LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Rev. Al Sharpton, New York City's outspoken advocate of improving conditions for blacks, is heading West.

By year's end, the master of the street protest plans to open an office of his Harlem-based National Action Network in Los Angeles.

Sharpton says his long-term goal in Los Angeles is forging a political coalition of blacks and Latinos.

Still, Sharpton says more ethnic unity in the city would translate into more power against questionable practices like racial profiling by law enforcement officers.

Activist Molly Bell says Sharpton's arrival will reinvigorate old fights.

``Yes, he says things that throw off white folks, but then the other side will be there to balance it,'' she says.

The move comes as Sharpton, 47, is exploring a 2004 Democratic presidential bid.