Urban Planning: Gangs in Los Angeles
For this assignment I spoke with my daughter’s friend who is a gang member in LA to get a little insight into how one becomes drawn to life in a gang. I felt that I could not plan anything for urban Los Angeles without knowing how a young man or women gets involved in gangs. The following is the interview that was conducted on 5/16/2013 between Juan Martinez known on the streets as Lil Hatchet and I. Yvonne: How did you find yourself in the gang that you now call your family? Lil Hatchet: When I was about knee high and shit my mom’s was a crack head and pops well hell I never had no real pops just men in and out. My little homie Devil introduced me to an OG and he said if you do this for me I’ll watch your back and you won’t have shit to worry about. Dam man I needed that cause like I said mom was a crack head so no food for me or my sis and I wanted to take care of her. Yvonne: You have a sister?
Lil Hatchet: Yeah, but we don’t talk that much no more she in the streets selling her ass cause she had to survive and if she need me I’ll be there. Yvonne: What happened to you taking care of her?
Lil Hatchet: I got caught up when that green started coming in and went down on a charge she had nobody and got turned out by the streets. Yvonne: So what does the gang fulfill in your life?
Lil Hatchet: They got my got my back they ride or die for me I ride or die for them they are my familia. I belong now I’m not just a nothing. Yvonne: So that is how you saw yourself as nothing?
Lil Hatchet: Yeah, but not no more I know now that I am somebody hell I got money drive a nice car got two houses I was nothing not no more. Yvonne: Thank you for talking with me
Lil Hatchet: I would do anything for my lil sis Lexis she said her mom’s wanted to ask a few questions and that was all good. Puedo hacer algo para la familia (I’d do anything for family). Gangs fulfill...