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An Unheralded Visit

By Eric Richardson
Published: Saturday, September 15, 2007, at 07:27PM
Rocky Delgadillo and OG Man Eric Richardson [Flickr]

This morning City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo paid a visit to the Skid Row 3 on 3 basketball league and there wasn't a single TV camera in tow. Delgadillo's office had helped provide funding for the league's uniforms and shoes, and Rocky simply wanted to come out and see things for himself.

Walter Melton, who contributed to our previous write-up on the league, was struck by Delgadillo's unhyped appearance.

A public official or public servant?

A public official is one who shows up to places for photo opportunities. A public servant is one who just shows up to support the constituency he represents.

Rocky Delgadillo arrived at the outdoor basketball venue of the Skid Row basketball league without fanfare. He arrived without the press. He was there to support the league, the people of Skid Row and OG Man, the commissioner and founder of this 3 on 3 affair.

Walter continues:

When OG Man was having difficulty obtaining funds for his uniforms, the City Attorney's office stepped in and paid for them. Mr. Delgadillo did it quietly. He did it from the heart.

Too many times we see politicians and not public servants. Few people know of this behind the scenes, quiet commitment to the people of skid row.

Why did Rocky come to Gladys park?

"When I was growing up there were many guys who were smarter than I was, better athletes than I was, tougher than I was and they all had big hearts. But they are not here today. Being here is not for me. It is for them." What was in his heart was seen and felt through his eyes as he said those words.

To summarize a quote from his favorite philosopher, Satchel Paige, Delgadillo does not want people to look back and have the past gain on them and keep control of them, burden them. He wants people to move forward with their lives. His office is instituting programs in Skid Row later this month to further that end.

It was refreshing to see a public servant show up and support the people. It was clear he was having a good time, relaxing and laughing with everyone. There were no cameras and the pressures of politics were left behind. He said his appearance did more for him than it did for everyone else. However, he made a big difference and that is what he wants to do, make a difference. That is what public servants do.

Today Rocky Delgadillo was a champion by, for and of the people.

At top, Rocky Delgadillo (left) talks to OG Man, commissioner of the Skid Row 3 on 3 league.

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