Category Archives: Events

Tens of thousands expected in Pacoima for CicLAvia


CicLAvia in MacArthur Park 2015. Although the Pacoima route is about two miles shorter than previous routes, it is still expected to attract 20,000- 50,000 people. Photo by Steve and Julie/ Flickr.

Imagine Van Nuys Boulevard closed and car-free from Panorama City to Pacoima, where adults and kids alike can enjoy the street on bicycle, foot, scooter, or any other means except automobile.

Well, that is what is going to happen Sunday, March 6 when the popular Los Angeles event, CicLAvia, will make it’s first appearance in Pacoima.  The 4-mile route is planned to be along Van Nuys Boulevard from Roscoe Boulevard in Panorama City to Lehigh in Pacoima.  Although this is a shorter route than previous ones, 20,000 to 50,ooo are still expected to attend.

This is the furthest the popular Los Angeles events extends from downtown’s epicenter.  Previous CicLAvias have been held in Pasadena, South LA, and Culver City, Venice and downtown LA; the first time in the valley was last year when it rolled down Ventura Boulevard.

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 6.27.43 AM

Van Nuys Boulevard will be closed to cars for most of the day March 6, 2016 from Roscoe Boulevard to Lehigh Avenue. Cars can cross only certain intersections noted on the map. Image courtesy of CicLAvia.

The route was originally desired to extend all the way to Oxnard Street to connect to the Orange Line, but complications with major retail stores at The Plant in Panorama City caused that plan to be abandoned, a CicLAvia representative said at a community meeting. Issues with crossing the railroad tracks at San Fernando Road, however, were resolved allowing the route to extend further east.

One of CicLAvia’s goals aside from transforming streets into “safe spaces for thousands of people to bike, play and smile,” is to allow people to explore new neighborhoods.  Local businesses are encouraged to set up stands along the route, and, even though street vending is a controversial subject, a CicLAvia representative said there are no restrictions banning them from participating as long as they are not blocking the route.

So get those bikes ready and get ready to ride! CicLAvia is coming to town!


[Photos] HISTORIC: Pacoima has its first LGBT pride march

Arnulfo Cervantes was selling used tools from his driveway Saturday afternoon when a crowd of more than 50 people including parents and teenagers passed in front of his house. In the 41 years he has lived in Pacoima, he had never seen a march like this before in the community. More than 50 people including parents, teenagers, and children were waving rainbow flags, carrying signs in support of immigrant and queer rights, and chanting for unity.

It was a historic moment for it was the first LGBT pride march in Pacoima.

“Everyone has the right,” Cervantes said, although he did seem surprised when he discovered the purpose of the march. When asked if it was odd to see a gay pride march in Pacoima, he preached acceptance.

“People look at those type of people as if they are weird, as if it was something out of this world,” he said. “But we are all the same: we come from the same place, we are in the same place. But people don’t understand that.”

The march, which started from Laurel Canyon Boulevard to Alicia Broadous-Duncan Senior Center on Glenoaks Boulevard, was a collaborative effort of the community.  Somos Familia Valle, a San Fernando Valley LGBT support and activist group and AnswerLA, an anti-war and peace coalition, organized the march. Helados Pops donated ice cream to the crowd as they reached the senior center, where a conference was held after the march.   Local youth program Heroes of Life provided the sound system and a community member from Reseda the food.

The Los Angeles Police Department also showed support by providing four police cruisers to escort the marchers up to their final destination.

This is the second pride march and conference held in the San Fernando Valley organized by Somos Familia Valle; last year’s was held in Panorama City. Pacoima was chosen this year because of the issues the march was raising are relevant to this community.

“We won’t stand for the assaults on the Latino community, the LGB community,” said William Seegmiller, an AnswerLA organizer. “We have been [especially] doing a lot of work this summer with the trans liberation movement because that is a crisis. It’s an epidemic of violence murders, police brutality, and indifference to violence that trans people face, especially here in the valley.”

According to the Human Right Campaign, at least 21 trans people have been murdered this year in the United States. In February, a trans woman was murdered and her body lit on fire in her Van Nuys apartment.

Assemblymember Patty López, whose district includes Pacoima, was also in attendance.

“This is what Pacoima needed,” she said, applauding the youth.  “I grew up in Pacoima, and I would have liked that was a movement then, like that of these youth, who are no longer afraid to take to the streets to express their needs.”

