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ACR-173 Joe Gatto Memorial Highway.(2013-2014)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 173

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Fiscal Committee: YES  
WHEREAS, Joseph “Joe” Gatto was born December 22, 1934, in Pueblo, Colorado, served in the United States Army, and became the first in his family to attend college, graduating with a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles; a master’s in education from Pepperdine University; and a master’s in design from California State University, Los Angeles; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gatto began traveling the world in the 1960s, visiting western Europe, Russia, Egypt, and Japan. He married in 1968 and subsequently chose to return to California, the place of his education, with his wife and three children; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gatto settled his family in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1978; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gatto exhibited an extraordinary commitment to hard work and a dedication to his family by working three jobs at times, teaching on Saturdays, and working night shifts at Dodger Stadium; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gatto, a beloved teacher full of life and with so much talent to share, retired after over 47 years in the classroom as an art and design teacher at the primary, secondary, and postsecondary levels. He helped found the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where he served as Dean of the Visual Arts Department. He also taught at other educational institutions, including Granada Hills High School; Pierce College; California State University, Northridge; California State University, Los Angeles; the Otis Art Institute; and the Art Center in Pasadena; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gatto’s work ethic and commitment to his pupils and students were represented by his 100 percent attendance record at school and work since he was in the fourth grade; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gatto inspired thousands of pupils and students with a unique philosophy on teaching. He was awarded the Bravo Award as the California Arts Teacher of the Year in 1986; was a recipient of the National Distinguished Teacher Award; was honored at the White House in 1988, 1989, and 1998; received the California and Pacific Region Art Educator of the Year award in 1990; and received a distinguished teacher award from the City of Los Angeles in 2003; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gatto exhibited his love for the earth and passion for art through his hand-crafted jewelry line, Wear Art Now. He traveled to exhibit Wear Art Now at shows and in museums, including the Los Angeles Museum of Art, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and the Museum of Science and Industry; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gatto pursued many passions, including cooking dinner for his family; restoring antique furniture; photography and painting; speaking the Italian language; making his own preserves, sausages, and liqueurs; reading; listening to classical bluegrass music; debating politics; writing; growing his own fruits and vegetables; and participating in his Catholic parish, Our Mother of Good Counsel; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gatto will be remembered nationwide as an artist, writer, teacher, lecturer, influential member of his community, and loving father and grandfather; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gatto is survived by his son Mike and Mike’s wife Danielle; his daughter Nicole and her husband Mark; his daughter Mariann and her husband Eric; his grandchildren Damian, Elliana, Evangelina; his former wife Isolde; his brothers Don and Frank; and his countless cousins, admiring pupils and students, and loving friends; and
WHEREAS, It is appropriate to honor Mr. Gatto by designating a portion of Interstate 10 is his memory; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby designates the portion of Interstate 10 between Interstate 710 and Interstate 5 in the County of Los Angeles as the Joe Gatto Memorial Highway; and be it further
Resolved, That the Department of Transportation is requested to determine the cost of appropriate signs consistent with the signing requirements for the state highway system showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources sufficient to cover the cost, to erect those signs; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the Director of Transportation and to the author for appropriate distribution.