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A bill introduced in the California Legislature seeks reparations for families who were displaced in the 1950s from the communities of Palo Verde, La Loma, and Bishop in Los Angeles to make way for Dodger Stadium. The bill, known as the Chavez Ravine Accountability Act, was introduced by Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo and proposes compensation for the displaced families, most of whom were Mexican American. The housing project promised to the residents was never built, and the land was eventually acquired by the Dodgers.

The bill calls for the city of Los Angeles to form a nine-member task force to provide compensation to the displaced families or their descendants. Compensation could come in the form of city-owned land or fair-market-value compensation. Additionally, a permanent memorial to honor those displaced and a searchable database documenting the history of the land acquisition would be constructed. The goal of the legislation is to provide long-overdue compensation to the residents of the three communities and facilitate reconciliation and healing.

Among those impacted by the displacement was Aurora Vargas, who was forcibly removed from her home in 1959. Her niece, Melissa Arechiga, founded Buried Under the Blue, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the history of the displacement. Arechiga and Vincent Montalvo, whose grandparents were also displaced, expressed gratitude and relief about the introduction of the bill, but they want to see the Dodgers play a role in the reparations process as they continue to benefit from the land.

The bill marks the first step in a lengthy process before potential passage. It will need to be considered by the California Assembly’s Judiciary Committee and move through both the Assembly and State Senate before reaching Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk by September. The legislation sets a deadline for the database of former residents to be ready by Jan. 1, 2027, before any compensation process can begin. While the bill’s introduction is progress, further work is needed to secure reparations for the families who were displaced from Chavez Ravine in the 1950s.

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