Anthony Thigpenn | Founder and President
Anthony Thigpenn, a Los Angeles-based community organizer for more than 30 years, serves as Chief Strategist of California Calls, a powerful alliance of 31 organizations in 12 counties around the state. The centerpiece of California Calls is to achieve progressive, long-term tax and fiscal policy reform by engaging underrepresented, low-income voters in state public policy decision-making.
Mr. Thigpenn is widely recognized as a leading expert in grassroots, civic engagement technology and programs. He ran successful field campaigns for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congresswoman Karen Bass, State Senator Kevin de León, and former City Councilmember Martin Ludlow, among others.
Mr. Thigpenn is also the founder and president of Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education (SCOPE), a grassroots organization formed in South Los Angeles shortly after the 1992 uprising in the city. It was formerly known as AGENDA.Read more about Anthony
Mr. Thigpenn got his start in multi-racial coalition and movement-building as a high school student in the 1960s. Following high school, Mr. Thigpenn worked in Oakland organizing the Black community during the heyday of radical, social movement politics. He returned to Los Angeles and began working as a community organizer.
In the mid-1970s, he worked as a machinist by day and organized against police abuses by night. In the 1990s, he helped run city council races and then tried to create multiracial coalitions, especially when the state’s GOP pushed anti-immigrant measures.
Lydia Chavez’s 1998 book about that fight says even then, Mr. Thigpenn was urging “occasional” voters to vote, just as he was urging grassroots groups to create coalitions, because power only responds to power. But unlike the 1990s, Mr. Thigpenn realized that today there is a new majority of California voters—working, middle-class and low-income people from Latino, African-American and immigrant communities —who hold the state’s political future in their hands.
He is credited with developing a “Power Analysis” analytical tool in the 1990s, a process to be used by social justice organizations to build a strategy to win a campaign. The tool, which has been used by hundreds of organizations nationally, includes a systematic series of questions, investigative steps, information collection and knowledge of power players.
His areas of expertise include political, strategic and neighborhood organizing, economic justice and budget issues, building community organizations, engaging and shaping the electorate via civic engagement, public policy advocacy, Prop 13, new voter field technology, commercial property tax reform and California ballot initiatives and elections.
Prior to founding SCOPE, Mr. Thigpenn was executive director of Los Angeles’ Jobs with Peace and executive director of the Unity Workshop. He has received many honors, including a Charles Bannerman Fellowship Award, and was named one of five “Heroes for Hard Times” by Mother Jones magazine.
He enjoys cycling and nature photography in his spare time and is a big fan of the outdoors. If he is not at work strategizing, he can be found in the wilderness of the High Sierra’s or watching the popular television show “The Walking Dead”.
Mr. Thigpenn lives in Los Angeles.
Sabrina Smith | Chief Executive Officer
Sabrina Smith is the CEO of California Calls, a statewide Alliance of 31 dynamic community organizations spanning 16 urban, rural and suburban counties of California organizing to expand California’s electorate to reflect its diversity and win structural policy reforms. Sabrina has been with California Calls for 12 years, and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of California Calls, and oversees staff management, program development, fundraising, and board and alliance development.
Sabrina has over twenty years of organizing, campaigns, strategic communications and training. Prior to California Calls, Sabrina worked for 11 years at AGENDA and SCOPE in Los Angeles. As SCOPE’s Organizing Director, she led regional alliance building, grassroots leadership and membership development, voter engagement, and regional policy campaigns. She has trained hundreds of community organizers across the country in community organizing, power analysis, campaign development, alliance building, civic engagement, strategic communications and work management. From 2008-2011 She led the development of the California Calls Narrative and Communications strategy and program. She has worked on scores of ballot measure campaigns in California. In 2005, she directed the westside regional Field Program for the Antonio Villaraigosa for Mayor of Los Angeles Campaign, and in 2019 and 2020 was a Core Partner, fundraiser and campaign manager for the Prop 15 Schools and Communities First campaign.Read more about Sabrina
Sabrina grew up in Santa Clara, California and graduated cum laude from UCLA in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s and Labor Studies. After college, she was the Field Director for the UC Student Association, organizing students around affirmative action, fee increases and electoral battles such as Propositions 187 and 209.
Sabrina lives with three notoriously scary cats in Los Angeles and has a fascinating collection of art, books, vinyl records and vintage knick-knacks.
