Is Change By Another Name Still Gentrification?

Those investing in the largely Latino enclave of Boyle Heights prefer to use the term "gentefication" - a play on the Spanish word for people - rather than the pejorative gentrification, to describe their efforts to improve the L.A. neighborhood.

"The transition [of Boyle Heights into an area popular with more well-to-do and younger Mexican-Americans] has provided a jolt of energy and a transfusion of money, but it has also created friction with working-class residents here," observes Jennifer Medina. "And tensions over just whom this neighborhood belongs to are a clear sign that Latinos have come of age in Los Angeles, where they are expected to become the majority this year."

“'We’re not trying to get out of the barrio, we’re trying to bring the barrio up,' said Marco Amador, who runs an Internet radio station out of a storefront he helped open in Boyle Heights last fall."

“It’s really easy to say no to things, but the harder question is how do we change things and empower people at the same time,” attorney Alfred Fraijo said. “If we’re closed to outsiders, we’re going to be stuck in the past. If we can figure out how to say yes to development and history at the same time, we can really be a model for this city that hasn’t had one yet.”

Full Story: Los Angeles Neighborhood Tries to Change, but Avoid the Pitfalls


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