Elson Trinidad is a writer, musician, community activist, and Program Director at Thai Community Development Corporation. His family emigrated from the Philippines in the 1960s and settled in East Hollywood. Elson grew up enjoying the cultural treasures of the area as a child, including attending the Cahuenga Library, taking art classes at Barnsdall Art Park, and swimming at the Los Angeles Community College pool. Many of his neighbors also came from immigrant families from places like South Korea, Central America, Mexico, Armenian families from Lebanon, Vietnam and other places.
Elson first began to more work in the area as an adult by creating the East Hollywood Community Association in 1996, an organization run by volunteers to do cleanups and other improvement to the neighborhood. When the city began the Neighborhood Council structure in 2000, Elson with other residents began the process to establish the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council and were successful in 2007.
In his role as Program Director at Thai CDC he’s supported the organization in establishing the Thai Town Marketplace which will train new business owners. Elson also discusses his work with the Friends of the Cahuenga Library, helping fundraise and create community centered events there.
Elson’ other work includes his work as musician with his band, and his work as a writer focusing on Asian American communities ensuring their stories are visible. He is proud to be part of the LA Promise Zone, and the rich diversity there.
I think it’s important to share our stories. Make sure we are visible in the community. And let people know that a lot of things that Angelenos and even Americans take for granted, that are now part of American life, actually originated in Asian countries and cultures. A lot of people eat sushi and that came from Japan. A lot of people take yoga classes and that originated in India - Elson Trinidad