Boyle Heights: Community, Health, Housing & Planning

It’s the Ellis Island of the West Coast, the community in which the first immigrants from a myriad of different ethnic and religious groups settled and one of the oldest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Boyle Heights, at one time home to Jewish and Japanese immigrants and now predominantly Latino, is the focal point for how the city of Los Angeles has served low income families and whether future development will protect those most vulnerable residents.

That future is still uncertain, especially for inhabitants of public and low income housing who fear they could be the next victims of gentrification. It has transformed neighboring downtown L.A. into a high rent, high income area. Could Boyle Heights be next? [More]

The Plaza: 3 Generations on Mariachi Square

The face of mariachi in Los Angeles is changing. From the space where the roving musicians congregate to the backgrounds of the players in the bands, the mariachi scene has undergone a facelift. L.A.'s newest light rail line runs through the heart of La Plaza Del Mariachi in Boyle Heights where dozens of the players congregate all week long waiting for gigs across the city. At the same time, second-generation mariachis feel a responsibility to uphold the musical traditions brought to the barrio from Mexico.

Take a walk through Boyle Heights
and see the problems and the promise of L.A.

Walk through the neighborhood of Boyle Heights, just east of downtown Los Angeles, and you see the history of the city unfold before your eyes. From the Boyle Hotel built in 1889 and the USC + LAC Medical Center built in 1878 to historic synagogues and Mariachi Plaza. The cultural, religious and ethnic melting pot that is Los Angeles starts in Boyle Heights and emanates outward. Join us as we take a walk through Boyle Heights and take in the past, present and future of all of Los Angeles. [More]

Confronting the challenges to Boyle Heights: health care, housing & harmony

The challenges facing the residents of Boyle Heights are familiar: access to affordable housing and high-quality health care, but some are unique. Environmental health issues, housing costs and availability, school performance, and gang influence are among the issues that threaten the health and safety of area residents. But the promise of Boyle Heights is unmistakable and hopes are high as crime is down, education reform comes into focus, middle class families work to gain prominence and economic and cultural development begins to blossom. Join us as we talk about the health, housing and planning issues of Boyle Heights. [More]

Reported by: Noelle Conti & Grant Slater
Audio Production: Noelle Conti, Jonathan Serviss, Patt Morrison
Video Production: Grant Slater
Web Production: Eric Zassenhaus & Jeff Long
Web Editor: Jason Kandel


Los Angeles Mayor


Founder, Homeboy Industries


Executive Director, Violence Intervention Program


President, East L.A. Community Corporation

Race Relations

Gang Interventionist, Legacy L.A.


Artistic Director, Casa 0101