Supporters of hundreds of Black and Mexican families who were forcibly evicted from the Palm Springs Section 14 neighborhood held a community meeting Sunday to discuss their ongoing efforts to receive reparations for the mass eviction process that destroyed an estimated 200 homes between 1930 and 1965.
Section 14, a one square mile neighborhood owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, was the primary residential area for people of color in Palm Springs. The evictions, which were carried out under the guise of “urban renewal,” displaced families and destroyed entire communities.
At the community meeting, a family who once lived on the reservation shared their experience with former Palm Springs mayor Frank Bogert, who many say is to blame for the devastation. “He just came out front and told my dad that we had to go,” said one Inez Clinton Taylor. “He didn’t say we would show you how we would help you and nothing. He said you have to go.”
The City of Palm Springs formally apologized for the evictions back in September of 2021, and the city council asked its staff to develop proposals for possible economic investments that could act as reparations. However, many in the community feel that more needs to be done.
The community is calling for a comprehensive plan that includes not only financial reparations, but also access to affordable housing, healthcare, education, and other resources that were denied to them for so long. They are also calling for the removal of symbols of oppression, such as the statue of Frank Bogert that was recently taken down from City Hall.