I grew up in Boyle Heights during the 50s and 60s – those days when we spent LOTS of time out on the streets of the neighborhood — playing with tadpoles by the LA River at Hazard Park; playing sports, being part of clubs and just hanging around Wabash Playground; catching a movie at the Brooklyn Theatre whenever we could muster the 25-cent admission; lots of picnics at Hollenbeck Park; peeking through services at the various Jewish synagogues; learning to grow our little plants properly from our Japanese neighbors; listening to ice-cream trucks, Helm’s Bakery van, or trains and boats near the stations. I absolutely LOVE its culture and the people. I had my first rude political awakening at the 1970 Chicano Moratorium at Laguna Park. I attended East LA College before I moved away to attend college in Northern California. Now, I think I love the Eastside more than anything for keeping me grounded, informed, and inspired!
*Margarita Ramirez is a Deputy Director at the Liberty Hill Foundation *