Community Interview: Beny Elisabeth Merlos

A member of the Community Planners (right) interviews Beny (left).

Youth Voices is working with students from the Los Angeles River School to re-imagine the L.A. River and the surrounding communities as part of the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative. The student teams are exploring and investigating their communities by mapping assets, conducting outreach, and collecting stories through interviews with local residents and experts. Follow their work here and on Twitter, @TC_Planners. Look for more Youth Voices work by searching #kcetyv.


As the Community Planners we plan to get the support of our community for the Landbridge, located in Riverside-Figueroa, by informing them and explaining any questions they have. This is important because it is a historical bridge that can be saved for a better purpose instead of demolishing it, and also because it is a bridge that connects our neighborhood and five communities which are Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Lincoln Heights, Elysian Valley, and Atwater.

We decided to interview Beny because she is an active community member who would like to help out the cause. Benny uses the bridge daily to go to drop off her children at school.

Where do you live?
I live in Atwater.

How long you have lived there?
I have lived in Atwater for about 37 years.

What is one thing you would like to see in your community?
I would like to see safe places where students can go study, but also be able to have fun without danger and be social.

What do you know about the Riverside-Figueroa bridge?
I have heard about what is happening to it, as a matter of fact some people not too long ago came to my house and informed me a little bit about it.

What do you think about the Landbridge?
I think it is a historical bridge that only needs some work around it, but it should not be demolished.

Is the bridge useful to you?
Yes, very useful because I sometimes walk around there.

Are you planning on getting involved?
Yes, if it is necessary for me to get involved I will.

How would you get involved?
I can always donate my time to volunteer and help with whatever it is they need help with.

A view of the Riverside-Figueroa bridge.

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