Bakker's legacy proves one person can make difference

August 20, 2013 

One of the common themes on this page is to encourage individuals to take an interest in their community and then act on what they see. Pete Bakker was one of the people who did that, and we're saddened to learn of his sudden death at the age of 59. Bakker achieved success in the cleaning industry and he took that interest to his community. In 2000, he initiated a crusade to clean up and beautify Modesto. He produced a video of blighted areas and then showed it to civic groups, calling for action to put a better face on Modesto. He constructed an arch at Briggsmore Avenue and Sisk Road, at what is one of the main entries to the city, and he was key in remaking the old Prescott Estates development. He prodded and provoked bureaucracies to action, including Caltrans. In 2001, we wrote an editorial commending Bakker's efforts and calling others to join in. The first sentence summarized his legacy: If you don't believe one person can make a difference, look what Pete Bakker has accomplished.

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