Los Angeles, CA–Downtown Crenshaw has been working to stop the sale of the Baldwin-Hills Crenshaw Mall to outside developers for over a year now. This community-led coalition is comprised of community stakeholders, social justice advocacy groups, as well as people from the surrounding Crenshaw community.
The mall is seen as prime real estate to large, real estate development groups because the mall sits adjacent to the Crenshaw/LAX Metro train that is currently under construction. For those who grew up in the community, however, the mall is more of a cultural landmark.
“Once they started to work on the train line on Crenshaw, I knew the gentrification was going to triple at a rapid pace. They did not build that train for us. All of these high rises and the new construction of apartment buildings, all of them are not for us,” said Veronica Sance.
Sance is lead organizer for the Grandmama’s of Downtown Crenshaw. Next month Sance will be 60-years-old. She continues to organize around the issues of gentrification because she will be impacted by these changes and has no options to move from where she currently lives due to her budget.
“It’s very important for us to help save our community from outside developers as much as we can. We have been responsible for stopping the last two sales of the mall and we intend to stop this one as well.”