Each year, WSCO honors a West Side resident for their outstanding contributions to the community. This year, WSCO received so many nominations that we decided to honor three West Siders who have shown deep dedication to the values of the West Side.
- worked with other residents on behalf of the West Side
- regularly volunteered on the West Side or to the benefit of West Side residents
- provided significant leadership on a major issue or activity during the past year (or, over a series of years)
- made valuable contributions to the West Side
2020 Spark of the West Side
Payton Ortiz and his grandfather, Dan Wolff, and mother, Anna Wolff
Payton, his grandfather, and his mother sparked joy during a difficult time in the community by planting over 1,400 spinning pinwheels throughout their neighborhood. This random act of joy and love gave hope to neighbors struggling through isolation, stress, and sadness during the pandemic.
2020 Heart of the West Side
Jesus shares his love for the cultures, languages, and history of the West Side through art – from murals and electrical boxes to the tattoo shop. He is there for West Side neighbors when they need a helping hand, fixing cars, offering rides, and running errands. This year, he spent countless hours creating a larger-than-life art installation (a calavera) and a community altar to ensure annual community celebrations were special despite COVID-19.
2020 West Sider of the Year
In over two decades on the West Side, Maria has spent countless in service to the West Side. She played a key role in several organizations that brought fun, joy, and love to West Side youth. She’s a steadfast advocate for racial justice and helped start the Overcoming Racism conference from the basement of her church, Cherokee Park United. West Siders can count on her anytime to march in solidarity for justice, show up at City Hall and make some noise, or silently hold up a sign.