The proposal for the creation of a Latino cultural district in Long Beach, California was by the City Council on March 2. The project is not a new idea, however, the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the Latino community pushed back on the agenda and the urgency of implementing tools to mitigate the immediate consequences of the pandemic.
As early as late 2020, Councilmember Uranga, Councilmember Zendejas, the CHA Center, and the City of Long Beach began envisioning the process for a Latino Cultural Center that would serve as a community center for local and regional Latino arts, culture, and history.
The ‘El Mercado de Long Beach’ initiative emerged from the CHA Center and proposes to build a space in the district that includes restaurants, grocery stores, retail, housing, entertainment, arts, and social services managed by and for the city’s Latino community. The space to carry out the project would be the area around Cesar E. Chavez Park, just west of downtown, explained Jessica Quintana, executive director of Centro CHA.
“A lot of Latinos work in retail, food, performing arts, […]