Our Stories

South LA Residents' Voices are Heard Loud and Clear in Negotiations over Major Development Project Along the Expo Line

On February 10, 2011, an historic agreement was reached between the developer of the Lorenzo project in South Los Angeles and the UNIDAD Coalition, an alliance of nonprofit community based organizations that have fought to maintain community services, housing, and employment opportunities in the South Los Angeles area.  Public Counsel Staff Attorney Serena Lin, led a team of lawyers in completing negotiations of this multi-million dollar community benefits agreement, in which the developer agreed to concessions worth $9.5 million, including 7,500 square feet on the ground floor of the project dedicated to community based health care services.  Additional funds will also support start up construction costs for healthcare services; health care outreach efforts; affordable housing; and employment guarantees, at living wages, for local residents.

Coalition Organizations believe that the benefits provided in the agreement will improve the quality of life for residents in and around South Los Angeles. "The people of South LA were heard loud and clear with this game-changing CBA.  We have an agreement with Palmer that provides South LA residents with health services, jobs, affordable housing, small business development, and TOD planning - all desperately needed in this historically underserved community," said Serena W. Lin, Staff Attorney with Public Counsel's Community Development Project.

UNIDAD Coalition Organizations include SAJE (Strategic Actions for a Just Economy), Esperanza Community Housing, St. John's Well Child and Family Center, Community Development Technologies Center, PV Jobs, TRUST South LA, St. Francis Center, United University Church, Coalition for Responsible Community Development, and Vermont Village CDC.  UNIDAD Coalition organizations were represented by Public Counsel, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Chatten Brown & Carstens, Natural Resources Defense Council and Community Benefits Law Center.

For more information please see this Los Angeles Times article, which quotes Public Counsel staff attorney Serena Lin.