Last month we talked with AFC’s Alex Garcia and Executive Director of Gamaliel of Metro Chicago and Pilsen Neighbors Community Council (PNCC) Juan F. Soto on their work as community organizers and their upcoming event, the 8th Driver’s License Reinstatement Expo.
This past summer, PNCC celebrated the 50th year of Fiesta Del Sol, a community celebration and showcase of the work the organization does throughout the year, such as legal literacy help for immigration, cannabis expungement, driver's license reinstatement, and workforce employment. AFC is proud to be a sponsor of Fiesta Del Sol.
“I don’t say I want to help the community; I say I want to organize the community,” said Juan F. Soto, who has lived this journey himself as a Mexican immigrant who came across the border without papers . Through his work at PNCC, Juan wants individuals to know that they have the power and the voice to act in the public arena and make an impact in this community.
Alex Garcia is also passionate about investing in the community; he is AFC and Center for Housing & Health’s Controller and is also the Co-Chair of Fiesta Del Sol and the Chairperson for the Driver’s License Reinstatement Expo.
PNCC is the only organization outside of the Traffic Court System to hold an event like this. The Expo is held on a Saturday at Malcolm X College to make it as convenient to the public as possible. Cook County Public Defenders and other volunteer attorneys provide pro-bono legal counsel for those who qualify. PNCC has already helped over 5,000 people over the span of 7 Expos. The upcoming Expo is on February 4th, 2023. Register and learn more about it here: 8th Drivers License Reinstatement Expo – Pilsen Neighbors Community Council
Watch the full interview here: In conversation with Alex Garcia and Juan Soto - YouTube
Interview by Livvie Avrick