Division-1 Director, Imperial Irrigation District
Ms. Salas studied Liberal Studies and Political Science at San Diego State University, where she was elected student body president and CEO of the $20 million campus auxiliary. Director Salas has distinguished herself in the public service sector and in community-building initiatives at the local, state, and national levels. She served as senior community representative in the 51st congressional district for nearly a decade, advocating for improved delivery of essential services to working families. At the same time, she has been actively involved in community organizations.
Prior to becoming IID Division 1 director, she served on the Imperial Valley College Board of Trustees, where she helped to bring a 3-megawatt solar energy field that will save the college and taxpayers an estimated $8 million over the life of the project. Director Salas has been a member of the California Community College Trustees Advisory Committee on Education Services and that organization’s Latino and African-American Caucus.
She has also served on:
Executive Director Comite Civico del Valle
Executive Director of Comite Civico del Valle, an organization located in Imperial Valley whose mission focuses on addressing environmental health related problems in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys. A community activist who advises local, regional, and state programs on environmental health issues affecting Imperial County and Eastern Coachella Valley, Mr. Olmedo is a member of various state and national networks that focus on environmental policy and regulation. His organization has partnered with academic and research institutions to expand environmental research in Imperial County who published studies on Border Asthma and Allergies, Perchlorate Biomonitoring, and Agricultural Burning. He is currently partnering with San Diego State Univeristy and California Department of Public Health on air monitoring and asthma.
56th District Assemblymember
Eduardo Garcia was elected in November 2014 to represent California's 56th Assembly District, which includes cities and unincorporated communities in eastern Riverside County and Imperial County, including Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland. Garcia was first elected to the Coachella City Council in November 2004. In 2006, at the age of 29, he became Coachella's first elected Mayor. Under his leadership, the City of Coachella has transformed into an emerging social, economic, political and cultural center. Garcia's administration set a strong foundation for the city's growth by directing large city-wide park renovation, expanding green space, building, repairing and resurfacing streets, and a major overhaul of the city's Downtown District. As Mayor, Garcia worked with leaders and agencies to procure outside grants and regional funding for several high profile capital improvement projects for the city. In fact, the city of Coachella invested over $200 million in public works projects during Garcia's tenure. Garcia worked to expand health and wellness programs in his community. His work to build a healthier Coachella through a partnership with the Flying Doctors and the Clinton Foundation earned recognition from the California Endowment for its exemplary model. A graduate of local public schools, Garcia attended Coachella Valley High School and the University of California, Riverside. He also completed the "Senior Executives in State and Local Government" Public Administration program from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and recently earned his Masters Degree from the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development. He is a proud father, husband and life-long resident of the Coachella Valley.
58th District Assemblymember
Assemblymember Cristina Garcia has served in the state Assembly since being first elected in 2012, representing California's 58th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Artesia, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Cerritos, Commerce, Downey, Montebello, Pico Rivera and Norwalk.
Executive Officer California Air Resources Board
Mr. Corey has 28 years of professional experience in the air pollution field with over 20 years of that experience in a management capacity at ARB. Prior to his appointment as Executive Officer, he served as Deputy Executive Officer and Chief of the Stationary Source Division. Mr. Corey’s team of over 1200 professional managers and staff are responsible for a broad range of programs including those concerning fuels, climate, incentives, and air toxics. Some of the key programs that his team is responsible for implementing include the low carbon fuel standard, cap-and-trade regulation, measures and incentives to reduce emissions from a variety of goods movement sources, including port trucking, transport refrigeration units, cargo handling operations, maritime operations, rail-related goods movement, and measures to reduce emissions from stationary and portable diesel engines as well as several strategies to reduce toxic air contaminants from a wide variety of sources. In addition, Mr. Corey oversees the Board’s administrative services and information technology operations. Mr. Corey has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Toxicology as well as an MBA from the University of California, Davis.
District 5 Supervisor
Raymond “Ray” Castillo is a lifelong resident. Mr. Castillo was elected to the Imperial County Board of Supervisors, District 5, in November 2010. In the 5th District, Castillo represents the communities of El Centro, Calexico, Brawley, Holtville, Imperial, Winterhaven and Palo Verde.
Prior to Mr. Castillo’s election on to the Board of Supervisors, he had been elected to the El Centro City Council and subsequently appointed as Mayor in 2003 to 2004. Castillo graduated from CUHS in 1967, IVC in 1973 and SDSU Calexico in 1977. His law enforcement career spans back 34 years, he retired from the California Department of Corrections on July 2004.
Mr. Castillo is married to Gloria, his wife of 45 years, and has five married children and sixteen grandchildren.
Senior Advisor to the Governor for climate, the environment and energy.
