New Schools Better Neighborhoods Announces Appointment of a New Executive Director: John Hurtado

September 19, 2005

Los Angeles, CA: David Abel, Managing Director of New Schools Better Neighborhoods (NSBN) announced the appointment of John L. Hurtado as Executive Director.

Mr. Hurtado was most recently the Director of Strategic Relationship and Resource Development at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) where he was responsible for the creation of partnerships, programs, and funding resources for MALDEF's Community Education and Leadership Development programs and MALDEF in general. Previously, he was the National Director of the Parent School Partnership (PSP) Program for MALDEF where he oversaw direct training programs in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Houston as well as a national Train-the-Trainer program that provided training to local community-based organizations, colleges and universities, and other volunteers as well as a growing number of parent alumni drawn from local PSP trainings in a dozen states. The PSP and other CELD programs provide exposure to community engagement techniques and opportunities while simultaneously providing information to immigrant parents and community members about the US educational and political systems. Before MALDEF, Mr. Hurtado was in higher education administration for 23 years with such leading institutions at Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts, the California School of Professional Psychology, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and the Academic Center for Excellence in the Health Sciences (a joint project of Western University of Health Sciences and Loma Linda School of Medicine as well as Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and Riverside County Regional Medical Center).

In his new role, Mr. Hurtado will oversee the daily operations of New Schools Better Neighborhoods in the completion of existing joint-use school/community development projects in Hollywood, MacArthur Park, and East Los Angeles with the Los Angeles Unified School District as well as pre-school siting projects within the "Hot Zones" in Los Angeles County identified by the First 5 Commission, Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) and MALDEF where insufficient preschool and early childhood facilities exist to meet the demand for care of 4 year-olds living in those communities. He also assist in the development of new opportunities in other areas of Los Angeles County, Southern California, the state, and eventually, nationwide.

His experiences in civic engagement training and adult education should facilitate the development of supportive communities that promote the development of these creative joint-use solutions where the demand for increased numbers of schools (pre-Kindergarten through college) and other community facilities (parks and other green space, health clinics, libraries, athletic facilities, police substations, etc.) in areas where limited undeveloped land exists and where these facilities are missing but would require significant removal of existing housing stock and business to facilitate the conflicting demands to meet all of these needs.

Goals of NSBN:

- Provide a framework for the best way to site, design, and build public schools.

- Create a strategy for including community dialogue and input as a component in determining the siting and design of public schools.

- Move from the outmoded "factory model" that has defined our public schools until now, to a 21st century vision of community-focused schools, anchoring our increasingly diverse communities.

- Understand how joint ventures between schools and other services (medical, recreational, libraries) can help make schools the centers of their communities and bring valuable services closer to those who use them.

- Understand if and how we must change our statutes, regulations, and/or decision-making processes, and/or procedures to implement this vision.

- Build a permanent constituency group of stakeholders to support and implement these goals.

New Schools Better Neighborhoods (NSBN) is a civic advocacy organization formed to promote a 21st Century vision for California's urban school districts: new schools should be centers of neighborhoods and likewise, neighborhoods and communities should serve as centers of learning. NSBN is a project of the non-profit group Community Partners.

For further information, contact Mr. Hurtado at:
New Schools Better Neighborhoods
811 West Seventh Street, Suite 900
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Telephone: (213) 488-0737
Facsimile: (213) 623-9207