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Kaid Benfield’s Blog

Positive energy + bikes + art = vibrant community in E-Ho, LA

Kaid Benfield

Posted March 11, 2009

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Through the combination of my insatiable curiosity and the wonders of the internet, I have found the magic kingdom in southern California.  No, not that magic kingdom, but the vibrant, down-home, very web-savvy, it's-happening-here community of East Hollywood.

Everything you need to know about this 'hood's positive energy is captured in this terrific little video from Streetfilms about ArtCycle, an event sponsored by the neighborhood council last month and combining, well, art and bicycling:


E-Ho covers 1.8 square miles and hosts some 51,000 residents, about half Latino, the rest a mix of white, Asian, and a very diverse gumbo of "other."  In the words of neighborhood council vice president Elson Trinidad on his community blog Hijo de E-Ho, "I'm just a Filipino kid who grew up listening to black music in an Armenian neighborhood where people spoke Spanish and ate Thai food."  The neighborhood council identifies 11 cultural enclaves within E-Ho comprises representatives from 11 voting districts:

       East Hollywood (by: East Hollywood Neighborhood Council) 

As I wrote above, this community is web-savvy.  In addition to Trinidad's blog, the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council's lively web site features links to the community newsletter, online message forums, and even related conversation on Twitter.  It is video-savvy, too (it is Hollywood).  Here's another video providing a broad introduction to the neighborhood and featuring one of Trinidad's songs:


But, wait, there's more:  In yet another video (and there are several more I haven't had the time to view yet), the neighborhood council shows its progressive vision for transportation and development in E-Ho, all very much in keeping with a positive environmental future:


The videos are 3 minutes, 7 minutes, and 5 minutes, respectively.  Take the time to watch, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.  This community has its act together.

Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment.  For more posts, see his blog's home page.


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Elson TrinidadMar 12 2009 03:49 AM

Thanks! Never expected this!
Nice for our community to be recognized outside Los Angeles, even outside of California or even the west!

It's a great community, yet there's still much more to be done!

Just wanna clarify in the map above, the 11 districts for the neighborhood council actually represent geographical regions to ensure we have board member representatives of the council who are evenly distributed around the neighborhood, that's all they represent.

There are two ethnic neighborhoods within East Hollywood that are officially designated by the City of Los Angeles -- Thai Town and Little Armenia. But within and around them are countless other groups - in terms of businesses and institutions (churches, nonprofits, etc) there are also visible communities of El Salvadorans, Filipinos, Guatemalans, Ukrainians, Mexicans and Koreans within our neighborhood.

Next time you're in Los Angeles, drop on by! And you won't even need the car! :) Seriously -- our hotels are just a short walk from the subway stations!

Kaid @ NRDCMar 12 2009 09:20 AM

Elson, thanks for clarifying that point, and keep up the fabulous work. You're giving "community organizer" a good name!

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