In neighborhoods throughout South LA, crime and violence are serious issues of concern. For many years South LA residents have seen ineffective and costly strategies like increased policing and incarceration that only create a revolving door between prisons and our community and do little to stop or prevent crime and violence.
One South LA neighborhood located at 39th and Western Ave. has a long history of struggling against high rates of crime and violence. At one point, this community just west of USC had double the citywide average of violent crimes.
A new grassroots effort launched in 2009 aims to make this neighborhood safer, cleaner and healthier by relying on strategies that prevent crime before it happens. Karla Acosta, a mother of two, is a community activist who has helped lead many of the efforts to clean up her neighborhood.
Residents and Community Coalition have worked together to clean up nuisance businesses, like the notorious Century Market liquor store, by placing tough conditions to hold the liquor store accountable to public safety standards and reduce nuisance activity in the area. They have fought to renovate their local park – Martin Luther King Jr. Park – which residents once avoided and viewed as dangerous, unusable and a magnet for crime. They got the City to speed up stalled renovations and invest new resources, such as tennis and basketball courts and swings. This summer, the park was chosen as a new site for the Mayor’s anti-gang program Summer Night Light that provides positive alternatives to at-risk youth. Read more about this campaign here.
You can read more about our work in this neighborhood in the news:
- Residents Organize to Change Park, Hoy, April 9, 2010
- CoCo Helps Reclaim a Neighborhood, LA Wave, April 8, 2010
- CoCo Celebrates Eggstravaganza at King Park, LA Watts Times, April 8, 2010
- CoCo and Residents Revitalize a Neighborhood, South LA Report, April 5, 2010
- South LA Residents Help Save Park, La Opinion, April 4, 2010
- CoCo Marks Easter Festivities Celebrating Changes at MLK Park, KPCC, April 3, 2010
- Within South LA's Killing Zone, CoCo in a haven from Violence, LA Times, Jan. 26, 2010
- Community Coalition Protests Century Liquor Store, Our Weekly, April 9, 2009
- CoCo Protest to Revoke Liquor Store's License, ABC 7 News, March 26, 2009
- Coverage of Century Liquor: A Century Too Long, KTLA, March 26, 2009
- Los Angeles protesters seek Villaraigosa's aid in fighting liquor store, LA Times, March 27, 2009
- Community Coalition Launches Campaign to Clean Up Neighborhood, LA Times, March 9, 2009