For some, Patricia Alatorre is known as “Bakersfield's daughter.” She has been gone from the community for exactly a year now, but a march from 19th and L streets to the Liberty Bell in Bakersfield, Thursday night showed she’s not forgotten.
“I have a daughter her age, her daughter that passed, and it’s just very meaningful to me,” Kathya Najera, a close friend to Patricia Alatorre’s mother, said.
She created a balloon bouquet in Patricia’s honor, as Thursday marked exactly a year since the 13-year-old was taken from her family and the community that calls her daughter. Najera said the bouquet represents many things.
"The colors that were selected represent so many things: the white represents her innocence being taken away, this color is actually custom, it represents her skin tone, the blue is her favorite color and the butterflies represent her transition into a young lady," Najera said.
"I do believe that we all have a Patty in our home. So I do feel it's important that we acknowledge this sensitive situation. I think it hit everyone very closely," Founder and president of local nonprofit Thee Next Steps, Mo Ali said. “I think we've all experienced not thinking things all the way through, and that doesn't mean somebody should lose their life for not fully understanding the dangers that lurk behind closed doors."
Ali helped organize the gathering where on Thursday night, dozens gathered at Patricia's mural at the corner of 19th and L street to take a moment of silence in her memory, the Alatorre family among them. All then led to the “march for justice” to the Liberty Bell.
“The fight continues, and we have not forgotten about Patty. we are seeking justice and, most importantly, accountability,” Ali said.