As a long-term San Fernando Valley resident and a mother of two children who suffer from asthma, Maria felt the urgent need to become involved in her community to address asthma but other more troubling health and environmental issues. Her journey to become an environmental health justice advocate began in 2007 when she joined Pacoima Beautiful. Since that time, she has been a community inspector, a grassroots organizer, and now a health promoter and coordinator of the Safer Homes program. In all these capacities, she worked hard along community residents in several campaigns to address the lead hazards, diesel and noise pollution, and the multiple cumulative environmental impacts that plague Pacoima. Along with this work, she has served as a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and lent her knowledge of health promotion in the Latino community to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center and several community churches. After more than fifteen years living in the San Fernando Valley, she feels more committed and capable than ever to make positive changes in Pacoima and the surrounding communities of the Northeast San Fernando Valley. There is still a lot of work to be done, more improvements to be made, and she looks forward to continue supporting community residents in their efforts to make Pacoima a more beautiful and healthier place for everyone.
Community Health Worker