Downtown Crenshaw Team published The Battle for the Crenshaw Mall Continues in Blog 2021-08-25 17:26:26 -0700
We have confirmed that on Friday the Crenshaw Mall was quietly sold to the corrupt, racist and failed developer David Schwartzman of Harridge Development Group. This is of course disappointing. At its root, the decision by the sellers of the mall (public pension funds and Deutsche Bank/DWS) to sell to Schwartzman instead of the Black community illustrates that systemic and generational racism in real estate remains alive and well over 70 years after the landmark Shelley v. Kraemer Supreme Court decision. While much has changed since the 1940s, anti-Black racist institutions and racist people remain in powerful positions to thwart the right of Black people to self-determination and control the spaces we occupy.
From the beginning, multiple white-led institutions and the system that supports them have viewed our community’s 40-acre mall as an opportunity for white outsiders to profit from the centuries-long exploitation of Black people and systemic displacement of Black businesses and residents. Downtown Crenshaw is a transformative project that seeks to reverse this trend, by putting the Black community in control of its land and destiny. For these white-led institutions, the concept of Black community control of Black community space is antithetical to their practices, which are rooted in America’s genocide of the Indigenous people, land theft, enslavement of Africans and bombing of Black Wall Streets.
The only reason corrupt and racist Schwartzman was able to buy our Black mall is because he was provided special treatment that Downtown Crenshaw was never afforded. White-led institutions and white people, led by Tim Ellsworth of Deutsche Bank/DWS and the bureaucrats at public pension funds who owned the mall (LACERA, UC Board of Regents, Texas Teachers, NYCERS, NYC Teachers, LA Fire and Police Pension), bent over backwards for the racist once-bankrupt developer, who is a cross between Donald Trump and Donald Sterling. They provided Schwartzman multiple extensions, reduced the sales price (furthering the gap between our higher bid and his) and allowed him to swap equity partners.
Ultimately, the sale of the Crenshaw Mall is far from final. It is going to be litigated in the courts and reviewed by oversight bodies. In addition to Downtown Crenshaw evaluating our many legal options, we are aware of at least four lawsuits that are currently being discussed by public pension fund members, civil rights organizations, and another qualified Black bidder that was passed over.
Downtown Crenshaw did everything that was asked of us despite repeated gamesmanship by the public pension funds and Deutsche Bank/DWS. We outbid Harridge and submitted a fully-financed offer of $115 million with more favorable terms. We secured the backing of mission-aligned financial partners, who want to see our community uplifted not uprooted. We engaged in a historic fundraising campaign where we raised $28 million in philanthropy in just two weeks. We assembled a world-class development team that included national experts in community-centered development, along with the developers who rebuilt the World Trade Center after 9/11. And most importantly, we worked collectively and transparently with the community to craft a community-centered vision for the mall and a mechanism by which stakeholders could buy shares in the mall. With over 2,300 members and the support of over 300 community groups we have built a movement that will continue to fight for community control of our Crenshaw Mall and will fight Schwartzman every step of the way until he is out of our community for good. Simultaneously, we will continue to advance the many other programs of our transformative effort to liberate the land and stabilize Black communities, known as the Liberty Ecosystem.
Racists rigged the rules to steal our community’s 40 acres to put it in the hands of a racist, but we will win them back by any means necessary. The war for Black community self-determination and liberation continues, and the community will win.
