They don’t want what happened to them to happen to anyone else.
That’s why concerned citizens have not given up the fight. They are continuing to speak out and plan what’s next after the Ralphs grocery store recently closed May 15 at the intersection of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard in the Hyde Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles.
“It’s a national thing… these Kroger (Ralphs) closings are affecting other communities as well,” said John Parker, a South LA resident and coordinator from the Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice.
The now-closed store is less than a block away from the new Hyde Park station on the Crenshaw/LAX Line near the famed Nipsey Hussle Square in South Los Angeles, which could make it an attractive location for developers.
However, community advocates believe residents deserve reparations for the recent closure.
News of the closure came after the Los Angeles City Council passed an emergency ordinance on March 3, which required large grocery and pharmacy retailers to offer employees an additional $5 per hour in temporary hazard pay. Kroger, which owns Ralphs, said the additional pay would be too costly to keep the location open.
Meanwhile, the grocery coalition is in the midst of creating new strategies as they prepare for their legal complaint to be heard in November 2022.
Between now and then, community ideas range from a grocery co-op that would secure community-based ownership, to at the very least reaching an agreement with city leaders to make sure another national grocery chain fills the now vacant grocery location.
Any future actions will include getting out in the community and letting residents know the fight is not over.
“We can have influence,” Parker said. ”A lot of people probably feel like there’s no hope but there’s hope with power.”