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Morning Brief: Florence And Normandie, Whistleblowers, And ‘I Make Me [Sic]’

In a sparse line-drawing of an urban intersection, the streets are labeled in large lettering, "Normandie Ave" and "Florence Ave." Black and white photos of dark smoke against the sky are collaged into the illustration.
(Illustration by Alborz Kamalizad / LAist, photos courtesy of LA Public Library and Tomasz Sroka / Unsplash)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s April 29.

On this day 30 years ago, L.A. erupted following the acquittal of four white police officers who were seen on video violently assaulting Rodney King. The intersection of Florence and Normandie avenues in South L.A. was at the center of the revolt.

Now, reports my colleague Leslie Berestein Rojas, the intersection remains pretty much the same as it did then. According to those who live in the area, it’s neglected and suffers from a lack of investment and resources.

“It was really thought that this was going to be one of the places that there would be a concentration of investment, to bring grocery stores, to bring economic drivers, and that really didn’t occur,” said Manuel Pastor, director of the USC Equity Research Institute.

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City officials promised to lend help to the areas that were primarily affected by the 1992 uprising. Some areas have seen the promised help, writes Leslie, such as the Crenshaw District, Leimert Park and West Adams.

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But not Florence and Normandie, where a sense of despondence remains.

“When you live in a place that's disinvested … that was one of the flashpoints of the unrest and was promised so much economic change … [that] didn’t come, what you feel like as a resident is abandoned,” Pastor said.

Read the whole story here.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • A second member of L.A. Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s inner circle has filed a whistleblower lawsuit, alleging the Sheriff covered up a March 2021 video of a deputy kneeling on an incarcerated man's head for three minutes.
  • L.A. County transit officials approved a bus line through a highly traveled corridor linking the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. The North Hollywood-to-Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit Corridor is on track to open in 2024.
  • Over 85,000 unionized L.A. County workers including doctors, first responders, and service workers said the county hasn’t met their bargaining demands of a fair wage increase to offset unprecedented inflation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Officials are calling on Southern Californians to make ever-stricter cuts to water use, but some experts say more emphasis should be put on other conservation options, like water recycling.
  • California is getting federal funds to help plug 5,000 oil wells that have been abandoned by their owners. Many are in L.A. Despite being inactive for years, they still can leak toxins and pollute nearby air, soil and drinking water with cancer-causing contaminants.
  • Starting Jan. 1, 2023, medical malpractice cases not involving a patient's death will have a new limit of $350,000, with an increase over the next 10 years to $750,000.

Before You Go ... This Week's Event Pick: 'I Make Me [Sic]'

A dancer performs solo in an art gallery.
Will Rawls presents 'I make me [sic] 2016/2022' at Pace Gallery, the gallery's new performance program.
(Will Rawls, I make me [sic], 2016/2022 © Charles Roussel )
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The inaugural program at the new Pace Gallery in Mid-Wilshire is a 30-minute dance piece by choreographer Will Rawls, I make me [sic] (2016/2022). Including anecdotes and reconstructed performances, “I make me [sic] builds a portrait of Rawls' performance labor in other works, including a role as a zombie in the post-apocalyptic film I am Legend (2007).”

Or, you could: Explore ArtNight Pasadena. Shop for a tiny house. Attend the Latino Comics Expo. Ride the 626’s golden streets. And more.

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