Alliance for Community Transit (ACT-LA): KIWA is on the host committee for ACT-LA, a city-wide coalition of housing, transportation, and labor advocates, as well as environmental justice organizations and affordable housing developers, that seeks a sustainable transit systems and neighborhoods for ALL people in Los Angeles, placing the interests of low-income communities and communities of color first as we create a more sustainable city. Through strategic campaigns and public actions, ACT-LA is ensuring that LA’s transit expansion has the potential to benefit, rather than harm, working people and their families.
EV Carshare Program: KIWA is on the Steering Committee for Blue LA’s EV Carsharing Program in partnership with LA Department of Transit (LADOT) and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability as part of the City of Los Angeles’ mobility strategy. This program aims to address the car ownership culture in Los Angeles and become a viable and sustainable public transportation option for all Angelenos, especially for low-income communities of color. A system of 100 electric vehicles and 200 charging stations will be available in central Los Angeles including Westlake, Koreatown, Pico-Union, Downtown, Echo Park, Boyle Heights, and Chinatown in 2018.
Affordable Housing: There is a deep, unmet need for affordable housing in Los Angeles and across California. In partnership with Little Tokyo Service Center, KIWA developed an affordable housing in Koreatown named Casa Yonde. Its name apt for KIWA’s work in multiethnic solidarity building, Casa Yonde couples Casa meaning “home” in Spanish and Yonde meaning “solidarity” in Korean. Casa Yonde is a 52-unit, 100% affordable, LEED Platinum project with 18 homes set aside for homeless transitional aged youth (TAY) and survivors of domestic violence. With this, we seek to demonstrate that we can and must build housing that is affordable, beautiful, and environmentally sustainable.
Parks: Koreatown is the densest and a very highly park-poor neighborhood in Los Angeles with 0.7 acres of green space per 1,000 people in Koreatown compared to LA County’s average of 3.3 acres per 1,000 people. Our two existing parks Seoul International Park and Shatto Recreation Center struggle to serve over 125,000 Koreatown residents. Lack of access to open space, urban parks, and recreation centers in low-income communities of color is a basic quality of life issue rooted in historic race and class inequity. As higher rates of density looms in Koreatown, our fight for the commons becomes more critical. Our communities deserve green space where seniors can gather, children can play, and workers can rest! There is a current campaign to make Liberty Park, a 2.5 acre green space on Wilshire Blvd, to become a historic-cultural monument thereby protecting it from development and making it accessible to the public forever.
KTown Farms: KTown Farms addresses the lack of green space in Koreatown. By targeting small, unused lots in the community and transforming them into micro-farms, this project aims to create a corridor of green space and facilitate organic food production in Koreatown. Ktown Farms is now inactive, but learn more about the project here.
Koreatown Tenants Defense Network: In partnership with the Los Angeles Foundation for Legal Aid (LAFLA), Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Korean American Bar Association, and others, KIWA began a monthly clinic for low-income tenants. The clinic meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm at LAFLA, 1102 Crenshaw Blvd. KIWA is no longer involved in running the clinic but we are proud to have established this vital community resource with dedicated and competent housing rights advocates.