U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) made the following statement in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles civil unrest, more commonly known as the L.A. riots. Bass was a cofounder of the social organization, Community Coalition, which began two years prior to the unrest and was instrumental in repurposing several problem liquor stores in the South Los Angeles area.
"It's bittersweet to know that it's been 20 years since the three-day civil unrest began because we've made tremendous progress, yet work still needs to be done. I can remember driving through the infamous intersection of Florence and Normandie, the exact moment the violence ensued and feeling an overwhelming sense of grief that the many years of economic distress and racial tensions in South L.A. resulted in such negativity. While our community endured three long days of rioting, burning and attacks, the bright light was the number social justice pioneers who were determined that once the smoke cleared, South LA would be a different place --safer for children with more economic opportunities for families. There is no doubt that progress is still needed, but with an ethnic rainbow of devoted leaders in South L.A. I am confident conditions will continue to progress."