BRU Celebrates Anniversary of Montgomery Bus Boycott with Concert, Rally and New Alliance

For part two of our interview, click here.  Or, see all our video from the event at our YouTube page.

If there’s any doubt that housing and how the city grows will be a dominant issue in transportation and development circles, a new alliance of the Bus Riders Union and The L.A. Human Right to Housing Collective have joined forces to work for increased access to public transit and affordable housing in Los Angeles.

As Los Angeles continues to grow, it will grow around its transit hubs, both those that will be new and those already existing.  Many of those living in communities that will soon be served by rail transit or BRT are worried these new developments could change the character of the existing community and make it unaffordable to current residents.  Martinez, in the video above, explains:

Transit Oriented Development, historically, has meant housing for more affluent communities whether they be white or communities of color, but people that have more resources.  We have seen that affordable housing gets left out.  Public Housing is being completely done away with and we’re concerned about that.

The two civil rights organizations celebrated the 55th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycotts with a raucous rally and dance concert in front of Metro Headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles.  For those needing a history lesson, the Montgomery Bus Boycotts lead to an end to racial segregation on Alabama’s bus system and was one of the first victories of the Civil Rights Movement.  Wikipedia has a pretty good summary for those wanting more history.

Whether you’re a fan of the BRU or not, you have to admit they have a certain style.  This rally featured the normal chanting, march and “call response” that BRU rallies are known for.  But this one also featured a prayer ritual and performance from an Aztec dance troupe to cleanse the area and call for greater freedom in Los Angeles.

More videos, of the Aztecs and the rally, can be found after the jump.


New Coalition Looks to Reform L.A.’s Transit-Oriented Development

Yesterday, Tuesday July 12th 2011, marked the first meeting of a fledgling coalition re-examining the way Southern California does Transit Oriented Development (TOD.) Over 100 people, representing nearly as many organizations, attended the Los Angeles Summit on Community-Oriented T.O.D. which took place at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center near downtown Los Angeles. The event was organized by […]