When the federal government sent every resident of Chavez Ravine a letter in 1949 saying they would be required to sell their homes, it wasn't a completely bad thing at first. Sure, moving to a new place would be a downer for the generations of Mexican-Americans who'd turned the tiny valley, located not far from Downtown Los Angeles, into a self-sufficient, small-town-like community that ran its own school and just generally existed independent of the bustling metropolis that surrounded it. But it was all going to be replaced with a shiny new housing development, and residents would have first pick of the new units once they were built.
Not everyone left, of course, and those who did received way less compensation for their homes than they deserved. But what choice did anyone really have in the long run? People who just flat-out refused to leave would eventually succumb to the healing powers of eminent domain, anyway.
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It fixes everything.
The project, which was fancily named "Elysian Park Heights," found one of its most vocal backers in Frank Wilkinson, the assistant director of the Los Angeles City Housing Authority at the time. Unfortunately, as you may recall from your stupid history books, LA in the 1950s was awash in a Communism scare so intense that actors and writers who refused to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee were blacklisted from working in Hollywood altogether.