An LA Promise Zone Mural That Beautifies and Unifies

October 12, 2016

When community members, government, nonprofit agencies and companies work together, the results are beautiful. After residents of Los Angeles' Council District 13 sought to curb gang activity and graffiti, an often-targeted wall of the local Smart and Final in the Los Angeles Promise Zone became the site of a new colorful and unifying community mural.

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[pictured: Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, Angelica Solis and Kyle Kirkpatrick, of YPI, and community partners]
Residents who live on Barton Ave. started to report public safety concerns of gang activity and graffiti on the backside of Smart and Final. To address this, public and private partners worked together to start a Barton Ave. Neighborhood Watch Program and complete a mural that had an anti-graffiti coating to easily remove future graffiti. Conversations surrounding the mural started in February 2016. 

Dassler Jimenez, a Barton Ave. resident and Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council representative, organized the mural creation and approval. A testament to the power of positive collective impact, the mural project was made possible with the help of LA's Council District 13, the Los Angeles Police Department, the City Attorney's Office, and the Youth Policy Institute, in support of the Obama administration's Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program. Mitch O'Farrell's Office Field Deputy Aram Taslagyan helped navigate City Departments for approval and graffiti coating. LAPD Senior Lead Officer Guerra also helped to organize the mural's creation. 

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Each partner helped to provide assistance in obtaining designs, approval from the City and property owners, funding, and the actual painting of the mural. Designed by artist Oscar Olivares, a total of 45 people, including Wilmer Morales helped paint the mural from September 23 - 25, 2016. 
 
On October 8, 2016, Smart and Final, the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, Councilman Mitch O'Farrell's Office, LAPD, YPI and community residents gathered to celebrate the mural unveiling.
 
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