STOP: BOYLE HEIGHTS - EAST LA
LISTEN/DOWNLOAD [MP3]

SB CUE After you cross Hwy.10
NB CUE Soto St.

SITE
Boyle Heights
View LANDSAT Map

LOCATION
East Los Angeles

THREATS AND CONTAMINANTS
Lead, particulate matter, attempts to site toxic waste incinerators and other polluting industries

VOICE
Juana Gutierrez, Ricardo Gutierrez, Madres del Este de Los Angeles / Mothers of East Los Angeles-Santa Isabel (MELA-SI)


Mission Road to the north, the Los Angeles River to the west, and the Los Angeles city limits to the east and south bound Boyle Heights. As many as 320,000 drivers a day pass through the two-mile long East Los Angeles Interchange on the west side of the Boyle Heights, one of the busiest in the U.S, and the first high-speed interchange ever built.

Boyle Heights has historically been a gateway for immigration into Los Angeles, and from 1920 to 1950 was the city's most ethnically diverse neighborhood. As of the 2000 census, nearly ninety-five percent of Boyle Height's residents are listed as Latino.

In the early 1980s, responding to plans to construct a state prison in East Los Angeles, a group of local mothers in the Boyle Heights neighborhood organized and formed the Mothers of East Los Angeles (MELA-SI). This collective group of community activists has since continued to fight against projects like toxic facilities intended for East LA, including plans to site a "waste-to-energy" municipal garbage incinerator—the Los Angeles City Energy Recovery project (LANSER).

The incinerator, destined for a mostly African-American and Latino area, would have burned 1600 tons of trash daily. Already surrounded by congested freeways and heavy industry, and where residents suffered an increased risk of respiratory illnesses and cancer, MELA-SI organized and fought against it in coalition with Concerned Citizens of South Central from 1983 to 1987, when the LANSER project was finally defeated.

Many of the residents who mobilized successfully against the project had never spoken publicly, and were self-educated in the politics of incinerator siting. Their efforts, in coalition with other activist groups, also defeated a proposed incinerator in the City of Vernon in 1988.

The Madres are considered a model for environmental justice and multiracial community organizing, and have traveled to other communities in California, such as Casmalia and Kettleman City, to help local residents organize and fight proposed hazardous waste projects.


Image: Juana and Ricardo Guiterrez at home in Boyle Heights.
LISTEN TO INVISIBLE-5
Stops: North >> South

Bayview Hunters Point / SF
West Oakland
Livermore
Westley
Crows Landing
Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge
Interstate 5
California Aqueduct
Tule Fog
Fresno-Coalinga Rd.
Tulare Dry Lake
Kettleman City
Alpaugh
Earlimart
Buttonwillow
Kern Water Bank
Mega-Dairies
Elk Hills
Frazier Park
Pacoima
Burbank
Los Angeles River
Boyle Heights - East LA
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DOWNLOAD INVISIBLE-5

>> SOUTHBOUND
CD1 Bayview Hunters Point-SF to Kettleman City [67.2MB ZIP/MP3]
CD2 Alpaugh to Boyle Heights-East LA [66.3MB ZIP/MP3]

>> NORTHBOUND
CD1 Boyle Heights-East LA to Alpaugh [66.3MB ZIP/MP3]
CD2 Kettleman City to Bayview Hunters Point - SF [67.2MB ZIP/MP3]

Download either SOUTHBOUND or NORTHBOUND to get all the audio files.

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