Downtown Crenshaw Team published Crenshaw Community Protests at Homes of Corrupt Racist Gentrifiers Connected to Vladimir Putin & Donald Trump in NYC & LA in Blog 2021-07-22 07:03:16 -0700
Downtown Crenshaw Team published Black Group Seeking to Buy Iconic Crenshaw Mall to Establish Community Control of their Black Space Being Thwarted by Deutsche Bank Racism in Blog 2021-03-23 14:19:32 -0700
Civil Rights Leaders Protest Deutsche Bank Thwarting Effort of Black Group Seeking to Buy Iconic Crenshaw Mall & Appeal to Rep. Maxine Waters
Press Conference: Civil Rights Leaders Protest Deutsche Bank Thwarting Effort of Black Group Seeking to Buy Iconic Crenshaw Mall & Appeal to Rep. Maxine Waters
Downtown Crenshaw Rising Makes Black History by Breaking All Fundraising Records to Support its Bid to Collectively Buy the Iconic Black Commercial Center, Yet Face Racism from Deutsche Bank’s DWS
Los Angeles, CA - Following months of building a massive coalition of hundreds of local/Black community organizations and waging multiple campaigns to defeat development partners of Donald Trump and Jared Kushner, in the final two weeks of February, Downtown Crenshaw Rising (“DCR”) shattered all fundraising records by quietly raising over $28 million from philanthropists and an additional $6 million in letters of intent from impact investors to support their bid to buy the iconic Crenshaw Mall. The Black-led nonprofit community development corporation and activist group has also secured strong letters of interests for an additional $20-37 million from donors and values-aligned investors to support the DCR bid, and identified multiple large impact investment firms to cover any amount not raised through philanthropy.
Despite a massive community coalition, historic financial support from a who’s-who of philanthropists and socially responsible investors, and offering the highest bid, the sellers of the Crenshaw Mall (Deutsche Bank/DWS) are engaging in what civil rights leaders are calling overt racism to deny the Black collective the opportunity to buy its Crenshaw Mall.
A press conference is being called to demand Deutsche Bank/DWS sell the mall to the people of Crenshaw through Downtown Crenshaw Rising.
WHO: Black Civil Rights & Business Leaders including Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, NAACP, Southern Christian Leadership Conference-Greater Southern California, Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and invited Black celebrities and major philanthropists
WHEN: Wed, March 24, 10am call time; 10:30am press conference start time
WHERE: Across from the iconic Crenshaw Mall in the parking lot of Krispy Kreme, 4034 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008Read more
Downtown Crenshaw Team published Breaking News: SEIU 721 VP Statement in Blog 2021-03-10 06:54:09 -0800
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!
Downtown Crenshaw Team published Breaking: Downtown Crenshaw Bid Submitted to Buy the Crenshaw Mall in Blog 2021-03-04 09:50:45 -0800
Backed by over $28.4 million in philanthropy (quietly raised in just 2 weeks) we submitted our bid to buy the Crenshaw Mall shattering all records and crafting a story that will be told for generations.
In just two weeks, we secured:
- $28.4 million in donations from over 120 philanthropists (to create permanent Crenshaw community ownership/equity in the mall and community support programs/investments!)
- An additional $6 million in pledges from non-extractive/community-friendly/socially responsible investors from across the country
- Another $19-37 million in strong letters of interest from philanthropists and socially responsible investors currently undergoing their due diligence to determine how much they will contribute/invest.
- And a large mission-aligned and values-aligned investment firm financially backing our bid.
The decision could come at any moment. MUST SEND A MESSAGE TO THE SELLERS NOW: http://www.downtowncrenshaw.com/petitionRead more
Downtown Crenshaw Team published Petition Directory Community in Send a Message for Community 2021-02-25 10:02:41 -0800
Downtown Crenshaw Team published Community Thwarts LivWrk-DFH Partners Attempt to Buy the Crenshaw Mall in Blog 2020-12-15 13:02:53 -0800
We have confirmed that the agreement for LivWrk to purchase our beloved Crenshaw Mall was terminated as of Friday, December 11th. The following is the official statement from Downtown Crenshaw Rising:
Niki Okuk, Downtown Crenshaw Board Chair: "This is a tremendous Black community victory and testament to the power of the people. Downtown Crenshaw stood up and defeated LivWrk-DFH Partners, an unqualified out-of-town Trump-Kushner development partner, who sought to do harm to our beloved Crenshaw. On behalf of all of the leaders of this movement, we extend a heartfelt thank you to the nearly 13,000 people who signed our petition and sent in letters, hundreds of community organizations and civic leaders who stood united, and the many activists who took to the streets, from the powerful Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles crew to the Grandmamas of Downtown Crenshaw. We have shown that when we come together to defend our community, not even the powerful business partners and close friends of the president's family can defeat us."
