On Monday, April 8, Los Angeles Walks will welcome our new Executive Director, John Yi.
While I am sad to leave Los Angeles Walks, I am thrilled that we secured such a highly qualified, experienced, and passionate candidate for this unique position. (Meet him in person on April 17! More info.)
As Los Angeles Walks' first staff person and first full-time executive director, I am proud of how steadily the organization has grown since I started in October 2015. LA Walks’ team has expanded to three full-time staff people; one part-time employee; regular fellows and interns; and a larger, more diverse advisory board.
I am most proud of having led a strategic planning process that helped shift LA Walks' focus from grasstops advocacy to community-based training and mobilizing.
Along with LA Walks’ advisory board and staff, we clarified LA Walks' primary goal: to build power that will push safe streets policies, projects, and programs in neighborhoods across Los Angeles and citywide. I am excited that LA Walks staff now train and mobilize residents from Panorama City, West Adams, MacArthur Park, Koreatown, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.
We also established LA Walks' values and articulated the organization’s efforts to shift culture by developing SoCal Families for Safe Streets, amplifying the voices of those who have lost a loved one in a traffic collision or survived a severe crash.
Families for Safe Streets has been an increasingly powerful project of LA Walks -- one that demonstrates the urgent need for strong leadership and real solutions. This was evident very recently: immediately after our March 24th vigil for Christian Vega LADOT announced safety changes the department will now make to the deadly intersection.
Los Angeles Walks has tremendous momentum right now, and John Yi is perfectly suited to lead the organization into its next phase.
With an extensive background in organizing for social equity, campaign strategy, organizational growth, and team management, John has the skills and experience necessary to continue to build the movement for safe streets in Los Angeles. With his political savvy, John also comes in ready to mobilize that base to effect real change at the neighborhood and city level -- understanding how to identify and capitalize on opportunities to demonstrate power, demand change, and transform LA city streets.
Los Angeles Walks and the movement for safe streets in Los Angeles is just getting started, and under John’s leadership I am confident it will absolutely thrive.
It has been a privilege and pleasure to lead Los Angeles Walks during its earliest stages as an organization. I can't wait to see what happens next.
Emilia Crotty, Outgoing Executive Director