This week’s Gateway Cities Leader
Cities are shaped by their citizens. From New Bedford to Pittsfield, passionate young leaders are spearheading innovative efforts to reinvent their communities for a new generation. The Gateway Cities Leaders series profiles their work and introduces their ideas, visions, and aspirations to the wider Gateway City world. Is there a young leader in your city that we should spotlight? Please let us know.
Felix Garcia is a Research Clerk at Office of Planning & Development Inspectional Services in the City of Lawrence.
After graduating from college, what made you want to return to Lawrence?
I returned to Lawrence because I want to help develop the city. I am invested in the community and proud of the transition Lawrence is going through. There are more youth organizations promoting creativity and innovation throughout the city.
What is the biggest difference between the city when you were growing up as compared to today?
Lawrence is going through quite a transition. People are really starting to spread their voices throughout the city. Organizations like Elevated Thought are painting murals on all of the electrical boxes in the city. The work they are doing is amazing, and it gives the city a young and fresh perspective.
What are your goals for the city of Lawrence?
I am looking forward to working with local builders to further develop sustainable homes and buildings throughout the city of Lawrence. I hope to help homeowners build affordable, energy efficient homes.
What have been some of the biggest challenges of working for the city?
My biggest challenge is educating the community on city and state ordinances that effect the health and wellbeing of the residents of the city. As I continue to read and learn more about city and state regulations, I will educate others and spread the word.
What have you been able to accomplish?
My team and I were able to reorganize the Department of Inspectional Services by researching means of how to educate the community on public health disparities affecting the city.
The Department of Inspectional Services introduced the first drug drop box at the Lawrence Police Department. The drop box provides 24-hour, no questions asked access for local residents to dispose of unused or unwanted prescription drugs.How else are you involved in the community?
Baseball was my safe haven growing up in the city. I played in different leagues and travelled to other cities and towns representing Lawrence baseball. It really changed the way I viewed my city, and so I decided to coach a team of young athletes to teach them the fundamentals of baseball.