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EAST : City Launches Local Mediation Program

April 25, 1993

The city attorney's office has started a program to help residents resolve problems at the neighborhood level.

The pilot program, part of the larger, citywide one that trains adult volunteers to become certified mediators, will focus on housing and AIDS discrimination, and disputes between workers and employers or schools and parents, said Lenore Alvillar-Aguilar, mediator and coordinator for the East L.A. Mediation Project. The project will also conduct community forums, she said.

"We're trying to educate police personnel regarding the mistrust and point out how people in the area feel," Alvillar-Aguilar said. "We've handled cases where people have done faulty repairs on homes or just about anything, they call us."

The Alternative Dispute Resolution program, created in 1989 to alleviate crowding in courtrooms, has recruited 200 volunteers citywide. Training and services are free. Volunteers must commit to 50 hours of training and then 16 hours of mediation per month.

Mediation information: (213) 485-8324. Volunteer information: (213) 724-1565.

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