CA Fwd has named Cristina Garcia a Forward Thinker for her work to improve accountability and transparency in the city of Bell.
Garcia, 33, is the spokesperson for BASTA, the Bell Association to Stop the Abuse, a community group that formed in July after the administrator salary scandal in neighboring Bell broke in the Los Angeles Times. Since its founding, BASTA – which means “enough” in Spanish – has spearheaded signature-gathering efforts to recall council members, organized community forums, and launched voter registration drives.
Even in the midst of all she’s seen, Cristina has emerged with her ideals about government intact.
“We want better government,” she said. In advocating for greater checks and balances, Garcia concedes, “in some ways, we want more government.”
She thinks elected officials need to be more accessible and more connected to their districts. But people also need to be more educated about government’s process.
“My hope is that (California) can be a role model for the rest of the country and the world for how different groups can come together and work together,” she said.