The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to designate an area east of Hollywood as "Thai Town," the first official Thai town in the nation.
The designation was proposed by Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, who said the move would bring neighborhood pride, economic development and promotion of tourism to the area.
"It's important to designate some place that draws attention to the fact that there are Thai Americans in the region," said Goldberg, adding that the people in the area are not only proud of their Thai heritage, but also of the fact they are Americans.
The new Thai Town will include the area between Normandie and Western Avenues along Hollywood Boulevard, where Thai businesses abound. The neighborhood is also home to many of the 80,000 Thai estimated to be living in Southern California, said Chanchanit Martorell, director of the Thai Community Development Center.
"It's really making people conscious of our existence in the city of Los Angeles," Martorell said of the designation.