Change creates anxiety and fear in the average person. Even thinking about minor changes in a person’s career, relationship, and their family can cause high levels of fear. We all have wins and losses, but the results can can create improvements and cause unintended consequences. Planning for unseen change is never easy, but planning to actually change something is another story altogether.
Currently, the city of Los Angeles is undergoing some major changes. I personally believe that the change in Los Angeles is a mirrored-reflection of the changes that are currently underway in New York City. Both of these major cities are examples of a process called Gentrification. For example, a few years ago New York got it’s second basketball team and they took it from a place that didn’t have much. The Nets of New Jersey now reside in a formerly “dangerous neighborhood” known as Brooklyn. They already had two football teams. Right now, LA already has two basketball teams but we just took a football team from a place that doesn’t have much, St. Louis. Let’s say that for conversation purposes, moving the Rams to Inglewood is similar to moving a basketball team to the middle of Brooklyn. Gentrification is the action of redesigning lower income communities to meet the standards and liking of upper class patrons through rebuilding and investment efforts of persons from outside of the community. Gentrification is always frowned upon and viewed as such an unfair and painful process. I agree that the act of Gentrification is unfair and it can cause tremendous damage to thousands of families and individual lives. However, benefits to the community can accompany the change.
The reverse of white flight is taking place all across the country and generations of young professionals are flocking to the inner city for an urban lifestyle instead of a suburban existence. Downtown Los Angeles of this decade is the polar opposite of Downtown from just 20 years ago in the 1990s. New money and new developments in the landscape by the city of LA is apart of the vision to make Los Angeles a global Metropolis. We are witnessing the infant stages of a city the will lead the country in the near future. New York is the only legit competition for a city like LA with so much to offer. The weather is what allows NYC to never be more enjoyable than LA. LA realizes this and it’ll soon become a luxury to breathe the same air as Hollywood stars.
I feel that because you have to pay for stuff in LA that is normally free in other cities, especially the parking, it’s a sign that they don’t want people in the city that cant afford to be there. Even the parking rates vary in different areas of Los Angeles. The phrase, “You have to pay, to play” might need to become the new tag line for LA tourism. Living in the residential district of LA will soon belong to the new wealth. The first and second generation of homeowners in LA must be prepared to spend $600,000 or more for a larger house in South Central. With institutions such as The University of Southern California buying up neighborhoods, it’ll also be even more competitive for small business owners to be successful in the city.
The quality of living is apparently going to be improved with more shopping options for higher quality clothing and organic groceries becoming more available. Will Los Angeles become more 24-hour friendly like New York? Possibly. If more people continue to move into LA for entertainment purposes, the nightlife will only continue to grow. The spin off restaurants, lounges, and bars that will open will create more jobs and more activity in the late night. Insomnia also seems to be a shared experience across the city of LA, so why not create places of amusement for all these people that post to social media from 2am til 7am. But that’s another topic of discussion.
If you’ve noticed some of the changes in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, such as the Crenshaw rail being built, then you’ve probably had thoughts or questions about what you witnessed. If you’ve ever wanted to talk about your concerns, the Association of Black Social Workers of Greater Los Angeles (ABSW-LA) is hosting a roundtable community discussion about Gentrification in LA. The discussion will take place of February 20th from 12pm until 3pm at 7100 S. Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90047. This organization has been community focused in Los Angeles since 1968 and hosting this community discussion is one step towards empowering our community to withstand the storms ahead. The discussion will feature panelist that include local politicians, community leaders, community organizers, and community members. This event will help to spread knowledge and information about the changes in our community. The goal for the afternoon will be to have patrons leave the event feeling more prepared to withstand the changes and minimize fear and anxiety on a personal level and a community wide level. Come out and get some knowledge and improve your community connections.
Saturday February 20th at 12pm. 71st and Western. Peace to the People.
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