Glen Dake seems to work on a vision of Los Angeles the way he works on a vision of a particular community garden or landscape—with lots of practical, hands-on effort. He supports nonprofit organizations, not only through Liberty Hill’s grantmaking, but also, with his sister Renee Dake Wilson and her husband Brian Wilson, through a donor advised fund housed at Liberty Hill. He has also served on Liberty Hill’s Environmental Justice Community Funding Board.
Through the donor advised fund, he says, “We focus on youth issues and community development. We do some LGBTQ and women’s issues. We get involved. We’re on boards of the groups that we give to. Each of those boards presents a lot of difficult decisions to the board member. Board service is a very serious responsibility.”
Glen is currently in the demanding position of representing the City of Los Angeles on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Some years ago, he was Green Deputy for then-Councilmember Eric Garcetti, working on energy and water issues, green building practices and parks. He helped found the L.A. Community Garden Council, and helped build the Echo Park Community Garden, but also the Florence Firestone Garden and the Stanford Avalon Garden in Watts, his “main volunteer garden.”
“It’s an unusual garden,” he says, “Large plots, a lot of very experienced, older growers, growing a lot of produce. Many of these older guys who spend a lot of the day there are making a big contribution to the household budget with all this produce. They are doing something very positive but they have a lot of internal stress. I advise the leaders and encourage them to be their best selves.”