Robert Garcia (1952 - 2020)

Legacy Board Member

Robert García was a civil rights advocate who engaged, educated, and empowered communities for equal access to public resources. He as the Founding Director and Counsel of The City Project, a non-profit legal and policy advocacy team in Los Angeles, California. 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 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 was an Assistant Professor at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science.

Robert had extensive experience in public policy, legal advocacy, mediation, and litigation involving complex social justice, civil rights, human health, environmental, education, and criminal justice matters. He influenced the investment of over $43 billion in underserved communities, working at the intersection of equal justice, public health, and the built environment. He served as chairman of the Citizens’ School Bond Oversight Committee for five years, helping raise over $27 billion to build new, and modernize existing, public schools as centers of their communities in Los Angeles. He helped communities create and preserve great urban parks and preserve access to beaches and trails. He also helped diversify support for and access to state resource bonds, with unprecedented levels of support among communities of color and low-income communities, and billions of dollars for urban parks. He served on the Development Team for the National Park Service Healthy Parks, Healthy People Community Engagement eGuide.

Robert served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund. He received the President’s Award from the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice for helping release Geronimo Pratt, the former Black Panther leader, from prison after 27 years for a crime he did not commit. He represented people on Death Row in Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi. Stanford Law School called him a “civil rights giant” and Stanford Magazine “an inspiration.” Robert served on the Justice and Peace Commission for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles under Cardinal Roger Mahony. He was an immigrant who came to the U.S. from Guatemala at age four.