On September 7, South Los Angeles residents of University Park came to an action due to environmental issues with Allenco Energy. Allenco Energy has an oil drill site right in the neighborhood next to Mt St. Mary’s College, Estrella Park and a few schools. Some residents, including Gabriela Garcia, shared their stories about having dizziness, respiratory distress/asthma, stuffy nose/congestion, pressure in the head, intense headaches, and spontaneous nosebleeds.
Mannequins heads used to display health conditions suffered by local residents
Nancy Ibrahim gave us the beautiful history of the apartments on 23rd Street until Allenco appeared taking over the community’s health through air pollution. ABC 7’s Christina Salvo interviewed Nancy and Monic Uriarte about her daughter’s nosebleeds, headaches, and stomachaches. Senator Barbara Boxer also got involved by demanding answers on a federal level from the Environmental Protection Agency.
SAJE leader Jesus Lopez and Manuel Medina documented the substandard living conditions that tenants are living through at Maplewood Ave.
Mold, leaky plumbing, and cockroaches are found throughout most of the apartment. Currently, Jesus is trying to get a SCEP (Systematic Code Enforcement Program) inspection due to the extremity of the slum housing conditions that every single one of these tenants is enduring.
On August 10, 2013 SAJE headed to St. John’s Well Child and Family in South Los Angeles to provide support by planting edible gardens on 58th Street, between Hoover and Vermont. From 8:oo am to 4:oo pm, we cut wood to build raised beds that were placed alongside the parkways of every house in the block.
We placed soil on each raised bed, then the kids began planting seeds such as tomatoes, chilies, aloe and other edible plants.
Growing organic vegetables helps combat serious health issues such as type-2 Diabetes and childhood obesity that are caused by the fast-food industry spread throughout our community. Volunteers from all over California, guerilla gardener Ron Finley and various organizations worked hard to plant the healthy vegetables on the entire block of 58th Street.
SAJE leader Joey dropped by SAJE to share good news! His organizing efforts are taking effect and repairs are underway at Park Grove! Since starting to organize his neighbors, Joey was able to get an LA Housing inspector into their apartment. This time, the inspector told the landlord that he needed to fix all of the unhealthy conditions he was forcing the tenants to live in.
Joey was able to obtain new sinks, repaired walls, fixed plumbing and also got a fridge repaired for a neighbor who undergoes dialysis. Joey’s next goal is to get everyone’s apartment’s fixed at this property and then start organizing other apartment’s in his neighborhood.
Esteban is one of the many tenants living in one of William Little’s properties. Through 13 years, he lived with unhealthy housing conditions that included mold throughout the floors and walls of his entire apartment. Every one of his complaints used to go ignored, until he and his neighbors took charge and collectively organized to obtain healthy homes.
Last month, Maria stopped by SAJE’s tenant clinic to talk to a lawyer about her living situation on a foreclosed property by Bank of America. The bank was responsible for forcing the tenants at 60 Pl. to live without water! As they tried to get a hold of Bank of America the only response that they received was that no one was living at this property! The bank hadn’t bothered to make any inspections and Maria’s family continued to live without water for 15 days!
Maria recently visited SAJE this past week and told us that they weren’t having any problems with their water service anymore, but that maintenance issues continued to be ignored and continues to demand for her rights as a tenant!
His mother, Heiyde Clemente, knew life was going to be difficult when she came to the United States, but she never imagined that in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, her family would suffer from such deplorable conditions.