Ithaca HOURS
Community Currency
since 1991
    This website is maintained by the founder of Ithaca HOURS.  The official website of the Ithaca HOURS board of directors is at ithacahours.org  Paul Glover consults for grassroots economic development as GreenPlanners.
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Los Angeles Money

by Paul Glover, HOUR Town, July 1992

Like the grinding rocks that make earthquakes there, the Los Angeles forces of injustice have shaken that city again.  When police power rules, people will rebel, as did the founders of the United States.

To conquer racism, in Los Angeles and everywhere, people need control of money, police, jobs, property and culture.  They cannot survive as subjects of hostile authority.

Because corporations seldom hire African-Americans, then pay poorly, leaving little income but drug sales, South Central residents can instead hire each other through a system of barter and exchange posts, as tens of thousands of Angelenos did during the Great Depression.  Rather than use money with slaveowners on it (Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Jackson), South Central residents can use money they respect and which gives them respect, featuring Malcolm X, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. Ithaca’s Quarter HOUR is currently the only money in the U.S. which honors a person of color.

Because banks suck money from black neighborhoods and spend it for white power (Community Reinvestment Act surveys prove this), African-Americans can establish Community Development Credit Unions which invest every penny in back-owned businesses.  Forthcoming issues of HOUR Town will describe such projects.

And because taxes to the City of Los Angeles feed brutality, the unified South Central community can refuse to pay local property taxes until demands such as the following are met:

South Central police are hired and fired by a commuhnuty board created by South Central churches and nonprofit organizations.

* Free and frequent transit services connect the black community to the rest of L.A., funded by banks, insurance companies, utilities, industries and automobile sales/use fees.  Lack of transit was one cause of the 1965 Watts rebellion.
* All vacant lots in South Central are transferred to community land trusts and converted to orchards and gardens staffed and/or tended by neighbors.  The food is then sold by the growers at neighborhood farmers’ markets, or donated, decreasing dependence on grocery stores.

Malcolm X moneyIf the City prefers to retaliate, as with service cuts, foreclosures and tax sales, South Central residents can as easily disconnect power and water service to rich neighborhoods.  This is tough talk, but white Americans under military occupation would do no less.

Such progress by African-Americans in Los Angeles benefits all races in all cities, by helping establish proud commumnities independent of military, bureaucratic and corporate force.

Paul Glover is author of Los Angeles: A History of the Future.  He holds degrees in Marketing and in City Management.  paul5glover@yahoo.com
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