Departures is KCET's oral history and interactive documentary project that thoroughly explores neighborhoods through the people that live there. In January, SoCal Focus is taking readers through the Richland Farms series one day at a time.
Lloyd Wilkins is one of the several longtime residents of Richland Farms who has seen the city change over the years. During that time the 42-year veteran public school teacher has kept tabs on the political workings of Compton, becoming an 'old school' political provocateur.
One major concern for him is zoning, which he says now allows for three homes where only one used to be allowed. "It's going the way of Cudahy, it's going the way of Lomita, it's going the way of Torrance. This is what we're trying to fight," he said. "The reason why the developers want this land is it's in the hub, it's in the Hub City, it's right next to he freeway."
But one way he may fight that threat is through a vision for an even more sustainable community.
- 435 families live in Richland Farms
- The neighborhood's borders are Wilmington to the west, Alondra to the north, Oleander to the east and Greenleaf to the south (map).
Wilkins, who raises Tennessee Walking Horses, also wants the community to be sustainable for family businesses. "The money in Richand Farms has to stay in Richland Farms four or five times before it leaves Richland Farms," he said of his vision. "We take men who are in business... and we make sure we don't go to the mall, we purchase from them. That's why we have developed the Richland Farms chamber of commerce and social club."
The Departures Richland Farms series is broken down into two parts as interactive murals: The Past and The Present. The above information is based on The Past's sixth mural hotspot, where three additional video interviews with Wilkins can be found.