Francisco Ortega is a Senior Project Coordinator for the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department (LA Civil Rights).
Senior Project Coordinator and Lead Staff for:
- The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
- The Human Relations Commission (HRC)
- The Transgender Advisory Council (TAC)
Francisco Ortega has been a senior staff member for the City of Los Angeles’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) for over a decade. In July 2017, he was appointed Director of the Commissions and Community Engagement Unit for the Housing and Community Engagement Department (HCIDLA) which oversaw the work of the HRC and five other commissions. For the past decade his work with the HRC has focused on building and strengthening civic engagement opportunities across the City, with a particular focus on working to serve underrepresented communities through building strategic community-government partnership and helping to bring decision-makers to the communities they serve.
He joined the commission as a field staff in late 2006 and has been working primarily as an advocate in reducing racial and ethnic tensions in some of the city’s most vulnerable and challenged communities. In this capacity he’s been responsible for creating and opening safe spaces for transformational dialogue between various groups, but had devoted much time to strengthening relations between law enforcement (LAPD and LA County Sherriff’s Department) and communities of color. In this capacity he has helped convene and facilitate community forums and town halls that aim to bridge the gap between police and community to build safe and healthy communities. He has worked throughout the city in places like South Los Angeles, Westlake Pico-Union, Northeast Los Angeles and the Valley.
In 2017, in partnership with then Council President Wesson’s Office, he helped design and developed a race equity initiative, “EmbRACE LA”, that engaged a broad range of community members in conversations around race and equity. This initiative was important as it served as a precursor to the City of Los Angeles’s adoption of Indigenous Peoples Day replacing the Columbus Day Holiday in August 2018. Through the work of initiatives like embRACE LA, he has helped bring attention to racial and systemic racism that has sparked a new conversation focused on solving historical wrongs. In July 2020, Francisco joined the amazing and talented staff that will help lift up the new Civil and Human Rights Department and continue to serve the great people of Los Angeles. As his role with the new department continues to evolve, he is committed to creating opportunities that allow for broader cultural understanding and continued civic engagement for all Angelenos.