Boyle Heights residents say they are being left out of the discussion that will shape development around LAC+USC Medical Center , prompting the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to take action.
City News Service reports that Boyle Heights advocates took to the Supervisors’ meeting Tuesday, urging the county to ask USC to include area residents in on decisions that will shape their neighborhood. USC is planning a 200-room hotel, more student housing, and a cancer treatment center as part of its 80-acre Health Sciences Campus. Fearing the potential displacement of residents of low cost housing, activists say they would like to see more affordable housing and services that help create jobs.
Many of those present at Tuesday’s supervisors’ meeting were members of the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Boyle Heights initiative, of which Boyle Heights Beat is a member.
“It’s not about being anti-USC, it’s about let’s work together,” said Lou Calanche, executive director of Legacy LA Youth Development Corporation, a BHC member and USC grad, quoted by CNS.
The agency reported that Dr. Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer at LAC+USC, told the board that he and other leaders were “thinking about how we can best serve the community where we reside.”
Supervisor Hilda Solís presented a motion to establish the Health Innovation Community Partnership and hire a consultant that would start a partnership between the County and USC. They would work with residents and “ensure that the use of County assets and development in the area is responsive to community needs and priorities.”
LA County owns 124 acres of land on or near the LAC+USC Medical Center campus.
Tuesday’s motion, approved by a 3-0 vote, will have County staff report back in 90 days with an update on goals for the land and what the community engagement process will look like.
Photo above: Boyle Heights residents and community leaders at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting with Supervisor Hilda Solís. Photo from Instagram user @joeljrperez.