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Walk with Amal: Looking for HomeA First Amendment Rights March from ICA LA to Gladys Park. 
Date: Thursday, November 2nd Start time: 1:00pm
Location: ICA LA , 7th Street / Skid Row, Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles

Walk with Amal is the journey of a 12-foot puppet representing a young Syrian refugee girl on an international search for her mother. On November 2, 2023 between 1-3pm, Little Amal will participate in Looking for Home, a First Amendment Rights march, to draw attention to the rights of refugees, migrants, immigrants, the unhoused, and all who need a home. Little Amal has become an international human rights symbol for displaced people. As we march together through the urban core of Los Angeles, we shall witness how the arts can help build a human connection with compassion in the face of societal struggles and challenges.

The march will begin at ICA LA in the Arts District and end with a puppet performance at Gladys Park in Skid Row, with stops at Para Los Niños and Inner City Arts. Little Amal’s visit to Los Angeles is part of Amal Walks Across America: A Nationwide Journey. The puppet of Little Amal was designed and built by Handspring Puppet Company.

Walk with Amal: Looking For Home is organized via a partnership between Los Angeles artists and arts organizations: ICA LA, Los Angeles Poverty Department, Automata, Inner City Arts, Para Los Niños, Immigrant Defenders Law Center, and artists Dorian Wood and Corazón del Sol.
* Parking will be available in the parking lot across the street from Para Los Niños on 7th street. Signage will mark the lot.

General Jeff/ Gladys Park will be the end of the march where Little Amal gets a home through the puppetry prowess of Automata with LAPD’ers involved with the performance. LA Poverty Departement and Skid Row Now & 2040 will distribute fliers to draw attention to the IX1 zone (the Affordable Housing Only zone).

After seven years of productive Skid Row Community work, DTLA 2040 (updating the Downtown Community Plan), has been adopted. It has many positive recommendations for the future of Skid Row as a Neighborhood. The Dept. of City Planning created the IX1 Zone (the Affordable Housing Only zone). But Council District 14 is proposing amendments to make it less effective.

Soon, the plan goes to the Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) for a final hearing. Let Your Voice Be Heard. Submit your letter to the Council File. Here is the link, look for the Submit a Public Comment button with a red “NEW” label.

Based in our Containment and Community policy paper as a framework and the Department’s recent report, we advocate for City Council to:

  • Retain the IX1 Zone with current boundaries and at 80% affordable housing, and clearly define affordable housing levels to remove moderate income units and prioritize deeply low income, extremely low income, very low income and lower income residents.
  • Retain the Community Benefits Program as currently adopted in the community plan, and described in this report.
  • Define representative members of the oversight committee for the Community Benefit Trust Fund so 30% of membership includes residents or workers with lived experienced of being unhoused.
  • Ensure funds from the Community Benefit Trust Fund are used within a 1-mile radius of Downtown Los Angeles development, not a 1.5-mile radius, with a priority benefit to Skid Row.

As the adopted community plan moves through the City Attorney’s review and subsequent implementation, we also continue to advocate for City Council to:

  • Establish a Skid Row district council for self-representation by residents (housed and unhoused) and workers within the historical Skid Row boundaries.
  • Implement elements of DTLA 2040 that foster a healthy and sustainable Skid Row neighborhood.