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Property Ownership: A Boyle Heights Case Study

  If you are familiar with our organization, you know that we care tremendously about a wide range of economic issues that disproportionately impact low-income communities of color, and that these issues directly shape and influence the projects and programs we develop. You may not, however, know that we also commit time and energy into … Continued


Thoughts from a Grant Writer: On the Illusion of Scarcity in the U.S.

Photo Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters Working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector for over eight years, there’s one thing that I know to be true for most small to midsize nonprofit organizations: we are always operating from a place of scarcity. Never knowing when we’ll get that next general operating grant, or when/if that dependable sponsorship … Continued


Where is Sidewalk Vending Criminalized in California?

  As we enter our 5th year of advocating and organizing for a comprehensive, equitable permit system for sidewalk vending in Los Angeles, we are often reminded that although progress in policy development is often incremental in nature, unique opportunities for broad-sweeping changes do emerge from time to time. We witnessed one of these unique … Continued


Entrepreneurism and the Case for Equitable Capital

The above featured photo is of one of LURN’s Semi’a Fund borrowers, José. Who was able to purchase a new fruit cart with capital and coaching from LURN. Many low-income individuals often become entrepreneurs because they are disconnected from, and unable to, integrate into the formal economy. For many of the same reasons as to … Continued


Credit is King

  On September 8th, the second largest credit bureau in the world, Equifax, reported to the public that its digital security was compromised and that the personal information of millions – possibly in the range of 140-150 million – was stolen. As the details slowly emerge and we learn more about what, or who, may … Continued


Yerevan, Los Angeles and the Culture of Public Space

  Last month I travelled to Yerevan, Armenia for two weeks. Each day was filled with dance and music, delicious food, and lots of walking and exploring; it was a true opportunity to recenter and reconnect with my homeland. As both a proud Armenian and a proud Angeleno, traveling between my two “worlds” is a … Continued


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


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