Alice Busching Reynolds was appointed senior advisor to the Governor for climate, the environment and energy in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on February, 10, 2017. She served as Deputy Secretary for Law Enforcement and Counsel at the California Environmental Protection Agency since 2011 and as a deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 2002 to 2011. She was an attorney at Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal LLP from 1998 to 2001 and at Furth, Fahrner and Mason from 1995 to 1998. Ms. Reynolds served as a research attorney at the Santa Clara County Superior Court from 1993 to 1995. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1993.
Deputy Secretary for Climate and Energy California Natural Resources Agency
Keali’i Bright is the Deputy Secretary for Climate and Energy at the California Natural Resources Agency where he is responsible for agency related climate, energy, and Salton Sea programs. Keali’i brings to this position over a decade of experience in state natural resources and environmental policy development, many of which with a focus on the Salton Sea. Prior to this appointment, he served the Brown Administration as the Deputy Secretary for Legislative affairs at the Natural Resources Agency which was preceded by his work for the Legislature as the principle consultant on natural resources, environmental protection, energy, transportation and other issues for the Assembly Budget Committee.
Health Programs and Promotores de Salud Manager Comite Civico Del Valle
Ms. Bejarano has extensive experience working as a lead promotora in Imperial County. She is bilingual and bicultural and possesses over 13 years of experience working as a promotora on asthma health-related studies. Ms. Bejarano’s current assignments include managing community health workers (CHW’s) for the Respira Sano Asthma Intervention funded by a 4 million dollar grant from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Ms. Bejarano has experience working with schools, health care providers, Imperial County Air Quality District and in the area of public health and education.
Coalition Coordinator Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
Rev. Ford is based in Sacramento, California. In addition to being an ordained Interfaith minister and indigenous spiritual practitioner, she has her Master’s Degree in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University with an emphasis in Environmental Peacebuilding and Project Management. Amanda leads the development, coordination, and implementation of EJCW's coalition efforts, programs and advocacy campaigns at a statewide level, including Human Right to Water (AB 685) implementation, pollution prevention, democratic water governance, and climate adaptation. She has worked on environmental peacebuilding and peace and education projects in 20+ countries and still actively advises projects around the world.
Comite Civico del Valle
Humberto Lugo’s is an advocate for environmental justice communities . Today he leads the largest community based air monitoring network in the US called IVAN Air at the Comite Civico del Valle, engaging and partnering with communities , academics and government throughout CA and the nation by way of citizen science. In an effort to affect change he works on policy regarding issues of air quality, climate change, natural resources, land use and zero emission technologies. He serves as a policy advocate with multiple organizations including La Union Hace La Fuerza, California Environmental Justice Coalition ,Moving Forward Network and serves on advisories committed to environmental justice including South Coast AQMD EJ Community Advisory Council. Co-Authored recent publications regarding citizens science and air monitoring networks: AHPA “Democratizing Public Health: community participation through citizen science and crowdsourcing” EHP “Imperial County Community Air Monitoring Network: A model for Community-Based Environmental Monitoring for Public Health Action” & Journal of Air & Waste “Development and Field Validation of a Community-Engaged Particulate Matter Air Quality Monitoring Network”
Air Resources Board
Ryan is an engineer with the Executive Office at the California Air Resources Board. Previous to his current appointment, he worked on Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund investments, SB 535 and AB 1550 implementation, and disadvantaged community outreach. Ryan was also with the Department of Toxic Substances Control as a staff, senior, and ultimately, supervising scientist where he oversaw professional engineers, geologists and scientists at brownfields (cleanup) sites. Ryan holds degrees in both Environmental Engineering and Geography, and has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals on environmental exposure and risk assessment. His environmental justice work involves engaging with governmental and external stakeholders, community based organizations, academic institutions, and industry to solve environmental problems. Ryan was a co-founder of ‘Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods’, or IVAN (ivan-imperial.org) a unique and award winning, public-private partnership, which seeks to solve problems. The IVAN model was recognized as a Harvard Kennedy School Bright Idea in Government for 2010.
Central California Environmental Justice Network
Nayamin is the director of the Central California Environmental Justice Network (CCEJN). Prior to joining CCEJN, Nayamin worked for the Madera County Public Health Department as a Health Education Coordinator. Previous to that she worked for four years as a Program Manager with the Alliance for California Traditional Arts as the lead in various innovative projects that researched and analyzed the impact of arts interventions in the promotion of community health. Fort ten years Nayamin served as the advocacy and health education coordinator for the Binational Center for the Development of the Oaxacan Indigenous Communities. Nayamin has coordinated projects in Fresno, Madera and Tulare counties that provided health education, access to health and social services, and opportunities for civic engagement and leadership development. Nayamin has vast experience in working with immigrant and indigenous communities, managing health promotion programs, conducting participatory research and providing technical assistance to small nonprofit organizations. She holds a Master’s Degree in both Sociology and Public Health.
