Mike has served as the leader of this environmental nonprofit for 20 years. He holds both a BA and MBA and is passionate about environmental justice, open space, and protection of our natural resources air, water and land.
Here’s more from Mike about why he started and remains committed to California Greenworks:
My family was involved in the agriculture industry in Texas, and much of my perspective comes from that experience. When I moved to Los Angeles, my eyes were quickly drawn to the abundance of urban blight: areas ridden with deteriorating or abandoned homes and other buildings, vacant lots, weeds and very little green space.
In Los Angeles, I met a girl from Kenya encouraged me to look at into the environmental space. That was back in 2000, and there weren’t very many African Americans involved in the environmental movement. At this time, we were just looking at what we could do to make things better in Los Angeles specifically. When we talk about environmental justice – the majority of low income communities are in the same areas as those industrial facilities – which harms health and wellbeing – and we started looking into projects as to how to improve this.
It was on a sailing trip with another founding member that California Greenworks was born. Noticing the excess trash in the water and all our conversations about environmental injustice in the background, it became clear something needed to be done. It should be a civil right for everyone to have clean water and clean air. And so, we started California Greenworks to create that change.