Palm Springs Section 14 survivors seeking compensation

From California Black Media
PALM SPRINGS — Beginning in the 1950s and extending through the 1960s, the resort city of Palm Springs demolished the homes and other prosperities of some of its Black and Latino residents without warning or compensation in an area known as Section 14.
Now, civil rights leaders are working to raise awareness about the historical injustices suffered by Section 14 survivors, aiming to seek compensation for their losses.
Last week, the Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes III, president and CEO of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition —successor to the Rev. Jesse Jackson — praised advocates from different backgrounds for standing in solidarity with the descendants of Section 14.
Haynes spoke at a prayer vigil organized to coincide with Black History Month and to support survivors and descendants. It was held at the Church of St. Paul in the Desert.
“What is occurring right now in Palm Springs is a beautiful show of unity across faiths, backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, age and beyond,” Haynes said. “This city has an opportunity to be a leader and to show the rest of the country how much good can come from standing together and doing the right thing for each other. It’s as simple as that.”
“Black history is American history — and that means speaking candidly about the past, even if it creates discomfort,” said Areva Martin, lead counsel for the Section 14 survivors.
“The 60s and 50s weren’t that long ago, but for my clients, the destruction of their homes, possessions and community 60 years ago has deeply impacted their lives to the present day,” Martin added. “With strong allies across the region and state — now, with Rev. Haynes, a national civil rights leader joining us — we are building a powerful coalition of supporters and allies, and our movement is being recognized by leadership here in Palm Springs and beyond.
“We are grateful for the support we have received, and for the prayers of everyone across this city and region. Hopefully by this time next year, we will honor Black History Month in Palm Springs with a celebration of justice achieved,” Martin said.
Haynes said Section 14 survivors have waited too long for justice.
“Today, we lift our hearts and hands in prayer for the leaders of this beautiful city to seek a path forward that honors the past and allows justice to be realized here,” he said.