Julian Omidi discusses the work of community leader Robert Garcia, who founded an organization that has helped underserved regions all over Los Angeles improve their resources.
Providing children with safe and clean places to learn and play may be the most important way a person can help his or her community. Civil rights attorney Robert Garcia, through his work with his organization The City Project has succeeded in giving kids all over Southern California beautiful parks, play grounds, hiking trails, recreational areas and improved public schools since the organization’s inception in 2000.
The City Project works as a nonprofit advocacy organization for residents in underserved areas. The main goals of the entity are the beautification of low income communities and keeping public lands open; providing equal access to health services for all residents; improving the quality of education in underserved areas; providing access to healthy eating and physical activity programs and opening opportunities for green jobs. Since it was founded, The City Project and Mr. Garcia have successfully lobbied for the funding and development of the Los Angeles State Historic Park in Chinatown rather than use the space for more than 30 acres of warehouse space. The organization has also appropriated land which was initially going to be used as a railroad car repair yard for Rio de Los Angeles State Park at Taylor Yard, where kids now have ample space for organized sports, hiking and playing.
To date, The City Project has funneled more than $41 billion to local community improvement projects. In the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles, the City Project was able to halt the building of a power plant and a garbage dump from being built in the Baldwin Hills Park. Additionally, Mr. Garcia was instrumental in the residents’ winning a $2 billion award from the City of Los Angeles for failing to properly maintain the sewer system.
Prior to founding The City Project, Robert Garcia served as chairman of the Los Angeles Citizens’ School Board Oversight Committee, where he managed the $14 billion allotment for the building and renovating of public schools.
Mr. Garcia has been a champion of civil rights all over the United States. He served as Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; defended Death Row inmates in Mississippi, Georgia and Florida, worked as counsel to the western branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational fund, and taught at both UCLA and Stanford Law School.
Civic Duty salutes Mr. Garcia and his tireless efforts to improve the lives of the disadvantaged. We sincerely believe that his excellent example has paid dividends, not only in the form of beautiful parks and better schools, but through people who have been inspired to work to help their communities, as well.
 KCET.org: Local Hero: Robert Garcia http://www.kcet.org/socal/local_heroes/hhm/local-hero-robert-garcia.html
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