The economic recession and state budget cuts are hitting communities in South Los Angeles particularly hard, but residents are determined to do what they can to make their communities a healthier, safer and more beautiful place to live.
In a show of unity, more than 100 African American, Latino and Korean residents are participating in a neighborhood clean up and beautification project in the 39th and Western area as part of the Mayor's citywide day of volunteerism. Youth families and residents will gather for the "South LA Day of Service," on Sat., June 27,Â 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at Martin Luther King Park at the corner of 39th and Western Avenue.
"A Katrina-like storm is hitting South Los Angeles in the form of unemployment, budget cuts and foreclosures, but we intend to make our community safer and healthier for everyone," says Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Executive Director of Community Coalition who is leading the community effort.
The South LA Day of Service is part of a concerted effort by residents and Community Coalition to improve the hard hit 39th and Western neighborhood, which has double the citywide average in violent crimes. Just last weekend the Coalition sponsored "A Place to Start Resource Fair" at Foshay Learning Center.
"Residents of the King Park area want what every community wants - a safe park to take their children, a clean and beautiful neighborhood they can take pride in, and an environment that promotes healthy living for everyone," says Bruce Patton, longtime area resident and leader of Community Coalition. "We are going to do our part to make our community that way."
On Saturday, residents will participate in clean up and beautification projects such as trash pick up, graffiti removal, garden planting and mural painting. The entire community is welcome to participate.