Today, the Board of Supervisors passed two motions, introduced by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, to give voice to neighborhoods and provide the space for communities to be a part of the development process whenever the County is involved. Both motions are intended to ensure that development benefits – and does not displace – local residents.
“It is important we make sure everyone gets a seat at the table,” said Supervisor Solis. “The larger Countywide Plan puts the community at the forefront and allows them to contribute to the overall conversation and take ownership of their neighborhoods. This helps us build an authentic community engagement process that will set growth on the right track.”
Undertaking robust resident engagement is urgent at this moment to ensure that investments in neighborhoods like Boyle Heights and Northeast LA directly benefit community residents. Without meaningful, front-loaded, community input, we risk losing the opportunity to lift all boats, and address long standing community needs.
“This community partnership offers real opportunity to create a blueprint for the future that enhances the innovation work of our medical campuses and supports the larger community we serve,” said LAC+USC Medical Center interim chief executive Bonnie Bilitch of the Health Innovation Community Partnership motion. “We look forward to working with our academic and community partners to build a shared vision for the future.”
As anchor institutions in Northeast Los Angeles and East Los Angeles, LA County and USC must commit to a process that prioritizes meaningful community engagement and delivers equitable development, investment and services that benefit current residents.
“The Boyle Heights community has taken a strong stand against gentrification,” explained Isela Gracian, Executive Director of the East LA Community Corporation. “Community groups and residents have been developing an affirmative vision for healthy, inclusive, community growth. We hope that this motion will be an opportunity to leverage this work to shape the future of our neighborhoods.”
“Boyle Heights advocates strongly support the L.A. County Board of Supervisors in establishing the first “Health Innovation Community Partnership” to inform any further expansion of a health science district and community benefits. Community concerns that must be formally addressed include possible displacement of residents, public safety, housing and environmental impact on the communities adjacent to the LAC+USC Medical Center,” said Maria Brenes, Executive Director of Innercity Struggle.