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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

40 Acres and a Mall: Crenshaw Community Protests at Homes of Gentrifiers

For over a year, the Crenshaw Mall, a landmark Black economic and cultural hotspot that sits on 40 acres, has been the target of numerous outside White developers seeking to gentrify Black Los Angeles. In a tremendous act of Black self-determination, the nonprofit DCR was formed and has raised over $59.5 million dollars, including $34 million in philanthropy in the bank, identified a mission-aligned social impact financial backer, assembled a world-renowned development team, and with the community has crafted a plan to purchase, stabilize and redevelop the space into one that centers the needs of Black L.A....

"This is a genuine coming together to show how through collective ownership and solidarity economy principles we can uplift, not uproot our Black community," said Damien Goodmon, Crenshaw-area resident and DCR Board Member.

Despite DCR submitting the highest offer of $115 million with the best terms and expressing a willingness to outbid any other bidder, the sellers awarded the bid to Harridge Development Group, a development firm with a troubling history of giving campaign donations before City Hall approval, sued for violating tenant rights and sued for violating civil rights. Harridge's CEO David Schwartzman, who filed for personal bankruptcy, was the subject a #MeToo workplace sexual harassment lawsuit (L.A. Superior Court Case BC296143) [at 1:00:58], where the plaintiff alleged he bragged about sleeping with Russian prostitutes, and made racist statements.

Schwartzman's financial backer is Soviet-born oil tycoon billionaire Leonard (Len) Blavatnik...

Read the rest at PRNewswire

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