The Mothers of East Los Angeles (MELA) started in 1985 when a group of women organized to fight a proposal for the construction of a new state prison in their neighborhood. Their efforts were successful and the group has gained national recognition. The Mothers have become known for their advocacy and activism on behalf of issues that include protecting the environment, lead-poison awareness, water conservation, graffiti abatement and various other social issues. The members of the Mothers attended Latina Action Days, an annual event held in Sacramento, California. A non-profit, non-partisan organization, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) started the Latina Action Day event in 1995 in an effort to bring together Latinas from different groups, businesses, schools and organizations. During this event, participants meet with state senators and assembly members to voice concerns that affect Latinas, their families, their political representation, their careers and other social issues. Another Latina group from Los Angeles County that has regularly attended this event is Comisión Femenil San Fernando Valley. See also (cfsfv147.jpg). 5 in. x 7 in.