Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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Site 9A

Open gateThere is a ghost town in the south-west corner of Echo Park. It is two blocks of houses that are now vacant -- with a couple of exceptions -- after tenants and homeowners were forced out by the LAUSD under threats of eminent domain seizure. Only a couple of holdouts had the wherewithall to call the district's bluff. It's a complex story, and I have described it before. The district wants to build a school. But it didn't do proper impact reviews before forcing some 200 people out of their homes; most of these people are immigrants, may of them poor. The "project" is now stalled as the LAUSD faces a lawsuit concerning its tactics.

Amid concerns that the LAUSD will raze the homes before it can be ordered not to, Eric Garcetti recently promised the Echo Park Improvement Association that he will seek to have the LAUSD barred from destroying any homes before the lawsuit is resolved. Garcetti has long been on record as opposing the construction of a school on the site that the LAUSD "selected." The LAUSD calls it Site 9A. The place where 200 people used to live, their houses now encircled by chain-link fencing.

Photo: Site 9A, open gate
By Cindy Bennett

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