Cynde Soto
7835
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Cynde Soto

Cynde Soto

Systems Change Advocate

I am a native Californian born with Arthrogryposis, a connective tissue disorder that significantly limits my physical movement.  After graduating from California State University, Long Beach with a BFA in Art, I became an employee of the Independent Living Center in Long Beach.  I also began and continue to volunteer my time with Long Beach Transit.

Currently, I work as a Systems Change Advocate for CALIF.  My job enables me to work for positive policy change concerning people with disabilities.  It is important to increase civic participation through community organizing, education and advocacy around issues that affect our community.  Leadership development is also a crucial element of Systems Change by working with consumers of our Center.

I am also a council member of the Metro (MTA) Gateway Cities Region Council.  The Council oversees the planning and implementation of service within its area.  Our responsibilities include: approving the regions budget; calling and conducting public hearings; approving and evaluating programs; and implementing service changes, among other things.

One of my many interests include producing artwork made of “found objects”.  Found object art has a long history in the fine arts world.  I’ve been asked “why collect broken junk?”  Well, I can relate to these broken and discarded objects as a person with a disability.  Someone has decided that the objects I find are no longer useful because they don’t look or function like they used to or should.  I, on the other hand, can see their innate beauty and usefulness.  Much of society has decided that people with disabilities are dispensable and useless, so I feel compelled, driven even to collect broken and discarded objects to organize them into beautiful and much useful artwork.