Maria Ortiz
11 Images

Civic involvment

Maria Ortiz works at Lillian Street Elementary School during the lunch hour supervising children. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Volunteers do maintenance work on a mural in Florence-Firestone.  (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
The problem of illegal dumping has been greatly improved in the Florence-Firestone area, but it is an unending battle, as this alley behind Central Avenue shows. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Lt. John Babbitt was the first lieutenant assigned to Florence-Firestone as part of L.A. County’s civic involvement experiment. It was no easy task: Many in the immigrant community were distrusful of law enforcement. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Joyce Smith, left, and Gloria Medina watch as Babbitt leaves the Florence-Firestone Chamber of Commerce with water for a community meeting later in the evening. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Maria and Jose Ortiz listen to a presentation about gangs at the Sheriff’s Department Century Station. Maria and other parents joined together to get rid of a nightclub that opened across from the neighborhood elementary school. They also succeeded in getting rid of a nearby garbage dump and truck-painting shop. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
First-grade teacher Leslie Seror works with Ruth Dueans, 6, at Lillian Street Elementary, where test scores have improved since the community became more involved with the school. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Boys play soccer in Roosevelt Park. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Father Ramon Palomera and Lt. John Babbitt at Saint Aloysius School, where they talk about an upcoming community meeting on the safe passage of children from home to school and back. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Maria Ortiz at home with her 2-year-old niece, Amy Mayorga. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Maria and Jose Ortiz leave their home to attend a meeting about gangs. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)