Veronica Carrizales | Vice President of Policy and External Affairs
Veronica Carrizales is the Vice President of Policy and External Affairs at California Calls. Veronica spearheads policy analysis and coalition-building for California Calls, and led the 2020 coalition, Schools and Communities First, to significantly increase funding for public schools, community colleges and local services by reforming Prop 13’s commercial property system. She leads expansion into new regions of the state, shapes policy analysis, and maintains partnerships with key statewide allies. Prior to joining California Calls, she worked as a labor specialist with the UC Berkeley Labor Center. She created and facilitated a number of the Center’s visionary programs including the Latino Leadership Training School, held in the Central Valley, and the California Lead Organizers Institute. In addition, her training skills were enhanced as program director with ENLACE (U.S. – Mexico), where she led capacity-building training and a workers’ rights program for Mexican maquiladora workers and U.S. worker centers.Read more about Veronica
Veronica got her start as an organizer working on advocacy campaigns for good jobs with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) on the Los Angeles Living Wage campaign and the Santa Monica Living Wage campaign. Veronica is a first-generation Chicana who was raised in the Coachella Valley with nine siblings in a farmworker family. She is passionate about advancing the cause of social and economic justice. Veronica currently serves on the Board of Directors for the California Budget & Policy Center and the Human Impact Partners.
Robyn Elliott | Vice President of Finance and Operations
Robyn is a C.P.A and has broad based experience in accounting and financial management including chief financial officer of corporate and non-profit organizations. She has also conducted financial audits for public accounting firms and has expertise in providing compliance with federal, state and local tax requirements through planning, preparation and representation services for tax exempt and for profit corporations, partnerships, trusts and individuals.
Michele Prichard | Senior Advisor
Michele Prichard is the Director of Common Agenda at the Liberty Hill Foundation where she has served since 1989. Michele guides collaborative efforts that seek to change public policy through a combination of cutting-edge research, alliance building and community organizing. She established the first environmental justice funding program in Los Angeles, helping to seed grassroots community organizing in low-income communities of color to address toxic pollution from industry, transportation and fossil fuel production, helping to launch a regional and statewide movement. Over the last 25 years, Michele has worked to expand the philanthropic community’s commitment to social and environmental justice by serving in a leadership role for the California Health and Environmental Funders Network, LA Urban Funders, the Southern California Grantmakers, the Funding Exchange, the Neighborhood Funders Group and the Working Group on Labor and Community. In April 2012, Michele received the Distinguished Service Award from the Council on Foundations, the association’s highest honor, and in 2015, the Liberty Hill Foundation’s prestigious Founders Award. In 2018, she received the Board Chair “Green Leadership” award from LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Michele earned her M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA in 1989 and has served as a Senior Fellow in the UCLA School of Public Affairs since 2007.
CALIFORNIA CALLS FIELD TEAM
Lydia Avila | Field Director
Lydia is the Field Director at California Calls. Lydia leads the California Calls’ Field Team in supporting California Calls’ anchor organizations across California with all aspects of their civic engagement programs, capacity building and training. Prior to joining California Calls, she was the Director of Community Organizing at InnerCity Struggle, an educational justice organization working with youth and parents to improve the quality of education in East Los Angeles schools. She was also a Community Organizer for East LA Community Corporation, where she worked with Boyle Heights’ residents to fight gentrification by advocating for community driven equitable land-use policies, legalizing street vending, expanding affordable housing and protecting tenant rights.
Marjon Kashani | Senior Organizing Manager
Marjon is the Senior Organizing Manager and previously serve as an Organizing Coordinator with California Calls, where she has worked since May 2011. She works specifically with Bay Area anchor groups in Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco, supporting their staff in all aspects of running civic engagement programs. For the past 15 years, Marjon has worked in a variety of social justice and labor organizations in the Bay Area, New York, and Los Angeles including: the Center for Young Women’s Development (San Francisco) DRUM: Desis Rising UP and Moving (NYC), and UNITE HERE Local 11 (LA). Marjon received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a focus on Middle Eastern and Muslim communities from San Francisco State University and a Masters in Social Work, specializing in community organizing, from the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York. She was born and raised in San Francisco to parents who immigrated from Japan and Iran. She loves music, dancing, movies, beaches and spending time with family and friends.
