Blog

The ‘Hood is Changing: What is Next for South Central?

  (Photo credit: Joey Zanotti) (Muralist: Dario Canul of Tlakolulokos Activos)   South Central Los Angeles is the last community bordering Downtown Los Angeles that has not been gentrified. We have an opportunity to do something different in South Central. For years, I have been telling anyone that will listen, that we must prepare residents … Continued


Property Ownership Barriers: SpeedLURNing Recap

  Last month, we brought back what was one of our first events as an organization and one that was instrumental in helping us inform our current work in the Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign – SpeedLURNing! If you missed it, SpeedLURNing is an event that brings people together to discuss important community issues and … Continued


A Rant about Income Inequality, Small Businesses, and the Need for Radical Solutions

  Lately, I’ve been on a mission to find resources to replenish LURN’s Semi’a Fund, a low interest loan fund that caters to street vendors and other low-income entrepreneurs who do not qualify for capital from nonprofit lenders or banks. It’s been a bit challenging and I’ve learned a lot about how capital flows (or … Continued


Evicted, A Book Review

  The latest book we’ve read at LURN was Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. For me, it took me on a roller coaster of emotions. Set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin the author depicts the experience of tenants and describes the impact eviction has on individuals. Here’s a review of the … Continued


Our Position on Measure S

  On March 7th, voters will decide whether or not we should build more housing in Los Angeles. As we’re sure many of you know, Measure S (formerly the “Neighborhood Integrity Initiative”) is a proposed measure that would impose a TWO YEAR moratorium on any new developments, which are not 100% affordable housing and require … Continued


The Empathy Gap, The Empathy Trap, or Empathy Burnout?

  This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy. That pesky, intangible human emotion that clouds our judgement, often at the hands of our innate biases and even has the power to overwhelm our senses and stress us out. Simultaneously, empathy helps us resist modern trends of individualism and self-interest, allowing us to transcend … Continued


Thoughts on the #BodegaStrike: The Power of Organized Micro-Entrepreneurs

  Yesterday, thousands of Yemeni bodega owners took to the streets of New York City to demand an end to the travel ban imposed by the President against legal visitors from 7 Middle Eastern countries. These business owners, many of whom probably run their shops on their own, made a choice to lose a full day … Continued


The Power of Habit, A Book Review

Over the the winter break, my colleague, Rudy, and I decided to read The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business by Charles Duhigg, a New York Times Best Seller. We wanted to begin the new year with an inspiring read, to generate some personal reflections of the last … Continued


Between Two Doors: The Case for Women of Color in Los Angeles

  It was a Friday night, my friends and I were at a nice bar in Downtown Los Angeles. The weather was pleasant so we chose seating on the outside patio. We spoke about our future ambitions and how delicious the food was. As the waiter delivered our drinks, I couldn’t help but notice the … Continued


EastSide Sol

EAST SIDE SOL 2016 from Youth Speak Media Solutions on Vimeo. By: Luis Gutierrez, Senior Associate, Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN) and Jorge Madrid, CA Campaign Director, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) It’s a warm, sunny day in August at the iconic Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, California. More than 400 local residents have come … Continued