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New Leaders Council

Our Board

2017-18 NLC Sacramento Board


Chapter Co-Directors: Paco Torres '14 & Claire van Zuiden '16

Institute Co-Chairs: Julissa Delgado '16 & Kelly Reynolds '17

Finance Chair: Amanda Shepherd '17

Curriculum Co-Chairs: Sarah Krasin '17 & Mariana Corona Sabeniano '17

Recruitment & Selections Co-Chairs: Vivian Ericson '16 & Kendra Marsh '15

Alumni Engagement Chair: Stephanie Jordan '15

Community Engagement Chair: Sadalia King '17

Communications Co-Chairs: Katie Hanzlik '17 & Jennifer Lopez '15

Mentorship Chair: Matthew Hamlett '16

At-Large Board Members: Jose Alvarado '17, Tristan Brown '14 (Co-Director Emeritus), Carolyn Kiesner '17, Ernesto Meza '17, Natalie Reyes '14, Nichole Rice '17, & Angélica Salceda '10


Paco TorresPaco Torres - Legislative Director, California State Assembly

Chapter Co-Director

Paco Torres '14 currently serves as Legislative Director for Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona). In that capacity, he manages the Assemblymember's legislative package, and directs preparation for Assembly Floor session (including providing vote recommendations).

He previously served as Legislative Director for former Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), and as a Legislative Aide for former State Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley). He began a career in public service as a Senate Fellow for Senator Hancock in 2011.

He served on the NLC Sacramento Board as Curriculum Chair in 2015 and as Institute Co-Chair in 2016. Paco is also the President of the Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association (APICA), which represents API members of the Capitol Community. He also worked on the Sabrina Cervantes for Assembly and Jose Solorio for State Senate campaigns. 

Paco graduated from Stanford University, earning a Bachelor of Arts with Honors and Distinction in Political Science, and admission into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. A member of the State Bar of California, he graduated from Stanford Law School in 2011. While in law school, he was a Co-President of the Stanford Latino Law Students Association (SLLSA). Paco is originally from Orange County, and is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Lakers, and Stanford football.  

Claire van Zuiden - Principal, California Strategies & Advocacy


Chapter Co-Director

Claire van Zuiden '16 is an Associate Principal at California Strategies & Advocacy, a state-wide governmental affairs consulting firm, where she is focused environment and energy policy. On behalf of clean technology clients, Claire develops strategies to facilitate progressive alternative transportation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency policies and programs to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. 

In addition to permitting, policy and regulation, Claire has extensive experience in securing public funding and incentives for key projects in California, and since joining the firm in 2009 has helped achieve unparalleled levels of funding awards to accelerate the deployment of alternative transportation, renewable energy, and water conservation projects. 

Prior to joining California Strategies, Claire managed the CPV Consortium, a global, non-profit Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) industry organization. She continues to advise and support the solar association, including orchestrating full-day educational workshops and media events in conjunction with worldwide solar conferences and speaking on behalf of the CPV industry at many conferences around the world. Claire executes the CPV Consortium’s initiatives to ensure that there is a single industry voice in addressing energy issues and an accurate knowledge of the technology and deployment available to audiences worldwide.
Claire earned a Master of Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University where she was the President of her graduate program and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UC Davis, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She lives in Sacramento with her Partner and has been a Community Tree Planting Leader for the Sacramento Tree Foundation. 


Julissa Delgado

Julissa Delgado - Research Analyst, Little Hoover Commission

Institute Co-Chair

Julissa Delgado '16 is currently a Research Analyst for the Little Hoover Commission. Previously, she served as a Legislative Aide for Senator Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and was responsible for energy, environmental quality, health and human services among other policy issues. A native of the San Fernando Valley, Julissa also served as a Field Representative for former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) and former Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento).

As a first generation college student, she graduated from the University of California, Davis in Political Science with minors in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies, and Chicana/o Studies. During her time at UC Davis, Julissa participated in the UC Washington Program as a Research Associate with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs and studied abroad in Argentina, Chile and Cuba. Throughout her undergraduate career, she interned and volunteered to pursue her passion in public service including in the District Office of Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) and the Youth Empowerment Program.


