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SGV Connect

SGV Connect 109: Rick Cole and Norma Quinones

This week's SGV Connect features a pair of interviews with former Pasadena Mayor Rick Cole and San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps (SGVCC) Director Norma Quinones.

In our first interview, Damien talks with Cole ostensibly about the dozen opinion pieces Cole has written in 2023 about how Pasadena can grow as a city in the future. In the interview Cole laments how Pasadena has changed in the two decades since he was mayor and hopes the city will recommit itself to its progressive routes in coming years.

In the second half of the interview, Cole discusses his current job working with L.A. City Controller Kenneth Mejia and what political leaders can learn from Mejia's unconventional style. You can find Cole's articles (and a few other ones that have nothing to do with him), by clicking here.

For a transcript of the interview, click here.

In the second interview, Quinones explains what the SGVCC does: hiring youth in need of job training, and enrolling them in high school if necessary. The job sites they learn on include greening the region's streets with native plants, repainting the Puente Valley's county walls in a continuation of the area's iconic but sometimes fading vine murals, and pulling out deadwood and invasive species in the San Gabriel Mountains. Quinones, from Baldwin Park, says these young people come directly from the communities where they work.

For a transcript of the interview, click here.


SGV Connect is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of Downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit foothilltransit.org. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

Sign-up for our SGV Connect Newsletter, coming to your inbox on Fridays, and catch past episodes of SGV Connect and #DamienTalks on LibSyn, iTunesGoogle Play, or Overcast.

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