SACRAMENTO â€“ Yesterday, State Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D- Coachella) honored the Mothers and Men Against Gangs CoalitionÂ (MAG Coalition) as the 56th Assembly Districtâ€™s Nonprofit of the Year. The organization was established in January 2013 and was selected for their unique mission and significant strides to mitigate gang presence within the Imperial Valley community and beyond.
â€œI highly commend the dedicated efforts of the MAG Coalition to deter violence, provide resources, and empower families of Imperial Valley,” stated Garcia. “The organization was founded after the untimely passing of Martin Alberto Garza; a victim of gang violence. Rather than surrendering to personal tragedy, the Garza family embarked to transform their community through advocacy, to help prevent others from feeling the immense pain of losing a loved one.â€Â
Founder Mrs. Yulil Alonso-Garza, accompanied by her father Horacio Alonso, husband Martin, and daughter Yulinda, traveled to Sacramento to join rank among other distinguished nonprofit honorees. This secondÂ Annual California Nonprofits Day celebration was hosted by the California Association of Nonprofits and the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector.
â€œWe as a community have a responsibility to create the change we want to see in our neighborhoods for our children and their families,” shared Mrs. Alonso-Garza. “We are working seven days a week; three times a day, but we can’t all do it alone. Everyone is a critical component of these efforts. We are grateful to our past and present board members, and all of our community partners, volunteers, and participants. They have made our organization a successful entity in our community. MAG Coalition is grateful for the countless community service hours from our community members because theyâ€™re gifting our organization their most precious gift, their time. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia is one of those individuals who have stepped up and has truly become involved with the mission and vision of MAG Coalition. He’s truly helping guide the direction of the MAG Coalitionâ€™s work to turn this tragedy into victory.â€Â
â€œThis opportunity has made it possible for our organization to engage with the Governor, Attorney General and the Speaker of the Assembly,” Garza continued. “These moments are so meaningful in furthering the MAG Coalitionâ€™s #73ChangingLives campaign. Our goal is to establish a larger platform to talk about my son’s legacy, share the stories of our communityâ€™s victims, and work together towards the eradication of gang violence. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia has recognized the importance of this movement and cause to create safer communities. We hope that our combined efforts can bring further awareness and prevention statewide, to make the change our children deserve.â€
The MAG Coalition utilizes alliances with county agencies, parents, school districts, and various businesses to organize youth events and outreach prevention programs in its crusade against gang presence and gang recruitment. Most notably, the coalition has worked successfully with local government entities such as Imperial Valley College Board of Trustees, the Imperial County Board of Education, amongst others, to enact Anti-Gang Awareness resolutions. Additional outreach programs include scholarship programs, 5K events, anti-bullying presentations, and literacy events.
â€œThe MAG Coalition is a prime example of the integral role nonprofits play both in our community and statewide. This organization is absolutely inspiring. Mrs. Alonso-Garza and her family created an organization that has instilled hope and transformed our community. It was my pleasure to showcase their unique mission to my colleagues within the State Legislature. The model they have created has the potential to create safer and more vibrant communities throughout the state,â€ said Garcia.