Mapping Project #3

One of the great things about my internship was that I was able to work with different organizations that were connected to LACCLA, such as the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, which aims to document “the dispossession and resistance upon gentrifying landscapes” (https://www.antievictionmap.com/about/). One data project that I contributed to consisted of going to the Los Angeles County Recorders Office and learn how to research properties using the County’s database. Our end goal was to find how many properties that a certain corporate property owner had owned in the past few years, in order to demonstrate their presence in LA County. However, using the Recorders Office database is not as simple as simply searching a property owner’s name and finding all the properties that they owned. First, most corporate property owners use other LLC’s to purchase and sell properties, so for this specific property owner, we conducted searches for hundreds of different LLC’s. Second, the Recorders Office database pulls up all documents related to the property owner, whether it has to do with purchase/sale or not, so we had to figure out which documents would be related to the purchase/sale of a property and then go from there. It took a lot of trial and error, but we finally figured out a system of counting the properties and we ended up with a substantial list. What I learned from this project is that there are not always step-by-step instructions, but just an end goal that you need to figure out how to reach. Working on this project was definitely one of the most valuable experiences I had during this internship from the skills that I was able to gain.

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