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THE CITY PROJECT TEAM

Staff

Robert García
Founding Director and Counsel

“I am a civil rights attorney.”
“I am an immigrant.”

Robert García is a civil rights advocate who engages, educates, and empowers communities for equal access to public resources. He is the Founding Director and Counsel of The City Project, a non-profit legal and policy advocacy team in Los Angeles, California. The City Project works with diverse allies on equal access to (1) healthy green land use through community planning; (2) climate justice; (3) quality education including physical education; (4) health equity; and (5) economic vitality for all, including creating jobs and avoiding displacement. Robert received the President’s Award from the American Public Health Association. PODER Magazine named him one of the Top 100 Latino Green Leaders. Hispanic Business Magazine has recognized him as one of the 100 most influential Latinos in the United States. Robert graduated from Stanford University and Stanford Law School, where he served on the Board of Editors of the Stanford Law Review. He is an Assistant Professor at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science.

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Ariel Collins
Assistant Director

Ariel Collins is the Assistant Director at The City Project. Ariel received her Master of Justice Studies from Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation. As a graduate student, Ariel worked with low-income residents, an elementary school district, and the City of Phoenix to promote community outreach and collaboration, and to build support for a neighborhood park in an underserved area of southwest Phoenix. Prior to graduate school, Ariel worked in outreach and education at a no cost dental clinic for the homeless. She served two terms as an AmeriCorps member, most recently in Santa Ana, California. She graduated from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Ariel has worked with The City Project since 2013.

 

Nancy Negrete
Program Manager

Nancy Negrete is the Program Manager at The City Project. Nancy graduated from Wellesley College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Latin American Studies. During her undergraduate years, she worked in various organizations such as the United Nations Development Program and the Office of Community Development in Southeast Los Angeles to ensure low-income youth have access to public spaces. After Wellesley, she worked as a Legal Assistant providing legal services to undocumented crime victims in Los Angeles. As a native to Los Angeles, she is excited about working closely with her community to ensure everyone has equal access to healthy and just environments.

 

Cesar De La VegaCesar De La Vega
Juanita Tate Social Justice Fellow

Cesar De La Vega is the Juanita Tate Social Justice Fellow at The City Project. As a native of Los Angeles’s Eastside and former intern, Cesar is excited to return to The City Project after completing a post-graduate fellowship in the Office of the General Counsel at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Cesar received his JD from Stanford Law School in 2014 and his BA in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2010.

While in law school, Cesar participated in the school’s Organizations and Transactions Clinic—providing free corporate legal services to Bay Area nonprofit organizations—and the Obesity in Santa Clara County Policy Practicum, a collaborative effort between the Law School, the County Counsel’s Office, and Stanford University School of Medicine faculty to reduce obesity rates in the county through the identification, development, evaluation, and presentation of strategies and initiatives for the County Board of Supervisors. Cesar is a recipient of the Ford Foundation Post-Graduate Fellowship in Public Interest Law, and La Raza Lawyers of Santa Clara County Charitable Foundation Merit Award.

 

Tim MokTim Mok
Graduate Intern

Tim is the Graduate Intern at The City Project. He’s currently pursuing his M.S. in Regenerative Studies at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA. Although Tim calls Los Angeles County his home, he worked as an environmental and outdoor recreation educator in the South, on the East Coast, and in Los Angeles. He has also led trail work projects in state parks, and trained high school students from Inglewood and Downtown Los Angeles to facilitate an outdoor rock climbing program. Most of his interests include environmental justice and pro-environmental behavior, and he’s excited to put his knowledge from the classroom into practice with The City Project team.

 

Board


Christopher L. Burrows

Christopher L. Burrows is an African-American attorney in private practice with Burrows Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA. Super Lawyers has recognized him as a “rising star” in 2009-2012. He received his J.D. from Howard University School of Law, where he was the Notes & Comments Editor of the Howard Law Journal. Christopher has long worked with The City Project and is passionately dedicated to healthy, livable communities for all.

 

"Gina M. Durham

Gina M. Durham serves as the Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Game and Beyond Incorporated (“GBI”), a premier legal consulting firm for professional athletes. Prior to forming GBI, Gina was a member of the Corporate Finance practice group with the firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP where she practiced corporate, real estate finance, securities and intellectual property law. Gina has extensive experience representing corporate clients with corporate, finance, entertainment and real estate matters and individuals with criminal and family law matters. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Southwestern University School of Law, where she obtained her Juris Doctor degree.

 

 

 


Lore Hilburg

Lore Hilburg, Esq., has been a consultant and attorney for the title insurance and escrow industries since 1977. She provides coverage advice and often serves as an expert witness on title, escrow and claims handling issues throughout California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona. She is a native Californian. She is on the Board of the West Adams Heritage Association, a preservation organization and she resides in the West Adams part of Los Angeles. She also enjoys gardening with native California plants.

