On March 24th 2012, KCCD and the SAIGU Campaignhosted an Economic Development Bus Tour in partnership with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and theEmpowerment Congress.
An impressive list of community, faith and civic leaders, along with select members of the media - both local and international joined the SAIGU Campaign Economic Development Bus Tour on March 24th. Sites visited included the flash points as well as other areas related to the LA Riots including the intersection of Florence and Normandie, Leimert Park, Koreatown, CGV Cinema, Madang, various development sites, and more.
The purpose of the tour was to not only revisit some of the impacted areas that happened 20 years ago, but to see what developments have occurred, and what steps still need to be taken. Another goal was to help dispel some of the misperceptions of each community and lift the assets and needs that exist in each community.
The day began with a warm welcome and greetings fromSupervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Hyepin Im, KCCD President & CEO as well as special remarks from City Controller Wendy Greuel. Before embarking on the bus tour, participants had the opportunity to share their reason for participation as well as their connection with the Los Angeles Riots.
The following are some of the reflections of the participants on their bus tour experience.
"Although I worked closely with the City and community leadership to address the devastating results of the 1992 civil unrest, including co-founding Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative with former Mayor Richard Riordan, I gleaned new information on the after-effects and re-building efforts of the Korean American and African American communities on this bus tour."
- Joyce Perkins
Co-Founder and Executive Director for Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI)
"Most shocking to me was to hear how the rule of law was absent. Order was non-existent. As the Fireman who was on the scene during the riots stated, "when we went out on a call, we literally did not know if we were gonna make it back." We can never re-live this tragedy. Together we must ensure that sufficient economic resources and planning are priority for our communities."
-Larry Ortega, President, Community Union
"As a student at UCLA, I was transfixed watching the destruction and devastation that took place in South LA and Koreatown. Revisiting these areas 20 years later on the Mar. 24th SAIGU Economic Development Tour, we were able to share our collective experiences and reflect upon the amazing efforts to rebuild, heal and inspire. I actively participated in many of these efforts as a former Deputy for Councilmembers Mark Ridley-Thomas and Bernard Parks, and feel a true sense of admiration and comradarie with the community leaders on the tour. While much has been accomplished over the past 2 decades, we also realize that much is left undone. The tour underscored this realization, but simultaneously served as an inspiration for us to passionately continue these efforts."
"It was a pleasure to go on the Economic Development Bus Tour of Koreatown and South Los Angeles and to see the positive changes that have occurred since 1992--a hearty thank you to all involved. I urge all Los Angelenos to work, to engage, to invest time and energy to help build a healthy and prosperous future for our City. Please help."
-Debra Varnado, Editor
The Fifth Avenue Times
Speakers and presenters for the tour included:
-Mark Ridley-Thomas, LA County Supervisor
-Wendy Greuel, Los Angeles Controller
-Hyepin Im, KCCD & SAIGU Campaign
-Peter Hong, Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
-Brendy Shockley, Community Build
-Joyce Perkins, Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI)
-Ken Hopper, West Angeles Community Developement Corporation
-Emile Mack, City of Los Angeles Fire Department
-Paula Daniels, LA City Mayor's Office
-Bong Hwan Kim, City of Los Angeles DONE
-Angela Killoren, CJ Entertainment
-David Kim, Attorney and active community member
-Dan Rosenfield, Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
-Billy Chun, CRA of Los Angeles
For more pictures from the bus tour, please check out our Flickr page at:
KCCD Flickr Page
Please also check out our new Click-and-Pledge donation page! It's through the support of donors like you, that we're able to put on these great events!
Check out our Click and Pledge donation page!
We would like to offer special thanks to Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and to the Empowerment Congress and to all of our SAIGU campaign sponsors:
Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council
Bank of the West
Councilmember Eric Garcetti
Councilmember Tom LaBonge
Jamison Services, Inc
Korean American Community Foundation
Lee & Oh
Supervisor Don Knabe
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
Wet Ink Press