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BLUE BOOK – GREEN PAPER
EXHIBITION designed by Robert M. Ochshorn curated by LAPD / SRHM&A’s John Malpede.

November 22, 2022 – January 28, 2023
*PRESS CONFERENCE Nov. 22, 11am
* OPENING RECEPTION Nov. 22, 5-7pm

  • PRESS CONFERENCE:  11 / 22, 11:00am

The Skid Row Now & 2040 Coalition releases its policy paper Containment and Community: The History of Skid Row and its Role in the Downtown Community Plan with the exhibit Blue Book – Green Paper. the 1976 vision that saved Skid Row’s housing

The new community plan for Downtown has been signed off on by the City’s Zoning Commissioners with the next stop being City Council’s, Planning and Land Use Management, (PLUM) committee. The final version of the City’s DTLA 2040 community plan is expected to be signed into law in early 2023. Skid Row Now & 2040, a neighborhood coalition of grass roots organizations and residents, has been in dialogue with the planners to ensure that the final plan will benefit current residents of Skid Row: including housing for everyone, neighborhood amenities and no displacement. These concerns and recommendations are articulated in our policy paper, Containment and Community: The History of Skid Row and its Role in the Downtown Community Plan. Historian and author Dr. Cathy Gudis and Skid Row Now & 2040 Coalition members from Los Angeles Poverty Department, United Coalition East Prevention Project, Los Angeles Catholic Worker, Los Angeles Community Action Network and other Skid Row residents and leaders will address these concerns at the press conference.

This press conference advocates for:

  • Retaining the IX1 Zone, which allows only affordable housing to be developed within a designated portion of Skid Row, from 5th to 7th Streets and east of San Pedro Street to Central Avenue.
  • Expanding the IX1 Zone to represent the historical boundaries of Skid Row, from 3rd to 7th Streets and from Main to Alameda Streets.
  • Establishing a Skid Row district council for self-representation by residents (housed and unhoused) and workers within the historical Skid Row boundaries.
  • Supporting elements of DTLA 2040 that foster a healthy and sustainable Skid Row neighborhood.
  • Further developing the City’s new inclusionary zoning study to complement DTLA 2040’s proposed Community Benefits Program in order to achieve transformative levels of acutely low-income housing units.

Our call to action is based on the history of Skid Row and community efforts to preserve low-income housing as envisioned in the 1976 Blue Book Plan (the subject of the exhibition on view). Containment and Community uses the Blue Book as a historical touchstone. Importantly, it debunks the false narratives exploiting this history that are being employed to create market rate development throughout Skid Row, and to displace and subjugate current residents. The paper, Containment and Community, evidences the vitality and achievements of the Skid Row community and how and what the community needs to continue its development. 

“Skid Row, as a historically multiracial and working people’s neighborhood, has remarkable grassroots social networks, cultural assets, and housing that spans income levels and serves majority minority community members,” claims Cathy Gudis, UC-Riverside professor of history and Skid Row Now & 2040 Coalition member“Our goal for DTLA 2040 is to achieve the greatest amount low-income housing with the highest quality of life for all, without dismantling existing social infrastructure or displacing existing residents, both housed and unhoused.”

An equitable plan for the future of Downtown Los Angeles must include present and past Skid Row needs that have never been met. – Charles Porter, United Coalition East Prevention Project.

  • OPENING RECEPTION  11 / 22, 5-7pm

Bunker Hill, the triumph of capital over community. Tens of thousands displaced. Get ready for Bunker Hill 2 –the sequel. A plan to raze Skid Row.

That was the situation in 1973 when Tom Bradley took office. The plan had been adopted before Bradley took office. People didn’t like it. Residents didn’t want to lose their apartments, housing activists were beside themselves. Developers in other parts of town wanted those redevelopment tax dollars for themselves.

Mayor Bradley Stopped the process.
Out of nowhere an alternative plan appeared. The Blue Book. In it, community activists laid out a plan to save the housing in Skid Row –and to protect it from development. City Council adopted this plan: no market rate housing would be allowed between Main and Alameda, 3rd St. and 7th St.

Now you can see the Blue Book plan come to life.
One Book, one table. See the activists who made the plan emerge from the Book. Turn a page and Catherine Morris jumps out of the book, her image appears on the table and she tells us how she got the idea to intervene in the planning process. Turn another page and thematically linked photos, videos, audio, and paper documents, pop up, and are projected. The show is designed by Robert M. Ochshorn curated by LAPD / SRHM&A’s John Malpede. Ochshorn is the co-founder of San Francisco based, REDUCT, Inc. where he designs media interfaces for extending human perceptive and expressive capabilities. 

Why Now?
A new plan for downtown is about to go to City Council. It will define what’s possible in downtown development for the next 20 years. Now, there’s a sequel to the Blue Book Plan — The Green Paper (‘cause it’s got a green cover). Skid Row Now & 2040, a neighborhood coalition of grass roots organizations and residents, has been in dialogue with the planners to ensure that the final plan will benefit current residents of Skid Row: including housing for everyone, neighborhood amenities and no displacement. These concerns and recommendations are articulated in our paper, Containment and Community: The History of Skid Row and its Role in the Downtown Community Plan.

Come see The Blue Book come to life and get yourself a copy of The Green Paper. Help ensure this successor to the Blue Book is adopted and has a long, and fruitful life.