Group Formed to Oversee Rebuilding of Riot Areas
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter announced the formation of a Crenshaw-area group to coordinate community efforts to restore areas devastated in the recent riots.
The Rebuild Crenshaw Committee, composed of community-based businesses and organizations, will lobby to bring needed resources into the area, said Galanter, who spoke Thursday at a news conference in front of the charred remains of a Wherehouse record store.
“One of the deep frustrations that sparked the riots was the lack of community control over its own economic destiny,” Galanter said. “Our effort aims to turn that around, with the guiding principle of local involvement and control.”
More than 20 representatives from community organizations and businesses joined Galanter in announcing their support for the new committee.
“Tell Mr. (Peter) Ueberroth there is a community network in place to explain the community’s way of getting things done,” Galanter said. “City Hall can never duplicate what can come from the community itself.”
The committee comes from a broad cross section of the community. The Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, YMCA and the area’s community development corporation are involved as well as Crenshaw Neighbors, Consolidated Realty Board and several banks, churches and other business organizations.
“This is an opportunity for the community to get involved in the rebuilding effort,” said Eric Crumpton, a landlord and community leader.
That effort will include tackling the issues of how to increase black ownership of businesses, create jobs for teen-agers and provide opportunities for joint ventures between African-American and Korean-American entrepreneurs.
The committee will also look at the thorny issue of whether the number of liquor stores should be limited in the community, Galanter said.
Rudolph Mickens, president of a senior citizens group, said a primary goal will be to create jobs. “People need jobs,” he said.
But Evelyn A. Reeves, a real estate broker, said even more important is the goal to improve business opportunities. “We need black ownership, not just jobs,” she said. “Blacks have lived in this community 25 to 30 years and we don’t have a lot to show for it.”