Los Angeles, August 24, 2016 — Last night’s earthquake in Italy, recent wildfires in California, and floods in Louisiana remind us that disasters can occur anytime, anywhere, and that the Red Cross is ready to help when it matters most. To make sure that Crescenta, Antelope, Santa Clarita, and San Fernando Valley communities are ready to bounce back after disaster, Raul Claros, has been appointed as the new Executive Director for the American Red Cross’ Northern Valleys Chapter.
“We are proud to have Raul Claros as our new Executive Director for Northern Valleys. He joined our team after serving as Deputy for City of Los Angeles Council President, Herb Wesson. Disasters such as Mega storm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina proved that developing community resilience is critical to recovery. Raul Claros’ proven track record in building strategic partnerships and community coalitions will be incredible assets for the organization and the community it serves” said Jarrett Barrios, CEO for the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region.
Claros participated in the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region’s July response to Santa Clarita’s Sand Fire, and also played a pivotal role in helping the American Red Cross build a resiliency coalition in Koreatown that is keeping the community safe. Claros has served the Los Angeles County area for more than a decade as a classroom teacher, community organizer, non-profit director and government liaison at both the state level with the California State Assembly and city level with the City of Los Angeles.
Since his appointment as Executive Director in June, he has worked hard to enhance the organization’s relationships with local authorities, community organizations, businesses and local media. “Disaster can strike anytime, anywhere and it’s time for Crescenta, Antelope, Santa Clarita, and San Fernando Valley communities to work together to prepare” said the New Executive Director. “We need to remind everyone that disaster preparedness should be something to work on now, not tomorrow”, Claros underscored.
As a leader that has long been passionate about building support for key community issues, Claros states that he aims to work on creating and empowering coalitions to build successful disaster resiliency plans. “My goal is to engage dedicated leaders who will partner with schools, local businesses, community based organizations, government agencies and faith based affiliates to create a connected community that is increasingly able to bounce back from a disaster,” he added. In the past year, the Northern Valley’s Chapter has worked with partners to add shelter space, acquire emergency resources, and instruct residents on how to survive disasters, as well as serving service members and veterans at Edwards Air Force Base, China Lake Naval Weapon Center, and Air Force Plant 42.
The new Executive Director has also worked on consolidating a high functioning chapter board, comprised of committed stakeholders from each valley covered by the Northern Valleys Chapter, to ensure the Red Cross meets its goals and connects with local communities to prepare for disaster. “We’re lucky to have amazing leaders on our board. We hope to have many more join us and help us save lives in our community” he added.
About the Los Angeles American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossLA.