NLSLA celebrated the opening of its new San Gabriel office in El Monte, with a special ribbon cutting ceremony that included elected officials, community leaders, board members and staff. The new location—twice as spacious as the organization’ previous El Monte office—will accommodate its expanding services in the San Gabriel Valley.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis spoke at the July celebration, as she had 18 years before, when NLSLA opened its first office in the area.
“It’s been my pleasure to work with you along all ethnic, gender, and economic lines, especially here in El Monte,” she said. “This is one of the most densely impacted communities I have known. Immigration, tenant rights, consumer rights – I don’t think you’ve ever said no. And we still have so much to do.”
NLSLA opened its first office in El Monte in 2001, in an effort to expand access to legal services and begin to address some of the underlying causes of poverty in the San Gabriel Valley. The organization’s services in the area expanded quickly, as it brought on additional advocates to address health disparities, a lack of access to safe, affordable housing, employment discrimination, immigrant rights, and a slew of other issues impacting the community.
“This new office space will allow us to significantly expand our services in the area, which is one of the most diverse in the nation,” said Yvonne Mariajimenez, who will take over as Executive Director of the organization next month. “The San Gabriel Valley is home to many immigrant communities, and Neighborhood Legal Services will continue to work to meet their diverse needs.”
The office is centrally located on the corner of Santa Anita Avenue and Main Streets, right next to El Monte bus and Metro stations. It is also within the newly approved El Monte “Transit Oriented District”—an area that includes City Hall, County Superior Court, cultural institutions and community centers—which is the focus of a revitalization effort intended to transform downtown El Monte into a pedestrian-friendly area with increased housing density and services in close proximity to public transportation.