Community Activist Gilbert “Gil” Gerakos Legacy Remembered

September 28, 2021
News Media Contact:
Kevin Jimenez, Public Information Officer
(323) 265-8807 |

MONTEREY PARK, CA- East Los Angeles community pays tribute to the respected community activist, role model, and friend Gilbert “Gil” Gerakos by establishing the East Los Angeles College (ELAC) Gilbert “Gil” Gerakos “Mayor of East LA” Legacy Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Known by many as the “Mayor of East LA”, Gilbert “Gil” Gerakos lived a life of community service and volunteerism. For thirty years, Gil worked in the community as a representative for the United Way as a corporate liaison and for local elected officials at both the City and County level. He generously assisted organizations with their fundraising and scholarship campaigns. Gil passed away in on April 25, 2021 at the age of 82.
Fellow ELAC alumni George L. Pla and Jim Moreno have established the Gilbert “Gil” Gerakos “Mayor of East LA” Legacy Memorial Scholarship Fund in coordination with Gil’s widow Lee Gerakos, in memory of their friend, including providing initial funding for the scholarship.

“Gil was a fine man and helpful to so many people in the community. He truly earned his honorary title as ‘Mayor of East LA,’” stated Jim Moreno. “Because of his dedication to public service, we wanted to honor Gil’s legacy by creating a scholarship program dedicated to students who are focused on helping others.”
The Gilbert “Gil” Gerakos “Mayor of East LA” Legacy Memorial Scholarship Fund will provide scholarships to students who have demonstrated a significant pattern of volunteer service to ELAC and its surrounding communities. Potential applicants should be actively involved and engaged as volunteer leaders in initiatives and programs that positively impact both ELAC and the communities it serves. Examples include college student clubs, community initiatives and programs, the ELAC Alumni Association, etc.“Gil’s spirit of community involvement and public service will live on through this scholarship program,” stated George L. Pla, Founder & CEO of Cordoba Corporation. “We are pleased to honor his legacy by creating this scholarship that will support students who are making a difference in the local community.”

"Mr. Gerakos reflected everything that is great about East Los Angeles. He dedicated his live to community service and was a lifetime ELAC Husky. The establishment of a legacy memorial scholarship in his honor will ensure that the 'Mayor of East LA' continues to help ELAC students achieve their academic goals,” said East Los Angeles College President Dr. Albert J. Román.

A Husky for Life, Gil received his Associate of Arts from ELAC in 1961 and his undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts Studies from Cal-State Dominguez Hills in 1966. His community service and activities included: Board of Directors of East Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club, Founder of East Los Angeles Big Brothers, Founder of California Highway Patrol, East Los Angeles Advisory Council, Member of Knights of Columbus, Founding Member of U. S. C. Mexican American Alumni Association, Director and
Member of East Los Angeles Jaycees and the San Gabriel Mission High School Development Board. Gil’s commitment to public service was inspired by his work for highly respected local elected officials who provided effective and responsive constituent service. During is career, Gil worked with several community groups and advisory boards. His impressive resume includes the following positions: Chief of Staff to Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre (1995-1997); Assistant Chief Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Ed Edelman (1978-1994); Development Associate for United Way (1973-1978); and Director of the City of Los Angeles Latin American Affairs Department (1965-1973).

To learn more about the Scholarship, please visit here.