Brian Nguyen | Infrastructure and Tech Organizing Manager
Brian joined California Calls as in May 2018. He supports organizations in Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, and Los Angeles to run civic engagement programs, and oversees the data and technology systems, training and civic engagement infrastructure for California Calls power building. For the past 10 years, Brian has led public education campaigns, leadership development programs, policy analysis and organizing work on issues including racial justice, LGBTQ equality, immigration reform, education, housing, and workforce development. Brian has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a focus in feminist literature and a minor in LGBTQ studies from UC Santa Barbara and a Master of Public Policy from UCLA.
Gloria Gutierrez | Organizing Manager
Gloria joined California Calls in August of 2018. She works with organizations in San Diego, Coachella, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Fresno, Merced, and Sacramento coordinating civic engagement programs, and leads the leadership development and base building strategies of California Calls. Prior to joining California Calls, Gloria organized with residents in the Eastside of Los Angeles fighting the pressures of gentrification by advocating for community-led equitable planning. She has led grassroots land-use organizing campaigns, base building, mobilization, and leadership development programs. Gloria was born, raised and currently lives in Boyle Heights. She received a Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly in Urban and Regional Planning. Her personal values rooted in grassroots efforts and community empowerment directly align with those of California Calls.
Osei Agyeman | Organizing Coordinator
Osei joined California Calls as an Organizing Coordinator in October of 2019. He works primarily with organizations in Los Angeles, Inland Empire, and the Bay Area providing support with Civic Engagement Programs.
Prior to joining California Calls, Osei spent multiple years working with youth in South LA to ensure they received equal educational & community opportunities and resources in order to attain their future goals.
Osei was raised in Inglewood, CA before going on to receive his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from Howard University. Apart from work, he loves music, movies, and all things sports-related.
CALIFORNIA CALLS STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS TEAM
Victor Suarez | Strategic Communications Director
Victor is the Strategic Communications Director at California Calls, where he leverages new media, storytelling and technology to help bridge online and offline engagement. Before joining California Calls, Victor worked at NationBuilder as a Community Strategist. At NationBuilder, he helped develop and execute digital organizing strategies for political campaigns and advocacy organizations throughout the U.S and Latin America. He began his work in advocacy working as a Paralegal in immigrant communities in Los Angeles before transitioning into a career in community organizing and technology. Victor graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Political Science. Victor is a proud East LA native and resident – he enjoys southwest road trips, writing, and all things electric guitar.
Karin Mak | Digital Strategist
Karin (she/her) joined California Calls in January 2020 as the Digital Strategist. Prior to California Calls, Karin worked in higher education, where she developed student leadership programs through community partnerships and digital storytelling. Karin is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and her films have screened all over the world. She began her career advocating for garment worker rights in California by working at Sweatshop Watch. Karin is originally from St. Louis, MO and is the daughter of immigrants from Hong Kong. She received her B.A. from Pomona College and M.A. in Social Documentation from University of California, Santa Cruz.
rita gabriela márquez – Strategic Communications Coordinator
rita gabriela márquez joined California Calls as a Strategic Communications Coordinator in August 2021. Prior to joining California Calls, rita worked as an elementary school educator in various capacities including as a(n): special education aide, behavior interventionist, english language instructor, and math and science teacher. rita grew up in Gardena CA and has danced folklórico with Nuestras Raíces, a local community organization for about 25 years. She earned her B.A in Latin American Studies from Wellesley College where she was a student organizer. She advocated for the implementation of Ethnic Studies curriculum and better supports and resources for low-income, first-generation and queer students of color. She organized an Ethnic Studies Conference and aided in the establishment of a Latinx Studies program at the college.
Angelica Frausto | Artist-in-Residence
Angelica Frausto aka Nerdy Brown Kid is a digital artist and illustrator. She is a Xicana born and raised in the south side of Chicago. She draws to heal and raise awareness about issues that impact BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. Their work is for and about womxn and femmes of color.
CALIFORNIA CALLS POLICY AND CAMPAIGN TEAM
LAISENG SAECHAO | Policy and Campaign Director
Laiseng Saechao is the Policy and Campaign Director at California Calls where she leads policy research and development to run campaigns that create structural change in the lives of low-income Californians. Born and raised in a toxic hotspot in Richmond, CA she realized the deep inequalities that existed in her community. This inspired her to get a degree in Politics and International Relations with a focus on Power and Justice from Scripps College in Claremont, California. Prior to joining California Calls, she was the Political Director at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network where she led civic engagement teams that mobilized Asian American voters in language around progressive issues. She is passionate about making policy for the people and some of her proudest moments are winning over $60 million dollars for environmental justice communities and bringing an entire charter bus of members up to the Capitol to lobby on issues that directly impacted them. She now lives in Oakland, California with her husband and dog and enjoys cooking noodles, being out in nature, and singing karaoke.
