This is a huge breakthrough.
This week we received the following statement from SEIU 721 Vice President David Green (who is also on the influential LACERA Board of Investments).
I am urging you, as Vice President of SEIU Local 721, the largest public sector Union in Southern California, to support community groups which want to participate in the purchase of the Crenshaw Mall and I want encourage the owners of the Crenshaw Mall to pursue a purchase agreement which includes community participation and support.
I’ve worked as an LA County Employee for over 20 years and as Vice President of my union, SEIU Local 721, I want you to know that we believe racial justice and economic justice are inextricably linked — you’ll never achieve one without the other.
Sadly, COVID-19 has had a deeply disparate and damaging impact on the economies of communities of color. Black Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed as a result of the pandemic. More than 40 percent of Black-owned businesses closed in the first quarter of 2020, versus 17 percent of businesses owned by whites. If LA is serious about racial justice, we need to start using major development opportunities and land use decisions to close the opportunity gap, not blast it wider.
In a sea of gentrification, Crenshaw Plaza is the anchor of one of LA’s last predominantly Black neighborhoods. It’s an unfinished monument to an as-yet unrealized dream of Black economic self-determination. Our Union wants to see a partnership and a plan for the property that ignites opportunity for the community around it. We think both the sellers and prospective purchasers will find that doing the right thing is good business — it's the approach that can empower the Crenshaw community and generate a reasonable rate of return.
Vice President SEIU Local 721
THANK YOU BROTHER!