Garfield Senior High School

The (not so) great idea of gentrification

Wherever I see poverty I see hope. In Los Angeles, many of the poverty stricken areas don’t look so pretty. The streets are cracked and infested with weeds. There are houses that look like they are about to fall apart with lawns that haven’t had any water in years, and endless tagging on buildings and walls. These parts of the city are generally looked down upon and they tend to scare and keep people away. But if the areas were a bit improved with street renovation, house renovation, and new buildings it could attract people to spend money, bringing in more revenue to the area. It’s just hard to see what the big problem is with gentrification, especially in the Boyle Heights area.

Gentrification is an overall improvement of the community. What once was an eyesore can now be something people can enjoy. Who needs cheap housing in gang ridden projects? Nobody – just tear them down to make space for a megastore for the rest of us to enjoy. Who needs locally owned restaurants when we can have giant food chains instead? Something like McDonalds or a Starbucks is what the people really want- premium corporate made food. Cheap housing? Who needs it? Why would a person making just enough to pay their bills want to live in such a cheap place when they work so hard? Instead we should either make the housing better by renovating or building completely new places to live! The rent would probably increase by a mild five-hundred dollars or more but I’m sure the current resident will find a way through all the problems.

People seem to have a huge problem with loss of culture when it comes to gentrification. But loss of culture is a sacrifice that affluent people are willing to make for the poor, they can afford to lose culture for contemporary design. Who needs culture when you have money? It just seems to be another silly excuse that people living in the area are making to get rid of the gentrifiers. Culture is of no significance when you’re comparing it to money, but sadly people don’t see it that way. People who don’t have a lot of money are blinded by loss of culture and can’t see the overwhelming benefits of gentrification, such as nationwide food chains and megastores.

An easy solution to rid of gentrification-opposers is by literally getting rid of them. Opposers to gentrification are generally poor, so we need to make life essentials next to impossible for them to afford. We could also release a virus out to the public to which the vaccine is not affordable to everyone. It might be sad, but afterwards you would have new homes without any protesters, and a lot more empty lanes and open parking spaces! It’s such a small fix for such a big improvement. It’s truly a wonder why so many people are opposed to gentrification.