David Pérez is an aspiring city planner who grew up in Azusa, CA. In this image, he is photographed on a bridge near his childhood home, where friends would often gather to hang out.

David Pérez

The Aspiring Planner

David’s parents, immigrants from Mexico, lived close to downtown LA in the early nineties, during a time of much social unrest and gang activity. When David was three years old, they decided to move to a more affordable and quiet area out in the suburbs. They would be among the first Latino families in their Azusa neighborhood. “There used to be a lot more factories here, but now we don’t have many local jobs, or local markets,” says David, whose family goes to Covina in order to shop. “It’s kind of unfortunate, but many people here feel there’s not really anything going on here.” But David disagrees, and he’s interested in changing people’s perceptions of Azusa. When he finishes college, David hopes to change things by working in city planning. (This interview was conducted by Alondra Corona.)