Erika Gallo of Lincoln Heights was filling up her car Sunday night at the Arco at the corner of North Broadway and Griffin Avenue when she noticed the sidewalks were practically abandoned. No was walking their dog, running an errand to the store or out for some evening exercise. Gallo, a neighborhood activist who grew up in Lincoln Heights, said she thinks the empty street reflected the fear and uncertainty surrounding the fate of two neighborhood women: Bree’Anna Guzman and Michelle Lozano. Officials are still trying to confirm that it was Guzman’s body that was discovered last week next to the 2 freeway in Silver Lake. Lozano, a 17-year-0ld, turned up dead next to the 5 Freeway in Boyle Heights.
It’s not clear if the two incidents are connected but Gallo decided something needed to be done to restore the confidence of her Lincoln Heights neighbors. So, she is asking Lincoln Heights residents to take a walk on Wednesday night along North Broadway.
Gallo explains the purpose behind Neighborhood Walk – Take Back Lincoln Heights:
This walk to remove fear from the community will do a lot for people’s spirits. It will calm a lot of nerves and show the community they can safely navigate the community if accompanied. This walk is to show the people terrorizing our community that crime will not send us hiding. I want us to take back the community generation after generation is so proud of. I want to get people out onto the streets and have them let go of the blanket of fear that has covered our community. At the same time, I want to educate our community on places to go that are safe. I have organized for a few stops along N. Broadway where individuals can stop and collect information.
The walk, which is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at North Broadway and Griffin, will also include a few locations where participants can pick up information, Gallo said. Gallo, who is a state environmental planner, said her goal is for police and Council District 1 to hold a community meeting to provide more information. “There are a lot of rumors circulating that need to be put to rest.”