LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5, 2015 — Compton Mayor Aja Brown, along with the city council, will honor Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles for its work providing Prop 47 relief and record expungements at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Accepting the honor will be LAFLA managing attorney Yolanda Arias, who heads LAFLA’s work in government benefits and in removing employment barriers, and Stephanie Lin, Dehsong Matheu and Kevin Reyes, who are all Equal Justice Works Americorps Legal Fellows working specifically on Prop 47 and expungements. Brown and the city council will also recognize Crossroads United Methodist Church, Southwestern Law School, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Charles Gibson Ministries, and The Myriad Group.
Lin, Matheu and Reyes, along with Karen Henry of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, led the legal services at the Fresh Start Expungement Clinics, two public events in August. The clinics, held at Crossroads United Methodist Church, helped 65 people with 71 expungements and 14 Prop 47 petitions.
Getting a criminal record expunged or a felony reduced is the first step toward a fresh beginning and opens the door to increased employment and advancement opportunities,” Arias said.
LAFLA’s Prop 47 work and its work on expungements is part of its larger effort to remove barriers to employment and housing; barriers that can often continue the cycle of poverty.