New health center for gay South LA

Kevin Tsukii

The new Gleicher / Chen Health Center is located at 3743 S. La Brea Ave. and officially opened on Oct. 1. | Kevin Tsukii

Vallerie Wagner swears she’s not the sex police.

“Sex should be fun,” Wagner said in a new office still smelling of fresh paint.

She’s sex-positive, but fighting a battle to keep the citizens of South L.A. HIV-negative. Wagner runs the Gleicher/Chen Health Center which is part of APLA Health & Wellness, the first Federally Qualified Health Center in South L.A. aimed at serving both HIV-negative and -positive people of color. According to the Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council, this is the population most affected by AIDS.

The health center resides at the intersection of La Brea Avenue and Rodeo Road in the Baldwin Hills Shopping Center and aims to serve the predominantly Black gay community of South L.A.

The 6,700-square-foot building is outfitted with five exam rooms, a blood lab, a state-of-the-art dental clinic and three counseling rooms. The modern furniture and vibrant colors make the space feel like a welcoming lounge.

[Read more…]

Community leaders seek healthcare funds for LA County’s uninsured

AffordableCareApril2014-ARNAs the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act comes to an end, about one million people in Los Angeles County remain uninsured. Community groups and activist organizations are calling upon the Board of Supervisors to propose a plan for those still without healthcare.

Click play on an audio story from Annenberg Radio News to hear from those ineligible for Obamacare, as well as the voices of the people fighting on their behalf for another solution.

South LA health resources still in crticial condition


South L.A.’s Umma Clinic | Shaleeka Powell

South Los Angeles has one of the most medically underserved populations in the country and lacks basic and vital health resources, even with the help of a handful of new clinics and the recent rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Residents disproportionately lack high quality, accessible, affordable and comprehensive primary and preventive health care services, argues a petition from the South Los Angeles Health and Human Rights Coalition. The area’s mostly Latino and Black families earn a median income of roughly $35,000 a year, making healthcare costs a challenge. And undocumented immigrants, who make up about 40 percent of South L.A.’s uninsured, cannot sign up for coverage under Obamacare.

A handful of clinics, such as Umma Community Clinic, have stepped forward to help fill the gap. [Read more…]

South LA in 2013: The year in review

In 2013, policy makers and community members alike took a stand on a variety of issues affecting daily life in South Los Angeles. Here are five of them that will continue to develop during the next year. 


Lining up to find out about Obamacare at Powerfest South L.A. Photo by Katherine Davis.

Lining up to find out about Obamacare at Powerfest South L.A. | Katherine Davis

In 2013 healthcare was a major concern for many South L.A. residents. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act residents rushed to the front of the lines to enroll. Prior to the act’s approval one could find health clinics and health care workshops popping up all over the city. Though there were some complications with enrollments in the beginning, the Affordable Health Care Act is shaping up to be beneficial for the community.

Crenshaw/LAX Metro Line


Crenshaw/LAX business summit | L.A. Wave Newspaper

Back in June the Crenshaw/LAX rail line was approved for construction after years of dispute. The light-rail line will run though South L.A. and promises to create hundreds of jobs. Local businesses came together to host a summit for those interested in working for the rail line in October. Though the production of this railway may bring transportation benefits, some worry about the effect it will have on Leimert Park’s historic role as a hub for African American arts and culture.

Gang injunctions

Community members protest the gang injunctions | Photo Courtesy of the Daily Breeze

Gang injunction protest. | Daily Breeze

This past year there has been a new gang injunction plan for Inglewood, Echo Park and the San Fernando Valley. Gang injunctions seek to make communities safer by drastically restricting the activities of known gang members. Some people believe this new policy will help while others feel it merely promotes the schools to prison pipeline.


Oil Fields in Baldwin Hills | Photo Credit: The City Project

Oil Fields in Baldwin Hills | The City Project

One of the main issues concerning the people of South L.A. this year was oil fracking at the oil fields of Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. Many complained of the damage the fields were having on their homes while others were more concerned with the health risk they face living next to an oil field. Despite the community’s pleas to cease oil fracking in the area it seems federal funds are still being pumped into production.

The Forum | WikiCommons

The Forum | WikiCommons

The Forum

This past year the Forum in the “City of Champions,” Inglewood, was taken over by entertainment power house Madison Square Garden and renovated from the inside out creating hundreds of jobs for people in the community. The Forum will kick off it’s grand opening with a series of shows performed by the iconic band the Eagles in January 2014.

South LA health clinics waiting for Obamacare


St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in South Los Angeles delivers comprehensive health care and medical guidance to one of the nation’s poorest communities. What of Obamacare? St. John’s counselors aren’t certified to enroll anyone in the Affordable Care Act exchanges yet, but they will be soon.

To learn more details about Obamacare in South L.A., listen to an audio story from Annenberg Radio News: