinatown. She enjoys hiking now. The work of The City Project and others to create the park means a ton. My hope is that more green space throughout L.A will benefit low-income communities and communities of color.” Tim is the Juanita Tate Social Justice Fellow at The City Project.

Sam García publishes Take Action Comics. Robert is his proud father.

“Cool event alert! Last weekend, we heard from The City Project as part of the #ChinatownYardsAlliance, a coalition of 60+ groups that came together to fight for #LASHP. The effort was part of the larger #greenjustice movement in LA, where neighbors in some of the region’s most historically disadvantaged and under-resourced communities came together to advocate for parks and open space—including at Baldwin Hills Parklands. Learn more about #greenjustice and Baldwin Hills:” Thank you WAPOW and Wendy Chung.

See the comic handout for the site tour here to learn more about green justice.

Visit Healthy Living in the Parklands.