In perusing some articles at the Daily Trojan regarding the issue, I came across a link to USC2030.com, a website with a great infographic on USC's history of development so far. There's a disclaimer at the bottom of the page, but no one takes credit for the site.
My letter is below. Contact UNIDAD Coalition for more information.
To Michael LoGrande, Director of LA City Planning,
I am writing as a community member, in support of the UNIDAD coalition, to express serious concerns about the draft of the USC Specific Plan and the associated draft Development Agreement.
What I hope is possible is for the neighborhood to transform in an inclusive way and that builds upon the potential of the residents and organizations that currently live and work there.
During the March 14 public hearing, a testimonial was given by a lawyer stating that the Environmental Impact Report being used to move forward the Specific Plan is out of date. The Specific Plan does not adequately address housing demand. As a former student at UC Irvine, I have experienced first-hand the negative effect of unchecked, privately-owned, student-centric housing development on both students and residents. Deep student debt is creating a generation that must focus on making money and survival more than on the values of community relationship-building, cultural creation, and intellectual investigation. The City and USC have an opportunity to set a precedent for a kind of gentrification that in which a broad array of neighborhood stakeholders (from families, to students, to community organizations) are included in the process of making the area more livable for all. Affordable student housing and affordable family housing must be priorities simultaneously. In revising the USC Specific Plan and Development Agreement, the Planning Department must work on the public’s behalf—especially the hardworking low-income community surrounding USC, the community that will continue to be displaced by the University’s growth if the City does not hold itself, USC, and private developers accountable for negligence and irresponsibility. I urge you to revise the USC Specific Plan and Development Agreement in accordance with UNIDAD coalition’s input. As a community member and LA resident who has a vested interest in the mindful development of the historically underserved South LA area, I want the University and my City to live up to the ideals they profess: ideals of fairness, justice, compassion, and community—ideals that, when put into practice, bring the greatest shared prosperity and success.