June 2008

Echo Park one of the first L.A. Suburbs, latinos businesses and families being pushed out by the high rates of rents.  “People here seem to believe that because they are angry they don’t have to be civil,” said Christine Peters, who runs an animal rescue group at her home. “… From my perspective, we’ve lost a sense of community.”


Francisco Torrero, a neighborhood council member, stands by a cluster of houses at Santa Ynez and Alvarado streets. Neighbors complain that these vacant houses harbor drugs, prostitution and vagrants.  Link to Los Angeles Times to read complete article written by Scott Gold.

Villa Esperanza is a place where children can learn and have fun simultaneously  by participating in educational activities such as, computer Literacy, writing journals, reading, working in a variety of projects, and field trips.  There is no reason for kids to be bored during their vacations, when they can be having fun at Villa Esperanza. Below are some of the thoughts the kids between 2nd and 4th grades have expressed about Villa Esperanza Tutoring Program:  

I do like to come to the tutoring program because is fun.  When you need help with your homework, Sandra help us.  I like to come to the tutoring program because we do fun activities.  I like to come to the tutoring program because we go to the computers.  I also like to come to the tutoring program because we do projects.  I will change that I will not go to 28th Street school and stay here in Villa Esperanza with Sandra.” Isabel Chavira, 3rd Grade


Esperanza’s Art & Sciences programs provides children to experience hands-on art and learn to express their creativity even on their happy faces. 


“Artistic Karate Kids paint spontaneous animal
Classic glazey feliz (happy) clay
Brushing surprised happy candy colored joy”


Here is a brief post to whet your appetite.

We have just started using Google maps and we feel like that there are a lot of great applications for the work that we do in the community. First of all, since our work is so place-based, we’d love to show all the information that we have gathered about our neighborhood on one map. Right now we are still getting our toes wet and we have a lot to do, but we have a lot of ideas.


The Esperanza Health Promoters Committee invites you for a night of fun at Salon Las Mañanitas for “Noche Familiar”.  Everyone is welcome to invite friends, co-workers and don’t forget to bring the kids!

Where: ¿Dónde?: Salon Las Manannitas-2609 S. Hill St. Los Angeles, Ca 9007
When: ¿Cuándo?: September 05, septiembre 05-2008
Time: ¿Hora?: 6:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.

Tickets are on sale now, Boletos en venta ya: $20.00 adults/adultos 18 and over and $10.00 ages/edades 3-17.

 Free paring/Estacionamiento gratis. For tickets call, Para boletos llame a (213)272-2110 or (213) 741-2365 Jesús García.

Two of Esperanza’s Health Promoters from the Healthy Homes Project were interviewed on “De Sol A Sol” by Gilberto Romero at the 135th annual American Public Health Association Conference. Emphasizing important points of what the program encompasses and how each contribute to the well being of the community by promoting and providing health information. For full interview go to following link:

“A Community Approach to Mental Health” De Sol a Sol

Last month, Esperanza staff embarked in a mother’s day mini-fundraiser and community-building event Color Your Love for your Mother at the Mercado La Paloma. It was fairly simple to connect the event to our vision and reality. A great majority of Esperanza staff are Promotoras from the community who themselves are mothers, and many members of the community are also mothers of young children actively engaged in schools, park committees, and tenant leadership councils to improve the conditions of their lives and that of their children.

Tu Ciudad magazine just named Chichen Itza the best Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles. Chichen Itza is part of Mercado La Paloma, a marketplace that Esperanza developed for low-income entrepreneurs to start their businesses. Esperanza and the Mercado are very proud of Chichen Itza’s honor, and proud of all our vendors who serve great food from all over the world. Congratulations to Chichen Itza, and congratulations to the Mercado La Paloma!

Esperanza has a Healthy Homes team that does outreach to the community on lead issues. The LA times and Discovery News posted two articles connecting lead exposure to violent crime. It has been found that lead exposure can permanently affect part of a children’s brain; consequently resulting in crime. Even the lowest levels of lead found in children can reduce IQ by damaging brain cells affecting the volume regions associated with judgment and problem solving during their early years. Furthermore, its effects can increased children’s distractibility, impulsiveness, restlessness, and shortens their attention span, all these factors are considered to be precursor of aggressive or violent behavior. Lead comes in many forms, for example, paint, leaded gasoline, some types of batteries, water pipes, and pottery glazes. About 38 million U.S., 40% of the nation’s housing, still contain lead-based paint, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The problem exists particular in urban areas with uderserved communities, where older housing has not been renovated. For more information visit the following websites:


“Lead exposure in children linked to violent crime” in the LA Times

“Lead exposure linked to violent crime, Brain changes” in Discovery News


In a landslide victory for renters throughout California, Proposition 98 — a measure that would end rent control in the state — failed.

This is a great victory for every renter in California, but particularly for low-income families threatened by gentrification. In high demand areas (like our neighborhood, the Figueroa Corridor) the market seems to drive prices higher and higher relentlessly so it becomes clear that affordable housing will completely disappear unless it is explicitly provided for. According to a member of the LA Department of Planning, the City, County, and State don’t have the funds to provide for affordable housing. That leaves the federal government (and no one is holding their breath waiting for that to happen).

So how do we provide for affordable housing? One way is by making the big developers who want to put high rise luxury apartments in our neighborhood provide affordable housing set-asides for our families so they aren’t displaced (See Gilda Haas’s article, “Community Benefits or Community Control” at the Making Sense Blog for an excellent analysis of this tactic that puts it in its proper context). Prop. 98 would have made rent control illegal AND it would have made affordable housing set-asides illegal.

But since 98 failed, we still have a powerful tool to preserve affordable housing.

Thanks to every voter that made this victory possible!

“Prop. 99 Passes; Prop. 98 Defeated” in the LA Times

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