Kristin Nimmers | Policy and Public Affairs Manager
Kristin Nimmers serves as a Policy and Public Affairs Manager with California Calls, where she leads and coordinates policy analysis, legislative advocacy and coalition-building. She also serves as a coordinator with the Black Census and Redistricting Hub, working with organizations across the state to engage Black communities in the redistricting process and ensure political districts are drawn fairly and equitably.
Prior to joining California Calls, Kristin completed the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in San Francisco. During her year with Coro, she worked on high level consulting projects for campaigns, political nonprofits, NGOs and government agencies across the Bay. Some of her work included national policy research on chronic absenteeism and its connection to state budgets, analyzing SFPD recruitment and hiring practices to provide recommendations on increasing diversity, community organizing around workers’ rights in Oakland and lobbying in Sacramento for policies around affordable housing and extending STEM programs for K-12 students.
Kristin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communication from Humboldt State University, and a Juris Doctor from the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento with concentration in Capital Lawyering and Public Policy.
CALIFORNIA CALLS admin and finance team
LaShawn White | Senior Manager of Human Resources
LaShawn is the Senior Manager of Human Resources and has been with California Calls since its inception. Prior to that, she worked at SCOPE for 13 years. Her responsibilities include office management, human relations policy development, and administrative support to the organization’s president, Anthony Thigpenn. She also provides lead logistical support to all of California Calls statewide and regional meetings, sometimes involving hundreds of people from across the state. Before coming to SCOPE and California Calls, LaShawn worked for SEIU Local 434B Homecare Workers union as an organizer to help with membership recruitment. LaShawn has an Associate of Arts Degree from Los Angeles Southwest College. She is also a frequent world traveler and has traveled to Cuba and Europe. She lives in Compton and is mom to Jamal, a community college student and photographer.
Bryan Reyes | Senior Accountant
As the Senior Accountant, Bryan manages the organization’s finances. Bryan’s modern accounting style has helped boost the company’s efficiency. His style is modeled after the kaizen philosophy, which emphasizes eliminating waste and continuous process improvement.
Prior to joining California Calls, Bryan worked for Youth Policy Institute, where he managed their largest grants. There, he contributed in creating dynamic KPI financials to help support management.
Bryan received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Fresno State University. He currently resides in Los Angeles and is a long time Rams fan. He enjoys traveling, personal finance discussions and indulging in foreign cuisine.
Melinda Hilyard-Ealy | Development Manager
Melinda joined the California Calls team in 2011 as the Operations Manager. She is the alliance’s home base – responsible for the infrastructure and systems to support both day-to-day operations and long-term organizational goals. Melinda has enjoyed a career filled with pioneering achievements and innovation. After attending Occidental College, Melinda worked at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with a non-profit organization that treats the victims of indirect violence utilizing art therapy in unique and healing ways. She was then recruited by Warner Bros. as a Senior Financial Analyst to modernize and upgrade the international computer leasing program. She was recognized for her participation in developing a successful financial system for the beleaguered lease payment program at Warner Bros. In continuing with a pioneering spirit, Melinda has been constantly inspired by the work of California Calls, particularly during their victorious battle to pass Proposition 30 with amazing strategic diligence.
MILLION VOTERS PROJECT TEAM
Amado Uno | Director
Amado joined California Calls as Political Director of the Million Voters Project in 2017. Prior to joining California Calls, Amado served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Labor in the Office of Public Engagement where he expanded opportunities for community participation in the grants and regulatory process, served on the interagency implementation team of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and assisted in the Department’s efforts to engage organized labor. As the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, he created strong labor and community partnerships, advocated for multi-generational leadership in the labor movement, helped to train the next generation of AAPI union organizers and implemented APLALA’s Every Vote Counts political program. Amado is the recipient of the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship and the Coro Fellowship and received his graduate degree in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.
Karla Zombro | Deputy Director
Karla leads the statewide organizing, capacity-building and civic engagement work with the 31 organizations of California Calls. She is convinced that she has the coolest job in California, and probably the entire United States.
