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Save The Birthplace of G-Funk From Gentrification By 7-Eleven! 

As LONG BEACH’S FAMED VIP RECORDS SIGN, That Anchored The Birthplace of Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Nate Dogg moves forward to Historic Landmark Designation FOREIGN-OWNED 7 Eleven Tricks the 39 Year Iconic Brand into Gentrification! 

To Joseph Depinto (ceo 711) , Mayor Robert Garcia and Long Beach City Council!

Snoop Dogg’s Original Dog House will soon be filled with Slurpee’s and Nachos  as Japanese owned 711 Takes over the historic VIP Records location! 

At the corner of PCH and Martin L. King Ave., in one of Long Beach’s most culturally rich black neighborhoods, sits an icon: VIP Records Sign, that anchors the former records space of VIP Records, the place that launched the careers of Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Nate Dogg.

On November 13, 2017, Kelvin Anderson Sr., who has owned VIP Records for 39 years will go before the Long Beach Historic Landmark Commission to designate the VIP sign a historic landmark.    Once it is heard by the commission, city council will have the final vote.

A local and national part of hip-hop history, the famed record store that gave way to the G-Funk Era is now in the crosshairs of gentrification as Japan-owned 7-11 has taken over and plans to open in December of 2017, leaving the future home of VIP Records Sign up in the air.

After the City of Long Beach voted to allocate funds to restore and prepare the sign for historic designation, VIP Records announced to the community that once the sign became a landmark, it would be moving.   The reason was that 7-11 was proposed to move into the former and original VIP space, under what soon would be become a historic landmark.      

 This prompted a petition that garnered thousands of signatures to preserve the space.    7-11, in return, contacted the VIP team and stated they would be willing to “back the preservation financially and work with the community” while “understanding the value of the history.” This was followed by a request from 7-11 for VIP to back away from public pressure so they could work a deal, which VIP did.

Originally slated to go forward in August 2017, before the Historic Landmark Commission, the hearing was delayed allowing VIP Records time to negotiate a deal with 7-11 and to allow parties to secure the required permits to build their perspective spaces.  This compromise made sense because the alternative was to move the sign and store it in a city facility until a new home was secured, which would have taken it away from the community for too long hurting tourism and the brand.  

Ultimately, 7-11 and VIP came to a negotiation that stated 7-11 would stay in the location but build the space to reflect the VIP and Black music history while investing in the preservation of VIP Records to create a space for the public to access the history.  

With no warning, 7-11 notified VIP they would not continue the agreement and move forward with original plans instead.   They were somehow connected with Poly High School, which they donated $50,000, released a public relations campaign with a large check in the hand of the football team and notified VIP they would be working with the community, just not with them.    This after VIP stopped all public pressure and put off the landmark preservation, which would have stopped their work.             

“What 711 representatives did was the oldest trick in the book.  They went to a predominately African American school and donated money to them to justify disregarding vital part of African American history and the local community.  Who advised 7-Eleven to utilize an African American Football team to justify gentrification of the oldest African American business in central long beach?  711 had no intentions on donating to anyone until we put public pressure on them. Comments Shirin Senegal, President of VIP Records.

 What the youth at Poly High School need are jobs and economic opportunity, something VIP shared with 7 Eleven was our objective in the development.   We are disappointed at the lack of corporate responsibility shown by 7-Eleven and the disregard they have for the African American Community.  

 Historic Landmarks are vital to fight gentrification while still accomplishing development and maintaining the local culture in hard hit areas like Central Long Beach.      A Historic Designation is encouraged by Historic Landmark Laws to be utilized as Anchors for Development and not merely for symbolic reasons and the benefits of large corporations and more tax dollars from rising property values. 

 “There is a 7-11 on every corner but only one VIP Records—a space that represents 39 years of history in Long Beach,” said Brian Addison,  Publisher of .“The blunt reality is that you can’t keep having this conversation about economic evolution while stripping communities of their culture for profit.  There is a way to achieve growth without displacement and eradication. Even more, we should always be being honoring and enriching our history by preserving it for the future, particularly when it comes to the most marginalized areas of our city.”

By signing this petition, you are telling 711 to keep the commitment made to VIP Records to preserve the history or relocate. There are over 5000 7-Eleven stores but only 1 Historic VIP Records and their actions are in bad faith.       

"Your signature matters because it sends a message to 711 that they cannot continue to come into our community and not bring any benefit and not respect our history and culture." Comments Kelvin Anderson Sr.    


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