Analysis Of The Vermont Slauson Region Of South Los Angeles

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Almost 25 years ago, the Vermont-Slauson region of South Los Angeles was one of the several neighborhoods, on many levels, devastated by the L.A. race riots of 1992. But even before the civil unrest, the region was fighting to foster business growth and economic development in an area not conducive to such results. Now flash forward to 2016, and Vermont –Slauson is an entirely different community – one experiencing a financial and commercial rebirth thanks to the Vermont- Slauson Economic Development Corporation. The VSEDC is a community, non-profit organization established in 1979 by former Mayor Tom Bradley, but began operations after responding to the neighborhood’s economic environment in 1981. Marva Smith Battle - Bey, an urban development expert, was the executive director of the corp. since the early eighties, but died April 7 of this year, according to Leslie Elliot, the VSEDC’s event and press coordinator. “She basically, you know, worked to better the conditions in this area for over, you know, thirty years,” Elliot said. The VSEDC Board of Directors announced Tuesday on their Facebook and Twitter pages that Joesph Rouzan, previously the director of L.A.’s Business Source program, has replaced Battle – Bey. Rouzan will now be the one to oversee the corp. working with the City of Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, Community Development Department and Mayor’s Office to continue aiding Vermont-Slauson’s revitalization. Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California’s 43rd district spoke out about the deceased executive director and said the South L.A. community will miss Battle - Bey dearly. “[Marva Smith Battle – Bey] left behind a legacy that the community will be forever grateful for. She has done so much t... ... middle of paper ... ...e got to make sure this neighborhood keeps on this path to getting better so that the younger generation can reap the benefits. We can’t go back to the way things were in ’92,” said Ukwu. As for the VSEDC’s future plans to continue bettering the community, Elliot said there will continue to be more entrepreneurship classes, conferences and initiatives developed for the neighborhood. But particularly, there will be an emphasis on applying social media tools such as blogging, Snapchat and Facebook to these programs in order to reflect how closely business and social media are intertwined nowadays. Yes, 25 years ago, it may have seemed as though the Vermont-Slauson neighborhood and its potential were burning to the ground from the race riots. “But, you know, somethings have to burn in order to emerge. I believe the VSEDC has helped this community to emerge,” said Ukwu.

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