Damien Goodmon, Downtown Crenshaw Board Member: "The Downtown Crenshaw Rising development team of global award-winning firms backed by the best of investors looks forward to sitting down with the public pension funds to identify a win-win. Our offer remains 5% over the next most credible offer."
Downtown Crenshaw Team published Downtown Crenshaw in the New York Times in Blog 2020-12-15 06:36:56 -0800
Our movement has made it all the way to the pages of the New York Times in an incredible article written by the talented Erin Aubry Kaplan titled: "Black Empowerment Outside the Headlines." Here is our favorite part from Erin's piece:
"Black people aspiring to normal or status quo feels out of the question. The ideal Black living space is no longer defined by the presence or absence of big companies and brand-name chains, if it ever was. The new livable space is one forged by self-determination and self-preservation in which the community has a real say and a stake — not merely an advisory role — in what gets built, and for whom. The ideal is major economic development that is also Black empowerment, two things that have been at odds in the real world for a long time.
"Mr. [Damien] Goodmon says he is betting that the momentum around antiracism — and more important, around pro-blackness — will help Downtown Crenshaw Rising prevail, and to establish in Crenshaw a new normal of agency and prosperity. That’s exactly what Black people here have wanted for the last 30 years. We just didn’t know what it looked like."
Read the whole article.
The power of this movement is in the people. We all share a strong bond to our beloved Crenshaw community.
We invite Crenshaw community stakeholders to share their stories. Simply take your camera phone and record a brief statement (or a long-one if you choose) talking about your Crenshaw community.
Here are a few prompts for your consideration to get you going:
- Why is this effort so important to you?
- What do you love most about Crenshaw?
- Why is it important for the Black community to remain in the Crenshaw community?
- What is your fondest memory of the Crenshaw Mall?
- What is your favorite shop on Crenshaw?
Be sure to share to upload your video on social media using the hashtag: #WeAreCrenshaw
And please fill out our Google form at: http://bit.ly/wearecrenshaw
And if you need some help, consult a 5th grader :-) or drop us a line at [email protected]
Downtown Crenshaw Team published Electeds & Candidates Stand with the Community in Blog 2020-11-08 20:20:15 -0800
With over 13,250 signatures signed, including over 300 community organizations, business, civil rights, neighborhood council, block club and homeowners association leaders, over 1,000 members signed up in less than 2 months, and with a capable and competent development team and financial partners by our side, some of our elected officials and candidates for office are speaking out for community-ownership of our Crenshaw Mall and against this blatant attempt by the Trump-Kushner-CIM trio to steal it from our community through LivWrk. In the past few days several our elected officials and candidates for office have spoken out in support of our incredible effort.
State Senator Holly Mitchell, LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, LA City Council President Emeritus Herb Wesson, Jr., LA City Councilmember Robert Farrell (Ret.), Culver City Councilmember Daniel Lee, LA City Council District 10 Candidate Grace Yoo, and LA Community College District 1 Candidate Tori Bailey have add their voices to the chorus. If we stand united, we can claim our #40AcresAndAMallRead more
In just a few short months, Downtown Crenshaw organizers have galvanized a diverse set of Crenshaw community leaders, Black Los Angeles stakeholders, local allies and supporters from across the globe. We are pleased to be building a broad-based and radically-inclusive effort of over 300 organizations of homeowners, renters, houseless, merchants, property owners, neighborhood associations, faith-based institutions, civil rights organizations, business leaders, civic leaders, scholar-activists, artists, and affinity groups. (Sign the petition and volunteer to join the movement).