Center for Collaborative Policy
Ms. Lucero has a Juris Doctor and LL.M. focusing on Indigenous Law and Policy analysis as it relates to natural resource planning and economic development. She has over nine years of experience in policy development, legal analysis and litigation, and over 17 years of experience in community development, facilitating and mediating among diverse groups. Ms. Lucero is a highly organized and capable project manager focusing on accomplishing objectives using cross-cultural communication processes and the law to ensure respect for all interests and points of view in an accountable and transparent process
Air Resources Board
Trish Johnson has worked for the Air Resources Board since 2001. She has led several rulemakings and programs, and is currently involved in the development of the 2030 Target Scoping Plan Update as the lead for the AB 32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee. Trish earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from California State University, Sacramento.
Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine
Jill Johnston works to develop community-academic partnerships to advance environmental health and justice in disadvantaged urban and rural neighborhoods. Dr. Johnston's research combines community engagement with exposure assessment and epidemiology, to address environmental health concerns. In particular, she is interested in assessing exposure pathways to pollutants as a result of industrial activities. Dr. Johnston has collaborated with community organizations in San Antonio, TX to assess the migration of chlorinated solvents from groundwater into indoor air (vapor intrusion) near a former Air Force Base. Using community-driven approaches, she has worked to assess exposure to emerging contaminants due to land-applied sewage sludge as well as assess impacts of industrial animal operations. Her interest in environmental justice research emerged from years spent as a community organizer in South Texas working towards just remediation of legacy contamination, a healthy built environment and meaningful community participation in decision-making processes. She received her PhD in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in environmental epidemiology. At USC, Dr. Johnston will continue to utilize participatory and community-based methods to understand the impacts of industrial processes and chemical use on the environment, characterize pathways of human exposure, and evaluate approaches to increase health, equity and justice.
Assistant Executive Officer for Environmental Justice
Air Resources Board
Veronica Eady is Assistant Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board. In this capacity, Ms. Eady is responsible for overseeing Environmental Justice activities of the Board. Her role will be to serve as the primary internal and external contact for CARB on environmental justice issues and concerns and will be responsible for providing policy consultation and recommendations to CARB staff. She will also participate in decision making during the development and implementation of all major CARB programs to ensure that environmental justice and tribal concerns are considered. Ms. Eady was formerly the Vice President and Director of Conservation Law Foundation Massachusetts and was the Associate General Counsel and Director of Environmental Justice at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, a non-profit civil rights law firm in New York City. Eady has also served as Director of the Environmental Justice and Brownfields Programs for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where she was the principal author of Massachusetts? Environmental Justice Policy. Eady was also Executive Director of Alternatives for Community and Environment, an environmental justice advocacy organization. She is the former chair of EPA?s federal advisory committee for environmental justice, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. Eady has held appointments on several faculties, including Europe-Viadriana University in Germany, Tufts University, in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Fordham Law School, and at the Stanford Law School. Eady received her B.A. in journalism from the University of Southern California, and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Air Pollution Control Officer
15 year plus work experience in production agriculture in Imperial Valley with recent focus on Energy and water related resource management.
Imperial Irrigation District
Kevin Kelley is a native of Brawley, California and a lifelong resident of the Imperial Valley. A 1984 graduate of the University of Southern California, where he majored in communications arts and sciences, Kelley’s background in media consulting, marketing communications and public affairs is wide-ranging and extensive. He is the former editor and publisher of Valley Grower magazine, an agricultural trade publication that was acquired by the Imperial Valley Press in 2003. As a freelance writer, his work has appeared in most major metropolitan newspapers in the West. From 2005-2006, he served as editorial page editor of the Imperial Valley Press. Recruited to the Imperial Irrigation District in June 2006 to lead IID’s public affairs and communications efforts, Kelley was named general manager in May 2011.
Since June 2010 Mr. Baza has served as the Executive Director of the Imperial County Transportation Commission (ICTC). ICTC is responsible for managing the following programs for the Imperial Valley region:
Prior to his appointment as Executive Director for ICTC, Mark had worked for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 11 for 21 years. At Caltrans, Mark had served as Project Manager for a portfolio of planning and capital projects to improve goods movement in Southern California and, ground access to all of California’s land ports of entry with Mexico and the Port of San Diego’s seaport terminals. At Caltrans, Mark had worked in the Division’s of Planning, Program/Project Management, and last position as Project Manager for the State Route 11 and East Otay Mesa Port of Entry project, a new state highway, CHP truck inspection facility and federal land port of entry.
