As Damien announced yesterday, over the next weeks and months, I will be expanding my beat territory to include Boyle Heights.
I am excited to have the opportunity to work in a community whose vibrancy I so greatly admire. For the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know the community through its youth while volunteering at Roosevelt High School with a wonderful organization called 826LA. In working closely with youth in classrooms on writing projects and college essays, I’ve learned much about the challenges they face, their feelings about their (new, if recent arrivals) community, and their aspirations for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. I’ve also been humbled by the resilience and big hearts with which they strive to overcome odds which would likely prove too daunting for most ordinary people.
And who wouldn’t be inspired by the great work of groups like the Ovarians or the folks at Corazon del Pueblo? There’s so much going on in the neighborhood and I’m looking forward to finding and sharing inspiration from such a fascinating part of town.
I’m also a little intimidated.
Not only has great work been done in the area by Kris Fortin and the young local journalists from Boyle Heights Beat, but I feel a bit like I am starting over.
For those that have been following my work in South L.A., you might have guessed that I work slowly, building relationships first and learning as much as I can as I go, never assuming I know more about what the neighborhood needs than the people who live there. It seems to be the most fruitful way to go about things, but it is also the slowest. So, I hope that you will bear with me as I get to know a new neighborhood and a new set of important community players.
Thanks for your support thus far,