Los Angeles County supervisors addressed community concerns regarding possible displacement of residents, public safety and environmental impact on communities affected by the expansion of the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted in favor of establishing the county’s first “Health Innovation Community Partnership” on March 14.
The objective of the partnership is to engage area residents, community and civic leadership in the coordinated development of the Health Sciences Campus.
“It is critical for the community impacted by the development of a Health Science District to play a role in determining its future,” said Isela Gracian, executive director of the East Los Angeles Community Corporation. “We anticipate that USC will participate along with community stakeholders and civil leaders in planning for world-class medical services and a biotech center that also lifts residents and communities to new levels of sustainability rather than push us out.”
More than 40 community leaders testified in favor of the expansion plans of the USC medical facilities. These plans include possible new dorms, parking structures, an additional hospital, a hotel and biotech labs. Potential uncoordinated development could lead to the displacement of residents in the surrounding neighborhoods leading to negative impacts on housing, children, family wellness and transportation.
According to the press release, stakeholders called for more job opportunities, more affordable housing and educational opportunities related to science.
“World class medical and biotech development in Los Angeles should happen,” said Maria Brenes, executive director of InnerCity Struggle at the press conference, “but not at the expense of residents’ quality of life, especially low-income communities that already face multiple cultural, health and economic inequalities.”