A History of L.A. Neighborhood Name Changes

South L.A. is only one of the city’s neighborhoods that has been branded or re-branded. Just last month, the city council approved a community petition to name the neighborhood in West LA around Sawtelle Boulevard, “Sawtelle Japantown.” What drives neighborhood re-naming campaigns, and what impacts do they have on the ground, if any?



  • Fernando Guerra - professor of political science at Loyola Marymount University and director of its Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles - @LMU_CSLA