Maywood activists oppose LAUSD eminent domain

Los Angeles Unified’s $20 billion school construction program is humming along, building schools in crowded areas. But a group of Maywood parents is trying to halt the district’s use of eminent domain in their neighborhood.

L.A. Unified wants to buy eight acres in Maywood to build a 1,200 student school. The property near the 5 and 710 freeways is not a vacant lot — more than a hundred homes and eight businesses are there.

Parents, most of them Spanish speakers, say the district hasn’t been up front with them — and could build the school elsewhere. Hector Alvarado, of the housing advocacy group Union de Vecinos, is helping area residents oppose the project.

"Basically it would be about 300 families. Another important thing is that here in Maywood where elections are won by four to five votes, by removing those residents that would remove about four percent of the registered voters. That’s too much," Alvarado said.

L.A. Unified denies the activists’ allegations. An L.A. Unified official says the state has declared other school sites suggested by activists as industrial sites unsafe for new schools.

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