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Vermont Ave. '92, Vermont Ave. today: Not enough has changed

April 26, 2012|By Robert Greene
  • A lot stands empty at Vermont Avenue near Manchester Boulevard in South Los Angeles 20 years after the stores were destroyed in the 1992 violence.
A lot stands empty at Vermont Avenue near Manchester Boulevard in South… (Los Angeles Times )

In the days follwing the violence and destruction of April 1992, federal officials including Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan walked the newly burned-out Vermont Avenue corridor and promised to treat the area as an emerging market. In a way, they were true to their word: 20 years later, parts of South Los Angeles still have not emerged.

Members of the Community Coalition led supporters through South Los Angeles neighborhoods on Satuday, in advance of the 20th anniversary of the violence, to remind them of what has been accomplished and what remains to be done.

Coalition President and CEO Marqueece Harris-Dawson did not blame government officials for the lack of investment. There are government buildings and pocket parks. But banks won't do commercial loans in the area, he said, and many retailers engage in unofficial redlining. "The failure primarily is in the financial sector," he said.


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