EPIC EMINENT DOMAIN BATTLE: Inner-City Kids, Boxing Gym Fight Back
-In this situation where eminent domain is coming
in they want to take away from the people that
have invested and rooted their heart and souls into this community to maybe bring more lucrative companies into town. We fixed up the place and we made a gun store
into a youth center providing hope for inner city kids; that’s redevelopment. Rather than complain about the problems in our
community, we decided to do something about it. We put up two punching bags and we just went after it in the back yard of
my house. It was really interesting-we started this program to fight juvenile delinquency with the boxing, it was a two-fold success story: providing juvenile diversion and fighting childhood obesity in the latino community. Here in National City one of the lowest income
neighborhoods in San Diego we’re providing a resource and a center free of charge to low-income kids and we’re going, we’re combating against playstation
and hanging out in the house and we’re getting the kids out, we’re running and doing some good things. -I get physically fit, I stay mentally focused it helps me stay coordinated in school. Exercise like this is not easy, it’s
discipline. -We started out with one punching bag in the backyard of our house,
progressed to a small gymnasium on the outskirts of National City,
and then with the help of a board of directors and help of the supporters we were able to get
the facility where we’re at right now. It’s easy access to the buses to the trolleys. A kid just picks up his bike and rides right in
and so it’s really important that you know we’re located here in the heart
of National City.
-In 2007 National City declared almost 700 properties
blighted in order to be able to use eminent domain
against them for constitutionally illegitimate purposes.
-It is our property, we’ve invested into
it and for somebody else to say that your property is blighted just because they have a different idea of what
they want to do and say that you have to move is wrong. -National City’s blight designation is a sham. -National City had decided to declare 700
properties blighted before it even did its blight study.
-What we have here is eminent domain being used to give to a
wealthier landowner so he can rake in some bucks on the jeopardy of the backs
of these kids, and that’s where the problem lies. Since we’ve been here for so long it’s
become a part of growing up in National City to come through a program like this. A kid
can come in free of charge, they could go to school, and get some tutoring; boxing is just the actual
hook, it’s the actual avenue to get these kids into school. A lot of these young people that come
to our school is through a juvenile court community school. They’re removed from actual public schools They’re involved with the foster system,
the juvenile probation department and so they come to our school. They get their grades up,
they get the credits up, and they’re transitioned back into actual
regular public school. And what’s happening in the transformations that are happening that
kids came in that were doing some bad things in the community
now are police officers, now they’re going on to college, now they want to be attorneys and
what we’re doing is just providing and using the sport of boxing to get these kids to school
and with the help of IJ has brought education even to the kids about eminent
-Many of the kids at CYAC are troubled, at-risk kids but every day they’re fighting for their own
American dream and they’ve inspired us to come out and fight
-For IJ to step aboard and support us in this situation that we’re in is a lot
of help because we would’ve never been able to do it by ourselves. -To me it’s sad because right here in National City, we don’t have that many programs
that help kids out. Why would you take down something that is good for the community?
-We have decided not to move. If this was to be a park, if this was to be a library, a road that everybody can use then that would be
a public use to me. But to build actual luxury condos, that is
Using eminent domain and bogus blight designations to transfer property from people of modest means to wealthy people is unconstitutional, and it’s
illegal under California law.
-So we’re gonna work hard to stay where we’re at and keep on working for our goal
and objective and that’s reaching kids in our community.