(Andy Alvarez / Public Matters Group)
East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Project East Los Angeles

On Tuesday, senior and sophomore students from East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy went to USC Price for a presentation on urban planning. These students have been working with a group called Public Matters.

Public Matters is a group that comes in and talks to us about what changes do we want to see and hopefully make in East Los Angeles. All of the seniors got into separate groups. In those groups, they all were assigned a street which they had to work on and explore that specific street. The streets they were assigned were Atlantic Avenue, 3rd Street, Whittier Boulevard, Cesar Chavez Avenue and First Street.

The seniors have been working on this project for a couple of months. The street I had was Cesar Chavez Avenue, in between Gage Avenue and Ford Boulevard.

On our street we were working on adding more street lamps, bike lanes, trees and water fountains. We added street lamps because on some parts of the street, it was too dark and dangerous for some people to walk at night. The bike lanes are for people who ride the bike or skateboard to school. We added the bike lanes because there were accidents between the students on bikes/skateboards and people driving so that would help change the streets and save people’s lives. The trees are meant for shade and adding more green into the street. Water fountains are added on the street because there are people who can’t spare a dollar for a water bottle. Water fountains are a good thing but not placed on a corner of an intersection, it’ll be better placed on the middle of the block so nothing bad could happen to the fountain.

After a few months, Public Matters had organized a field trip to go to USC Price. We got at USC around lunchtime. While we were eating, Public Matters was setting up our streets outside in the patio. When we finished eating, we went outside to start presenting our streets.

There were students who were passing by, professors who were passing by and the sophomores who asked us questions. Then a whole class had come and asked each streets different questions. Also a news reporter from Univision 34 had come and also interviewed some people who were passing and also the presenters. Reporter Norma Roque interviewed some people on her Facebook through Facebook Live.

The whole presentation had ended. We all had fun presenting our streets to professors, students and teachers. Mr. Cody and Mr. Rocha called us for a group photo. After the photo there were a few students who had a speech to tell from our streets to the professors.

When the students finished their speeches, a professor had rewarded us for coming to USC and presenting our streets and posts from our landmarks.

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