RN, BSN,PHN,Certified Asthma Educator at Imperial Valley Child Asthma Program(IVCAP) El Centro Regional Medical Center
RN, BSN,PHN,Certified Asthma Educator at Imperial Valley Child Asthma Program(IVCAP) El Centro Regional Medical Center
Co-Executive Director Incredible Edible Community Garden
Eleanor was recruited to be on the team of NASA’s historic Viking Mission to Mars at the age of
17 where she spent 2 years working on the project. Since the mid 1980’s Eleanor evolved from a
single issue advocate for the homeless to a community leader whose work has incorporated
planning, housing, food systems security, jobs development and training, economics, and
environmental justice and equity.
Eleanor also served 2 terms as a Commissioner on Children Youth for the City of Pasadena and as an Altadena Council Member. Eleanor developed and by facilitating the City of Pasadena Human Services. Eleanor began her environmental work by also facilitated the establishment of the Los Angeles Green Garden Council and administrating a 2.5 million dollar grants program to implement the US Forestry Urban Greening Initiative.
Her appointments have included the Seventh American Forestry Congress Communities Committee, White House Blue Ribbon Task Force on Environmental Equity under the Clinton Administration and on the White House Task Force for Sustainable Development during the Bush Administration.
She currently sits on the California Air Resources Board Environmental Justice Advisory Committee and on the Advisory Committee for Assemblyman Chris Holden. She also participated as a member of the climate justice working group to update the California Governor’s Initiative, Safeguarding California. Ms. Torres is also is a Founding Principal of Integrated Infrastructures, a Sustainable Community Planning and Architecture Firm and now serves disadvantaged and marginalized communities in San Bernardino County by implementing environmental justice policy and projects. As Co-Executive Director with Dr. Mary Petit, Incredible Edible Community Garden has grown into the largest urban agro-forestry non-profit in San Bernardino County and advocates for communities to be engaged in all aspects of neighborhood restoration and climate adaptation from within neighborhoods to realize true equity and the successful mitigation and adaptation from the cumulative effects of environmental degradation and poverty, requires a clear understanding and empowerment of community not for exploitation,
Deputy Executive Officer
Air Resources Board
Kurt Karperos was appointed Deputy Executive Officer for the California Air Resources Board
(CARB) in November 2014. In this capacity, Mr. Karperos directs the efforts of CARB’s
scientists and engineers in the Air Quality Planning and Science Division and the Research
Division. Mr. Karperos has 27 years of experience at CARB in air quality planning and program
development and implementation. Mr. Karperos’s responsibilities include managing CARB's
scientific, technical, and planning teams as they develop the State Implementation Plans (SIPs)
required by federal law to meet air quality standards for all areas of the State that exceed
federal health-based air quality standards.
He also oversees CARB’s research program that includes a broad portfolio of basic and applied scientific research in the health impacts of air pollution; actions to mitigate exposure to mobile source emissions in the built environment; motor vehicle emissions; field studies to identify sources of methane, a strong climate-forcing pollutant; and environmental justice. His regulatory responsibilities include California’s program to reduce emissions of refrigerant gases that, like methane, have a large impact on climate and consumer products.
Mr. Karperos was part of the team that developed California's first SIP under the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments for the 1-hour ozone standard. Mr. Karperos conceived and spearheaded CARB’s "Vision for Clean Air: A Framework for Air Quality and Climate Planning" project to develop the tools and strategies needed to meet California's multiple air quality and climate goals in an integrated fashion. This effort now forms the basis for CARB’s development of control strategies for mobile sources to simultaneously achieve the emissions reductions needed to meet ozone and particulate matter standards, California’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and to reduce community exposure to mobile source toxics.
Mr. Karperos has a Bachelor of Science in applied mechanics from the University of San Diego and a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Community Air Protection
Air Resources Board
Karen Magliano is the Interim Director of the newly formed Office of Community Air Protection (OCAP) at the California Air Resources Board (CARB). OCAP was created to address the statewide implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 617 enacted by the Legislature and the Governor in August. AB 617 provides important new tools to make sure that all communities benefit from our clean air programs, especially those that bear the greatest pollution burdens. The implementation of AB 617 will include preparation of a statewide monitoring plan and emission reduction strategy, identification of communities for the development of community specific monitoring and emission reduction plans, development of a technology clearinghouse, and enhanced requirements for the reporting of emissions data. OCAP will be working closely with local air districts, community groups, environmental organizations, and regulated industries to reduce harmful air emissions and create a new framework for community protection. Prior to her current position Ms. Magliano was Chief of the Air Quality Planning and Science Division at CARB. Ms. Magliano received her bachelors and masters degrees in Atmospheric Science from the University of California at Davis. September 2017
Kern Environmental Enforcement Network
Gustavo Aguirre Jr was born and raised in California. His parents were migrant farm works who traveled from Blythe, CA to Oxnard, CA following the crops of the seasons. Gustavo was born in a farm worker and social justice movement family who marched and picket lined along side the farm labor movement in the 90's. Gustavo first started working on environmental justice issues was with Global Community Monitor, where community based air samples were taken along side community members across Kern County in areas of concern. Gustavo now is with Central Californian Environmental Justice Network and coordinates (KEEN) the Kern Environmental Enforcement Network a community powered reporting network that works off the larger IVAN platform. With-in coordinating KEEN, Gustavo has really created a grassroots movement on the importance of regulating the regulators and creating a bridge between the community and the regulatory agencies that oversee public and environmental laws. Gustavo's mission is to create a just and fair environment for all community members regardless of race or social status.