Supporters Include (partial list):
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment-Los Angeles (ACCE-Los Angeles)
Chinatown Community for Equitable Development
Concerned Community Members for Chesapeake Apartments
End Homelessness Now-LA
Hyde Park Organizational Partnership for Empowerment
Liberty Community Land Trust
Lincoln Heights Against Gentrification
Long Beach Residents Empowered (LiBRE)
Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN)
Los Angeles Housing Compliance
Los Angeles Tenants Union Baldwin Leimert Crenshaw Local
Oakland Community Land Trust
People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER)
Progressive Asian Network for Action
Sunrise Movement OC
Venice Community Housing
Westside Los Angeles Tenants Union
African American Cultural Center (Us)
African American Cultural Center Long Beach (AACCLB)
Anti-Racist Action Los Angeles
Black Community Clergy and Labor Alliance
Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles
Brothers, Sisters, Selves Coalition
Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB)
Coalition of 100 Black Women Los Angeles Chapter
Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People-West (CEMOTAP-West)
Committee for Racial Justice
Congress of Racial Equality-California
Creating Justice LA
Crenshaw Subway Coalition
Decolonize This Place
Food and Water Watch & Food and Water Action
Humanity First Coalition
Jazzalyn Livingston, NAACP National Programs Officer
Kwanzaa People of Color
Labor/Community Strategy Center
Los Angeles Black Worker Center
Los Angeles Inner City Cultural Center
Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative
NAACP Los Angeles
NAACP San Fernando Valley
National Action Network-Los Angeles
National Association for Equal Justice in America
National Coalition of 100 Black Women Los Angeles Chapter
National Council of Negro Women Southern California Area Chapter
Dr. Ron Daniels, Executive Director, Institute of the Black World 21st Century
SEIU Local 99 African American Caucus
SEIU Local 721 African American Caucus
Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Southern California
Students Deserve Los Angeles
UCLA Beloved Community Initiative
Union del Barrio
White People 4 Black Lives
Youth Justice Coalition
Alice Goff, Retired President, AFSCME 36
USW Local 675
Michael Peck, 1 worker 1 vote
American Sustainable Business Council
Gilda Haas, L.A. Co-Op Lab
Los Angeles Union Cooperative Initiative
Michael Kramer, Managing Partner, Natural Investments, LLC
Resource Generation Los Angeles
Social Venture Circle
Akosua Hobert, Senior Minister, First Woman's Church of LA
Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and Southern California
Clergy for Black Lives
Pastor Cue JnMarie, Church without Walls (Skid Row)
Rev. Donald L. Wilson
Pastor Eddie Anderson, McCarthy Memorial Christian Church
Rev. Erica Byrd, KRST Unity
Holy Name of Jesus Church Knights of Peter Claver Council 121
Rev. James Thomas, Living Word Community Church
Pastor KW Tulloss, Weller Street Baptist Church
Pastor Meredith Miller, Pomona Valley Church
Morningside Congregational Church, UCC
Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement
St. Peter Claver Foundation
Rev. William D. Smart, Jr., Pastor, Christ Liberation Ministries
Artist Among Us Talent Agency
Ayuko Babu, Founder, Pan African Film Festival
Brandi Kane, Artist
Dr. Adrian Dove, Ph.D., Kingdom Day Parade
Lauren Halsey, Artist
Six Sev, Artist
Dr. Melina Abdullah, Ph.D, Professor of Pan-African Studies at Cal State University Los Angeles
Dr. Jody Armour, Author & Professor, University of Southern California School of Law
Dr. Maulana Karenga, Ph.D, Professor & Chair of Africana Studies at Cal State University Long Beach & Creator of Kwanzaa
Dr. W. Gabriel Selassie I, Professor, Los Angeles City College
Dr. Chris Tilly, Professor and Chair, UCLA Department of Urban Planning
Anna Tutt, 2nd Vice President, Consolidated Board of Realtist
Bee Hall, Pan-African Community Development Corporation
Buy Back the Block Los Angeles
Leimert Park Investment Group
Lucas Renaissance Group
Dr. Ronald Galvin, Vice President for Racial Equity and the Democratic Economy of The Democracy Collaborative
Sandra McNeil, Former Executive Director, TRUST South LA
Seed Commons/The Working World
