UCLA Prof. Leo Estrada has influenced everything The City Project has done for 20 years by teaching us the importance of mapping and analyzing access to public an other resources including parks, schools, health, jobs, housing, and transportation using GIS mapping and census data. He created for us the most comprehensive and complete electronic database of parks, beaches, and green space in LA County ever, working with his grad student Eric Lomelli. He mapped and analyzed the parks, beaches, and green space against race, ethnicity, and income. He donated the data files for us to use in our equal access advocacy and make publicly available. He sat down with our GIS expert Amanda Recinos from GreenInfo Network and me to take the mapping and analyses to whole new levels of sophistication and cartographic quality. It worked. No data, no justice. No one has ever challenged our demographic analyses based on lessons Leo taught us.
The analyses supported our work to create or protect great new urban parks and diversify support for and access to billions of dollars in local, state, and federal park, water, resource, and school funds. The analyses backed President Barack Obama in creating San Gabriel Mountains National Monument because there are not enough places to play, especially for children of color and low income children. US EPA added parks and greenspace to EJSCREEN, the national online mapping tool, along with toxics and health in 2016. The analyses fueled community victories at LA State Historic Park; Rio de Los Angeles State Park; LA River greening; Baldwin Hills Park, the largest urban park designed in the US in over a century, in historic African American LA; coastal justice to free the beach from San Diego Humboldt County; saving Panhe and San Onofre State Beach; keeping state parks open statewide; Transit to Trails; and more. The analyses supported our work on the LAUSD School Bond Oversight Committee, helping to raise $27 billion to build 130 new schools, modernize hundreds more, and make the future brighter for generations of public school children in Los Angeles. With Leo we updated the vision of the classic 1932 Olmsed report Parks, Playgrounds, and Beaches for the Los Angeles Region.
Thank you Leo, for helping bring the simple joys of playing in the parks, schools, pools, and beaches to the children and people of California and beyond. Thank you from your compañeros y compañeras at The City Project / Proyecto del Pueblo. La lucha continua.
Leo has influenced everything The City Project does.
Leo Estrada A Giant on Many Fronts UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. “As a brilliant demographer, he was also instrumental in confronting gerrymandering and giving ethnic communities equal representation in California and other states around the country,” according to Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, UCLA Prof. of Urban Planning, Associate Provost, and long time City Project hero.
Early work by Leo and The City Project creating the most comprehensive electronic database ever of parks and green space in LA County.