Friday, March 28, 2008

2008 Pioneer Woman: Pilar Quispe

Pilar Quispe
Originally uploaded by CD-13
Every year the City of Los Angeles recognizes extraordinary women through our Pioneer Woman Awards as part of National Women's History Month. This year, I was proud to select community activist Pilar Quispe as the Council District 13 Pioneer Woman.

Originally from Peru, Pilar moved to Los Angeles more than 20 years ago to seek new opportunities for her family. Top among her priorities was ensuring that her children had access to a quality education. As her children attended local schools - Grant Elementary, Le Conte Middle, and Marshall High - Pilar organized parents to fight for more resources to help their students learn and to prepare them for future success.

In recent years, Pilar has expanded her community activism to include fighting for resources to address at-risk youth and gang violence in the community. She is currently working with the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the Drug Free Community Initiative, which is organizing local residents to help prevent drug and alcohol abuse among at-risk young people.

Pilar has helped dozens of neighbors form their own neighborhood watches and helped to build a network of Peruvians living in Los Angeles that raised funds to send to Peru after the tragic earthquake of 2006.

Pilar epitomizes the definition of a ‘pioneer’ and we are all very fortunate that she chose to dedicate more than two decades of her life to making Los Angeles a better place for us all.