OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — An East Bay father fighting for his daughter’s legacy got help from Oakland officials Monday as the city unveiled its new motto: Love Life.
Pretty soon, signs bearing the new slogan will be at every entrance to Oakland. City leaders say it’s more than just a symbol.
“Every time someone enters Oakland, they are in the Love Life City,” explained Donald Lacy.
The phrase means everything to Lacy. It is a reminder of his daughter Lo’Eshe, whose name means “loves life” in a Nigerian dialect.
Lo’Eshe was just 15 when she was murdered 20 years ago, an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire of a West Oakland shooting.
Before she died, Lo’Eshe told her father that she had a dream.
“The Love Life Foundation was her idea,” said Lacy. “When a friend of hers was killed, she wanted to do something to speak out against violence.”
When she fell victim to gun violence herself, Donald Lacy created the Love Life Foundation in his daughter’s honor. But he had a vision for something greater.
“He never gave up faith. He never gave up the struggle,” said Oakland City Council members Desley Brooks. “He knew what he wanted to do and he wanted to make sure that the legacy of his daughter would live on.”
For 15 years, Lacy has been on a quest to get the words “Love Life!” emblazoned on Oakland’s welcome signs.
“It’s just gonna give people time to take pause, to appreciate life, to respect life, to love each other, ” said Lacy.
It was last year that he partnered with Oakland City Council member Lynette Gibson McElhaney to make it happen. She says from the start, she knew the sign would be more than a symbol.
“This is a calling; a rallying cry, said McElhaney. “It is symbolic with intention to say who we are. It is symbolic as a reminder to say what our North Star is.”
Donald Lacy says when he sees it, he will think of Lo’Eshe.
“That sign is built on her blood and the blood of so many others,” said Lacy.