A peculiar revolt has suddenly popped up in Highland Park: queen-sized protest mattresses, with “Where Is Garcetti?” and “No Olympics In L.A.” spray painted on them. Someone is definitely peeved at Mayor Eric Garcetti, who spent months flying around the world to lobby for the 2028 Summer Games.
The “No Olympics” mattress was propped up against a telephone pole at Avenue 60, a block from Figueroa Street. The “Garcetti” mattress was seen at Arroyo Drive near Avenue 58. We’re not handwriting experts, but the penmanship looks very similar.
Garcetti has been taking heat for spending a huge amount of time outside L.A. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that over the past year, the mayor was out of town a shocking 112 days.
Meanwhile, L.A. residents are struggling through a gentrification crisis that’s fueling a homeless crisis. Community activists are also concerned that City Hall’s inevitable push for more luxury development for the Summer Games will only exacerbate gentrification and shove even more people out of their longtime homes. A protest featuring mattresses seems ingeniously apt.
Highland Park, in particular, has been dealing with serious gentrification issues. According to the Index of Neighborhood Change, a city database that measures gentrification citywide, the Northeast L.A. neighborhood ranks in the top 15 of Los Angeles’ most gentrified communities.
Highland Park residents are also battling “very high” displacement pressure, according to the city’s Index of Displacement Pressure. In other words, a lot of folks are struggling to pay exorbitant rents.
L.A.’s working- and middle-class residents are still waiting for Garcetti and the City Council, led by president Herb Wesson, to roll out substantive anti-gentrification and anti-displacement interventions. Garcetti rarely utters the g-word in public.
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