MPH, Health Program Coordinator, Imperial County Public Health Department
Christina Olson works for the Imperial County Public Health Department where she serves as the health program coordinator for the Imperial County Local Health Authority (LHA). In this capacity, she works closely with the LHA and its five committees, the local Community Health Assessment/Community Health Improvement Plan (CHA/CHIP), and the Accountable Communities for Health framework. These multi-stakeholder groups and efforts are all aligning to help community partners create shared goals, establish common progress measures, improve inter-organization communication, and ultimately, increase equity and improve the impact of health efforts in the community.
Christina earned her Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in neuroscience and Spanish from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and her Master of Public Health degree from San Diego State University in San Diego, California. Prior to working in Imperial County, Christina worked for several years in psychology and public health research which has allowed her to co-authored multiple scientific publications and serve as the co-principal investigator of her own research study funded by the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. She has also worked in Washington, D.C., for the Office of Global Affairs, which sits in the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This position allowed her to aid in the coordination of international health policy and function for the U.S. government along the U.S.-Mexico Border and in the Americas region.
Dr. Astrid Calderas was raised in Southern California, but completed her doctoral studies at UABC, in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico in the area of engineering. And though she has some experience in teaching academic subjects in the areas of science and mathematics to high school students in Mexicali, most of her background is related to conducting research and scientific investigation at the Engineering Institute at UABC where she has participated in several research projects.
As a bachelor student, she had the opportunity to collaborate on a project that evaluated Indoor corrosion on electronic components used on the electronic industry in Mexicali, Mexico. She also had the experience of organizing a regional symposium on industrial engineering.
Astrid has also been involved in projects that seek to document alternative methods of air conditioning systems based on absorption methods. For her masters, she developed a more efficient and more reliable methodology for the GHG emission estimates; particularly those refrigerant gases emitted from HVAC systems in Mexicali Baja California Mexico her hometown. Through seasonal and spatial mapping she identified those targeted zones in the region where GHG emissions where significantly higher. She designed a dynamic model which provided future emissions predictions and estimations.
For her doctoral project she evaluated the atmospheric corrosion process on HVAC copper piping materials as well as copper-silver brazed joints on the systems. The corrosion process was evaluated over the copper and cooper-silver surfaces probes installed directly on the HVAC system’s coils on the target zones previously identified on the masters project which were exposed to the outdoor environment conditions. All these HFC emissions in addition to the economical impact, they have an environmental impact as they enhance the climate change challenges we are facing due to their high GWP, and increase the health risks on the society. This is the reason why she started working with HVAC technicians to train them on the impact of refrigeration gas emissions into the atmosphere. As part of the Renewable Energy Boot Camp in SDSU Brawley campus, she became familiar with all the types of renewable energy sources. She learned an overview of each system and the advantages of implementing this type of energy as an energy supply alternative. In the past years she had the opportunity to attend different environmental-health related summits, symposiums and trainings from local agencies, and institutions as well as by the USEPA.
Astrid is also a member of the community steering committee and advisory committee for the Imperial Community Air Monitoring Project in the county in collaboration with the University of Washington, California Environmental Health Tracking Program, and the Comite Civico del Valle. As part of the advisory committee and her postdoctoral fellowship with UCLA, she carries on data analyses from IVAN Air monitoring network and compares it to governmental values. Also, as part of her post doctórate fellowship, Astrid is currently working in partmership with SDSU to develop a health impact study in asthmatic children living in the Imperial County as a consequence of particulate matter pollution in the environment due to agricultural activity where she has been advocating for the past 7 years the benefit of the community.
She also worked as an independent consultant providing technical support and assessment to individual clients regarding environmental compliance issues such as hazardous waste management, and hazardous waste disposal.
Currently she is also working at the Comite Civico del Valle as IVAN AIR science advisor and data analyst.
Co-Founder and Co-Director West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project
Ms. Margaret Gordon is the co-founder and co-director of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (EIP). EIP works with neighborhood organizations, physicians, researchers, and public officials to ensure West Oakland residents have a clean environment, safe neighborhoods, and access to economic opportunity. Gordon¹s expertise has earned her roles in a number of local and state advisory boards and steering committees including the California Environmental Health Tracking Project¹s Alameda County Pilot Project, the West Oakland Project Area Committee, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District¹s Community Air Risk Evaluation Program. In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Gordon to the Cabinet Level Goods Movement Working Group. She is an at-large member of the state Air Resources Board's Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, and she co-chairs the planning process for the Port of Oakland Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan. Gordon has won the Purpose Prize, the Bay Area Business Roundtable Spotlight Award, the Healthy Communities Oakland Environmentalist Award, the ACLU Grover Dyer Award, and the Multi Ethic Hall of Fame Humanitarian Award.