Kelly Reynolds HS

Kelly Reynolds - Communications Director, California State Assembly 

Institute Co-Chair

Kelly Reynolds '17 is currently Communications Director for Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside). Previously, she was a program associate for Capitol Impact, a Sacramento-based consulting firm dedicated to improving policy and practice in California, with a particular emphasis on public education. At Capitol Impact, Reynolds led coalition building and served as a key resource connector between education, community-based organizations, and business to drive key policy and strategic priorities to improve California's public education.

Prior to Capitol Impact, Reynolds worked at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce expanding college access and success through management of the L.A. Cash for College program, one of the largest financial aid education efforts in the region. In this capacity, Reynolds led major programmatic events and workshops that assisted local students with college-going and financial aid processes, serving 20,000 students and families each year. In 2015, L.A. Cash for College received recognition from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

While in college, Reynolds participated in the UCDC program and interned at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., where she supported communication efforts and researched national education issues. Reynolds attended the University of California, San Diego and earned her bachelor's degree in political science and history. Reynolds has lived in two countries and three states. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading a good book, and daydreaming of the next trip she is planning.



Amanda Shepherd-Littlejohn - Gynecology Oncology Surgical Fellow, UC Davis

Finance Chair

Amanda Shepherd-Littlejohn '17 is a Gynecology Oncology surgical fellow at the University of California-Davis. Her specialty focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the female reproductive system. As a surgeon, she is focusing on increasing the use of robotic surgery in cancer patients. As a researcher, she is studying the effect of meditation, yoga, and self-compassion on patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. After attending the Medical University of South Carolina, Amanda finished residency at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia and went on to obtain a Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. She has already published in the area of robotic surgery for the treatment of uterine cancers.

She has held office in the South Carolina chapters of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) and Medical Students for Choice. She volunteered as a SAFE team member for four years, assisting victims of sexual assault in the immediate aftermath and in post-assault counseling sessions. Amanda is passionate about pursuing policies related to social justice and human rights. She is specifically interested in women's rights to equal pay and access to reproductive choice. She also endeavors to secure a patient's right to die with dignity in every state in the nation.

Growing up in Portugal, Amanda is fluent in the Portuguese language and in navigating Portuguese cuisine. She has developed a love for foreign cultures and travel, having already visited 32 countries. When she is not in the operating room or traveling out of the country, she and her husband Jim can be found wine tasting in Napa or running with their black lab, Frankie.



Sarah Krasin - Vice President, CCS

Curriculum Co-Chair

Sarah Krasin '17 is driven by the belief that effective philanthropy can transform our communities. As a Vice President with CCS, one of the largest and most comprehensive strategic fundraising firms in the world, Sarah is honored to partner with diverse non-profits as they make big plans to increase their impact. Sarah is currently embedded as on-site campaign counsel for the Crocker Art Museum in downtown Sacramento. Prior to the Crocker, Sarah advised Notre Dame High School San Jose, the oldest all-girls high school in California as they embarked on a new campus Master Plan. After conducting a feasibility study for a $20 million campaign, Sarah directed their planning and leadership gifts phases.

In 2014, Sarah worked with Antioch University, a private university with five campuses in four states, on developing and implementing a comprehensive major gifts program. Sarah was also part of the leadership team that hired and transitioned new staff for Antioch's expanded University Advancement office. Sarah also has extensive experience in the religious sector. In 2012, Sarah served as on-site campaign counsel for St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, an institute of higher education and formation

 for men entering the Catholic priesthood. Sarah managed more than 30 volunteer committees and her leadership of campaign activity directly resulted in more than $10.5 million raised. Sarah then led campaigns in Illinois and Texas, where she guided parish leadership in securing their first-ever six-figure gifts and achieved goals totaling more than $9 million.

