Filipinos join fight against gentrification at Long Beach “People’s State of the City”

LONG BEACH, CA — The community is banding together to tackle issues in the city.

LA County’s second largest city is continuing to find ways to build a better community.

The city and community held its annual People’s State of the City, where local elected officials hear directly from their residents.

Of the 470,000 that call Long Beach home, close to 19,000 are Filipino — and many of them have played a role at the annual state of the city address and community fair.

“We’re really out here to support the community, so that way the people can really be out there to voice their concerns and also work towards solutions together,” said Rome Hebron.

For Filipinos with families, it’s about preparing the city for the future.

“I want her to be aware of all the issues in our community that affect all the people in our community and this is a community that she’s going to be growing up in, and I hope she feels obligated to give back to the community and serve her community.”

While they celebrate recent victories such as a measure that would protect women in the hotel industry from sexual assault — they’re bringing up more issues, especially those that affect low-income communities of color, and working-class residents.

One of the biggest issues however, is right in front of the people’s state of the city. While they hold the address in an old historic church, right across the street, brand new high scale buildings.

Paula Abad of Anakbayan has seen her rent in her old neighborhood skyrocket $500 dollars over a 5-year span.

“All of places that have been popping up, and at the same time all of the rental rates in the area and there have been new additions to these condos that are going up. It’s not coincidental it’s all part of the business in the area and to prevent working class people to be able to thrive in the communities they’ve been living in for a long time… low income people, undocumented people, and people of color who are most vulnerable, all of us, at what investors are looking to profit off the displacement of our communities for more and more luxury housing.”

The community’s next fight is to convince city officials to pass a rent control ordinance.

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