SoCal's Civic Engagement Crisis
We are facing several crises in the Southern California region. In the headlines, it's water. But at the heart of our communities - it's a lack thereof. Parents in neighborhoods all throughout the LA area are struggling to make ends meet, and in the process civic duties and education have been put on the back burner, as has the emphasis in our budget-restricted schools' curriculums. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California State University, Los Angeles President William A. Covino recently collaborated on an article for the Los Angeles Daily News touching on this issue.
"Civic participation is a foundation piece to a successful, 21st century Los Angeles.
To get there we must become pioneers of civic education."
By creating a short, accessible course for Angelinos, the City of Los Angeles has allowed nearly a hundred participants to gain a sense of pride and accomplishment in themselves and their city. This is what we strive to do.
By going into classrooms for short periods of time and explaining in simple terms the sustainable investment which lies in existing infrastructure, as well as related history, we are building an association of value in historical and existing buildings in local communities. Children and young adults who are knowledgeable about their cities and surrounding infrastructure, and have respect for its contribution, are less likely to litter, graffiti, and commit crimes near those resources.
Our hope is that by establishing a sense of place for youth in the Los Angeles region, these young people will grow to collaborate, and contribute in the communities they've been raised to love. We believe these efforts will build a foundation for school clubs, educational engagements, advocacy, political awareness, and a knowledge of history and sustainability on the local level.
let's build the next Los Angeles - by redeveloping our mindset, and not our city centers.