Robert García

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Penelope Glass

Penelope Glass is an attorney, business affairs executive and film producer with three decades of experience in the entertainment industry, including feature motion picture, television, new media, publishing and intellectual property matters. She established her own law firm in 1991, continuing to expand her core practice as well as focus on the rapidly developing new media technologies. She attended the UCLA School of Law where she clerked for copyright, intellectual property and First Amendment expert Professor Melville B. Nimmer. She is the author of Analysis of Privacy Interests in an Entertainment Production and Too-Common Pitfalls in Rights Acquisition, and a lecturer on intellectual property and transactional entertainment matters, and has been an Adjunct Professor at Southwestern School of Law. Ms. Glass also has practical experience in motion pictures and television as an Executive/Co-Producer.

 


Tom Hayden

Tom has led a long and distinguished career of activism, politics, and writing dedicated to public service, and he remains a leading voice for ending the war in Iraq, erasing sweatshops, saving the environment, and reforming politics through greater citizen participation.Tom is the author or editor of thirteen books, including most recently: Reunion (1988), reissued as Rebel (2002), one of the New York Times 200 best books of the year; The Lost Gospel of the Earth (1996, reissued 2006); Irish on the Inside (2001); Street Wars (2004); The Port Huron Statement (2005); and Writings for a Democratic Society: The Tom Hayden Reader (2008). Tom served in the California legislature from 1982 to 2000, first as an assemblyman and for the last eight years as a senator.
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"Robbie LaBelle

Robbie LaBelle deserves credit as a co-founder of The City Project. He is currently the Sr. Director of Global Brand Marketing for Beats by Dr. Dre at Apple. He was previously the Director of Brand Marketing North America at Nike. Robbie graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies from UCLA, where he was captain of the nationally ranked men’s soccer team. While at Nike, Robbie championed several field makeovers in the urban core of Los Angeles, helped revitalize the historic Montalban Theatre at Hollywood & Vine and led the Nike(RED) global campaign to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.  He worked with The City Project, Anahuak Youth Sports Association, and others to help create the Los Angeles State Historic Park at the Cornfield and Rio de Los Angeles State Park at Taylor Yard.

 


Lyndon Parker, Chairman of the Board

Lyndon Parker is Managing Director of the Los Angeles office of one the country’s pre-eminent attorney search firms, and previously had been a Trial Attorney for the Chief Counsel of Internal Revenue, Assistant General Counsel for ARAMARK, before entering into the private sector. He is the author of the BNA Portfolio: Tax Liens: Priorities and Enforcement, is active in many community organizations, and is a former professional pianist, and is often called upon as an expert witness and consultant in matters relating to attorney compensation. Mr. Parker attended American University, New York Law School and the N.Y.U. Law School Graduate Tax Program.

 

National Advisory Council

Anne McEnany, President & CEO, International Community Foundation

Anne McEnany is the President & CEO of the International Community Foundation. She leads the Foundation’s grantmaking portfolio in all program areas and manages the Foundation’s marine and terrestrial conservation program with an emphasis on the Baja California peninsula, coastal communities of the Gulf of California and the Eastern Tropical Pacific region. Based in the Washington, D.C. area, Anne also leads the Foundation’s efforts to expand the level of charitable giving by U.S. donors in the Mid Atlantic and Northeast regions to support charitable organizations in Mexico and Latin America. Anne has over 17 years of international conservation experience, working with organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the Tropical Andes. For the International Community Foundation, Anne led a cross-border initiative to control erosion and manage stormwater in Los Laureles Canyon in Tijuana and the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve in Imperial Beach; facilitated two “Alternative Futures” publications for La Paz and Loreto, including followup studies on desalination; managed the Laguna San Ignacio Whale Conservation Campaign; and provided advice and research to over 30 donor-advised funds. Anne has an M.S. in Applied International Development from Tulane University and a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Virginia. Anne served as a development consultant with The City Project for ten years before joining the Board.

 

Tony Arnold, Boehl Chair in Property and Land Use, University of Louisville Law School

Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold holds the Boehl Chair in Property and Land Use, a Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund (“Bucks for Brains”) endowed chair, at the University of Louisville. He teaches in both the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law and the Department of Urban and Public Affairs in the fields of land use, water resources, environmental conservation, ecosystem conservation, farmland conservation and sustainable agriculture, property, and real estate transactions. Professor Arnold received his Doctor of Jurisprudence with Distinction from Stanford Law School, where he was founding Executive Editor of the Stanford Law & Policy Review and a Graduate Student Fellow in the Stanford Center for Conflict and Negotiation. He received his Bachelor of Arts with Highest Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Kansas, where he received two national honors. Professor Arnold is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar at the intersection of land use, water, property, and the environment. His broadly interdisciplinary scholarship has been cited over 2,000 times. He is the author of several works on the intersection of environmental justice and land use planning and regulation, including Fair and Healthy Land Use: Environmental Justice and Planning (American Planning Association PAS Report), and “Planning Milagros: Environmental Justice and Land Use Regulation” in the Denver University Law Review.

