LOS ANGELES, CA (September 20, 2019) - Today, the Los Angeles Board of Public Works celebrated the achievements of a few outstanding Latino employees throughout the Department of Public Works in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month. These exceptional men and women were recognized at the Board of Public Works Meeting today for breaking down barriers to reach leadership positions, promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and setting an example for the next generation of the City workforce.
“Latinos make up half of the population of Los Angeles. While we've come a long way in our fight for equity and justice, we must always place importance in diversifying our workplaces and appoint leaders who reflect the communities they serve,” said Los Angeles Board of Public Works Vice President Cecilia Cabello. “I'm proud to celebrate our Latino employees who work tirelessly day in and day out to build and maintain the infrastructure of our City, and to provide core services that make all of our communities cleaner, greener, and healthier for all Angelenos.”
National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the histories and cultures of Latino Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It is a time to reflect on the contributions of Latinos, both past and present, who have made a positive impact on society and enriched our nation. Today, we honored some of the Latino men and women throughout the Department of Public Works who are making an impact in their communities through their daily work and paving the way for those who come after them.
“It’s an honor to bring attention to the Latino men and women in Public Works. These trailblazers serve as inspiration for the next generation of the Latino workforce who may want to consider a career as an engineer, inspector, or public servant,” said Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Aura Garcia. “I commend our honorees and all of the other men and women throughout the Department who have worked hard and shown perseverance to achieve their goals and reach new heights in their careers and communities.”
From building bridges and sewers, to filling potholes, collecting trash, and installing street lights, Public Works projects touch every Angeleno where they live, work, and play. Whether on the front lines or behind-the-scenes, the honorees recognized today have made a significant impact in their respective fields:
- Angela Martinez, Bureau of Contract Administration: a Principal Construction Inspector who previously provided specialized inspection work for the LA Zoo and now manages one of the most active construction districts in the Bureau of Contract Administration.
- Pedro Garcia, Bureau of Engineering: a Civil Engineer/Project Manager who plays a vital role in notable projects such as the White Point Landslide, the North-East Interceptor Sewer, the Venice Dual Force Main, and has managed many bulkhead projects for the Hillside Slope Stability program.
- Blanca Calderon, LA Sanitation and Environment: a newly-appointed Government Affairs Liaison with a background in civil engineering who focuses on civic engagement and governmental relations.
- Silvia Torres, Bureau of Street Lighting: the first woman to be appointed as Superintendent overseeing the construction of street lighting projects.
- Tina Navarro, Bureau of Street Services (StreetsLA): provides support to the Executive Director and Assistant Directors and handles calendars, correspondence, and reports to the Board of Public Works and City Council.
- Grisela Grace Hernandez, Office of the Board Secretariat: a Senior Administrative Clerk who provides support to the Board of Public Works Commission on matters related to construction contracts, surety bonds, and insurances. Grace's dedication in risk management protects the City against any potential loss and works closely with contractors to maintain active insurance coverage(s) at all times.