Today, our South LA community is literally fighting to save lives.

We're fighting because a multitude of citizen voices that until some months ago were not very well organized were ignored for decades.

Ignored by MTA. Ignored by LADOT. Ignored by the Federal Transit Administration. Ignored by the California Public Utilities Commission. Ignored by Yvonne Burke, Bernie Parks, Jan Perry and Herb Wesson who all sit on the Expo Line Board, which is responsible for building the Expo Line.

In the past, the South LA's safety and environmental impact concerns were dismissed not on merit, but because the voices of the individuals speaking were not viewed as powerful enough to warrant attention and respect. As a transit advocate I find that tragic. Tragic because, as I've come to learn over the last year, it means that how the Expo Line and others in our region are built is based not on good or safe transit planning, but instead on political power.

Well over the past few months the scales of power in South LA have shifted. Our community, which has long been neglected has risen, and we have brought with us an increase in our expectations of our local political leadership. With a strong united voice the South LA community has proclaimed to our local elected leaders we are NOT your subjects; you are elected to work with and serve US.

This is our moment South LA - this is our time.

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Through much trial, tribulation and legal efforts we, the South LA community, have after decades of talking FINALLY convinced our local officials (Wesson, Parks, Perry and Burke) to reevaluate the proposed street-level Farmdale Avenue railroad crossing. At Farmdale the train would pass 240 times a day, just 30 feet from classrooms at Dorsey High School. A train-car accident here, like the hundreds of train-car accidents on the MTA Blue Line, would push the car or train into Dorsey HS classrooms or directly where hundreds of Dorsey HS students would be standing. Building the train at street-level across Farmdale would be a historic tragedy waiting to happen.

The MTA has known from the beginning that a street-level crossing at Dorsey was problematic and did not meet South LA community standards. They were told by us and they were told by the LAUSD. Interest groups in Santa Monica knew as well, and yet these interest groups refuse to support anything other than a street-level crossing at Farmdale, putting in danger OUR South LA children and ruining OUR South LA classrooms. As we, the South LA community work to address this issue, the Santa Monica interest group is pressuring on OUR elected officials to deny OUR community the safety that an underpass would provide.

The pillars of the Santa Monica interest groups' opposition are as misleading as the information distributed by MTA/Expo (as explained at The basis of their opposition is also revealing. Their statement is that by delaying this project to study an overpass or underpass at Farmdale the fate of line would be jeopardized. Stated simply, THEY ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT GETTING THE EXPO LINE TO SANTA MONICA THAN THE LIVES OF OUR SOUTH LA CHILDREN!!!

So it is clear, it is the MTA and our local politicians that waited two decades until this very late juncture to address the Farmdale crossing problem, (and we're still waiting for them to address the many other problematic crossings in South LA). And now that the day is finally here, Santa Monica interest groups seek to combat our South LA community, which is is FINALLY being heard, because we have dared to come together and demand something of our political leadership.

Well we have a message for the Santa Monica interest group and politicians who could care less if the Expo Line catches fire in South LA, just as long as the fire is out when it reaches the Santa Monica border: Your input and negative interference in South LA is unwelcome.



Here are excerpts of the PUC hearing on Farmdale at Dorsey HS on November 5:

To view the some of the rest of the statements from the meeting to our YouTube page: link.

Thank you for all your hard work.

Strength in unity.

Damien Goodmon
Coordinator, Citizens' Campaign to Fix the Expo Rail Line

P.S. To email the Expo Line Board (Parks, Perry, Burke and Wesson) along with Mayor Villaraigosa to tell them to support South LA's request to study an underpass at Farmdale, just copy and paste the following email addresses or click on the link:,,,,,,,

As covered on Front Page Online: Rebuking Santa Monica for Putting Itself Ahead of Our Safety