Tony Arnold writes, “One clear need is for case-study-oriented continuing legal education programs featuring panels of lawyers and non-lawyers who worked on the same problem or dispute, talking about the interrelationship of the legal and non-legal dimensions of their work and their successes and failures. The creative and interdisciplinary work of the City Project . . .and its lawyer-director Robert Garcia can serve as one such example of environmental lawyering that encompasses more than environmental law.” p. 51. Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold, Working Out an Environmental Ethic: Anniversary Lessons from Mono Lake, 4 Wyoming Law Review 1, 51 (2005).

 

Marc Brenman, Principal, Social Justice Consultancy

Marc consults, teaches, and writes, and has his own firm, Social Justice Consultancy. He was Executive Director of the Washington State Human Rights Commission from 2004 to 2009, which enforces the broadest nondiscrimination statute in the United States, and Senior Policy Advisor for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Transportation from 1995 to 2004. He was previously with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, DC, Boston, and San Francisco, in positions from investigator to Division Director, working on national civil rights policy. He has worked on race issues, limited English proficiency, disability, sex discrimination, LGBT rights, culturally appropriate alternative dispute resolution, corporate social responsibility, international human rights law, and other social justice issues. He is the author of “Planning as if People Matter: Governing for Social Equity,” with Tom Sanchez, Island Press, 2012.

 

Susanne Browne, Senior Attorney, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Susanne is currently a Senior Attorney in the Housing Unit of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Her work is focused on preserving and increasing the supply of affordable housing, equitable development, the creation of local, low income hiring requirements and land uses cases. A great majority of Susanne’s work involves legislative and policy work as well as administrative land use cases. Susanne clerked for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, from 1995-1996. She received a Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California’s Law School. She received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, graduating with High Honors.

 

Erica Flores Baltodano, Partner, Baltodano & Baltodano LLP

Erica previously served in various capacities at The City Project starting in 2001 as legal intern the summer after her first year in law school and most recently as Assistant Director. She started her own civil rights and employment law firm in San Luis Obispo in 2010. She graduated from University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2002, and from UCLA.

 

Juan Devis, Senior Vice President, Content Development and Production, KCET Link

Juan Devis is a Public Media artist and producer, whose work crosses across platforms — video, film, interactive media, and gaming. His work, regardless of the medium, is often produced collaboratively allowing for a greater exchange of ideas in the production of media and art. Mr. Devis is Senior Vice President for Content Development and Production at KCET Link. Mr. Devis’ work has been recognized with numerous industry accolades, including an Emmy® nomination for Live@the Ford and as an Official Honoree in the arts category by the Webby Awards for Artbound. In addition, he’s secured various prestigious grants for his projects, such as a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Cal Humanities grant, both in 2013. Mr. Devis has charted the stations’ new Arts and Culture initiative, Artbound, consisting of a television series, an online networked cultural hub and the creation programmatic partnerships with cultural institutions in Southern California. In addition, Devis has spear headed a new slate of series that are either in production or development, some of these include the Presidential Japan Prize Winner Departures, Live @ the Ford among others.

 

Marty Martinez, Bay Area Regional Policy Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Marty works at Safe Routes to School National Partnership to strengthen diverse networks in support of policies and funding for making our streets safe and accessible for walking and biking for all, and creating healthy communities. He earned his Master of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Pubic Policy at the University of California at Berkeley as a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow, and is a graduate of Swarthmore College.

 

Michael Rodríguez, M.D.

Dr. Michael A. Rodríguez is Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Family Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Director of the UCLA Blum Center for Poverty and Health in Latin America and Associate Director of the UCLA Primary Care Research Fellowship. His research activities focus on ethnic/racial health care disparities including violence prevention, and patient-provider communication of sensitive issues. He is a leading researcher and policy expert in the areas of intimate partner violence, quality of healthcare for multiethnic populations across the age spectrum and workforce diversity. He has published widely and lectured internationally on the topics of intimate partner violence, medical education, and cross-cultural medicine. He has consulted for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Pan American Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Institute of Medicine. He is also a Board Member for the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and an Advisor for the Latino Medical Student Association. Dr. Rodriguez mentors and teaches UCLA faculty and trainees in a wide range of schools while volunteering at a community health center serving uninsured patients in Los Angeles. Dr. Rodriguez completed his undergraduate training at the University of California, Berkeley; received his medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; completed his residency from the UC San Francisco’s Family Medicine Residency Program; received his Master of Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health; and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Stanford University.

