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SGV Connect

SGV Connect is Streetsblog Los Angeles' podcast that explores the people, places, projects and events that make up the changing face of transportation in the San Gabriel Valley. SGV Connect is hosted by Damien Newton and Kris Fortin. This feed also hosts SGV Connect's predecessor podcast, #DamienTalks.
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Now displaying: 2024
Jun 27, 2024

This week's SGV Connect returns to our regular formula with a pair of interviews by Damien Newton and Chris Greenspon.

First, Chris interviews Melissa Mora Hidalgo, a queer entertainment writer living in Whittier. The interview goes back and forth between fun and serious, as the two discuss both her work and the performative allyship that occurs during Pride month. In short, Hidalgo would prefer a city that works to create safe environments for all its residents to one that puts up rainbow flags one month a year.

You can read a transcript of the interview here.

After that, Damien interviews Jonah Kanner, an advocate for safer streets with the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition. Kanner recently authored a post for PCSC's blog entiteled, "Pasadena Is Almost a 15-Minute City." Kanner explains what a 15-minute city is, and what little things Pasadena can do to come ever-closer to joining the 15-minute club.

You can read a transcript of the interview here.

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Did we mention SGV Connect won a big award at the L.A. Press Club this week? Read all about it here.

Jun 14, 2024

This week Chris brings us a special feature interview with artist Isabel Pan. Pan is the artist in residence at C.A.S.A Zamora in El Monte. Her project has been a documentary-style, slice of life comic strip depicting the impact of sweatshop labor and refugee crises on the children of immigrants in the San Gabriel Valley. 

Pan’s subject is the son of a sweat shop worker, Denny. His parents came to El Monte in the late 70’s, fleeing the Vietnam War. They endured the loss of family en route to America, and the struggle of working in the garment industry once here. Pan’s comic strip is titled Má, which is what Denny calls his mother.

Má explores the generation gap and communication breakdown that Denny experienced growing up with parents who were traumatized by their escape from Vietnam and exploited by employers in Southern California. Denny’s mother was a work-from-home seamstress, payed cents per piece, who provided a home for her children. 

Pan - raised in part by working class grandparents - talks frankly with SBLA about the physical and emotional burden of this labor,  as well as the beauty of sharing these experiences with other Monteros. Her comic can be found at Matilija Lending Library in El Monte.

Streetsblog’s San Gabriel Valley coverage is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”Sign-up for our SGV Connect Newsletter, coming to your inbox on Fridays!

May 22, 2024

This week’s SGV Connect continues our theme of focusing in on various areas of the SGV for our podcast episodes by looking at the Greater Pasadena area.

First, Damien and Chris traveled to El Sereno to meet with some of the Reclaimers, unhoused residents of El Sereno who moved into Caltrans owned properties during the pandemic. Benito, Sandra and Fanny return to SGV Connect (their first appearance can be found here) to advocate for affordable housing and community spaces, discuss the ongoing eviction battle between Caltrans and the Reclaimers. Personal stories and experiences are shared, emphasizing the need for accountability and justice from those in power: especially Caltrans, the county’s homeless services provider, and Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin DeLeon. A transcript of their discussion can be found here.

This discussion references the Roberti Act, passed in the 1970’s to guide Caltrans on how to manage and eventually sell these properties. A good description of Roberti can be found in this article about the competing vision between the Reclaimers and DeLeon for El Sereno.

Rick Cole has been a regular commenter at Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next for years. After his election to the Pasadena City Council in March, we reached back out to him to discuss the need to improve Pasadena's transportation infrastructure and engage the community in a more inclusive and proactive approach to address gentrification. Cole emphasized the importance of prioritizing safety, affordability, and alternatives to car use, and the need for a more inclusive approach to urban planning, involving the public in decision-making processes. A transcript of their discussion can be found here.

 

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

May 10, 2024

This week's SGV Connect is focusing on the election to replace Councilmember and Vice-Mayor Sasha Renée Pérez of Alhambra. Pérez has given up her seat to run for the State Senate.

 
Chris interviews Nicolas Kiet Quach, the president of the Alhambra Library Board of Trustees. While only 18, Kiet Quach is no newcomer to politics having worked for and with Pérez. If you choose, you can read a transcript of the interview, here.
 
Next, Damien talks to Je-Show Yang, a community activist who has appeared a couple of times in Streetsblog articles about the Fremont Avenue exit ramps, Alhambra bicycle and pedestrian master plan and other stories. If you choose, you can read a transcript of the interview, here.
 
Normally, SGV Connect likes to provide a little more context in the text that accompanies the podcast, but since we're talking to a pair of political candidates and we're a federally recognized non-profit we're going to pass on anything that could be seen as editorializing. These are both exciting candidates and we hope you enjoy the podcast.
 

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Feb 27, 2024

We continue our tour through the San Gabriel Valley with an episode focused on the City of Glendora, known as the Heart of the Foothills.

It might surprise you if you're not familiar with what's going on at this small suburban community, but Glendora is working hard to build out a bike network, calm traffic on its streets, build up a downtown in its 'village' area and continue to plan for the coming A Line (Gold Line) Station. Our first interview is with Steve Mateer, who is responsible for executing the vision for a new and green Glendora. We talk about how the City Council is pushing a smart growth vision for the city and how their community outreach strategy has helped reach consensus instead of conflict on new projects such as bike lanes or parklets.

Second, Chris interviews Adam Cousins, the satirist behind the Memes of Glendora Instagram page. The social media site provides a tongue-in-cheek view of suburban life in the San Gabriel Valley.

The audio of our podcast can be found below. If you prefer the written word, you can find a transcript of our interview with Steve here and with Adam here.

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Feb 18, 2024

Welcome to the first SGV Connect podcast of 2024! We start our new year with the first in a new series that focuses on different regions and communities in the San Gabriel Valley and examines both the state of their mobility projects and cultural and community projects.

 

This week, both interviews were completed by Chris Greenspon. The first is with David Diaz, the executive director of Active SGV, where they discuss several projects going on in the area: a multimodal projects coming soon to the area, a linear park and greenway on Merced Avenue, the Rosemead Boulevard Complete Streets, and projects on Rush Street, Santa Anita, and Parkway Drive.

 

The second interview is with Pedro Gonzales, the librarian at Libros Monte, a lending library run by the South El Monte Arts Posse and staff member with Mt San Antonio College’s El Centro: Latinx Student Program. The conversation bounces back and forth between Libros Monte and El Centro at Mt SAC (and some soccer).

 

If you prefer reading rather than listening, you can read transcripts of the interview with David Diaz here or Pedro Gonzalez here.

 

SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

 

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