South LA Democratic Space: T.R.U.S.T. South LA

Tafarai Bayne, Community Affairs Manager of T.R.U.S.T. South LA.

T.R.U.S.T. (Tenemos Que Reclamar Y Unidos Salvar La Tierra) South LA is a Community Land Trust established in November 2005 as a democratic and permanent steward of land, to challenge the role that speculators, absentee owners and corporations have played in deciding the neighborhoods’ future. Its members are restricted to low-income residents of the land trust area.

Part of their land trust work involves healthy activity and alternative transit promotion through South LA exploratory bicycle rides, mobile mapping of the area, and an active partnership with CicLAvia by spearheading the South LA Hub that reimagines how the streets in South LA can be more open healthy, active, and safe for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Tafarai who has worked in South LA for 12 years choose the streets as his democratic space “because I feel like there is untapped potential in the streets when you think about democracy. When you look at the streets you see all this interaction between people and the streets themselves connect so many communities. In this CicLAvia event, and particularly the South LA hub, we decided to reframe the streets and reframe how democracy can be brought into the streets in a new way for bicycles and pedestrians.”

T.R.U.S.T. (Tenemos Que Reclamar Y Unidos Salvar La Tierra) South LA fue establecido en 2005 como un delegado de la tierra para cuestionar el rol de los especuladores y las corporaciones en decidir el futuro de las comunidades. Sus proyectos incluyen paseos en bicicleta para explorar y re-imaginar las calles en el Sur de Los Ángeles.

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New map takes bicyclists through South LA

imageSouth Los Angeles organizers are urging people to explore their community in a new way: on their bicycles.

Ride South LA is new cycling map that guides riders through South LA, ending up at the Watts Towers.

Researchers and avid cyclists have been scoping the area for months to set up the route. it was tested by 60 riders in January — using social media mapping tools to gather data and information about which parts of the city people enjoyed and which they didn’t, according to a news release.

The map is available online and will be distributed at this weekend’s Ciclavia event in front of the African American Firefighter Museum on Central Avenue.

The map was compiled not only from rider feedback but also from photos submitted by riders. Those photos can be seen on the printed map.

The organizations behind this project are hoping for broad social change as people experience South LA in a different light.

“Social change with maps only happens if they are integrated into the community’s storytelling network,” said researcher George Villanueva of USC’s Metamorphosis Project in a news release. Storytelling must go “beyond media organizations, and include residents and community-based organizations.”

Ride South LA hopes to continue mapping the South Los Angeles community.

Other organizations behind Ride South LA include T.R.U.S.T. South LA, the Mobile Urban Mapping Project, the Mobile Lab, the Annenberg Innovation Lab and the East Side Riders Bike Club.