Prior to joining CCS, Sarah managed and consulted for more than 20 political fundraising programs in Milwaukee, Madison and Los Angeles. During her time in politics, Sarah coached candidates for local, state and federal offices on effective fundraising strategies that allowed them to out-raise incumbents and win highly contested seats. Sarah also partnered with several Milwaukee-based organizations to lead fundraising trainings for first-time local candidates. Sarah is originally from Wisconsin and graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee. She and her fiancé, also a Wisconsinite, continue to be devoted Green Bay Packers fans.



Mariana Corona Sabeniano - Legislative Director, California State Assembly 

Curriculum Co-Chair

For the last ten years, Mariana Corona Sabeniano '17 has served as staff in the California State Assembly, her most recent position is as Legislative Director for Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara). In her current capacity, Mariana oversees the Assemblymember's legislative agenda and helps the Member prepare to vote on legislation. Mariana's public service career began when she participated in the Sacramento Semester Program in 2005. Mariana is dedicated to serving her community through her involvement in various organizations. Mariana currently serves as an appointee on two local commissions: Sacramento Community Police Review Commission and the Natomas Community Planning Advisory Council.

Mariana's other community involvement includes the steering committee for the Sacramento Latina Leaders Network; Co-Founder/VP of External Affairs of the Latinx Young Democrats of Sacramento County; and Treasurer of the Latino Democratic Club of Sacramento County. She also enjoys giving back to her alma mater through her involvement as President of the Sacramento State Alumni Association's Hornets Policy & Politics Alumni Chapter (HPPA). HPPA's mission is to support the professional development of alumni, create career opportunities for students, and support undergraduate/graduate students with scholarships.

She grew up in Arbuckle, California. She and her four brothers and sister are first-generation, with immigrant parents from Mexico. Mariana is the first one in her family to attend and graduate from college. She earned her bachelor's degree from Sacramento State University and a Master's of Science in Law from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She is an alumnus of the Hispanas Organized for Political Equity (HOPE) Leadership Institute, Class of 2015; Emerge California, Class of 2017; and New Leaders Council, 2017 Fellow. In her free time, Mariana enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and dogs.


Vivian Ericson Head Shot

Vivian Ericson - Associate, California Environmental & Energy Consulting

Recruitment & Selections Co-Chair

Vivian Ericson '16 is an Associate at California Environmental and Energy Consulting, where she is focused on environmental policy. Vivian works on a mix of conservation, water and environmental health issues.

She began her time in the capitol as a California Council on Science and Technology Fellow in the Office of Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens). While staffing the member she gained a deeper understanding of the disparities across different communities in terms of access to clean water, open spaces and resources. She now combines her scientific training and political background to effectively translate science to key policy makers. 

Prior to coming to Sacramento, Vivian completed her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University and obtained a B.S. in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In her spare time she can usually be found outside—whether it’s climbing, back-country skiing, or wandering around the Sierra with a map and compass.


Stephanie Jordan - Committee Counsel, California State Senate

Alumni Engagement Chair

Stephanie Jordan '15 currently serves as Counsel to the Senate Public Safety Committee. She previously served as Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary for Governor Jerry Brown, where her work focused on criminal justice issues. Stephanie received her B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Davis, and her law degree from the University of Michigan.

During her time at Michigan, Stephanie was very active in the law school community. She served as Secretary of the Law School Student Senate and Fundraising Chair for the Latino Law Students Association. Stephanie grew up in Northern California. In her spare time, she enjoys staying active, attending concerts and other events, and exploring the state. 



Sadalia King - Legislative Aide, California State Senate

Community Engagement Chair 

Sadalia King '17 was born and raised in Sacramento, California. She received her B.A. in Sociology, Law and Society Emphasis and a minor in African American and African Studies from the University of California, Davis. After witnessing the infamous pepper spray incident during her first quarter attending the university, she soon after became heavily involved in the campus community as the Vice President of the Black Student Union, Publicity Chair of the UC Davis Chapter of the Afrikan Black Coalition Conference, and the Co-Chair of the Black Graduation Celebration, among other positions. From these experiences, she developed a passion to work and empower underserved communities.

