High Class USC Community & Gentrification

The problems of South Los Angeles and what USC plans on doing.

Vermont Ave. and Leighton Ave.

I grew up in a small census community almost nobody knows of. In Westmont, between Inglewood and Athens. Just a few miles up north, Westwood, the home of the prestigious University of Southern California, battles with gentrification and the rough sight of old buildings and city crime. I’ve lived my whole life in Southern Los Angeles and I’ve noticed differences between towns and cities like mine and others like Beverly Hills. Clean walkways, streets, groomed homes was not everyday sight for me.

When I was a teenager, though I’m still young, I took the metro down Vermont Ave. with my mother and witness the messy streets with old, chewed gums stuck to them, overgrowing roots, abandoned lots and homeless in their tents and graffiti on walls. It was not a pretty sight even when we reach USC’s territory. Even though USC is one of the most prestigious schools, its home looks nowhere prestigious.

In South Central, where USC is located, there is 74% Hispanic, 24% Black and 1% White with only 33.6% of residents below poverty line. The household medium income is $32,514 which is below that of Los Angeles as a whole. Those of the 37.4% of foreign-born come from Latin America (62%), Asia (30%), Europe (6%) and Africa (2%).

More info: https://censusreporter.org/profiles/16000US0644000-los-angeles-ca/

I’d define Westwood as an urban community than rural or suburban. With this said, it does battle with immigration enforcement. There is 74% Hispanic, including my family who are immigrants. Though I was born here, I hear the fear of those undocumented. In Westwood, there is evidence of crime and marked territory. This brings in the police and with the police in tow, it brings fear to many people in danger of being caught despite most of them being innocent. With the president recent statement on DACA, it doesn’t make it any easier.

Another pressing matter to the community is abandonment, particularly the whole city surrounding USC. To repeat my recent experiences, there’s dirty streets, abandoned lots and buildings and graffiti sprayed on walls. With the metro line near by it’s overwhelming with people therefore more trash and some crime. I’ve read that USC, the neigboring university, considered moving out of South Central for that reason. However, it’s here to stay as it expands its home through gentrification. Just recently, USC spent $700 million to expand its university. Thus creating jobs and businesses around the community, beautifying the community.

Here’s the new USC village promo that the school has constructed in renovating South LA and its community.

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