Is Damien Goodmon misleading the community

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By Najee Ali

Contributing Writer

Community activist Damien Goodmon, founder and executive director of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition, is being accused of misleading the community.

Goodmon is also the founder of Downtown Crenshaw, a new community organization that was launched with the intent of buying the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, but was unsuccessful in his efforts.

An email I received from a Crenshaw resident said a Google search of Jared Kushner and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) a commercial real estate services company, shows that JLL and Kushner have worked on projects together. The email sender said that JLL is the same company that is working with Goodmon and Downtown Crenshaw to buy the mall

Goodmon has been quite outspoken against CIM, another developer that submitted an offer to buy the mall but withdrew its offer after a community uproar that Goodmon was part of. Goodmon has consistently stated that CIM, with it ties to President Donald Trump and Kushner, would hasten gentrification.

It is the same tactic Goodmon is using now against the proposed new buyer of the mall, Asher Abehsera, the founder and CEO of LIVWRK Development. To his credit, Abehshera has met or spoken with many Black leaders over the last several weeks to see what his vision of the mall should be.

He participated on a Zoom call last week, hosted by Crenshaw community leaders, which had more than 300 residents where he clearly stated that he used to have a business relationship with Kushner.

Abeshera said neither CIM nor Kushner would have any future role or investment in the mall, if the sale goes through. Abehsera also said that Black ownership in the mall is a must and the deal will not happen if minority ownership is not a part of it.

Many in the community were impressed by Abehsera and his willingness to listen to the community on their interests and vision for the mall.

It will be interesting if Goodmon and Downtown Crenshaw are connected with JLL, which does have ties to Trump and Kushner.

Goodman must explain this. How could he not know JLL had ties to Trump and Kushner? He claims to be all about Black power and ownership, yet he is linked to a developer with ties to Trump and Kushner.

Did he not think Black people would find out or was he too naive to do his homework and investigate JLL.

The reality is that many area residents and stakeholders near the mall support the sale to Abehsera as long as Black ownership is included.

What they do not support is someone who is lying and misleading the community. Goodmon recently led a protest outside the home of City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, even though Harris-Dawson has no say in a private property sale in his district.

The community needs to be protesting outside Goodmon’s apartment. It is important the community finds its voice and speak up for itself.

I will not be silent and watch anyone cut deals with JLL and try to use our community for their own deal-making.

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