East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice info@eycej.org 323.263.2113

East Yard Leadership in Transition

Last night at our 7th Annual Fighting For Life Celebration our Executive Director mark! Lopez announced his transition out of the ED role. mark! joined East Yard as a Member in 2009, came on to the Team in 2012 as the Lead Organizer, became a Co-Director along with one of EYCEJ’s founders Angelo Logan, and has served as our Executive Director for over 6 years. mark! will continue to be an active Member and over the next couple of months transition into a new role, Director of Special Projects, while Laura Cortez and Taylor Thomas transition into Co-Executive Directors of East Yard. Please find the text of the speech he gave last night below:

****Speech given by mark! 8.27.20****

We don’t measure East Yard by the deliverables we meet, the policies we pass or defeat, the funds we raise, or even the polluters we smash.

The presence of our strength is most felt in our community building and leadership development.

It’s visible from our membership spaces where new leadership is developed consistently, to our team, most of whom have come through our membership, and our Board of Directors which come exclusively from our membership.

We engage thousands of community members every year. Our membership spaces on the Eastside, in Southeast LA & Long Beach bring together hundreds of our members weekly, bi weekly and monthly.

Because of the strength of our foundation, our organizational culture continues to get stronger. Because of our organizational culture, the impact of our movement deepens and widens. And through this we continually innovate, reflect, restrategize and keep it moving.

It is in this spirit that we have been processing restructuring internally for years. Over the last year and a half we have been engaging in dialogue with our team, our Board, and all of our membership bodies to transition Laura and Taylor into the Executive leadership positions for East Yard. This has been a long and deliberate process and though this transition is news to many of you, we, East Yard collectively, have been working at it for some time now.

Laura, Taylor and I will be in a tri-Directorship into 2021, after which Laura and Taylor will become Co-Executive Directors of East Yard. I will be stepping down, but not out, as I will serve as the Director of Special Projects. I am beyond excited for this transition. This transition feels reinvigorating for me and I hope you all are as excited as I am to continue following the leadership of Laura and Taylor.