- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - More than a decade after the neighborhood formerly known as South Central was rebranded as South Los Angeles, another renaming could be coming.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks introduced a motion Tuesday to christen the area below Interstate 10 as “SOLA,” an acronym of South Los Angeles.

Several revitalized California neighborhoods are known by abbreviations, including NoHo for North Hollywood, WeHo for West Hollywood and DTLA for downtown Los Angeles.

Parks wants to amend a 2003 decision that discontinued use of South Central on official documents.

Officials at the time said the term had a negative connotation following civil disturbances in 1965 and 1992. Residents complained that their neighborhood had become synonymous in popular culture with gangs, drugs and crime.

Parks told the Los Angeles Times (https://lat.ms/1Pc5Sik ) that some of his constituents like the hip sound of SOLA.

“They see these other communities reinvigorated by these contemporary names,” said Parks, who represents Council District 8. “And they wonder, at times, why their community is lagging behind.”

However, barber A.O. Hernandez, 33, said SOLA feels like an attempt to make the area seem like something it’s not.

“It’s a facade,” Hernandez told the Times. “The name is used to make outsiders feel safe. You are in the same place with the same people.”

Council President Herb Wesson referred Parks’ motion to a neighborhoods committee and said he’d like to give the public more time to comment on it.

Supporters say a renaming would reflect positive changes in the area, including reduced crime and cleaner streets.

And developers are starting to take interest: A new residential and retail village is planned around the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and a similar $1-billion complex called SoLA Village has been proposed.

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