Viviana Franco, Founder and Executive Director of From Lot to Spot
Viviana Franco is the Executive Director, who founded From Lot to Spot as a direct response to the relationship between lack of green space and the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods in 2007. Viviana was born and raised in a Hawthorne, Ca. neighborhood that was drastically transformed by the creation of the 105 Freeway. In the early 1980’s , the California Department of Transportation, Caltrans, constructed Los Angeles’s last freeway: the 105 or Century Freeway. However when the freeway was completed, there were countless excess right-of-way lands that remained fallow and unmaintained; left to demoralize low-income, working class communities. They were left to assume responsibility for the blight that was created. Ms. Franco grew up playing in one of these vacant lots, on 118th & Doty Ave. Playing in this vacant lot would shape her adult life and professional career.
Ms. Franco brings over 10 years of experience in the community planning field that includes strategic planning and project management, community outreach, fund development, open space design and construction, land use analysis, and demographic analysis. Ms. Franco, earned her graduate degree in Urban Planning with an emphasis on community development from the UCLA School of Public Affairs and holds a B.A. in History from UCLA. Her passion for equity for all peoples drives her to continue to do her work to improve the standard of living for all communities. Ms. Franco has led community engagement campaigns in the Cities of Hawthorne, Lynwood, Lawndale and communities of Lennox and Watts. Because of her activism work in the City, she was appointed in 2012 by the Mayor of the City of Hawthorne to serve as a Parks & Recreation Commissioner. Ms. Franco’s proudest accomplishment is being the daughter of working class Mexican immigrants and credits them for her continuous dedication to social justice. In her spare time Ms. Franco likes to up-cycle tables and chairs, ride her bike and have sleepovers with her nieces. She owns two chickens named Gertrudis and Frida. Gertrudis is mean.