Jonathan Sanchez: California has lost a great friend, a great leader, and a great citizen

aldfjasdlfjdsalfjdSurrounded by his family, Eastern Group Publications (EGP) Associate Publisher and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Sanchez passed away Dec. 23 at his home in Highland Park, California, his family has announced.

Jonathan’s comes following a short battle with cancer. He was 64,

Jonathan was very private and never wanted to burden his family or friends with his illness, so his passing comes as a shock to many who knew and loved him all these years.

He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, friend and confident to many, an advocate for the Latino community he loved so much and for the Latino-owned small businesses he worked so hard to give a voice to.

Jonathan left us too early and will be sorely missed.

One of nine children, Jonathan was born Aug. 31, 1952 to Juanita Beltran Sanchez and Jose Vicente Sanchez. He was a lifelong Angeleno who spent most of his childhood and adult life in the Northeast Los Angeles communities of Highland Park and Mt. Washington.

Together with his wife of three plus decades, EGP Publisher Dolores Sanchez, they established a highly respected chain of 11 bilingual (English/Spanish language) community newspapers serving East, Northeast and Southeast Los Angeles County. In 2015, the venerable Mexican-American Sun, ELA Brooklyn-Belvedere Comet, Wyvernwood Chronicle and Monterey Park Comet were folded into EGP’s flagship newspaper, the Eastside Sun. EGP’s other publications are the Northeast Sun, Bell Gardens Sun, Montebello Comet and Commerce Comet.

Before joining EGP in 1979, Sanchez was art director at the Bloom Agency, a full service advertising agency that also published monthly magazines. In addition to overseeing the layout and design for the various publications, Sanchez also doubled as a photographer, shooting covers for many magazine covers.

Photography would remain a passion for much of his life. Jonathan was an avid collector of vintage cameras.

Jonathan attended UCLA and completed journalism programs at the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration and The Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

In his capacity as EGP associate publisher and COO, Sanchez oversaw the business side of the family-owned and operated newspaper group, including advertising, client and government relations. He also directed EGP’s special advertising and public relations contracts, such as a multi-year statewide outreach project for California’s former Healthy Families Program that included advertising, public relations, community engagement, enrollment and other elements, and dozens of other contracts.

Shortly before taking ill, Sanchez was elected to the Board of Directors of the California Newspaper Association (CNPA). As a member of the CNPA, Sanchez advocated strongly and successfully against a plan to change California’s public notice laws that would have endangered the public’s ability to know what its government is doing and how taxpayer dollars are being spent. In a letter to state legislators opposing the legislation, Sanchez wrote:

“The changes this legislation would make will severely hamper the community’s right to know, making it more difficult for citizens, taxpayers, property owners and others to access information that could pertain to them, whether in the form of notices about local public works projects, land use and environmental issues, delinquent taxes that could result in property seizure, termination of parental rights, contracting opportunities or ways to mitigate issues arising from government action.” He pointed out that it’s “a step to further disenfranchising Latinos.”

His past professional affiliations include:

Founding Member and Board Member of the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce

Founding President of the California Hispanic Publishers Association (CHPA), a statewide organization of Hispanic owned newspapers that during his term in office reached more than four million readers a week.

Vice President and founding member of The National Federation of Hispanic Owned Newspapers (NFHON).

Member of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP)

Member of the National Newspaper Association

Founding member of The New California Media, which later became New America Media

Member of the California Newspaper Publishers Association

Founding member of The California Free Press Association

Member of the Latin Business Association

Member of the Board of Latino Journal

Member of the Latino Health Coalition

Member of the Latino Peace Officers Association

Jonathan was appointed by former Gov. Pete Wilson to the Small Business Development Board of the California Trade and Commerce Agency; and California Inspection/Maintenance Review Committee (Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair.)

He was the founder and president of the Eastern Group Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “Family Literacy and Community Volunteerism.” The EGP Foundation’s Letters to Santa program benefited more than 90,000 disadvantaged children and their families. The Foundation also provides internships for college and high school students pursuing a career in journalism, and has previously worked with grammar school students helping them publish their own mini newspapers.

Active in community service, Jonathan also served as a member of:

Board of Governors of the Crippled Children’s Society.

Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America.

Member of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Advisory Board.

In May 2016, the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club honored Jonathan and Dolores Sanchez for their support of programs that enrich the lives of children.

Jonathan has received many other recognitions and honors over the years from nonprofit groups, elected officials and the cities where EGP newspapers circulate.

In addition, he has served on numerous boards and committees for community based organizations, law enforcement agencies and educational entities.

Jonathan is survived by his wife Dolores, daughters Deana and Bianca Preciado and her husband Arturo Preciado; brothers David, Miguel, Juan and Pedro and sisters Maria Teresa, Delia and Rose; Dolores’ children Gloria Alvarez and husband Mike Alvarez, their four children and two grandchildren; Michael Sanchez and wife Christine and their five children and four grandchildren; Sarah Ramos and her husband Jon Ramos and their three children and; Joe Sanchez III and his wife Carla, their 8 children, spouses and nearly two dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A Christian Memorial Service will be held Friday, Jan. 6 at 11 a.m. at Pillar of Fire Church: 4900 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA. 90042.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made in Jonathan’s name to the nonprofit Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club in Lincoln Heights: 2635 Pasadena Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90031, (323) 221-9111, or another program supporting children. For more information, visit http://www.labgc.org or email info@labgc.org. Additional information will be posted on the EGP website: http://www.EGPNews.com and/or Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eastern-Group-Publications/146212265407642 .

For more information, email Gloria Alvarez at galvarez@egpnews.com or leave a message at (323) 221-1092.

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