The Watts/Century Latino Organization (WCLO) was formed in August,1990 to work to improve
the quality of life for all Watts area residentsand to ensure that the special needs of the
growing Latino population are addressed. WCLO targets needs ranging from government
accountability to locally-based service programs. Presently, the organization is working to
create a community center, establish a neighborhood watch program, develop programs to
improve inter-ethnic relations and establish neighborhood citizenship classes to promote full
participation in the political process. WCLO has established a partnership with city council and
other government officials in order to ensure outreach to the community, has drafted
notices in Spanish and organized hundreds of residents to attend community meetings.
WCLO organized and held the first ever Latino/African American Watts Cinco de Mayo Festival on May 4, 1991. A second celebration was held on April 30, 1993, and the festival became an annual event.
WCLO has been working with the Southeast Bureau of the Los Angeles Police Department to encourage better communication between local residents and the police. the organization has also been advocating on behalf of Watts-area residents on issues of water quality and access to municipal services. Until WCLO organized residents, repeated requests to the DWP for service went unheeded while unsanitary, rust-laden water regularly flowed into Watts-area homes.
WCLO hopes to grow and expand over the next year, and join the countless other community based organizations in Los Angeles in rebuilding and improving this great city.