Mainland Chinese Moving to El Monte

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The LA Times recently had a story about Chinese moving into El Monte.

They didn't get into the specifics of which Chinese, but it's the Mainland Chinese, not the Taiwanese who flocked to Arcadia, or Hong Kongers in MPK.

The big draw is the EB-5 visa, which allows people who create jobs to get a green card. In El Monte, the minimum investment is only $500,000. The reason for the tear-downs is that doing a tear-down creates more jobs.

This is going to transform the city. I hope they manage to retain a lot of their historic aspects. It has a long history of being an integrated area, even during the mid-20th century when residential segregation was being pushed around the County.

The article also adds, "Kleinhenz, the economist, compared El Monte to Little Tokyo in the 1980s, when it was an economically depressed neighborhood next to an expanding skid row. Japanese investors with surpluses of capital sought profits overseas. Cultural links with the existing immigrant population in Little Tokyo drew huge developments to what was considered an unusual area for them. The neighborhood was transformed."

The investment in Little Tokyo also activated young people to resist the gentrification. And while it was basically impossible for the once-working-class community to fight the tide of global capital, they did manage to get some concessions, and did protect some residences and the 1st Street area. They also got the Little Tokyo Towers. There's more info about LT redevelopment here, at KCET.

Food for thought.

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