Carlos Benavides, President
Commissioner Carlos Benavides was appointed to the Commission by Supervisor Don Knabe of the Fourth District on June 15, 2014.
Commissioner Benavides is the current President of the Commission and Chair of the Patient Advisory Council at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (Rancho).
Commissioner Benavides has a passion for life and independence is shared with newly injured patients as a Peer Mentor with Rancho's Know Barriers program. He is also an accomplished graphic artist and digital photographer and has exhibited his work in several art galleries nationally. He is proud to serve as the County of Los Angeles 4th District representative on the Commission on Disabilities, and will work tirelessly to ensure access to life for all.
Deaka Monique McClain, Commissioner
Commissioner Deaka McClain was appointed by Supervisor Janice Hahn of the Fourth District on November 24, 2020.
Commissioner McClain is a lifelong advocate for the disability community. Through public speaking, volunteering, storytelling, poetry, and connecting with people on an individual basis, she uses her platform to continuously make positive changes. Having been born with cerebral palsy, Commissioner McClain knows firsthand the power of positive change and the value of using one’s voice.
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from California State University, Long Beach in 2009, Commissioner McClain went on to receive a master’s degree in Public Administration in 2016.
Commissioner McClain is Co-Founder and Vice President of Public Relations of the Divine Victory Ministries Inc., a non-profit organization that strives to creatively bring awareness, education, and empowerment to the community regarding urban social issues. Through this organization, Commissioner McClain has codirected and produced “Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired,” a short documentary about being a survivor of domestic violence.
Commissioner McClain currently sits on ten boards that serve the disability community, including the Citizen’s Advisory Commission on Disabilities for the City of Long Beach, where she has served as Chair and Vice Chair. Commissioner McClain has also been a host on various boards, including the Harbor Regional Center, the Disability Rights Board of Directors, and the Nehemiah Project LA
Regardless of her busy schedule, Commissioner McClain’s finds time to volunteer. Currently Commissioner McClain volunteers at the Disabled Resources Center and Zoe Christian Fellowship of Whitter (Zoe), where she attends church. At Zoe, she serves in the Media Ministry as an Administrator, Technical Director, and Camera Operator. Commissioner McClain enjoys a variety of hobbies such as reading, acting, directing, and hosting her podcast, Tunnel Vision.
Ramon Pizarro, Commissioner
Commissioner Ramon Pizarro was appointed by Supervisor Janice Hahn of the Fourth District on April 14, 2020.
In 1993, at the age of 20, Commissioner Pizarro sustained a spinal cord injury leaving him with a C 5-6 quadriplegic condition. Following his injury, he worked very hard to regain self-independence and has faced many challenges along the way. Recognizing the need, based on his lived experiences, to help people with spinal cord injuries and mobility impairments lead a better quality of life, in 2014 Commissioner Pizarro founded the Pushrim Foundation. The Foundation's vision is to help people live a better quality of life after injury.
As a former Commissioner of the Citizens' Advisory Commissions on a Disabilities for the City of Long Beach, Commissioner Pizarro also volunteered to help others and gained extensive experience in collaborating as a team to help meet the needs of the disabled community.
Currently, Commissioner Pizarro is a dedicated volunteer at the Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center (Rancho) who and has accrued over 1,500 hours of service to this health agency. He is also an active member of Rancho's Patient Advisory Council, where he sits on various Ad Hoc Committees, including the Transportation, Medical Rounds, Language and Culture, and the CDOC Committee, to ensure that Rancho is family and patient-oriented. Additionally, Commissioner Pizarro has also provided support and mentorship through educational support groups as a peer mentor for the Knowbarriers Program at Rancho.
Commissioner Pizarro's main hobby is photography along with social media podcasting. He uses these platforms to share the beauty of the community along with disseminating valuable information and resources to people with disabilities. He is fueled by helping other individuals with similar mobility challenges and works tirelessly to make a positive impact in their lives with his motto, "Moving Towards Better Living."