What a wonderful Saturday morning we spent collaborating with our Pico-Union partners and community members on Dec. 9 at our first Community Dialogue event! 

It was an extraordinary conversation, full of great ideas and possibilities for the kind of Pico-Union community members deserve and can achieve together.  

Nearly 60 members of the community and representatives of our partners, including the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Central City Neighborhood Partners (CCNP), Equitas Charter School, Homies Unidos, Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA), LIFT Los Angeles, Pico-Union Neighborhood Council, Pico-Union Project, Pico-Union Public Library, Red Shield Salvation Army, and 10th street Elementary joined us in a positive dialogue that allowed us all to learn critical information about Pico-Union. 

Together, they identified community assets, existing resources, talents, skills, hopes, and dreams for the community they call home. We discussed how we can collectively improve the lives of our neighbors in one of Los Angeles’s most vibrant communities.  

“United Way is with you all the way. We are here to support you, we are here to listen, and really make sure that we build a community where everyone has access to the American dream,” said Elise Buik, our president and CEO.

We also spoke on how to build shared prosperity in the neighborhood by focusing on, mutual aid, and shared space and community beautification projects. We then had the opportunity to review the results of a community survey about the issues that impact the Pico-Union residents the most, such as collective talents and skills, buying power, and economic potential. 

“We know that the American dream of individual success is not possible without each other. We count and depend on each other to succeed. That’s the heart of this asset mapping project we can create together to make sure that we have shared prosperity in our community so that not just one of us gets ahead but that we all get ahead together,” said Norma Rodriguez, director of Community Prosperity & Ownership at United Way of Greater Los Angeles. 

According to the survey that was responded to by nearly 500 community members, the three top opportunities that Pico-Union residents would be more interested in developing are community beautification and safety, food security, and community gardens and farms. 

We also discussed the economic potential of this community based on the findings of our collaboration with USC Neighborhood Data for Social Change.  For example, research shows that Pico-Union residents have more collective buying power than similar neighborhoods across L.A. — approximately $1.66B. 

This is just the beginning of our collective work. We appreciate everyone’s input during the conversation. We can’t wait to begin developing our projects and put them into action together! 


📱Follow Us!
Instagram Facebook Twitter LinkedIn TikTok YouTube