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People of Elysian Valley: James Robert Gutierrez


My name's James Robert Gutierrez. They used to call me "Jimmy G." And I grew up here off Riverside Drive, it's considered Frogtown. It used to be a heavily gang-oriented neighborhood. Now it's gone through dramatic changes in terms of reviving itself, you know? And it has to do with a lot of the people that used to reside in the community or are still there. People want better for themselves, you know? And me and a few other people that I grew up with were able to prosper and develop and have an opportunity to flourish. Some still reside here, some don't, I don't. But I have just come back after 20-something years and I have seen all of the developments and how it's much friendlier than it was before. People are starting to reach out and care. Before we didn't have a community center or as many volunteer services. And I'm thankful that they have something like that. All of the guys that I grew up with have been shot and killed, or are in prison for the rest of their lives. Guys that I know have been in for 30 years. You know, and this is from guys who lived in the avenues. You remember that? That junction on avenues on Drew street? I had two friends that got shot and killed on that street. It's just good to see that there's been a drastic change.

The above interview is transcribed and edited from the following interview:

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