Uplifting SELA During COVID-19

This pandemic has made us realize how important it is to feel a sense of community. When COVID-19 brought a halt to large events like the SELA Arts Festival, local artists went to work reimagining the event online. Their creative efforts yielded an amazing event with talented artists, musicians, dancers, and vendors.

I want to thank the SELA community for coming together to support local art, businesses, and restaurants. I think the festival was an important reminder that we can still feel a sense of community even if we are apart.

Although we weren’t able to celebrate in-person, connecting virtually was a great experience. I hope the art, performances, and sense of community lifted your spirits.

This edition of the R-Guide is about efforts to uplift our community through art, funding and service.

You can still enjoy SELA artwork, as well as performances from local musicians, dancers, and poets for a limited time at selaartsfest.org

You can also see fantastic artwork from the winners of the K-12 AD 63 Art Competition (pictured).

Winners of the AD 63 Art Competition: Top Left: 6th-8th Grade Winner- Rica Eula Marie Sy, 7th Grade, Lakewood; Top right: K-5th Grade Winner-Zella Ferm, 2nd Grade, Lakewood; Bottom Left: 9th-12th Grade Winner- Steve Gomez, 12th grade, Compton & Bottom right: Best of Show- Micah Trinadad, 6th Grade, Lakewood


SELA Strong

SELA Strong

At a COVID-19 testing site, a message of hope and unity awaits visitors and workers: SELA STRONG. This striking mural in Bell was painted by a team of local artists.

The project, near the corner of Atlantic and Gage Avenue, was organized by muralist and Bell resident, Hector “Tetris” Arias. “Murals like this with positive messages can empower our communities and educate our youth at an early age,” said Tetris. He chose the location not only because of the testing site, but also to bring beauty to a building that had been abandoned for a decade.

In many ways, our community feels forgotten as well. We felt it when a jet dumped fuel on children in Cudahy and surrounding communities, and we’ve seen in it the history of police brutality in our community. Tetris is hopeful we can change these injustices. “We as a community need to stick together and fight for what is right,” he said. “Clear injustices have been made all over the world and we will only defeat this if we come together and fight together.”

This mural also reminds us that there’s hope for getting through these uncertain times. There’s hope in changing SELA for our children and future generations. That hope lies within our resolve as a community.

Pictured left to right: David Martinez @david.arenas.martinez, Danny Gamboa @iamdannygamboa, Oliver Gudino @turbo.loks, Amelia Valencia @kist.ah, Rey Sepulvedal @cultivartestudios, Diego Bobadilla @diegoo_1446, Tetris @tetriswai (and David Hernandez @davhrz)


Change starts with each of us: Complete your Census today

Change starts with each of us: Complete your Census today

When we think about making meaningful change, we often envision voting, protesting, or serving others. These are all critical to improving our communities for the better. But here’s another way to make a difference in SELA: filling out your census.

The census determines how our tax dollars come back into the community for the next decade. It funds services throughout SELA, including senior meal delivery, early childhood education, and health clinics.

The challenge is that when it comes to the census, LA County is the hardest-to-count county in the United States. My office is joining local leaders, We Count L.A. and the SELA Collaborative, in stepping up outreach through community events like census caravans through local neighborhoods. Local governments like the City of South Gate are also getting the word out through phone banking.

Meaningful change starts with each of us, and the future of SELA is in our hands. Please keep a look out for calls about the census. You can make sure SELA is counted in the 2020 Census, by filling out the quick, online survey at 2020census.gov

LA Regional Food Bank Ramps Up Food Distribution

LA Regional Food Bank Ramps Up Food Distribution

COVID-19 has exacerbated many critical issues, including food insecurity. Before the pandemic, one in five residents in LA County experienced food insecurity. As that number continues to rise, the LA Regional Food Bank has ramped up food distributions throughout the county.

The LA Regional Food Bank distributes food through a network of 600 partner agencies, including my office. We recently partnered with the food bank to distribute over 3,000 food packages in Lynwood.

You can learn more about the LA Regional Food Bank, volunteer, or donate at https://www.lafoodbank.org/

If you’re in need of food assistance, please call 211 or nearby a food pantry.


Principe de Paz
6706 Vinevale Avenue
(323) 560-3780

Hawaiian Gardens

Hawaiian Gardens Food Bank
22121 Norwalk Blvd.
(562) 860-9097

Lawrence Ministries
12441 E. Farlow Street
(562) 653-9868


Missionaries of Charity
10950 California Avenue
(310) 635-3264

Drive Through Distribution in the City of Lynwood
11330 Bullis Road
(310) 603-0220

Shields for Families
11705 Deputy Yamamoto Place
(323) 357-6930

Lynwood All People’s First Assembly
4330 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
(310) 639-2010


MFP-City of Maywood
4319 E. Slauson Avenue
(323) 562-5700

South Gate

St. Helen Church
9314 Madison Avenue
(323) 569-9550

Long Beach

Truett Memorial Southern Baptist Church
3435 San Anseline Avenue
(562) 425-1235


Paramount Care Foundation
8303 Alondra Boulevard
(562) 272-4962


Get in Touch