BHB and KCRW: Stories from a gentrifying Boyle Heights

These radio stories were produced as part of the Boyle Heights youth radio project, a collaboration between KCRW’s Independent Producer Project and Boyle Heights Beat managed by Producer Jesse Hardman.

By Jackie Ramírez

Citlaly Medina says the first time she was able to have peace of mind was when she was approved for the Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals or DACA program.

 “The very first thing that I loved about DACA was the feeling of sense of peace and knowing that I was here legally that it was something that had to be respected and as long as I did what I had to do I was fine.”

But the young community college students says her future was put on hold when she heard of President Trump’s decision to rescind the program.

 Listen to the story here:

Protest by supporters of mariachi tenants in Boyle Heights. Photo by Ernesto Orozco

In Boyle Heights, even artists fight against evictions

By Rosario Bonilla

A few years ago, Oscar Arguello was evicted from his apartment and was forced to move out of Boyle Heights. He wrote about that experience in the play “Sideway Fences,” which was performed last year at Casa 0101 Theater.

“I just wanted to write a play that captured the community”, says the 44-year-old playwright. “Our stories are not being told. We are such a large group of people and our stories are being wiped away, they’re not being told.”

In another part of town, Mariachi musicians who live in a Boyle Heights apartment building are protesting against astronomical rent raises brought on by a new landlord.

Listen to the story here:

 

A new phenomenon called ‘gentefication’

By Alex Medina

In a neighborhood that’s been battling with gentrification for many years, Boyle Heights community members are polarized about a unique phenomenon that stems from this controversial issue.

Some are calling it GENTEfication, a term that marries the word “gente”, Spanish for people, with gentrification. They are conerned about locals who leave, and later return to start businesses, contributing to the rising cost of living in places like Boyle Heights.

Listen to the story here: