Leader Spotlight

Leader Spotlight Archive


This Month’s Leader Highlight:   Claudia Cervantes

Snapshot_20140320_10Claudia Cervantes, HLB Leader for 4 Years, lifelong Long Beach resident

Who is your role model?

Pastor Sandy from The Neighborhood Church. She isn’t there anymore, but she was the first person to get me involved with volunteering and helping people out in my community. She would always be helping others out and would also put others before herself in the community.

What’s one thing you would like to see changed in Long Beach?

I would like to see more local jobs, better quality housing and more affordable housing.

When did your passion for social justice come alive?

I became more passionate for social justice when we were involved in the Downtown Plan because the community benefits that we wanted were denied. I became frustrated and wanted to get more involved because I saw how unfair things were for us. I also learned so much about our local politics and how they only seem to pay attention to those that have money and those that vote. There are many people who don’t have the right to vote but they still live here and they often aren’t paid attention to by our politicians.

How have you grown through your involvement with Housing Long Beach?

Leadership skills, helping others and being able to get them involved in Housing Long Beach.  I am a lot more social, and I am able to talk to almost anyone now, whereas before I was more shy and kept to myself.

What skill has been most useful for you to learn?

Communication skills, including better listening skills.  I feel its important to be able to understand other people’s point of view and what they might be going through. It is a skill which can be helpful in all aspects of one’s life, such as at school, work or in the community.

What kind of work do you do for Housing Long Beach?

Phone Banking, Voter Engagement & canvassing, getting pledges signed, conducting and collecting surveys, planning meeting agendas, fundraising, translation, civic engagement such as attending City Hall, rallies, marches, making posters/signs, working the table at community events.

What is your favorite memory with Housing Long Beach?

The last rally we had in January [2014] in front of City Hall when we went for the Housing Element. I really enjoyed it because there was a lot of people there supporting us and I felt like all the phone calls I made really paid off. Also, the people there were really pumped up.

How has your involvement impacted the City of Long Beach as a whole?

Just by getting people involved in our movement, now more people in our city are actually taking time to look at our housing issues, unlike before. People are becoming more aware and are actually starting to do something about the need for more affordable and better quality housing.