Salton Sea Policy
Natural Resources Agency
Wilcox is the Assistant Secretary for Salton Sea Policy, where he will act as the state liaison and coordinator for Salton Sea programs. In that role he works closely with the Salton Sea Authority and other Salton Sea stakeholders to develop a management strategy for the Salton Sea. Wilcox has a Bachelor's of Science degree in reclamation ecology and has worked on numerous large scale mitigation or restoration programs. He managed the development of IID and Imperial County's Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative framework program and is a member of the Salton Sea Authority's Ad Hoc Project development Committee. Previously he was the Manager of Environmental and Salton Sea programs for the Imperial Irrigation District. There he managed the development and implementation of the QSA water transfer mitigation program and managed the development of Salton Sea programs.
Moving Forward Network
Jessica helps manage day to day operations for the Moving Forward Network located at UEPI. The Network links community-based organizations, scientists, environmental, health, research, legal, media, and coalition advocates, and builds the individual and collective capacity of network participants to ensure that issues of health, environment, community, and labor are central to the transportation and goods movement planning and policy process. The Network does this by facilitating information sharing, sharing advocacy tools, funding research on emerging issues, providing technical, legal, and media support, peer to peer training, and facilitating regional and national workshops to unite network participants and attract new allies. Prior to her position at Occidental College, Jessica was Project Manager for the Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma (LBACA), where they work on improving children’s asthma through a socio-ecological model that includes direct in-ome services, community/school/clinic trainings, community engagement and environmental health policy work. Jessica holds her B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from the UC, Irvine and her Master’s in Social Work from UCLA.
Through his Community Development work at Casa Familiar, David leads the community/urban planning and civic engagement at Casa Familiar with issues revolving around: built environment, art and culture development, advocacy for equitable infrastructure, environmental justice, and border-community development issues. With a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona, and recipient of the coveted Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship, Flores has over 15 years of working with underserved, disadvantaged communities. He directs art & culture engagement at The FRONT (Casa’s art center & gallery), the only art center in South San Diego. His most recent effort (in a continuum of engagement with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), since 2004, for the San Ysidro Port of Entry Expansion and Reconfiguration Project) includes serving on GSA’s Good Neighbor Program and Art in Architecture Program for the new federal border station reconstruction and expansion. Flores was key in convincing the federal government to implement a second pedestrian crossing for the project - PedWest opened in San Ysidro on July 16, 2016. Flores was also key in implementing the first air quality study for the border community of San Ysidro (Healthy Borders Project, 2008-2011) that has identified air pollution concerns along the San Diego-Tijuana border, established a PM2.5 Air Monitor by the US EPA through the SANDAG Borders Committee, and is currently overseeing the San Ysidro Air Study, a community led effort utilizing low-cost sensors with funding from the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). Flores has served on the Chula Vista Redevelopment Board as a Director (2009-10), and currently serves on The San Ysidro Community Planning Group (2000-2009 and 2010 to Present).
Yana Garcia was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in June 2017, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). Prior to joining CalEPA, Yana was an associate attorney at Earthjustice, in the California regional office, in San Francisco. Yana was also a staff attorney at Communities for a Better Environment, serving in Huntington Park and Oakland. Her legal practice areas have focused on environmental justice issues, civil rights, land use, toxics and chemical disclosure, oil and gas extraction, and crude transport. Between 2011 and 2012, Yana served as a legal research attorney at the San Francisco Superior Court’s Civil Division, Office of the Presiding Judge.
Prior to practicing law, Yana worked on various environmental justice and civil rights projects aimed at achieving equitable access to clean air, clean water, and sustainable food and energy systems in the states of Texas, New Mexico and Massachusetts. She also worked for the White Earth Land Recovery Project and the Honor the Earth Foundation in Minnesota, where she supported the work of indigenous communities as they worked to reclaim access to their traditional lands, and sustain their traditional cultural practices.
Yana holds a degree in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.
La Cooperativa Campesina De California
Marco Cesar Lizarraga is currently the Executive Director for La Cooperativa Campesina de California where he has worked for the past twenty years. La Cooperativa is a non-profit organization representing and providing funding for federally designated Farm Worker Grantees in California who deliver employment and training services to farm workers throughout the State as well as a wide range of services including energy programs.
Marco completed a Master in Economics at University of California Santa Barbara and obtained a Master’s degree in Educational Technology at Sacramento California State University.