López said that as a legislator and member of the Public Safety Committee in Sacramento, she was there to hear her constituents. But as a mother and Pacoima local, she was there to learn.

Despite support from the community and local organizations and even police presence, at least one participant was weary of her environment. Jocelyn Silva is from Lake View Terrace but she says she grew up in Pacoima, having attended Guardian Angel School and has many friends in Pacoima. For a moment while on the march, she remembered Pacoima’s bad reputation.

“I literally felt someone was going to start shooting at us just, this feeling” she said. “’Cause there is so much machismo and gang violence in Pacoima it’s scary to put a rainbow flag and yell, at least for me.”

But she said it was her obligation as a member of the LGBT and Pacoima community to be there to bring raise awareness about her community needs, noting the distance of resources and treatment centers in the other parts of the valley that are non existent in the northeast valley.

“It’s amazing,” she said with optimism. “Pacoima doesn’t need to get gentrified for it to improve. People in the community are already doing the work and it’s really beautiful.”

Este sábado puede enviar donar alimentos a MEND por el correo

El Servicio Postal de Estados Unidos (USPS) colocó bolsas como éste en buzones  la semana pasada. Alimentos no perecederos recolectados en estos o cualquier bolsa o caja y colocadas cerca de los buzones el 9 de mayo serán recogidos y entregados a MEND.

El Servicio Postal de Estados Unidos (USPS) colocó bolsas como éste en buzones la semana pasada. Alimentos no perecederos recolectados en estos o cualquier bolsa o caja y puesta cerca de su buzon el 9 de mayo serán recogidos y entregados a MEND.

Click here for English.  

Es posible que haya sido sorprendido por haber recibido una bolsa de papel en su buzón de correo esta semana, pero no es una broma. El Servicio Postal de Estados Unidos (USPS) puso las bolsas en buzones para una recogida de alimentos para el la campaña “Stamp Out Hunger.”  Cada residencia puede llenar las bolsas con alimentos enlatados y no perecederos y colocarlos cerca de sus buzones el sábado 9 de mayo para que los carteros puedan recogerlos. La comida será entonces transportado a los bancos de alimentos locales, como MEND en Pacoima.

Este es el vigésimo tercer año en cual los carteros estarán recolectando alimentos.

El año pasado, MEND recibió cerca de 12o,000 libras de alimentos a partir de la campaña, dijo Marianne Haver Hill, presidenta y directora ejecutiva de MEND. Este año, esperan recibir 150,000 libras.

No es obligatorio usar las bolsas de papel enviadas; alimentos pueden ser colocados en cualquier bolsa o caja. Sólo tiene que poner la comida junto a su buzón antes que llegue su cartero.

MEND también pide voluntarios para ordenar la comida. Para ser voluntario, vaya a la recepción en 10641 San Fernando Road o presente una solicitud en línea.

Did you get one of these brown paper bags in the mail? Don’t throw it away!

The U.S. Postal Service placed bags like this one in mailboxes this past week.  Non-perishable foods collected in these or any bag or box and placed near mailboxes May 9 will be picked up and delivered to MEND.

The U.S. Postal Service placed bags like this one in mailboxes this past week. Non-perishable foods collected in these or any bag or box and placed near mailboxes May 9 will be picked up and delivered to MEND.

Haga clic aquí para español.

You might have been surprised to have received a brown paper bag in your mailbox this week, but it is no joke.  The U.S. Postal Service placed those bags in mailboxes throughout the area t0 collect food for the “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.  Residents are suppose to fill those bags with canned and non-perishable food and place them near their mailboxes on Saturday, May 9 when letter carriers will pick them up.  The food will then be transported to local food banks, like MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity) in Pacoima.

This is the 23rd year mail carriers will be collecting food.

Last year, MEND received about 120,000 pounds of food from the campaign, according to MEND President and CEO  Marianne Haver Hill.  This year, they hope to receive 150,000 pounds.

It is not obligatory to use the brown paper bags sent out; food can be placed in any bag or box.  Just set the food next your mailbox before you letter carrier arrives and they will pick it up.

MEND is also calling for volunteers to sort the food.  To volunteer, go to Reception Desk at 10641 San Fernando Road or submit an application online.

Pacoima supports Baltimore?

