Leimert Park Station Approved

 
JuneLeimertAfter a 5-Year Battle MTA Board Agrees to Fund Leimert Park Village Station on Crenshaw/LAX Line.  A station at L.A.’s African-American cultural center is added after over 5 years of community advocacy, and the political leadership of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas & Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

   In a historic vote, the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted 10-1 to fully fund an underground station on the soon to be built Crenshaw/LAX Line at Leimert Park Village, the African-American cultural center of Southern California. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014.

“Today’s victory is the product of a lot of tireless nights and wise strategic decisions made over the past 5 years,” said Damien Goodmon, Executive Director of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition.

   The Coalition has led the community advocacy efforts for a Leimert Park Village station and 11-block Crenshaw Blvd tunnel on the Crenshaw/LAX Rail Line, by rallying public and political support for the cause. Since 2008, the group has held over two- dozen community meetings attended by over 2,000 stakeholders, submitted hundreds of pages of documents to MTA, facilitated the delivery of multiple environmental studies, collected thousands of petitions, and built respect among elected officials.

     Crenshaw Subway Coalition members were joined at Thursday’s MTA board meeting with leaders in the faith, labor, civil rights and business community all supporting the investment in Leimert Park.

  “A Leimert Park station and Crenshaw Blvd. tunnel is exactly the type of stimulus the merchants need to help us continue making this a thriving center of African-American arts and commerce,” said Jackie Ryan, past president of the Leimert Park Village Merchants Association.

   The MTA board approved the motion as an amendment to their budget. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa championed the motion, which was kept under wraps until about 72 hours prior to the meeting. Additional co-sponsors included Supervisor Don Knabe, MTA Chair and Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Duarte Councilmember John Fasana and MTA Boardmember Mel Wilson. The Mayor whose support had been previously questioned for failing to support a motion to fund both the tunnel and station in May of 2011, said he wanted to use his final days in office to make clear of his intent to see a station happen. He specifically thanked Damien Goodmon in his remarks to the press after the vote.

“One down and one to go,” concluded Goodmon. “Our battle to underground the 11 blocks on Crenshaw Blvd. from 48th – 59th Streets continues into the Garcetti Administration. This victory shows that when committed community advocacy combines with political courage, mountains can be moved.” 

   Crenshaw Subway Coalition is a collaborative effort of residents, merchants and property owners working in coordination with resident-based groups in the Crenshaw Boulevard corridor along the MTA’s proposed Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Line. 

For more information about Crenshaw Subway Coalition go to www.CrenshawSubway.org

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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