Introducing “License To Operate”

License To Operate

A Better LA has been dedicated to funding, training, and empowering Community Intervention Specialists – most of whom are former gang members – in inner cities throughout the Los Angeles region since 2003. They work tirelessly to reduce gang violence, utilizing specialized training, to go where only they can go. Their story was recently captured in an incredible documentary called “License to Operate,” created by our friends at Omelet. The film debuted June 3 on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and other platforms. It would mean so much if you could download and rate it today at

On the surface, this film is about former gang leaders who have turned their lives around to become trained gang interventionists and together alongside local law enforcement, are rebuilding the neighborhoods they once destroyed. But it’s really much more than that. Especially amidst the growing nationwide distrust between police and the people they’re supposed to protect, License to Operate shows that you can still rebuild relationships, forge new alliances, and find hope even in a city’s darkest hours. We’ve been truly inspired by these men and women.

If you like the film please spread the word!

Community Sentinels

Former Executive Director, current partner, anti-violence icon, and friend of A Better LA, Dr. Aquil Basheer, launches "Community Sentinels." All community members, stakeholders and professionals are invited to participate.

Community Sentinels

A Better LA is a proud supporter of SCRIPT

SCRIPT Conference 2016

What is SCRIPT?

On July 6th and 7th at the California Endowment Center SCRIPT will supply free community intervention training to raise awareness about the integration of efforts of multiple agencies and organizations to support public needs for mental health care, crisis intervention and supportive services in Los Angeles. It is our goal to raise awareness about societal needs regarding intervention, and to improve relationships between government, social services, and community based institutions. Moreover, decreasing social-stressors and increasing overall life satisfaction by giving people tools to recognize mental illness or other compassionate needs for the population.

The target population is anyone interested in working together to support the community and learn intervention strategies. SCRIPT invites social welfare workers, law enforcement, advocacy professionals, academicians and consumers to present and take part in the trainings.

2016 Theme

Due to a continuing overwhelming community issues related to male survivors of violence and abuse, this year’s theme will focus on breaking the silence and eliminating the stigma that discourages many male survivors from seeking support following violence or abuse. Multicultural factors in working with diverse populations will be considered. Before the age of 16, it is estimated nearly 60% of males experience at least one significant trauma. However, our society does not support males coming forward with stories of a traumatic past. These life experiences can also lead to a life of social withdrawal, poor relationships and self-concept issues. With coordinated efforts, we can raise awareness and increase prevention, as well as give community members the tools necessary to assist in support and recovery.

Please RSVP at by June 27th, 2016.

A Better LA Honors Intervention Leader Gary Robinson


As a tribute to the pioneering work of Gary Robinson and his role as a leader in gang intervention, A Better LA hosted a lunch at the Chester Washington Golf Course on March 5, 2016. In attendance were A Better LA leadership, community intervention specialists that are supported by A Better LA, and family and friends of Gary.

In 2006, Gary pledged to work against gang violence before it was the rigor that it has become today. In  2007 Gary co-founded the non-profit, C.U.R.E., to spread gang intervention work throughout his community and neighboring communities, bringing together old archrivals to join in stopping violence and the culture that breeds it.

Gary was one of the early leaders in forming truces between rival gang members.  His commitment to building relationships across neighborhood boundaries was groundbreaking. Today West Athens has one of the lowest violence rates in South Los Angeles.

Parks have long been the backyards for inner city youth where they gather and recreate.  Too often, they have been places for gang members to congregate, making parks dangerous for families and children.  Gary pledged to change all that.  Helen Keller Park, in West Athens, is now one of the safest and most beautiful parks in South Los Angeles.

In  2008 Gary realized another dream – to bring football to the youngsters of West Athens.  The Cali Cowboys football team was launched at Helen Keller Park and is still saving kids today.

Gary has worked tirelessly to promote peace for over a decade.  A Better LA and it’s intervention family salute and honor this local hero and legend.

Gary 3


Hundreds Turn Out for P.CI.’s Walk for Life Event

PCI Walk For Life

The 4K (2.4 miles) Walk, hosted by P.C.I. People for Community Improvement, began with a rally and stretching, lead by local fitness trainers, at the Ralphs parking lot across the street from the Audrey & Sydney Irmas Youth Activity Center. The Walk ended with a Community Entertainment Festival & Health Fair at Earvin "Magic" Johnson Park in Los Angeles

The event featured community resources, food vendors and entertainment by DJ Battlecat, Gospel Choirs and many more.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (43rd Congressional District) addressed the crowd and presented Certificates of Special Recognition to PCI Executive Director Kenneth Jones , as well as others for years of consistent work in the community.

LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnel also address the attendees, along with representatives from State Assembly Member Mike Gipson’s office and LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas’ office.

Many vendors lined the park with resource information, giveaways, food and more!

Tommy the Clown entertained the kids, along with a half mile series of jumpers that held court as the popular play event for the children. Attendees also enjoyed an exotic car show.

“We brought our kids out and they absolutely LOVED the day in the park. Thanks to PCI for providing such a great event for the community.” said Sandra Johnson, Willowbrook resident.

P.C.I. thanks its Community Partners and Sponsors: A Better LA, Rotary International, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Citizens Advisory Board, First 5 L.A., Ralph's, One United Bank, Care First Health Plan, Learn 4 Life, Green Dot Public Schools, Hyland’s, Westmont Community Task Force, The Timelist Group, and FrontPage with Dominique Diprima.

Learn more about PCI and its services at People for Community Improvement.