Building and Financing Community Resilience: the Social, the Technical, and the Terrifying

Did you know that 40% of Los Angeles is asphalt? Or that 50% of households in LA County don’t have access to an air conditioner? Jonathan Parfrey, the Executive Director of Climate Resolve, shared those statistics with us at an event on Building Resilience to Climate Change, held by Enterprise Community Partners and the Federal … Continued


Reinvesting in Small Businesses: How the CRA Affects Small Business Lending

A couple weeks ago, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) requesting comments on how to update the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 (that was later updated in 1995). These typically come out when the government is preparing to update the Federal Regulations and there … Continued


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


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


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


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


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


The Irony of Taco Trucks on Every Corner

  Over the past few days, the country has been in an uproar after Trump surrogate Marco Gutierrez’s warned that a Democratic president in 2017 will result in us having “taco trucks on every corner.” The “dominant” Latino culture will take over all our roadways and turn America into Mexico (again). The ridiculousness of it … Continued


36 Cents

  I had dinner with my mom a couple of weeks ago. Once in awhile, she’ll bring important documents she’s received so I can review and translate them for her. This time, she brought something she’s never received before: a notice that she earned a raise at her second job. She was beaming! My mom … Continued


On Defending Boyle Heights

I’m writing to share my work and perspective on gentrification in Boyle Heights, especially in light of the recent public actions by Defend Boyle Heights, a collective of activists who are concerned about gentrification. This post is simply my perspective on gentrification and displacement; an issue that I’m deeply concerned about. After Defend Boyle Heights’ … Continued