More Evictions, More Displacement: A Neighborhood Council Member Tells Her Story

The people who put Measure S on the March 7 ballot thought that neighborhood council members would fall for their talk, but that was a mistake—because a whole lot of them are seeing right through it.

That’s because neighborhood council members across Los Angeles understand that a housing ban would do nothing to stop displacement caused by gentrification in their communities. In fact, the opposite of Measure S is what’s needed to help out neighborhoods that are plagued by ever-increasing rents: more housing.

The Olympic Park, Panorama City, Palms and Sherman Oaks neighborhood councils have already joined the No on S campaign. Members from neighborhood councils in Boyle Heights, Highland Park, Silver Lake, Downtown L.A., Los Feliz, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Mid City, San Pedro, and the Hollywood Hills are also urging a “no” vote on Measure S.

Here’s Jackelyn Valladares of the Echo Park Neighborhood Council to explain.

Jackie Valladares

I am a daughter of a construction worker and a downtown garment district worker. I am a product of Echo Park. The changes in Echo Park in the past couple of years has been very impactful to me personally.

My family is a victim of gentrification. On September 18, 2014, investors bought our family home of 26 years.

We’d been paying $1,200 for a 3 bedroom house. Today, that property costs $5,000 a month to rent.

My father has only cried in front of me two times: when his father died and the last day we lived in our home. Losing that house was by far one of the most painful memories of my life.

Did the investors who bought our home need a General Plan amendment? No. Did those investors need a zoning change? No. Did Echo Park become attractive because someone else used those tools? No way.

My family’s home was sold out from under them because our city has not built enough housing. And that drives rich people to go after working families’ homes.

That’s how Measure S will cause more displacement. If you rent a home, someone will come along to rent it for more. If you live in a small apartment, someone will kick you out so they can bulldoze and put up a bigger apartment. Displacement, demolition, and still not enough housing.

Measure S will make the opportunity to live in Los Angeles non-existent for anyone but the wealthiest.

Please join me in voting ‘no’ on Measure S.