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KPCC to Host Gentrification Forum--Let's Talk About It

With KPCC gentrification forum only a few days away, let's have a chat about the g-word's impact on the community.

What does gentrification mean to you?

That question will be the topic of discussion during a KPCC-hosted forum at Aldama Elementary School on Thursday, Feb. 28 from 7-8:30 p.m. 

The panel discussion will be moderated by CSU Long Beach Associate Professor of Sociology Oliver Wang. The panel will also include Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, WORKS(Women Organizing Resources Knowledge Services) President Channa Grace and Occidental College Professor of Sociology President Jan Lin. 

Admission for the forum is free, but attendees must RSVP here.  

Highland Park is surely a neighborhood in transition. 

In January, real estate brokerage Redfin projected that Highland Park would become the nation's hottest real estate market in 2013. An influx of new residents have been drawn to the community for its affordable craftsman homes and the new shops and galleries on York Boulevard. 

At the same time, Highland Park remains by and large a working-classic Hispanic neighborhood--and that still shines through in everything from its values, to its food to its street art. 

The transition hasn't always been easy for Highland Park. In the comments section of Patch, anecdotes of longtime community members feeling overlooked are just as common as newcomers feeling unwelcome. 

Meanwhile, the struggles of local public schools remain a major challenge for Highland Park that too often doesn't factor into conversations about gentrification's potential benefits. 

Before the forum, which I'll be attending, I'd like to hear from readers what they feel about gentrification. Has it made your life any better? Any worse? How would you steer the ship, if you could?

Longtime residents, what would you like newcomers to know about your Highland Park? 

Newcomers, what would you like longtime residents to know about you?

Tell us in the comments. 

Nimby pimp February 27, 2013 at 08:24 PM
@agog. Your patience and gentility are much appreciated.
La Casa de Bernarda Alba February 27, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Just a thought - "Why can't HP be just about people coming to live in the wonderful, scenic community nestled in the arroyos?" For those of us who are long time residents, we love the beauty of the area, the proximity to almost everything...and the old craftsman homes that once filled this valley. It's nice to see many of the homes in the area being revitalized. We are all a community! Remember that tomorrow night!
Baird Martin February 28, 2013 at 11:30 PM
"Parents need to be accountable for their child's upbringing people need to stop pointing fingers." Diving into the shallow end of the argument pool is no way to win an argument @Skyler Morris. It's about as absurd and lazy as the "slippery slope" argument right wingers make when talking about the 2nd Amendment. The notion that business should be doing more is not something that is completely absurd. On the contrary, there is a case to be made that these businesses benefit from local patronage. Take McGibbon's auto for instance. They have been in the area for years, yet old man McGibbon and his brood take the money they make in our community and spend it in Arizona, his weekend home and official place of residence. Even when not in Arizona, they all live outside of Highland Park, so I ask what public good other than taking our dollars is he doing? I appreciate and respect anyone's right to make a living and a dollar, but you have to also invest in your local community if you want that community to thrive. It's the same argument in Washington that people do not understand, if you help people get more money, those people will spend more money at your store. What the hell is so hard to understand about that?
VDJM March 01, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Hear!! Hear!! I agree with Srta. Sierra! Support the youth!
Michael Soller March 01, 2013 at 07:21 PM
A lot of talk last night at Aldama Elementary School about preserving/expanding housing stock, great nonprofits like WORKS who are creating consensus for affordable homes and healthy markets ... and why there weren't any dang Latino voices on the panel. One place you usually hear a lot of Latino voices is at Aldama itself. Aldama's been part of the community for nearly 100 years and lately it's been a place where people are trying to bridge all kinds of gaps (achievement, language, health, etc.) through a new Dual Language Program whose lead teacher is a Highland Park superstar, a school garden directed by a senior teacher at Aldama, and programs like our first Aldama Day fair last year open to the whole community. I'm a parent of two children in the Dual Language Program, which has grown up as part of the school not in competition with it. LAUSD's school board members led by former member Yolie Flores Aguilar and current board member Steve Zimmer have given a lot of support to Aldama and Dual Language teachers and DL programs across the city. But it wouldn't have happened without parents and teachers joining forces and always pushing for schools that work for all kids. There's a lot of good faith from parents who might not have a lot in common on paper, but whose children are growing up in each other's lives. Right now LAUSD needs to create a pathway for Dual Language kids through high school so this bi-cultural experiment can keep growing. But it's promising.

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