Since 1999, prior to becoming a full-time staffer for California Calls, Karla worked in a variety of roles at SCOPE (Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education) where she played a key role in recruiting and developing SCOPE’s membership base and community leadership as well as helping develop and win key policy campaigns. Karla’s work ranged from South LA Lead Organizer to Alliance Coordinator to Senior Trainer/Facilitator, where she was part of the early development of the California Alliance, now California Calls. In this role, Karla developed a curriculum on Civic Engagement organizing for community groups which has been used all over the country and still forms the core of California Calls’ training program.Read more about Karla
Karla also has taken time off here and there to work as Field Director on a variety of campaigns, including the 2001 and 2005 Los Angeles mayoral elections and a 2008 campaign which successfully elected a progressive to a pivotal assembly district in San Diego.
From 1994 to 1999, Karla was a union organizer with SEIU Local 1877 in Los Angeles where she helped lead several successful campaigns to organize nursing home workers, janitors, and airport security officers.
Karla graduated from UCLA in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s Studies. She is forever grateful for the education she received at one of California’s greatest public universities.
She is an avid cook and terrible, yet persistent, knitter. Her greatest inspiration in life is her twin sister, Camille, who she considers to be her best friend and an example of the woman she hopes to be one day.
Bill Schwulst | MVP Data Director
Since grade school, Bill has been involved in progressive politics when he first joined his father on a union picket line. He has worked on social and economic justice issues around the country with groups like the US Student Association, State Voices, and America Votes. Bill worked on winning Presidential, state, and local campaigns over the past two decades, including time as the National Reporting and Voter File Director for Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic National Committee’s Data Desk, and National Field Director for “Draft Obama.” He is a winning campaign manager for two Mayoral and County Executive races, an open data advocate, an NFL shareholder of his beloved Green Bay Packers, disabled veteran, father to two boys, and the husband of a very patient partner.
Mynor Godoy | MVP Field Director
Mynor is the son of Guatemalan immigrants, born into the diaspora that has made Los Angeles home. Mynor is the first in his family to attend college and worked with the Early Academic Outreach Program at the University of California, Irvine to ensure more students of color from underserved communities had access to higher education. His experiences in college and graduate school fueled Mynor’s passion for student advocacy and community organizing. For the past five years, Mynor was the Field Director with Power California and led a coalition of twenty community-based organizations to register, contact and mobilize 16 to 34 year old voters. Most recently, Mynor led the Million Voters Project Action Fund’s No on Recall campaign and, in Collaboration with 34 network partners, was able to contact over 300,000 voters, train 314 community organizers and secure 172,000 votes to defeat the recall. When he is not on campaign, Mynor is outdoors spending time with his two kids, training for the next LA Marathon or cheering on the Los Angeles Football Club with his supporter crew Lxs Tigres Del NorthEnd.
BLACK CENSUS & REDISTRICTING HUB AND CALIFORNIA BLACK POWER NETWORK TEAM
James Woodson | Executive Director, California Black Power Network
James is the Executive Director of the emerging California Black Power Network, responsible for overseeing organizational and coalition and program development of the new, emerging alliance. Prior, James oversaw Policy Analysis and Strategic Projects for California Calls, including 2020 Census and Redistricting and implementation of the Voters Choice Act. Prior to this role, for three years James was an Organizing Coordinator, working to build the capacity and support civic engagement programs among the 12 groups participating in the African American Civic Engagement Project. James sat on the Census Policy Advocacy Network, the California Census Message Testing Work Group, the Los Angeles Regional Census Table, and the Los Angeles Census Collaborative Steering Committee.Read more about James
Previously, James served as the Director of Clubhouse and Athletic Programs for the Boys & Girls Club of Newark, NJ, where he managed youth development programs for over 300 children. James is also a licensed attorney in the states of New Jersey and New York and proud alum of the Rutgers School of Law in Newark, NJ.
