LACCOD: First District

Lourdes Caracoza


Lourdes Caracoza is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Alma Family Services, an organization established in 1975 in East Los Angeles by parents to provide a comprehensive range of multilingual, multicultural and intergenerational community-based services for all individuals, including those with special needs. Ms. 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 fostered a desire to work with the developmentally disabled. As a youth volunteer at Alma Family Services, Ms. Caracoza’s passion for community services was solidified and culminated in the pursuit of further education and training. After college in 1985, she returned to Alma to manage a Social Rehabilitation program for individuals with emotional, physical and/or developmental delays and their families. Five years later, she left to pursue other callings in the community, taking with her a strong commitment to serve the developmentally disabled. During the next 13 years she served on the Alma’s Board of Director, chairing the Board for one year. 20 years ago, she returned to Alma as a Director, to assist in the development of Centro Estrella, a multipurpose center in East LA. In collaboration with a great team, they have been able to develop multiple services including specialized aquatic programs, behavioral health services, parenting classes, an inclusive preschool, a resource library, community integration and socialization services for individuals with developmental disabilities. This Family Resource Center has been recognized as a model. Ms. Caracoza has collaborated with Regional Centers in developing collaborative service models that serve adults with Developmental Disabilities and mental health needs to communities throughout the San Gabriel Valley to Pomona and have presented on these models at the State level. Ms. Caracoza’s experience has been critical in the development of child abuse prevention programs funded by the Department of Children and Family Services, Parent Mentorship services in collaboration with the San Gabriel Pomona Regional Center, and the establishment of a various community clinics and service sites including Alma’s new Family & Youth Services Center in Boyle Heights. Ms. Caracoza is a strong advocate for the many talents, strengths and needs of individuals and families. Her lifelong pursuit of lifting their voices led her to serve in the LA County Disability Commission for the 1st Supervisorial District under Supervisor Hilda Solis. As a mentor to the new generation of community leaders, Ms. Caracoza often speaks on how fortunate she is to belong to an organization that is inclusive in trying to serve the whole family and finding opportunities 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.

Margaret Peggie Reyna, 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 Tokyo” 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.

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