She currently serves as a Legislative Aide for Senator Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) where she oversees a number of policy areas, including higher education, transportation and housing, banking and financial institutions, and veterans affairs.

She is an active member in several political clubs including the Sacramento County Young Democrats and the Feminist Democrats of Sacramento. She is also a founding board member and currently serving as the President for Black Young Democrats of Sacramento. Sadalia volunteers her spare time with the Sacramento Hub of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community, as a board member for the Black Youth Leadership Project, and the California Capitol Black Staff Association. She is also a proud, finer women of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.



Katie Hanzlik - Press Secretary, California State Senate

Communications Co-Chair

Katie Hanzlik '17 currently serves as Press Secretary for Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys). In that role, she manages all media requests and communications for the Senator. Previously, she was a Senior Account Executive for Lucas Public Affairs, where she developed and implemented strategic communications plans that helped shape important public policy. Katie's strong writing and social media skills also helped reach key audiences on important policy issues, particularly in the fields of health care, biotechnology, and social justice.

Prior to joining Lucas Public Affairs, Katie spent several years providing legislative support at a leading lobbying firm where she tracked bills, conducted research and coordinated lobby days for a variety of the firm's clients.

She began her career as an intern in the district office of then-Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), where she utilized legislative resources to provide constituents and the public with accurate and up-to-date information about the Senator's policies and priorities. Katie is actively involved in the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, currently serving as its Communications Chair as well as Vice President of Membership for the Sacramento County Young Democrats. Katie graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara with BAs in Global Studies and French. While earning her degree, she spent a year studying Political Science in Lyon, France. Katie lives in Midtown Sacramento, where she is an avid runner and foodie.


Jennifer Lopez Headshot

Jennifer Lopez - Legislative Aide, California State Assembly

Communications Co-Chair

Jennifer Lopez '15 serves as a Legislative Aide for Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) where she is responsible for policy issues pertaining to education, banking and finance, and the Latino Community, among others. Prior to her current role, Jennifer was selected as an Assembly Fellow and placed in the office of Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles).

Her passion for public service, education, and social justice led her to Sacramento. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Minor in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley, making her the first in her family to earn a post-secondary degree.

After her undergraduate career, Jennifer worked as an Academic Intake Advisor for the College of Letters & Science on campus, while working on an Oakland City Council Campaign. Jennifer is an alumna of the New Leaders Council, Oakland Chapter. She currently serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the California Latino Capitol Association Foundation and is a participant in the SheShares mentorship program. Jennifer is a Los Angeles native. In her free time, she enjoys kickboxing, exploring coffee shops with friends, and listening to podcasts.


Matt Hamlett HS

Matthew Hamlett - Legislative Director, California State Assembly

Mentorship Chair

Matthew Hamlett '16 is the Legislative Director for Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) who serves communities located in San Bernardino County. In his capacity, Matthews manages the Assemblymember’s legislative package and advises her on multiple issue areas including natural resources, economic development, and utilities and energy.

He previously worked for Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) as a legislative aide. Through his more than 4 years of work in the California State Assembly, Matthew has been able to pursue his passion for empowering communities of color, especially youth, with the resources necessary to succeed and build a sustainable future. This includes ensuring there is equity in the distribution of resources for communities who through historical barriers, have been left behind.

Although proud of his Long Beach/Southern California roots, he considers Sacramento a second home and has participated in a diverse array of volunteer opportunities in the region as well as spent time as a mentor/tutor through Improve Your Tomorrow, a nonprofit which serves young men of color in Sacramento County.

Matthew received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, minoring in Economics with an emphasis in law and public policy. He is an alumni of the NLC 2016 Fellowship Class Sacramento Chapter.



Jose Alvarado - Government Relations Coordinator, SEIU-UHW

At-Large Board Member

Jose Alvarado '17 is the Government Relations Coordinator for SEIU-UHW. He previously served as a Legislative Aide for Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) and former State Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley). Jose grew up in Hawaiian Gardens. Both of his parents emigrated from Mexico and worked in the fields of the Central Valley before relocating to Southeast Los Angeles.

