A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


Missing canvas causes friction between Gente Organizada and City of Pomona

Anthony Solorzano
The entrance of Gente Organizada with a stolen canvas’s empty wall stating “Art is not 2B CENSORED.”

A photograph displayed outside a teen center owned by Gente Organizada, a community-led non-profit, went missing on Aug. 30 after the organization decided to sue the city of Pomona for continuously citing them for it.

The photograph in question was captured during a rally in Pomona after the murder of George Floyd and its focal point was a sign that asked the Mayor of Pomona Tim Sandoval to defund the police. After the initial citation, the Director of Gente Organizada Jesus Sanches believed the city of Pomona put a target on the organization.

“They’re in violation of our free speech,” Sanchez said. “We own this building, our young people, they selected those pieces to put out on the building.”

Pomona’s Code Compliance Division cited Gente Organizada stating that the photos did not conform to city code. According to the citation, the signs violated section 503-K of the zoning ordinance that states signs need to “maintain and enhance the aesthetic environment of the City, to maintain and enhance the City’s ability to attract sources of economic development and growth and to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare.”

Since the organization decided to sue Pomona, individuals have entered the teen center with condescension on their lips, aimed at the people working at the center.

Council Member Victor Preciado hopes the city and Gente Organizada can mend the friction the situation has caused. “The actual content of the art, there’s no issue with it,” Preciado said. “The form in which it was placed on there as banners is what needed approval. The art can be whatever it wants to be.”

Preciado said the initial citation was a reaction to someone in the community calling the city and flagging the placement of the banners. He has reached out to the organization and believes if the lawsuit is not resolved before the court day, “we’re all going to lose.”
Sanchez said officials of Pomona have never reached out to help promote any of Gente Organizada’s campaigns. The first-time officials reached out to Gente Organizada to cite them for the art.

“We felt very targeted, and we feel this is kind of them retaliating because of the work we do in trying to keep them accountable,” Sanchez said.

The missing photo was shot by Julian Lucas, a resident and artist of Pomona. “I thought it was cool,” Lucas said. “Pomona’s like, instead of stealing somebody’s Amazon order, you know a blender or something, they’re stealing art. I think that’s the shit.”

Lucas added that the person in the picture asked him to remove the photograph before it went missing. The person claimed to be a past student of Tim Sandoval when he worked for Bright Prospects, a non-profit organization empowering first-generation students to gain admission and successfully graduate from a university.

“People just don’t realize, the streets are fair game,” Lucas said.

The police were not called for any of the two incidents. Gente Organizada has filled in the empty white wall with “Art is not 2B CENSORED,” spray painted across it.

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About the Contributor
Anthony Solorzano
Anthony Solorzano, Opinions Editor
Anthony Solorzano is the Opinions Editor. He has been pursuing journalism since he realized he hated his job. Anthony loves to tell stories using humor. He finds pop culture to be the truest form of pretentious art.

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    CarlosMar 1, 2024 at 8:15 pm

    Code enforcement took down a banner we had put up on Antique Row. This is no different than the sign missing. Young people need to understand Pomona’s limitations on signage. The owner has been cited so what’s the big deal. Nobody’s rights are being violated.