 

Tom Rubin, Public Works Consultant

Tom is a public interest CPA with extensive experience in public works projects, civil rights compliance, equal justice, and non-profit management. He is the consultant to the LAUSD Citizens School Bond Oversight Committee, which oversees $27 billion for school construction and modernization. He was the chief financial and transportation expert for plaintiffs and the class in the landmark MTA Bus Riders Union case, Labor Community Strategy Center v Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency. The case resulted in a $2 billion consent decree to keep bus fares low and improve the bus system county wide, the largest civil rights settlement ever in terms of dollar value. Tom has published extensively on transportation justice. He is a graduate of Indiana University and its business school.

 

Seth Strongin, Sustainability Manager, Leading Edge Consultants LLC

Seth is currently Sustainability Manager for Leading Edge Consultants LLC, where he works with building owners and managers to make their properties more sustainable by improving operational efficiency, reducing energy and water consumption, and implementing green management principles. Seth was previously Assistant Director for Policy and Research at The City Project. Previously, he was a Senior Program Assistant at the National Academy of Sciences. He holds an M.A. in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School, U.C.-Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in Biology from American University.

 

 

Allies

The City Project is proud to work with our many allies including:

GreenInfo Network and Amanda Recinos on demographic analyses and GIS mapping for over nine ten years and counting . . .

UCLA Prof. Judy Baca and SPARC (Social and Public Art Resource Center) on, well, social and public art . . .

Anahuak Youth Sports Association on education, health and the environment . . .

Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles on social justice . . .

California LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), the nation’s largest and oldest Latino civil rights organization . . .

And many more . . .

The City Project has engaged in community based participatory research with allies including (partial list):

Gabino Aguirre, California State Redistricting Commission
Juan Carlos Beliard Alban, Loma Linda University
Andrea Misako Azuma, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region
Angelica Baltazar, Office of San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales
Rajiv Bhatia, University of California, San Francisco
Eric Bowlby, San Diego Canyonlands
America Bracho, Latino Health Access
Anahid Brakke, Heed Consulting
Priscila Cisneros, Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation
Myrian Solis Coronel, REI, Inc.
Janie DeCelles, Community Volunteer
Evette De Luca, Latino Health Collaborative
Benny Diaz, California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Ben Duarte, Black Sheep Productions
Leo Estrada, University of California, Los Angeles
Vicki Estrada, Estrada Land Planning
Kathleen Ferrier, Healthy Equity By Design
David Fukuzawa, The Kresge Foundation
Eileen Fry-Bowers, Loma Linda University
Beatriz Garcia, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)
Tomas Gonzalez, California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Ezequiel Gutierrez, Jr., Public Law Center
Kristina Harootun, Program Assistant, The City Project
Healthy San Bernardino Coalition
Ellee Igoe, International Rescue Committee
Richard Kiy, International Community Foundation
Stephen Koletty, University of Southern California
Ruben Lizardo, PolicyLink
J. Eric Lomeli, University of California, Los Angeles
Marty Martinez, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN)
Anne McEnany, International Community Foundation
Cheryl Moder, San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative
Elisa Guichard Mora, Voices for Changes / County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health
Maricela Morales, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)
Jackie Pearce
John Procter, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)
Marisa Aurora Quiroz, San Diego Foundation
Susan Randerson, Community Volunteer
Miguel Rodriguez, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)
Dick Rol, San Diego Canyonlands
Julie Schaepper, Loma Linda University
Melanie Schlotterbeck, Conservation Clarity
Karen Schmidt, Save Open-space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR)
Anne Tartre, Equinox Center
Evelyn Trevino, County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health
David Varner, San Diego Canyonlands
Katie Westfall, WildCoast
Chris Zirkle, City of San Diego Open Space Division

Funders

The work of The City Project has been made possible in part by the support of generous donors including:

Active Living Research, a national program office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Anonymous
Baldwin Hills Conservancy
S.D. Bechtel, Jr., Foundation
The California Endowment
California State Parks Foundation
The California Wellness Foundation
Marguerite Casey Foundation
City Parks Alliance
Convergence Partnership
Ford Foundation
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation
John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
The Impact Fund
The James Irvine Foundation
JiJi Foundation
Kaiser Permanente
The Kresge Foundation
The Jacob & Valeria Langeloth Foundation
Levi Strauss Foundation
Liberty Hill Foundation
Microsoft
Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority
National Parks Conservation Association
Nike, Inc.
PolicyLink
Resources Legacy Fund Foundation
Rockefeller Family Fund
The San Diego Foundation
San Gabriel Mountains Forever Campaign
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Smile Software
Southern California Edison
The Surdna Foundation
Surfrider Foundation
Tiffany & Co. Foundation
Union Bank Foundation
Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation
The Weingart Foundation
Wildlands Conservancy
Wildspaces/ California Community Foundation
William C. Kenney Watershed Protection Foundation
Whole Systems Foundation
and individual donors . . .