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Community rallies for Rich May sports complex

Critical vote tonight to determine fate of complex named in honor of fallen officer

A large group of East Palo Alto residents is expected tonight (Nov. 22) to try to convince the city Planning Commission to vote for a new sports complex to be named for the late police officer Richard May.

The complex faces a vote by the commission, some of whose members have expressed doubts about the project. But family members said delays by the commission have caused the project to lose out on a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

The Rich May Sports Complex, which was initiated by family members of May, has been four years in planning and fundraising. It would include soccer and rugby facilities. Family members say it would honor May's legacy of providing East Palo Alto youth with positive activities designed to help keep them away from crime.

Alberto Alvarez killed May on Jan. 7, 2006. Alvarez was raised in East Palo Alto. He has been sentenced to death for May's murder.

The Rich May Foundation, through fundraising and partnerships, has raised the required $3 million to construct the facility. It also has established an endowment that will provide staff and maintenance for the life of the complex and will not require any tax dollars, family members said.

"Despite wide community support, including from East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis, certain members of the Planning Commission have not fully embraced the project

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