Gio Alonso

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Gio Alonso
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CitizenshipUnited States of America

Gio Alonso is a Latino-American entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His ties to the Whittier and Riverside Ca. community are rooted in civic engagement In 2016, Gio opened Lift Coffee Roasters and the award-winning Aunties Cafe in the City of Whittier, with partner Leeba Lessin (Ceo of Caremore). Using art as a conduit for community involvement, Gio helped spur the revival of the Uptown Whittier neighborhood by using his businesses as a platform for the exchange of ideas and art. The cafe's inclusive environments quickly became meeting sites for people of all backgrounds, including Whittier College classes, musicians, artists and business owners alike.

Gio believes in the value of empowering communities. In 2016, he petitioned Whittier City Council to lift a ban on public murals as a creative initiative for reducing local crime and diversifying surrounding neighborhoods. His efforts resulted in the first city-approved placement of a mural in Uptown Whittier, which depicts Whittier’s own President Nixon. Since then, public art has proliferated among Whitter neighborhoods, giving new life to the city and providing more opportunities for community members to connect with one another. Adding, it helped reduce public tagging and crime in Whittier. Presently, Gio Alonso continues to divide his time between Whittier, Los Angeles, and Riverside, where he serves on the Eastside-Riverside Arts Alliance Board. He remains committed to developing artistic mediums for civic engagement and empowering underserved populations within the community through creative ventures.


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