Lourdes Caracoza, 1st Vice President
Commissioner Lourdes Caracoza was appointed by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis of the First District on May 15, 2015.
Commissioner Caracoza is the Director of Developmental Services, Facilities & Community Relations for Alma Family Services, an organization established in 1975 in East Los Angeles by parents to provide a comprehensive range of multilingual community based services for those with special needs including emotional, physical and/or developmental delay and their families.
Commissioner Caracoza considers herself fortunate to have grown up in East Los Angeles with a strong sense of family, community and service. Having a brother with Down syndrome allowed her to broaden her sense of community understand the importance of advocacy and foster a desire to work with the developmentally disabled.
In 1985 Alma Family Services allowed her to come in and assist and later manage the social rehabilitation program. Five years later, she left to pursue other callings in the community, but left with a continued commitment to serving the developmentally disabled.
During the next 13 years Commissioner Caracoza served on Alma Family Services’ Board of Directors and chaired for one year. Approximately11 years ago, she was asked to return to Alma to assist in the development of additional services at Centro Estrella. In collaboration with a great team, they have been able to develop support services that range from advocacy training, specialized aquatic classes, community Integration training, behavioral health services, parenting classes, and inclusive preschool, a resource library, socialization training program and support groups. This multipurpose center has been recognized as a model. Families are made up of many talents, strengths and needs, how fortunate to belong to an organization that is inclusive in trying to serve the whole family not just parts of the family. Lourdes believes it is a wonderful opportunity to play a role in the enhancement of families' lives.
Hector Ochoa, Commissioner
Commissioner Hector Ochoa was appointed by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis of the First District on April 28, 2015.
Commissioner Ochoa is currently an Advocate for the Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL). SCRS-IL provides a wide array of programs and services to persons with disabilities in Southeast Los Angeles County and beyond including advocacy, peer counseling, housing assistance, information and referral, personal assistance services, independent living skills training and assistive technology.
Commissioner Ochoa is involved in numerous organizations and is also a former Counselor and Event Coordinator for the California Youth Leadership Forum and the Lead Organizer for ADAPT Los Angeles. He is a true advocate by heart and profession and is dedicated to ensuring disability rights for Los Angeles County residents.
Peggie Reyna, Commissioner Treasurer
Commissioner Margaret “Peggie” Reyna was appointed by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis of the First District on April 28, 2015.
Commissioner Reyna is the Project Director for Peace Over Violence’s Deaf, Disabled & Elder Services Program, including the Right Response Collaborative, and the “LoveMeNot” Anti-Stalking Project. Ms. Reyna holds a B.A. in Special Education with emphasis on Deafness. Herself hard of hearing from domestic violence, Peggie is a nationally recognized speaker in the fields of intimate partner violence, teen dating violence, child abuse, stalking and women’s self-defense. She is best known for her pioneering work in the Deaf and Disabled communities and has been published in “Deaf Life”, “WE” magazine and “New Horizons”.
Commissioner Reyna has made numerous media and television appearances including Silent Network’s “Off Hand”, “Good Morning America”, “Southland Today”, “L.A.In The Morning”, “The Leeza Show”, “Up Front”, “Deaf Mosaic”, “Don’t Be a Target” 95 & 96, NBC’s “Save Our Streets” and “Lifestyle Magazine”. In 1995 Peggie was chosen as a featured subject for KCET’s “Life and Times”; in 1996 Commissioner Reyna was the subject of an ABC Monday Night Movie of the Week (“Breaking Through”) and in 2000 Peggie was a featured speaker in a domestic violence/stalking education video project with “Air Tokoyo” which aired nationwide in Japan.
As an active member of the National Domestic Violence Hotline Board, Commissioner Reyna was chosen as a spokesperson for the hotline kickoff at the White House in 1996. Under her guidance LACAAW’s Deaf & Disabled Services Program was a recipient of the 1998 Crime Victim Service Award presented by the Department of Justice, Office of Victims of Crime, and in 2002 she was named a recipient of the Sunshine Lady Foundation Advocate Peace Award. In May of 2003, Commissioner Reyna received the prestigious “Angel of Peace” award from the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles. Ms. Reyna was recipient of the End Abuse Long Beach 2010 award for 25 years of outstanding service. In 2014 Ms. Reyna was given a special “Advocate Over Violence” recognition from Peace Over Violence. Commissioner Reyna is an outspoken advocate for all survivors of violence against women and children.