Prior to entering law school, James served in a variety of capacities within the Democratic National Committee, the NJ Democratic State Committee, and Obama For America. James was a lead organizer for the NJ Health Care For America Now campaign and served as co-Counsel for the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission in 2012. In addition, James was the Founding Director of the Friendship Development Corporation, where he led the effort to create an outreach center that provides food, clothing, and other services to thousands of low-income families in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
Kevin Cosney | Associate Director, California Black Power Network
Kevin Cosney is the Associate Director the emerging California Black Power Network, where he oversees coalition organizing, capacity building, and the development of a long-term Black Policy Agenda for the network. Throughout the last 6 years at California Calls, Kevin has worked with numerous grassroots organizations and a diverse range of communities throughout California to build multi-racial, multi-generational and multi-issue coalitions. Between 2016-2018, Kevin managed the African American Civic Engagement Project focused on strengthening and scaling up the leadership, civic engagement and base building capacities of Black-led, grassroots organizations in California. He also helped launch and manage a collaborative project with California Calls, PICO CA and The California Endowment to develop the civic engagement capacities of members of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities network. Prior to this role, Kevin worked as an Organizing Coordinator, working with regional anchor groups to build grassroots power and transform the California electorate in order to win policy reforms. Most recently he has helped lead the Black Census and Redistricting Hub in Census outreach and redistricting planning and advocacy.Read more about Kevin
Before California Calls, Kevin spent 4 years working in communities throughout San Bernardino as an Organizer, a College Access Mentor & Advocate, a Case Manager & a Youth Program Coordinator. Kevin graduated from UC Riverside with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Ethnic Studies and Sociology and a B.S. in Business Administration & Marketing.
Natasha Brown | Organizing Coordinator, Black Census & Redistricting Hub
Natasha joined California Calls as an Organizing Coordinator with the Black Census and Redistricting Hub in April 2021. She works primarily with organizations in Los Angeles, Inland Empire, and San Diego providing support to ensure Black communities engage in the redistricting process.
Prior to joining California Calls, Natasha organized in communities of Los Angeles and Orange County contributing to the flip of CA Congressional Districts 25, 39 and 45 in 2018. Mostly recently, she worked as Communications Coordinator on the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Natasha has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Communications from University of California, Riverside. She loves to hike, play soccer and spend time with family.
Adije Nelson | Accountant, California Black Power Network
Adije (She/Her/Hers) is the Accountant for CBPN and handles the day-to-day finance, accounting, and bookkeeping functions. She also supports CBPN in its transition from a project of CCEF to an independent nonprofit organization.
With over 15 years of accounting experience behind her, Adije worked as an Accountant for Foothill AIDS Project, a non-profit social service agency supporting those in the community who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. She is an Alumna of California Baptist University and holds a B.S. in Accounting and an MBA with Management emphasis.
Adije is a long-time resident of the Inland Empire and the proud Mom of a “spicy Princess”. She enjoys communing near bodies of water, feels in her soul that “music is life”, and tries to dust off her passport as often as she can. The quote that best reflects her life is by Israel Houghton: “Strength is for service, not status.”
BOARD AND ALLIANCE LEADERSHIP
California Calls’ vision and strategic direction is governed by the Board of Directors, made up of the Executive Leadership of the Anchor Organizations, bringing together decades of experience in community organizing, leadership development and voter engagement, as well as a unique understanding of the needs, conditions and landscape of the diverse regions and constituencies that the alliance spans.
Chris Wilson, Associate Director, Alliance San Diego – Chair
Camila Chavez, Executive Director, Dolores Huerta Foundation – Vice Chair
Derecka Mehrens, Executive Director, Working Partnerships, USA – Secretary
Hector Sanchez, Deputy Director, Community Coalition – Treasurer
Sam Casey, Executive Director, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement, Chair of the Coordinating Committee
Board of Directors
Dolores Huerta, Founder of Dolores Huerta Foundation
Emily Lee, Executive Director, San Francisco Rising
liz suk, Executive Director, Oakland Rising
Lucas Zucker, Policy and Communications Director, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)
Gloria Medina, Executive Director, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE)
Henry Perez, Associate Director, InnerCity Struggle
Pablo Rodriguez, Executive Director, Communities for a New California
The Coordinating Committee guides the program strategy and implementation for California Calls statewide organizing and policy campaigns, and is made up of 2 representatives from each anchor organization. The Coordinating Committee meets at least quarterly, and is also a space for leadership development and peer to peer learning.
Alliance San Diego: Eryn Wilson-Nieves and Erika Fierro
Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE): Cameron Yee and Hazel Davalos
Communities for a New California: Samantha Valdez and Cassandra Gutierrez
Community Coalition: Linda Gomez and David Nguyen
Congregations Organized for Prophetic Education (COPE): Pastor Sam Casey and Minister Quan Williams
Dolores Huerta Foundation: Lori Pesante and Yesenia Contreras
InnerCity Struggle: Jessica Panduro and Josselyn Perez
Oakland Rising: Jon Bean and LJ Butler
Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE): Joe Barnes and Bryan Minor
San Francisco Rising: Celi Tamayo-Lee
Working Partnerships, USA: Ari Morales and Jessica Volmer