November 5, 2016

Residents Of Boyle Heights Protest Gentrification Efforts

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BOYLE HEIGHTS (CBSLA.com) — Residents and supporters gathered Saturday to take a stance against recent gentrification efforts happening in a Boyle Heights community.

The protest was in response to a possible hate crime investigation after someone vandalized a gallery door located on the corner of Anderson and Sixth streets.

CBS2’s Joy Benedict reported the issue isn’t just about art galleries and vandalism. It’s about those who live in the area being afraid of  being priced out of their homes and apartments.

Thousands of new condos are being built, new parks are being constructed and Metro stations are expanding, which are sending rent prices soaring.

While the renovation is great for owners, the majority of residents living in the area are renters, which presents a problem.

Someone vandalized a gallery with the words “White Art.” And some wore that same sentiment on buttons. And Benedict said many refused to condemn the graffiti.

“I’m certainly not condemning it,” said one protester. “This community has a right to resist its displacement by any means necessary and that’s what they’re doing.”

Benedict asked, “Even illegal means?”

The man replied, “I’m not going to speak to further allegations.”

According to residents, one grocery store that operated in a building for nearly 20 years recently closed after the building owner raised their rent of $1,700 to $3,500.

New condos, shops, parks are moving in and sending rents soaring.

“Progress that results in displacement is not progress,” said Elizabeth Blaney. “That’s just a shuffling of people.”

She added, “We need universal rent control.” new policies, services, protection for those who live here now and affordable housing is what the community wants