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Los Angeles District Attorney Gascón Pioneers Latine Advisory Board for Inclusive Justice

During Hispanic Heritage Month, Diverse Voices Given Opportunity to Speak 

By Dolores Quintana

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has announced the formation of the office’s inaugural Latine Advisory Board. This newly established board, one of several advisory groups initiated by Gascón, aims to strengthen community relationships, ensuring justice for all residents throughout the county.

Gascón, reflecting on the diverse population of Los Angeles County, emphasized the need for enhanced representation and equity: “Nearly half of L.A. County’s diverse population is Latine. As a Latino raised in Los Angeles, I understand firsthand the disproportionate impacts experienced by Latine individuals within the criminal justice system, both in terms of sentencing disparities and victimization by those seeking to cause harm.”

During the ongoing celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Gascón proudly unveiled the Latine Advisory Board, intended to serve as a vital link between the District Attorney’s Office and the Latine community. The board will work tirelessly to ensure that Latine voices are consistently heard and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the office’s policies and practices. Founding members of the Latine Advisory Board were introduced by the District Attorney on Wednesday, marking a significant step toward the realization of his commitment to engaging the community, enhancing transparency, and ensuring accountability within the office.

Franky Carrillo, a member of the LADA Latine Advisory Board and LA County Probation Oversight Commissioner expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve the Latine community. As someone with personal experience in the justice system, Carrillo emphasized the long-overdue need for Latine representation in a county where Latinos comprise nearly half of the population.

The founding members of the Latine Advisory Board include:

  • Yesenia Acosta, an attorney with a focus on immigration law, recognized for her achievements as a top attorney and “Rising Star.” She also chairs the board of directors for the San Gabriel Valley Consortium on Homelessness.
  • Adela Barajas, who founded Life After Uncivil Ruthless Acts (LAURA), a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for South Los Angeles residents, following her sister-in-law’s tragic murder.
  • Franky Carrillo, a wrongfully convicted individual who turned his life around, earning a degree in sociology and serving as a Commissioner for the Probation Oversight Commission.
  • Bruno Hernandez, executive director of the Be Creative Diversion Program/STP Foundation, known for promoting creativity, empowerment, and social justice through various artistic platforms.
  • Juana Lambert, executive director of the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club, leading efforts to provide educational and recreational experiences to help young people succeed in life.
  • Paxcely Marquez, a partnership and volunteer coordinator for the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice, dedicated to advocacy in domestic violence restraining order access and non-intimate partner sexual assault.
  • Michael Anthony Mendoza, director of advocacy and community organizer at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), was recognized for his work in reforming California’s juvenile and criminal justice systems and appointed by President Biden as an expert practitioner for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

This collaborative initiative aims to bridge gaps, elevate voices, and enhance justice for the Latine community in Los Angeles County

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