ELACC President Maria Cabildo. Photo courtesy of ELACC.

ELACC President Maria Cabildo. Photo courtesy of ELACC.

This year marks Maria Cabildo’s 15th year as president of the East Los Angeles Community Corp., (ELACC), a non-profit organization focused on housing and economic development in Boyle Heights and unincorporated East Los Angeles.

Born and raised on the border of Boyle Heights and East L.A., Cabildo, as a teenager, had a revelation about urban planning in her community. She said she saw how unsafe the infrastructure was”” lacking green space and dissected by freeways.

“I came to the idea that we need to change people’s relationship to power so that they could influence land use decision making and development decision making in particular so that we would never have a repeat of something like the freeways happening in this neighborhood again.”

Cabildo says she co-founded ELACC in 1995 to advocate for economic and social justice. Since its inception, ELACC has grown to serve over 2,000 residents of Boyle Heights and East L.A., promoting change through community organizing, development of affordable housing and neighborhood assets, and helping families access economic development opportunities.

Cabildo believes it’s vital to give residents the access to shape their own community is key, and says she has worked toward that goal as president of ELACC. “ I have a real belief in helping the community develop their voices, helping them unlock their own power so that people are active in helping direct the future of their own neighborhood.”

Cabildo also serves on the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.

The ELACC Board of Directors will celebrate Cabildo’s 15 years of leadership at “Maria’s Quince” on Friday, Oct. 17. Click here for more information and to donate.

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