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Central Americans to Get LA Neighborhood Designation

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Pico-Union image via Amoeblog

Los Angeles has resurrected plans to brand the MacArthur Park/Westlake and Pico-Union neighborhoods to the all encompassing Central American Cultural District. The proposal dates back to 2007, according to Council records, but was largely opposed at that time because the plan suggested the renaming of the two neighborhoods. Opposition to the renaming came from a host of neighborhood groups , including the area's neighborhood councils and the Friends of Pico-Union who in their letter of opposition cited the belief "that a name change will trigger a race war between the Central American MSM gang and 18th Street Mexican gangs that could potentially dwarf the African-American and Latino tensions felt in South Los Angeles." Fun fun. Last week, Councilman Ed Reyes revived the plan in City Council, sending the issue for consideration to the Education and Neighborhood Committee.

A representative of Reyes' office explained that the CACD won't actually replace the names of the neighborhoods: "The purpose of the Central American Cultural District is to define a geographic area within the City of Los Angeles to revitalize a community with a high concentration of Central American residents, businesses, art, events and cultural landmarks. It would create a destination hub of cultural activity that celebrates the contributions of Central Americans to the City of Los Angeles to benefit residents there as well visitors. For the future, this could mean placards placed at cultural landmarks, or maps identifying restaurants, business services, non-profits or recreation opportunities. The boundaries for the Central American Cultural District have not been defined yet." So there you go, race wars have been averted for the moment.