Office of Attorney General Xavier Becerra California Department of Justice
Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board
Mr. Angel is responsible for development and implementation of water quality control policy for the Water Board, and represents his water Board at the Policy level also. He is currently the Lead for the Board’s Advisory Team and has also served Lead for the Water Board’s Prosecution Team for adjudicatory matter, including enforcement. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from California State University-Fresno. He is also a California Registered Civil Engineer and Hazardous Materials Specialist. He represents the State at the policy level in various committees including the Citizens Congressional Task Force on New River and the Good Neighbor Environmental Board. Since 1997, he has also been involved in dealing with policy to address binational water quality problems. He has been an engineering and water policy guest lecturer at Fresno State and San Diego State University, respectively. He has authored and co-authored numerous reports on water quality and several publications on impacts associated with discharges of wastes. For the last 25 years, his emphasis has been on development and implementation of policy to protect, restore, and enhance water quality.
Director of Our Roots Multi-Cultural Center, Inc. based in El Centro, California. He is also a member of Colorado River Citizens Forum IBWC US Section 2014-2016. John is a Senior Assembly Member, California Senior Legislature 2015-2018. John is member of the IID Energy Consumer Advisory Committee. He serves in the Imperial County Area Agency on Aging. John is an active participant of the Imperial County Environmental Justice Task Force. In addition, John is the current City of Brawley Parks & Recreation Commissioner. John is one of the main supporters of the Imperial County Community Air Monitoring Project. John participates in the Imperial County Asthma CER Project Stakeholder, Advisory Group Brawley Elementary School District, Bond Oversight Committee, and he is the Brawley Veterans Memorial Wall Committee President.
California Department of Public Health
Paul English is currently Senior Branch Scientific Advisor for the Environmental Health Investigations Branch at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). He has had 20 years experience working in environmental public health for the CDPH, focusing on spatial epidemiology, public health impacts of climate change, environmental health issues at the U.S./Mexico border, and environmental health surveillance. Dr. English is principal investigator of the California Environmental Health Tracking Program, which takes a community-based approach to develop surveillance systems for environmental hazards, exposures, and environmentally-related chronic disease. He has been dedicated to responding to community needs and concerns regarding environmentally-related disease by integrating environmental epidemiology, health education, community participation, geographic information systems and spatial methodologies. He received his masters and doctorate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.
Urban Forester California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection
Lynnette Short serves as CAL FIRE’s Regional Urban Forester for San Diego, Imperial and Orange counties. She holds a Bachelors degree in Forestry & Natural Resource Management with a concentration in Fire & Fuels Management from Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo. She started her career with CAL FIRE in 2003 as a seasonal wildland firefighter, and then migrated to Resource Management working in the Vegetation Management and Fuels reduction program. In 2006 she took a position in the Urban and Community Forestry program, where she manages local Urban Forestry grants through the State’s Climate Investment’s programs. She also works with local municipalities and non-profit organizations to improve Urban Forests in the southern region.
San Diego State University Environmental Health
Penelope J.E. Quintana is a Professor of Environmental Health at the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.P.H in Occupational and Environmental Health from San Diego State University. She has a research focus on exposures to children and vulnerable populations at the US-Mexico border. She has assessed children’s exposure to toxicants in house dust and on surfaces, including residual tobacco toxicants remaining after smoking has taken place, known as third-hand smoke. In conjunction with researchers at Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Tijuana, she has studied exposures to pedestrians waiting in lines to cross the US-Mexico border. She is the author of a White Paper drawing attention to the long northbound wait times and lines of idling vehicles at US-Mexico Ports of Entry as an environmental justice issue for border crossers and surrounding communities. She is a Scientific Guidance Panel member for the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program.
Asst. Division Chief
Monitoring & Lab Division
Catherine Dunwoody is assistant chief of the Monitoring and Laboratory Division at the California Air Resources Board where she helps direct programs to advance air monitoring and laboratory analysis, and reduce emissions from a variety of sources including fueling stations, motorcycles, consumer products and small equipment. She was recently appointed to lead the agency’s work on community air monitoring under AB 617. Prior to her current assignment she worked for 17 years to advance fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel in multiple sectors and promote commercialization of zero-emission vehicles. As executive director of the California Fuel Cell Partnership from 1999 to 2014, Catherine created the collaborative round table for industry competitors and government agencies to jointly overcome challenges. In that role she grew the organization from a fuel cell vehicle demonstration program to a globally recognized leader in promoting hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle commercialization.
Catherine has long championed the cause for clean air and a better environment, having started her career at the California Air Resources Board in 1985 as a laboratory chemist in the Monitoring and Laboratory Division. In 2011 Automotive News named Catherine as one of the “Electrifying 100” most influential players in the move to electric drive vehicles. She currently serves on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC). Catherine is a proud Aggie (UC Davis, Biochemistry) and enjoys driving ZEVs – her Chevy Spark EV and her commuter bicycle.