There is a rally scheduled tonight in Pacoima in support of the Baltimore uprisings, yet not many people are happy about it.  The event was created on Facebook this afternoon and shared through various community pages related to Pacoima.  However, many of the comments are condemning the event.  Some say what is happening in Baltimore has nothing to do with Pacoima.  Others are afraid the rally my encourage violent riots here like those similar in Baltimore.


Here are some of the comments from one particular thread.


These users accuse the organizer of the event of instigating a riot:



This particular user heeds a warning.


This user wasn’t the first to mention the disturbances during the 2014 World Cup:

This user was the only one in this thread supporting the rally, reassuring everyone it is a peaceful rally:Baltimore6

Yet not many were buying into it, like this user:Baltimore7

Very few, like this user, were trying to be understanding:


The event is scheduled this evening at 7 p.m. on the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and Laurel Canyon Boulevard.  The Facebook event page says 19 people will be there.  The organizer for the event was not immediately available for comment.

Protests have broken out in Baltimore, Maryland since the death of Freddie Gray, who died of spinal injures while in police custody.  The nation has focused their attention to Baltimore after riots broke out Monday following Gray’s funeral.

Watch out for this rally tomorrow on Laurel Canyon Boulevard

Group of informed citizens rallying on the the corner of Osborne Street and San Fernando Road Oct. 22, 2014 in solidarity with those affected by police brutality.

Susie Aguirre and Justan Torres on the the corner of Osborne Street and San Fernando Road Oct. 22, 2014 during a rally in solidarity with those affected by police brutality. Photo by Ana Rosa Murillo/ El Boletín

Haga clic aquí para español.

Activism is brewing in the northeast San Fernando Valley and it is meant to be in your face and for your benefit. This weekend in Pacoima there will be a Coming out of the Shadows event on Saturday and a Cop Watch workshop on Sunday.

On Saturday, March 21 look out for the annual Coming Out of the Shadows, an event started five years ago in Chicago that encourages undocumented youth to publicly declare themselves “undocumented and unafraid.” Since then, immigration activists have manifested similar events every year throughout major regions in the country, including the San Fernando Valley.

This year’s event, however, is being organized by three organizations- the San Fernando Valley Dream Team, the San Fernando Valley Immigrant Youth Coalition, and Somos Familia Valle– making it a collaboration not exclusively for undocumented folks. So instead of focusing only on undocumented youth, this rally will feature a broader spectrum of issues, such as parents who do not qualify for any of the recent immigration programs, a daughter who speaks about her father’s current deportation process, and the experience of a Latina mother with gay son.

“What we want to do is continue building a civil rights movement where we not only talk about a population in particular,” says Ronnie Veliz, director and civil rights organizer for Somos Familia Valle, a grassroots organization whose efforts try to unite overlooked communities in activist circles.

The rally will begin at noon on one of Pacoima’s busiest intersections, Van Nuys and Laurel Canyon Boulevard, and will march over to Ritchie Valens Park.

The following day, Sunday, March 22, El Hormiguero is hosting Cop Watch Workshop & Know Your Rights Training at the Pacoima Community Center. The workshop will focus on how civilians can monitor police activity and reaffirm the rights when confronted by them.

“Observing and documenting police activity on the streets is a way to prevent police harassment and misconduct as well as reclaim the power to protect our own communities,” the group posted on the Facebook event page. “This training will go over these and other strategies we can use to protect ourselves and neighborhoods.”

The workshop starts at 3pm and will be conducted in English and Spanish.

Pacoima, what do you think about these events?

[Video] Valley residents march into Pacoima in memory of two women killed last week

Haga clic aquí para español.

Following the deaths of two women in the area last week, about two dozen northeast Valley residents marched up Van Nuys Boulevard from Arleta to Pacoima City Hall Thursday demanding an end to violence against women.

Maria Ontiveros was fatally stabbed across the street from the Foothill Division police station the evening of January 28.   Three days later, Yazmin Vash Payne, was murdered and her body lit in flames by her boyfriend in her Van Nuys apartment January 31.  Suspects in both cases have been arrested.

In the Facebook page for the event, the organizers wrote, “We were not sure what we should do in response to these senseless acts of violence, but felt we had to do SOMETHING.”

With chants in English and Spanish, the demonstrators marched to Pacoima City Hall, where they held a vigil for the victims.