Fighting Displacement — #SaveTheGangstaGarden

Ron Finley has beaconed the light on food deserts. Since a friend introduced the Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA’s Ted Talk, I followed Ron’s press and appearances and attended what community events I could.

Los Angeles may have tried to convict him of growing carrots, but his case and garden persisted and sow as he did, his garden grew onto streets for neighbors to share and neighborhoods to learn.

But he rents his property; his landlord lost it in a foreclosure and the corporate owner isn’t budging beyond Ron’s buying it to stay. He’s raised nearly $100,000 of $500,000 on a GoFundMe campaign with 1,655 donors in 2 months. He has fans like Bette Midler tweeting to help #SaveTheGangstaGardener.

Now he’s also a figure for “displacement” — simply, even a thriving business, or community spotlight can be extinguished by rising rents.

This rubs me sadly as I remember many wonderful things, places and people lost in my community throughout the years because of the bottom line, and the underlying economics, greed, even, that motivate decisions like these. We have had too many restaurant and business closures and changes and not because the businesses in them weren’t thriving and served the community.

At least the community has voiced tremendous support to keep the Ron Finley Headquarters, including most recently environmentalist and entrepreneur Nell Newman, co-founder of Newman’s Own, who joined Finley in an interview on The Farm Report.

A shoutout for Preservation.

For valuing and having mechanisms in place to save the places that serve the communities.

It is truly unfortunate that someone who cultivated so much from a curb is now seemingly kicked to it. Just like too many other beautiful things and people displaced.

One week left to press on to save the current location.

Meeting Ron IRL the first time at DaFUNction 2015
New Photo from My First Visit to the Garden in March!
Over 11K Shares helped raise over $500,000