Editorial: Lorena Plaza housing project moves forward. For real this time!
The fight to keep the Lorena Plaza housing project going in Tijuana and the fight to prevent it from being torn down for a new housing complex in Mexicali are two victories in a long fight against the rampant development of the entire border city.
Both are victories because they bring us closer to a vision of a border city made up of small, self-sufficient communities, with the border being the dividing line that defines their neighborhoods. This is a vision that the residents in both locales share and that is best represented in the development of the “Lincoln Ranch,” the community-based housing project that is moving forward after a long fight to keep the Lorena Plaza project alive.
The fight to keep the Lorena Plaza housing project alive for the last 25 years was not a simple one. That fight is over. The fate of the project, which was built as a single family home, a hotel, and a community center, is now in the hands of the residents and non-profit organizations who have worked so faithfully to save the project.
Their fight was not a simple one. To keep the project alive, they had to get involved in several civil rights actions, and in doing so, they were part of the historic “Summer of the Law,” the largest national organizing campaign to get civil rights laws passed in the United States. They also joined several other local organizations such as the Pajaro Valley Civic Association, the local chapter of the Fray and the Committee on the Judiciary in the state of California.
Both in the fight against a developer, and in the fight against the construction of a new housing complex in neighboring communities, they found themselves in front of powerful forces that opposed the project. But these forces were not just powerful in their opposition to the project. They were powerful in their opposition to an entire border city, whose residents had been fighting for years to have their voice be heard.
The residents had been ignored