Maria G. Cabildo
Maria is an urban planner who became an affordable housing developer through her desire to stabilize and revitalize Los Angeles' disinvested communities. She believes that community residents most impacted by historic disinvestment must be significant players in land use and development decision making.
In 1995 she co-founded the East LA Community Corporation and served as president and CEO from 1999-2015. During her tenure, ELACC reshaped the Boyle Heights community through community organizing and affordable housing development, leveraging and investing more than $200 million.
Maria worked in county government from 2015 until 2017, when she ran for Congress in a special election to represent California’s 34th district. She came in third, having earned the Los Angeles Times’ endorsement. She has served on state and local boards, including the Los Angeles' Planning Commission. She is a 2019 Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Lisa has over 20 years of experience as a public health and community development advocate. From 2001 - 2016 she served as the Executive Director of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development in Washington DC. In 2017, Lisa was selected as the inaugural Activist in Residence for the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and the Luskin School of Public Affairs Institute for Inequality and Democracy. She worked in Federal Government Relations at UCLA, and continues to advise the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Immigration Policy and the Asian American Studies Center, as well as serving as a Luskin Senior Fellow.
Lisa currently serves on the boards of the Little Tokyo Service Center, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Progressive Congress, and Asian Pacific Islanders in Historic Preservation.
She also brings experience working for the federal government, serving as the Community Liaison for the White House Initiative on AAPIs during the Clinton Administration and as a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is a fourth generation Japanese American from California, and is a graduate of UCLA, and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Working for a more just and equitable world."