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Interview: Andrea Ambrose of the LA Neighborhood Clean Up Project

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Andrea poses with Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers at a Clean Up
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When we first met Andrea Ambrose, she e-mailed us a photo of decapitated chickens she found at a neighborhood clean up asking if we knew anything about it. We looked into it but also took great interest in her organization, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Clean Up Project (LANCUP). On Martin Luther King Jr. Day when then-President-Elect Barack Obama encouraged Americans to serve their country, the little-known volunteer group had 250 people come out to participate to beautify Silver Lake (to see their track record, everything they've done is marked on this Google Map). This weekend the group will focus on cleaning up Echo Park. If you want to come help out, sign up here.

Age and Occupation
I am 26 years old and an attorney, as well as the co-founder of LANCUP (my weekend job). The other co-founder of LANCUP, John Lobato, is also an attorney by day.

Hometown: Los Angeles
Current LA neighborhood: Silver Lake

How long have you lived in LA, and where? I was born in Los Angeles (Santa Monica to be exact). I grew up in Westwood, and left college, and then came back for law school. I have gradually been moving east since my return to Los Angeles. I have lived in Silver Lake for the past year. I hear Boyle Heights is the new Eagle Rock, so maybe that is up next...

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What is LANCUP and how did it all get started?

LANCUP (the Los Angeles Neighborhood Clean Up Project) is a community volunteer organization that brings people together to clean up the streets of Los Angeles one block at a time. We meet up twice a month with a group of volunteers, brooms, trash bags, and gloves. You would be surprised how big of a difference you can make in just a few hours.