He received his B.A from UC Berkeley, where he double majored in history and rhetoric. While at Cal, he was elected to the board of directors of the Berkeley Student Cooperative, and selected as a Cal-In-Sacramento Fellow. Jose likes to sit in cafes, travel, and spend time with friends and family.



Tristan Brown - Lobbyist, California Federation of Teachers

At-Large Board Member (Co-Director Emeritus)

Tristan Brown '14 is a full time labor lobbyist and active member of several political clubs in Sacramento. He has worked in the labor movement since 2006, starting as a representative for in-home healthcare providers. During this time he also began a part-time program at the McGeorge School of Law to obtain his law degree in 2013. After serving in-home care providers for over 5 years, including serving as the Political Director for a state-wide local, he attempted traditional legal work with the prestigious political law firm of Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, LLP.

Finding that he couldn’t ignore his passion for working families, he sought out a legislative career in organized labor and landed with the 220,000 member CA School Employees Association, AFL-CIO. He now works for the California Federation of Teachers, AFT, AFL-CIO as a legislative advocate. He spends much of his free time working with his local Freemason lodge and supporting the Shriner’s Hospital for Children and volunteers as a member of the McGeorge Capitol Center Advisory Board, and sits on the board of the Sacramento Center for Workers Rights.



Carolyn Kiesner - Business Development Manager, OpTerra Energy Services

At-Large Board Member

Carolyn Kiesner '17 is a Business Development Manager at OpTerra Energy Services, an industry leader and pioneer in advancing the sustainable energy economy, energizing opportunity and building positive impact for the communities and institutions nationwide. As a Business Development Manager, Carolyn uses her energy expertise and dedication for a more sustainable world to work with cities and school districts to develop wide reaching energy programs. OpTerra's unique educational impact arm allows Carolyn to work with school districts to connect energy technology to STEM education programs and career pathways, something she is truly passionate about. Carolyn has a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northern Illinois University and enjoys strategic problem solving and out of the box thinking.

She currently serves as the Association of Energy Engineers NorCal Chapter Vice-President where she helps create a space to bring the local energy professionals together to engage in leading edge technology and energy policy. Being in a male dominated field, Carolyn has always had a strong passion for women in engineering and science careers. Carolyn enjoys volunteering her time to work with local school districts to empower students, specifically female students, to engage in STEM careers.

Carolyn grew up in the West Suburbs of Chicago and has lived in Sacramento for almost 10 years. Leading with authenticity, compassion and a collaborative attitude is important to Carolyn. She believes a new style of leadership is needed within our communities in order for positive change to happen. Outside of her professional sphere Carolyn enjoys yoga, the outdoors, music and Chicago sports teams.



Ernesto Meza - Legislative Assistant, California State Assembly

At-Large Board Member

Ernesto Meza '17 was born and raised in the Central Valley, a product of the city of Stockton. He comes from a family of immigrant farmworkers who taught him the value of hard work. During his spring breaks in high school, he worked with his father out in the fields. Ernesto†knows first-hand the challenges facing working families and is committed to creating a high quality of life and community well-being for all. Ernesto Meza is currently a Legislative Assistant in the office of Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens). Part of his duties include staffing and advising the Assemblymember in a number of areas, from Agriculture to Governmental Organizations. In addition, he manages external communications for the Assemblymember's social media accounts.

He began his career in Sacramento as a participant of the Sacramento Semester Program, a program that grants students full-time internships at the California State Legislature and seminars at the California State University, Sacramento. Prior to joining the Capitol, Ernesto attended San Joaquin Delta Community College in Stockton. It was his political science courses and professors there that sparked his passion for public service and government. He then transferred to the California State University, Fresno and graduated with a degree in Political Science. Ernesto continues showing his commitment to his community.

He has served on the board of the California Latino Capitol Association and is a mentor with the Puente Project, a program dedicated to making higher education accessible for first-generation students. During his free time Ernesto enjoys photography, sports, and traveling the great State of California with family and friends.


