Meet Two Citizen Es
LAPD Commander Sean Malinowski has a crazy idea to make a better place--he calls it "Casa Tienda." By working with community groups, LAPD volunteers, and partners like Habitat for Humanity, the vision of Casa Tienda is to help reclaim crime ridden neighborhoods by redeveloping an empty lot or store front to be green and have a residence above or next door where the store's owner or manager lives. It could be a bakery, cafe or healthy grocery.
At the soft launch of Citizen E at founder Matt Petersen's 50th birthday on November 7, 2017, Sean partnered with Aqeela Sherrils and his 3 Worlds Cafe in Watts. Sean and Aqeela won an initial Citizen E grant of $2,000. With the funds, they decided to employ a community artist to paint a mural inside Sherrills’ 3 Worlds Café, a gathering place for people in Watts that provides healthy food and local employment.
“A single person can make a huge difference in a neighborhood,” says Aqeela Sherrills, a Watts-based activist known for his work preventing and defusing gang violence. “Citizen E is investing in an individual’s capacity to step out and take a risk.”