In honor of Women’s History Month, our office selected four women who have made immense contributions to their neighborhoods in the Fourth Council District.
Cheryl Cashman is a member of the Community Policing Advisory Board (CPAB) in Van Nuys Division and a Red Cross Ambassador. She started sharing information on Emergency Preparedness and the Red Cross program Map Your Neighborhood in the communities of Van Nuys, Valley Glen and Sherman Oaks. Along with the Senior Lead Officers (SLO’s) of the LAPD Van Nuys Division, she began attending neighborhood watch meetings and neighborhood council meetings to share the importance of being prepared and having a plan for emergencies. She has also had the opportunity to plan Emergency Summits with some of our local neighborhood councils. As an Auxiliary Member of the American Legion Post 520 she has supported our Veterans through various fundraising events as well as volunteering at the VA Sepulveda Facility for bi-monthly activities. She is also a Former Mayor’s Crisis Response Team member.
Barbara has been able to create many opportunities to educate communities on saving water and weight management through her companies Body Conscience and Attainable Weight Loss Solution, respectively. She has been cited by the City of Los Angeles for her work on water preservation and small business strategies for sustainability. Barbara has lived in Los Angeles for over 30 years and in that 30 plus years has lived within the ever changing CD 4 boundaries. Barbara began her local community service as an ambassador for the Los Angeles Raiders as a member of the Raiderettes, Football’s Fabulous Females. She represented both the Raiders and the City of Los Angeles all over the country proudly wearing the Silver and Black. Barbara has also been lucky enough to have worked in both the private sector for fortune 500 companies as well as the public sector for the City of Los Angeles. She is currently volunteers as the president of the LaBrea Hancock Homeowners Association, Board Member for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council (GWNC) and serves on the GWNC Land Use Committee. Barbara “mothers” by example, her children. Jordan, 18; Adam, 15 and Zoe, 14, have served in student government Jordan, as Associated Student Body President and Adam is currently the treasurer. Zoe is currently a freshman and is running for Sophomore Class President. Zoe was also Student Body President at John Burroughs Middle School. Barbara has been involved with the American Red Cross since she was in High School. She trained to be a WSI and Lifeguard. She has also held an ARC CPR certification for many years throughout her adult life. She served as the ARC Community Ambassador from 2015-2017.
Robyn Arnold is a 3rd grade teacher at Sherman Oaks Elementary Charter School. She has been teaching for over 14 years for LAUSD and is the proud mother to two beautiful children, Elliot and Evelyn. She is a firm believer in teaching her students about the governmental process and has come to visit council member Ryu a few times at City Hall! In addition, she believes that all students, regardless of their background, deserve and have a right to be successful. She is also involved in the Sherman Oaks community where she volunteers at the local park coaching soccer and basketball. She also volunteers with her own children at different charities including the Children’s Hunger Fund and the Family Rescue Center. What is most important to Robyn is that her students, and own children, grow up to be respectful community members that make a difference in our world.
Audrey Casillas, the Economic Development Services Coordinator at Koreatown Youth and Community Center, has helped launch KYCC’s successful financial empowerment services and help thousands of low-income families claim tax credits, build savings, and improve their finances. KYCC’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistant program has grown to serve over 40,000 individuals and includes a volunteer base of over 300 community members. In addition to working directly with families in the 4th Council District, Ms. Casillas also provides yearlong technical assistance to tax managers and training to hundreds of volunteers from over 20 VITA sites throughout the City of Los Angeles. “By engaging community members about the Earned Income Tax Credit, the nation’s largest anti-poverty program, more working families can benefit from more dollars in their pocket and the financial empowerment services to make the money last all year.” shares Ms. Casillas. In the last year, Ms. Casillas testified with the National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olsen and then Congressmember Xavier Becerra on the needs of low-income tax payers and has launched a county-wide campaign to increase awareness of tax credits through the Free Tax Prep LA campaign.