Leonardo Vilchis, Co-Director

Mr. Vilchis is a co-founder of the Union de Vecinos, a resident of Boyle Heights and has worked in the community since 1987.  He has over 30 years of experience as a community organizer. He worked at the UFW as a Political Organizing Coordinator and at ACORN as Political Organizer. In the early nineties he worked at Dolores Mission with Christian Base Communities and was their lead organizer.  He was trained in liberation theology in Costa Rica, is a popular educator, and conducted nonviolence trainings with Pace e Bene in Colombia and in various cities within the United States.  He served as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Maywood and on various other boards. He is a member of the international artist collective Ultrared. He gives various lectures and panel discussion on community organizing, popular education methodology and various other topics.

Elizabeth Blaney, Co-Director

Ms. Blaney is also a co-founder of the Union de Vecinos.  She is a former CPA, became a community organizer in 1996 and has over 20 years of community organizing experience. In the 90’s she worked at Coopers & Lybrand, Proyecto Pastoral and SAJE. She is also trained in liberation theology and is a popular educator. She conducts tenant rights workshops and trains leaders in the housing inspection process. She previously served on the Adelante Eastside PAC of the Community Redevelopment Agency, as a member of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, and on various other non-profit boards. She is also a member of the international artist collective Ultrared.

Ofelia Platon, Community Organizer

Ofelia has been a leader and member of Union de Vecinos since 2004. She just recently joined our staff at the end of April 2014 as a community organizer. She is a leader of one of our neighborhood committees and has been highly active in all levels of our organization. She is responsible for working with our neighborhood committees and with our housing leadership committee.

Kenia Alcocer, Co-Director

Kenia has been working with Union de Vecinos since 2004 when she was 18 years old. She organized neighborhood committees in Boyle Heights and the City of Maywood.  She supported our Clean Up Green Up campaign and was heavily involved in our campaign to clean up the water in Maywood and to bring housing inspection to Maywood.  She is certified in collecting lead dust samples and trained community members in water sampling, air quality monitoring, and housing inspections.  She current manages and oversee our case management for housing issues.  She also works for hte Populer Education Project and the Poor Peopls Campagin – A call for Moral Revival.