Community & Economic
Development Manager Imperial County
Esperanza Colio Warren moved to the United States and began learning English as an adult. She started her career with Imperial County as an Economic Development Coordinator I in 2004. Esperanza continued her education to complete a Master’s Degree while working full-time in which she achieved various job promotions within her department.
In her position, Esperanza has been instrumental in securing funds for Imperial County for significant public improvement projects and programs that have resulted in a positive impact in our community. She works closely with public and private sectors in the implementation of infrastructure projects within the unincorporated areas of the County; Esperanza manages federal and state grants funded by agencies such as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and the U.S Department of Commerce – Economic Development Administration. She oversees the Imperial County Overall Economic Development Commission (OEDC) with the responsibility of completing and updating the annual Imperial County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and she also manages Imperial Valley Foreign Trade Zone Joint Power Authority.
Esperanza currently serves as a member of the following committees: Imperial County Workforce Development Board, California Department of Housing and Community Development-CDBG Advisory Committee and CDBG Program Redesign Working Group, and National Association of Foreign Trade Zone Grantee Committee.
Esperanza’s work and contributions have been recognized locally as well as at the state and national level. She was featured in to the 2015 Spotlight: Women in Leadership in the Newsletter of the U.S. Economic Development Administration. In spite of her busy schedule, Esperanza finds it important to give back to her community. She served as the 2007-08 Chapter President for the San Diego State University-Imperial Valley Campus Alumni Chapter. Esperanza has collaborated with CalWORKS by sharing her story with families and students on the importance of obtaining an education, as well as serving as a guest speaker for the CalWORKS English Immersion Empowerment Program commencement ceremony at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley Campus. She has volunteered her time as a conference speaker for MANA‘s Young Latina Leadership Conference for young ladies, sharing her professional and personal journey and encouraging local students to strive for a higher education while maintaining their cultural values. Esperanza is a woman who serves as role model for others in the community who aspire to make a positive contribution to society.
Esperanza received a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration in 2003 and a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2006 from San Diego State University.
Promotores Comunitarios del Desierto
Eduardo Guevara is the Executive Director of Promotores Comunitarios del Desierto (PCD), a community based organization which primarily serves the Coachella Valley & Imperial County on environmental health and socio economic issues. Being at first only a translator and technical support assistant in the group, he became a full-blown activist on environmental justice when Mecca was affected by severe air quality issues that directly impacted his wife’s health and their son’s way of life. He has been all over the state, all the way up to Sacramento, to express community’s concerns and to establish a network of advocates.
Comite Civico Del Valle
Israel Cruz currently works for Comite Civico del Valle as Communications Coordinator in the Respira Sano Project. Israel graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Journalism with an emphasis in Advertising; he also holds minor degrees in Sociology and Social Sciences. Israel has been working in environmental justice and community advocacy since May 2015.
Community Organizer/ Policy Advocate
Maricela Mares-Alatorre is a Community Organizer and Policy Advocate with Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice. Maricela is also coordinator for El Pueblo Para el Aire y Agua Limpia/People for Clean Air and Water of Kettleman City.Maricela is a mother of two, and a long-time resident of the farmworker community of Kettleman City, California, home to the largest hazardous waste landfill in the western United States. She has been involved in the environmental justice movement since 1990. Maricela’s parents were founding Board members of Greenaction. Maricela graduated from Fresno State University in 2000. She has worked as a teacher, employment counselor and a parenting instructor. Maricela received her BA in Linguistics.Maricela serves on the steering committees of the California Environmental Justice Coalition, Central California Environmental Justice Network, and the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition. She is also an advisory committee member for the Tulare Lake Basin Disadvantaged Community Water Study. Maricela is on the Board of Directors for the Kettleman City Foundation.Maricela played a leading role in the fight against expansion of Chemical Waste Management’s hazardous waste landfill, an effort that prevented the disposal of approximately 250,000 truckloads of toxic waste. Maricela was instrumental in the recent landmark settlement of the Title VI Civil Rights complaint filed by El Pueblo and Greenaction against the California Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Toxic Substances Control. This historic settlement requires the state agencies for the first time to consider and comply with civil rights laws in their permit processes and permit and regulatory actions, including ensuring language access for non-English speaking residents and considering the cumulative impacts of pollution on vulnerable communities
MD FAAP Chief Medical Officer
Clinica de Salud del Pueblo, Inc
Dr. Afshan Nuri Baig is the Chief Medical Officer at Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc. Dr. Baig completed her MD at the University of Sindh Chandka Medical College, Pakistan (1979) and her MS in Marriage Counseling from United States International University (1986). Dr. Baig has 17 years of experience working with Latino and immigrant communities at Clinicas.
PhD Professor and Chair Department of Environmental Health Sciences UCLA