All posts by dbjohnson

Erica Ortega

Erica Ortega

Erica Ortega is a longtime resident of the Florence-Firestone community.
Growing up in Florence-Firestone, Erica has seen many changes in the community over the years.
Erica vividly recalls the 1992 LA Riots with candor and humor.  She is currently
a member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders where she maintains the
Florence-Firestone Community Leaders website.

Florence-Firestone Community Leaders
Florence-Firestone Community Garden
Human Services Association

Watch Full Interview

Growing up in Florence-Firestone

At Home
School Plays
Erica and her sister

Family Picture
Practice time!

The Florence-Firestone Community Garden

Florence-Firestone Community Garden
Erica’s Mom working at the Community Garden
Growing cactus at the Community Garden

Erica Ortega Video

Gloria Medina

Gloria Medina

Gloria Medina lives in the Florence-Firestone area with her family. Gloria is currently president
of the Florence Firestone Merchants Association. Gloria is a strong advocate for women entrepreneurs and has helped to organize the Business Expo for Women Only for the past two years. Gloria’s strong commitment to make the Florence-Firestone community a better place for both business and community makes her an everyday hero.

Lives in the Florence-Firestone area
Founder/CEO – Florence Firestone Merchants Association
Advisory Board Member at Florence Firestone Community Leaders

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Family Life

Gloria and her sister
Early photo of Gloria
Gloria and her daughters

Wedding Party
Attending a family event
family with santa
Holiday photo

Community Involvement

Business Expo 2
Business Expo for Women Only
Business Expo May 2014
Supporting Women Entrepreneurship

Gloria Medina Video

“I want to make the community better for me and my family.”

Celica Quinones

celica with MRT
Celica Quinones

Celica Quinones family moved to the Florence-Firestone area in 1978. After graduating from college, Celica returned to Florence-Firestone community. She has many family and friends who currently live and work in the community. Celica works as Assistant Deputy to County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Assistant Deputy to County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
Florence-Firestone Community Garden

Watch Full Interview

Growing up in Florence-Firestone

Having fun
Birthday Party Celebration
On the lawn
Front lawn with brothers and sisters
in front of house
Outside with brothers

Community Involvement

with MRT and staff
On staff with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
community garden
Establishing the Florence-Firestone Community Garden
with Yvonne Burke
Award from Supervisor Yvonne Burke

Celica Quinones Video

Arthur Jones

Art Jones ProfilePicture
Teaching Elementary School Children

Arthur (Art) Jones is a longtime resident of the Florence-Firestone community.
Art is Past President of the Florence-Firestone Leadership Community Leaders and is
actively involved in community organizing. Art retired from the County of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department where he made lifelong friends. Art Jones story continues to inspire the next generation of community leaders.
Member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders
Community Activist

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High School Football and Military Service

Art Jones playing on the football team
School Photo
Art Jones on the Riverdale football team
Art Jones, U.S Marine Corps

Public Service

with Sheriff Lee Baca
Art with Former Sheriff Lee Baca
Art with former Supervisor Burke

Parks and Recreation

Art Jones, handing out trophies
Mr. Jones with three friends
Friends at Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation basketball league

“I’ve watched the people grow, I’ve watched the community grow.”

Arthur Jones Video

William Allen

William Allen

William Allen moved back to Florence-Firestone and participates in local neighborhood watch programs and the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders. He is a Vietnam Veteran and uses his military training and skills to provide leadership within the community. Mr. Allen volunteers his time by mentoring local youth basketball teams. He is also helping to meet the needs of the community and address its concerns as a member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders.
Florence-Firestone Community Leaders
Community advocate
Military Veteran
Watch Full Interview

Grew up in the Florence-Firestone area

MOM DAD 120th Street
William’s mother & father on 120th street
WOA 5TH BD PARTY 1953-small
William’s 5th birthday party
Verdine Butchy Junior-small
William with his mother and brother

Military Service

vietnam service
Korea Service


Tanisha _ Dad_Rev2
William with his daughter

William Allen Video

“Change has to happen through people getting involved.”

