BOYLE HEIGHTS — Councilman Jose Huizar has a message for those fighting gentrification in his home district of Boyle Heights: Don’t overstate the threat, and lay off the militant tactics.
In an L.A. Times story this week about anti-gentrification forces in Boyle Heights, Huizar said:
“I don’t think we will see the mass-scale change of demographics in Boyle Heights — by demographics, I mean either racial or income level — as other parts of this city have experienced, because of the fact that over 70% of the people who live in Boyle Heights are renters and about 90% of them are under rent control … I’ve kind of felt comforted by those numbers to assure folks that I just don’t see this mass-scale gentrification happening given that.”
Boyle Heights has made headlines recently as activists try to push art galleries out of the neighborhood. They believe that such galleries are an early step toward higher land values and the end of Boyle Heights’ working class Latino character. One group, Defend Boyle Heights, has targeted 11 specific art galleries on its Facebook Page.
Though Huizar, who lives in Boyle Heights, did not single out this particular group or tactic, he told the Times:
“I think these tactics are counterproductive to creating the type of harmonious city that is respectful of all people’s backgrounds. I disagree with the tactics that have been used by some groups who evict people from Boyle Heights simply because of their racial or economic background.”
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