Re-envisioning L.A.’s Civic Center, Watts Riots: Housing Policies

Dotted by empty lots and awkward pedestrian walkways, L.A.’s Civic Center is a strange mishmash of city, state and federal buildings. For years, city planners have been floating ideas to make the Civic Center more cohesive and now that downtown is booming, there’s a new urgency to re-envision the space. And all this week, we’re taking a look back at the 1965 Watts riots. Today, Madeleine explores the forces that crafted Watts into an African American community in the ‘40s and ‘50s. It’s a story of racist housing policy and segregation and we’re still seeing the effects of those policies today. Then, Amnesty International voted to support policies that decriminalize sex work yesterday. Many human rights advocates, including former President Jimmy Carter, pushed Amnesty to adopt the Swedish model—in which sex workers are not penalized, but the buyers are. Finally, the City of Long Beach has decided to overhaul its parking rules less insane. Currently, street sweeping restrictions start at 4 a.m., which means getting up before dawn to move your car. Parking tickets are one of the most reliable fundraising tools a city has, but definitely not the best.

Banner Image: Downtown Los Angeles Civic Center (currently)