Growing up, I saw Leimert Park as our version of Harlem: the center of commerce, music and culture for the African-American community in Los Angeles. The last time I was in Leimert Park, I saw shuttered storefronts and empty sidewalks — a stark difference from the hustle and bustle I knew from growing up not far from there. I am sure that it is even more of a shock for the generations of Crenshaw residents before me.
We now have an opportunity to revitalize this once economically thriving community, though, via the Crenshaw/LAX Line, a $1.8 billion light-rail project expected to start construction in early 2014. There is a catch – a Leimert Park station, which would be the crown jewel of the line, is startlingly missing from current plans. There needs to be a Leimert Park station.
Last May, community residents and advocates packed the Metro board room in hopes of hearing good news about the inclusion of their community in the proposed stations.