After being banned for more than 30 years, National City has overturned a ban on lowrider cruising in the city, NBC San Diego reports.
The city council unanimously voted to overturn the ban a few weeks ago, and formalized the decision this week.
The lowriding advocacy group United Lowrider Coalition led efforts to repeal the ban in National City, as well as in other cities across the state with a bill currently being considered in California’s assembly.
“We’re seen now. We are seen, we’re not the stereotypes everyone put us out to be. We’re family, people see us for who we are,” lowriding advocate and aficionado Deanna Garcia said.
For years, lowriding has carried with it stigma, which led to the 1992 ban. Local politicians claimed the ban was meant to deter crime, while some members of the community argued that the ban was based on anti-Chicano sentiment.
But now, it appears that political leaders and the Chicano community have come to an understanding.
“Times have changed a lot,” National City Mayor Ron Morris said. “I think the image of lowriders has changed.
“They got stigmatized with a lot of things they didn’t have anything to do with. It was people who were on the sidelines, and it’s taken a while for people to realize these are people that love these cars. The last thing they want is trouble around their cars.”
The United Lowrider Coalition will hold a ceremony celebrated the ban’s repeal on May 19, in which they plan to remove the sign that previously banned cruising on Highland Ave. and 18th Street.
People like Garcia, who cruises in a Lincoln Town Car, plan to celebrate a new beginning for lowriding in the city.
“It’s a cultural thing. We’re out ther with family and friends. It’s not just a hobby. Many of us, it’s a lifestyle. We live our life around the lowrider scene,” Garcia said.