Natalie Reyes HSNatalie Reyes - Assistant Director of Communications, Christian Brothers High School

At-Large Board Member

Natalie Reyes '14 is currently the Assistant Director of Communications at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento. She is responsible for magazine publications, marketing, social media management, website management, photography, public relations, external communications and event management.

She is also involved with her church’s mission committee to provide aid to Ethiopia. She is director of the annual Walk for Water, a run/walk event raising money to provide clean water to small villages in Ethiopia. She is passionate about bringing clean water, medical aid, and education to underrepresented communities around the world.

Natalie is a member of Delta Gamma Fraternity and serves as the Vice President of Foundation on the Sacramento Alumnae board. She received her BA in American Studies, with a concentration in Environmental Justice and a minor in U.S. History, from the University of California, Davis.

She is in her final year of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s part-time MBA program in Sacramento, where she will earn a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing in June 2018. She is president of the GSM Dean’s Student Advisory Council, where she represents student interests to school administration as well as plans the annual Capital Connections networking event. Natalie hopes to move into state government or a private sector marketing position upon completion of her degree.



Nichole Rice - District Legislative Representative, UFCW Local 8-Golden State 

At-Large Board Member

Nichole Trujillo Rice '17 is the Political and Legislative Representative for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 8-Golden State (UFCW), AFL-CIO, representing approximately 35,000 members throughout California who work in the retail grocery, wholesale meat, pharmaceutical and other industries. Nichole began working for UFCW in 2008 and has been on the frontlines in all phases of the political and legislative process throughout Local 8ís vast jurisdiction working to protect and perpetuate the interests of UFCW members, their families and their communities.

She has spent the majority of her time working in the Greater Sacramento-area and Central Valley of California. She was elected Secretary-Treasurer (Principal Officer) of the San Joaquin-Calaveras Counties Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO in 2015 and serves as one of three Trustees to the North Valley Labor Federation. Although it can be difficult to push a progressive platform within the Central Valley, Nichole is dedicated to improving the lives of all working families and credits her devoted colleagues for their support.

Nichole received her B.S. in International Business from the California State University of Sacramento. She is a passionate advocate for working families and emphasizes a need for health care reform and retirement security. Outside of the Labor movement, Nichole is active in her community, local politics and has an enthusiasm for the outdoors. Nichole recently relocated her family to Auburn, CA where she enjoys trail running and hiking.


Angelica_SalcedaAngélica Salceda - Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California

At-Large Board Member

Angélica Salceda '10 is a staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, where she focuses on economic justice, immigrants’ rights, and civil rights and civil liberties enforcement in the Central Valley.

Her current cases include a suit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for refusing to release documents that would shed light on the agency’s treatment of asylum seekers. She is also leading an administrative Federal Torts Claim Act on behalf of two Guatemalan teenage sisters who were assaulted by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. She was also part of the litigation team in Lyon v. I.C.E., a class action on behalf of immigrant detainees in northern California to address the lack of reasonable telephone access in immigration detention facilities, a condition of confinement that prevents immigrants from fully and fairly litigating their deportation cases.

Prior to joining the ACLU as a staff attorney, Angélica was an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Fenwick & West. As an Equal Justice Works Fellow, she led a project to identify and remove educational barriers impacting pregnant and parenting students in California’s Central Valley. She authored a report titled, “Breaking Down Educational Barriers for California’s Pregnant and Parenting Students.” As a result of her report, the California Legislature passed and approved Assembly Bill 302 to ensure that lactating students in K-12 schools have access to a private, secure place to breastfeed or express milk during school hours.

Angélica is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law, where she participated in the International Human Rights Clinic on a project focused on the human right to water in California. As a student with the clinic, she co-authored a report titled, “The Human Right to Water Bill in California: An Implementation Framework for State Agencies.” While in law school, she served as the UC Berkeley School of Law student body president, External Vice President of the UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly, and President of the University of California Student Association.

Before law school, Angélica was a 2007-2008 Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellow and was then hired as a Legislative Aide in the California State Assembly. There, she worked on a number of policy issues, including environmental justice and immigrants’ rights. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and History with a minor in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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