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Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo Presents $200,000 Award to Soledad Enrichment Action for Mobile Tattoo Removal Services

For immediate release:
  • Edmundo Cuevas
  • (916) 319-2052
Assemblywoman Carrillo presents check to Nathan Arias, President & CEO at Soledad Enrichment Action, surrounded by other people.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Assemblywoman Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) met with Soledad Enrichment Action leaders and community members to announce a $200,000 state investment to conduct redemptive and healing tattoo removal services, offered free of charge to area residents in Los Angeles. The investment is for SEA to acquire a special vehicle for this initiative that will allow it greater mobility around the region, which in turn, will better allow it to reach and serve target populations. Additionally, the use of a vehicle will allow SEA to reach populations that may not have access to a vehicle, as well as broaden the geographical reach of the service.

“At-risk youth and young adults from vulnerable communities like victims of human trafficking, or those that have a previous gang affiliation and are reentering the community from incarceration face greater risks for violence because of their visible gang-related tattoos. Removing these tattoos from exposed areas of their bodies including the head, face, or neck not only improves their chance of staying safe or out of the criminal justice system, but also serves as a start and pathway towards gaining economic stability,” said Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo. “By meeting clients where they are, SEA will bring the tattoo removal service to them without risking their safety, something that is imperative for those residing in volatile dynamic areas and neighborhoods such as within public housing developments, and is projected to serve up to 200 clients per year.”  

Gang-related and other unwanted tattoos constitute a significant hurdle and socioeconomic disadvantage to members of our communities. SEA has identified gang tattoos as a continued threat to gainful employment, safety, and the personal integrity of persons with such tattoos. This proposal continues where a pioneering community outreach initiative, also done in partnership with the LAC+USC hospital, left off, which showed that among program participants who sought to have tattoos removed to improve employment opportunities, 81% reported meeting this goal successfully. However, the highest-reported numbers were for those who sought to have tattoos removed to leave a gang affiliation. Among participants with that stated goal, an astonishing 94% felt that laser tattoo removal helped them successfully realize this goal. 

“Offering individuals a chance to remove gang-related, human trafficking, and other life restricting tattoos we're not only improving employability, but also fostering community connections and creating a pathway towards personal reinvention and community reintegration,” said Nathan Arias, CEO and President of SEA. “Assemblymember Wendy Carillo's investment in our mobile tattoo removal unit echoes our commitment to community transformation.”

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Assemblywoman Carrillo was elected to serve in the State Assembly in December 2017. She represents the 52nd Assembly District, which includes East Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles and South Glendale. She serves as the Chair of the Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration, in addition to the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Health, Housing and Community Development, Utilities and Energy, Budget Subcommittee No. 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation, and the Joint Committees on Legislative Budget, and Climate Change Policies. She also serves as the Chair of the Select Committee on Latina Inequities, Vice Chair of the Legislative Progressive Caucus, as a Commissioner for the California Film Commission and serves on the California Cultural and Historical Endowment Board.