April 26, 2017

Iconic Urban Garden Threatened with Foreclosure in South Central LA

Los Angeles--Only 7 days are left to save Ron Finley’s “Gangsta Garden,” an initiative started to support urban nutrition education and provide positive work for area youth. Over 21,000 people signed a Care2 petition to request Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the foreclosure entity, Strategic Acquisitions Inc. to cease foreclosure actions against the property. Actress Nell Newman, founder of Newman’s Own, and John Foraker, president of Annie’s Homegrown started the petition to save the farm. “What Ron has done is incredible, really,” said Foraker “His vision for a healthier world has not only provided nourishment, it has bolstered a community. I hope the support of my Care2 petition will convince the property owner that Ron’s project is valuable and ought to stay.” According to a January 2016 article by the LA Weekly, the property was purchased at a foreclosure auction by Strategic Acquisitions Inc for $379,003. The acquisition, like many others is part of a much larger trend of gentrification in South Central Los Angeles and urban centers around the country. A 2015 report by Health Impact Partners (HIP) indicated that thousands of South Central residents would be displaced by new high end luxury developments pushing through the urban space. In addition to Finely’s urban farm which was started in 2010, a 775 million development project is also schedule to fell a large swath of South Central, bringing, hotels, condominiums, and other mixed-use residential units. However, Finely’s supporters were able to raise over 300,000 via a GoFundMe campaign and hope to be successful in their push to enlist the help of Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Ron challenges people to have a different perspective on food, to see it as something that can be organic, sustainable, and community-oriented,” Newman said, who co-founded Newman’s Own® Organics: The Second Generation® with her father, Paul Newman, in 1993. “It’s a shame that someone would be so predatory as to shut down such a valuable operation. But the sheer number of small donations being made to his GoFundMe and the number of Care2 petition signatures gathered gives me hope that we can save his project.”

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