Ted Brass Real Estate Solutions
Ade Nuff, Ride On Bike Co-Op & Past President of the Leimert Park Village Merchants Association
Anastasia Clemons, Co-Founder, Lucas Renaissance Group
Clare Kelly, CEO, Hesse Press
Christiane Eubanks, Co-Owner, Who's Hungry Caribbean & Catering
Dawn Modkins, Diaspora Beauty Supply and Salon
Daniel Desure, Owner, Commonwealth Projects
Danielle's Soul Kitchen
Dianne Lawrence, Editor, The Neighborhood News
Eric Walker, Walk.Empowered
Dr. Kathye Jenkins, Founder/President, Cynthia Perry Ray Foundation
Gina Viola, CEO, Trade Show Temps
Hank's Mini Market
Jackie Ryan, Past President of Leimert Park Village Merchants Association
Jennifer Alvarez, Worker-Owner, The Tree Yoga Cooperative
Leimert Park Village Merchants Association
Linda Morgan Sam, Living Legends Foundation
Los Angeles South Chamber of Commerce
Love Tafari, Owner, Love Tafari Realtor
Marva Smith, Owner, Marva Smith Consulting
Michelle Johnson, CEO, The Chocolate Barista
Mobile Science Labs
Mohawk General Store
Olympia Auset, Owner, SÜPMARKT
Page Bryant, CEO, Page Bryant Production
Patricia Diggs, Executive Director, Operation Backlot
Philip Bucknor, Founder/CEO, FORTHEFUTURE
The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles
Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation
Robin Cole, Past Board Member, Park Mesa Heights Community Council
Dr. Rosie Milligan, Author, Business Owner & Self-Appointed Mayor of South Central
Seth Gottesdiener, CEO, Indigo Fitness
Skid Row People's Market
SoLA Food Co-Op
South LA Cafe
South Los Angeles Bureau of Tourism & Trade
Toss It Up Salad
Troya Ellis, CEO, Trajectory of Hope
Mable Wilson, Owner, Wilson's Divorce Clinic
YUTE Juice LLC
We Love Leimert
59th Place Block Club
Akili, Director, Fannie Lou Hamer Institute
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc Beta Psi Lambda Chapter
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Upsilon Chi Chapter
Andrea Canty, Past President of North Area Neighborhood Development Council
Black American Political Association of California-Los Angeles
Clint Simmons, P.E., Commissioner, Los Angeles Aviation Commission
Connye Thomas, Chair, Community Action Mobilization Team
Converging Storms Action Network
Dominique Bell, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Long Beach
Black American Political Association of California-Los Angeles (BAPAC-LA)
Carolyn Fowler, California Senior Legislature
Clean Up South Central
The Honorable Daniel Lee, Culver City City Councilmember
Danielle Lafayette, Founder/Executive Director, Unite A Nation
Dwayne Wyatt, Los Angeles City Planner (Ret.)
Grace Yoo, Co-Founder, Environmental Justice Collaborative
Ground Game LA
The Honorable Isadore Hall, III, California State Senate (Ret.)
Jacquelynn Hawthorne, Board Member of Los Angeles African American Women Political Action Committee
Jon Lafferty, CEO, Latebloom Entertainment
Kenneth Collins, Sr., President/CEO of Kebeco Construction Services Inc.
Kevin Harbour, Sr., Past President of UCLA Black Alumni Association
Lance Collins, AIA, NOMA, President of Southern California Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (SoCalNOMA)
Linda Ricks, Past Chair of Community Redevelopment Agency-Los Angeles Crenshaw Community Advisory Council
Mac Shorty, Founder, Community RePower Movement
Make Crenshaw Great Again
Dr. Michael Batie, Ph.D., President of Los Angeles Council of Black Professional Engineers
Michael Guynn, President of Association of Black Social Workers-Greater Los Angeles
National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ)
National Association of University Women
New Frontier Democratic Club
Park Mesa Heights Community Council
Patrick McCullough, Expo Neighbors Association
Places In The City
Project Africa-Los Angeles
Queen Sho King, Moor Enterprises
The Honorable Robert Farrell, Los Angeles City Councilmember-8th District (Ret.)
Serge Hall, Board Member of Mid-City Neighborhood Council
Sikivu Hutchinson, Noted Author & Activist
Tanya Walters, Founder/CEO of GodParents Youth Organization
Tim Watkins, President/CEO of Watts Labor Community Action Committee
Torrence Brannon-Reese, Founding Director of FAMLI, Inc.
West Adams Neighborhood Council
West LA Democratic Club
Women's Leadership Project
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