Paula Trejo

Paula Trejo
Paula Trejo

Paula Trejo grew up in the Florence-Firestone community and returned to raise her family. She maintains an enthusiastic and positive attitude as a member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders. As the current President of the organization, Paula is helping to meet the needs and address the concerns of the Florence-Firestone Community by providing information and connecting services and resources to the local area’s residents and businesses.
Grew up in Florence-Firestone
Raised children within the community
President of Florence-Firestone Community Leaders, Volunteer
Advocate for community involvement
Importance of education and the Florence-Firestone image


“It’s not where you live, it’s how you live.”

Grew up in Florence-Firestone

Ms. Trejo with two friends
At Fremont High School Graduation

Paula Trejo grew up in the Florence-Firestone area. She attended Russel Elementary, Drew Middle School and graduated from Fremont High School.

Mandinka Dance Class.
The Russel School Mandinka Dance Class.


Social media & Community Participation

“The goal is to involve everyone, so we have a bigger voice.”

Family Life

Ms. Trejo with friend
Quinceañera with family and friends
Celebrating her parents’ wedding anniversary


trip to disneyland
Special trip with siblings

Education & Outreach

“There is a lot of things we want to do but we can’t do it by ourselves.”

Improving Florence-Firestone image

Rick Aldridge

Receiving an award
Rick Aldridge & Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Rick Aldridge grew up in Florence-Firestone and over the years has continued to maintain vested interest within the community. Mr. Aldridge is a member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders and helps to provide assistance and representation for local concerns and to meet the needs within the community.
Grew up in Florence-Firestone
Florence-Firestone Community Leaders
Actively involved in volunteer community work
Advocate for education
Watch Full Interview

In this interview Rick Aldridge discusses growing up in Florence-Firestone area, his parents early influence on him, the importance of education and the role of libraries within the community. Video 24 minutes

“I came from a family that was socially and politically active.”

Actively involved in volunteer community work

Rick Aldridge working with the Century Sheriff’s Youth Activity League to develop a safe place for local children to play.


Member of Florence-Firestone Community Leaders
ffseh071_smallRick has been a longtime member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders. He has seen firsthand how volunteer groups can make a difference in the community.


Rick being recognized by the Ford Motor Company.

Advocate for education
ffseh076Rick on the University of Southern California campus with students and volunteers.

Rick Aldridge Video

“Another misconception is that people don’t care about the com

Jonathan P. Bell

JBell_PhotoJonathan Pacheco Bell has been involved with the Florence-Firestone community since 2005. Beginning his career in Code Enforcement, Mr. Bell addresses local concerns in the Florence-Firestone area. As an active member of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders, Mr. Bell helps connect community members with government services and meet the needs of the community.
Works in City Planning for County of Los Angeles
Member of Florence-Firestone Community Leaders, Volunteer
Community advocate

JBell2Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and members of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders at the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors Hearing Room.

Community Leaders

The Florence-Firestone Community Leaders is the voice for the Florence-Firestone Community.”

Florence-Firestone Mural with Supervisor Molina

On Saturday, October 9, Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke and Supervisor Gloria Molina joined the Department of Public Works (LADPW) and hundreds of volunteers in sending a strong message about keeping the streets clean in the Florence-Firestone community.
Supervisors Burke and Molina also helped paint the mural with young volunteers.


The Florence –Firestone Beautification Event. The Mural now decorates a wall on Nadeau and Maie Avenue, across from the Blue Line. The mural features residents doing their part to “keep the community clean and green,” and was designed by Arturo Gonzalez of the East L.A. Community Arts and Mural Program. October 9, 2004.

The Florence/Firestone Community Center is a multi-purpose facility designed to provide comprehensive human services in partnership with communities, business, and public and private agencies. It was remodeled and expanded for improved efficiency and modernization in 2010.

Florence-Firestone Banner

The beautiful mural by Artist Willie Robert Middlebrook inside the lobby of the Florence-Firestone Community Center.>> More Information

Removing Stereotypes

“I quickly realized there were a lot of stereotypes that the community bore.”

The Century Sheriff’s Youth Activity League was created in 1996 by using the former Florence-Firestone Park Sheriff’s station and transforming the building from a law enforcement facility to a community safe-haven for children.


Soccer field behind the Florence-Firestone Park Sheriff’s station.


“My history is in Montebello, my home is in Pasadena, but my heart is in Florence-Firestone.”