Current Program Members

Maritessa is thrilled to join the Emerge California Class of 2014.  As a daughter of a Filipino manong, Maritessa strives to build upon the legacy courageously paved by Filipino-American trailblazers.  She is deeply committed to civic engagement, green enterprise/ sustainability, youth development, and breaking political barriers for women.

Nahtahna Cabanes has dedicated her personal and professional life to advancing equity through education and advocacy. For ten years, she worked in high school and college classrooms teaching diverse populations (including inmates, low-income youth, single-working mothers, and at-risk adolescents) the themes of historical struggle.

Victoria is a seasoned electoral and issue based campaign professional. She found her passion for social justice organizing at New York University where she organized students in solidarity with Adjunct professor unionizing efforts. She furthered her social justice appetite by working with a variety of community based organization focusing on student organizing, domestic violence, and immigrant rights. She nationally organized with United Students Against Sweatshops before her electoral debut in New Mexico in 2008, where she successfully turned her county blue and began her sometimes contemptuous relationship with electoral work.

Elva Chavez is a Center Manager for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest which services over 23,000 patients each year. Elva also serves as a Commissioner on The San Diego Status of Women and is active member of Women Give San Diego. She is a passionate advocate for women’s reproductive justice as well as the economic empowerment of women and girls in San Diego county. Elva also has over 25 years of business/people  management experience and invests her time in the areas of mentoring and leadership.

Letitia Clark George currently serves as the Executive Director/Community Engagement Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Orange County Chapter, representing over 500 Pediatricians and advocating for the health and well being of all Orange County children. Letitia's past professional experience as a lobbyist, director of government affairs and legislative assistants to both state and local elected officials has groomed her to effectively lead in her current position as well as in the community. 

I serve as a director for five nonprofit organizations, and I assist many other nonprofit organizations by providing legal and other services. 

Dana Dean runs her own boutique law firm focused on land use, real estate, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). A tireless advocate for democratic values, in particular equal access to quality education for all children, she currently serves as Vice President of the Solano County Board of Education, after having served for 5 years on the Benicia Unified School Board. She is also in her second term on the First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission. 

As the Director of the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team in the City Los Angeles, Becca Doten coordinates more than 150 volunteers who respond to traumatic events and crisis situations.  She is a sworn LAPD Reserve Officer and serves on the Board of Directors for the non-profit Students Run LA.  An active Democrat, Ms. Doten is an elected member of the DNC, the Treasurer of the Women’s Caucus of the California Democratic Party and a Truman National Security Project Partner.

Passion for Education and children is what drives AngelAnn Flores in her current jobs as After School Program Facilitator, Substitute Teacher and Community Activist.  Since being an after school facilitator for the past seven years, Ms. Angel is able to have open communication between Teachers, Students, and Parents and has worked with over 700+ students and families.

Marcie Gonzalez has been involved in leadership and community service for the last four years. Elected as President Pro-Tempore of her college in 2010, she was appointed Community Outreach Coordinator and campus representative for the statewide event Hands Across California to raise money for community colleges in 2011

From a young age, I have always recognized the importance of being involved with one's community through volunteerism and advocacy. While in high school I was a member of Leadership an organization of youth dedicated to helping the community and schools. 

With a passion for empowering and motivating citizens Jacquelyn M. Horton uses her knowledge of government policies and procedures to design outstanding programs catering to at-risk youth and violence prevention. 

Jen Jackson is passionate about protecting the environment and has worked on water quality and transportation issues for many years. Currently, Jen works as an independent environmental consultant on a wide range of projects, predominantly for stormwater and wastewater agencies. 

Ellen Kamei is a Policy Aide to Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, District 5. Previously, Ellen worked in the Office of the City Manager for the City of Fremont as an International City/County Management (ICMA) Fellow. Prior to the ICMA fellowship, Ellen spent four years on the East Coast.

Anne is a mother of three and lives with her family in Santa Clara, CA.  She volunteers in her community to create opportunities for children and families.  Anne has been serving on the board of the Central YMCA for more than 10 years, helped start a non-profit to support her sons’ pre-school, and volunteers in her children’s schools.  She was appointed to and served on Santa Clara’s Housing Loan and Rehabilitation Committee for 8 years.  In addition, Anne is a practicing attorney, runs a small personal injury law firm in San Jose, CA, and often presents at continuing education programs throughout Northern California.

Carol has always lived a commitment to service, starting her career as a classroom teacher at an inner-city school in Los Angeles Unified, then working for several years in HIV Prevention, and now for an education non-profit, where she helps to develop and evaluate programs that foster school safety, student health and well-being, and career and technical education opportunities. She is currently a candidate for San Diego's City Council, District 6.

Debbie is passionate about children and public education and has been an advocate for over 25 years.  She has been active in her community of Pleasanton since moving here, from Canada, in 2000, including serving eight years on the City’s Library Commission. 

Virginia Madueno is the President of IMAGEN, LLC, a communications firm she established in 2001, she is also Vice President of US Government Relations for the Sino American Trade Development Association focused on expanding trade relations between Central China and the San Joaquin Valley.

Elisa Márquez is a lifelong resident of the City of Hayward. She takes great pride in the fact that she’s raising her teenage daughter in the same house and community, she grew up in.  At a young age she was exposed to the importance of community service.  Public service is an essential part of her life.

Jodi Muirhead has been active in her community her entire adult life.  Volunteering in her children's classrooms led to leadership roles in parent organizations and work as an elementary school substitute teacher.  She is a founder and board member of a non-profit parent-driven advocacy group.  As a former software engineer and a strong advocate for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, she coordinates annual science activities for her children's school district.

Shereda Nosakhare is a Policy Analyst and Community Liaison for Oakland City Council's 4th District. In this capacity she supervises community related and/or generated projects

I am a mother, attorney, small business owner, and citizen who is passionate about working to make my community a better place for everyone. I advocate for the poor, and have volunteered with service non-profit organizations, including Friends Outside, Project Open Hand, and the Vacaville Public Education Foundation during the past 25 years. In college, I was active with groups such as Students for Choice.

Victoria Ramirez deeply believes in the need to strengthen our urban communities and for the last 8 years as a Senior Project Manager at Jamboree Housing Corporation has dedicated herself to building affordable housing for families, seniors, and those with special needs.  She is a proud City of Anaheim resident and serves her beloved City as Chair of the Planning Commission. She is also an avid Dodgers fan.

Meriam Reynosa currently serves as the President of Southern Alameda County Young Democrats. She was a founding member and served as SCYD Secretary from 2008-2010. Meriam is a Filipino-American, born and raised in the City of San Leandro. She is a lifelong Democrat, attended local schools and studied political science. 

Holly Roberson was appointed Land Use Counsel in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research in 2013. Prior to her appointment Ms. Roberson worked at Remy Moose Manley LLP, a prominent Sacramento law firm specializing in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Assistant District Attorney Marisa Rodriguez is a native of San Francisco.  The Berkley graduate and University of San Francisco Law School alumni’s legal work includes both civil litigation and criminal prosecution.  ADA Rodriguez is focused on compassionately addressing the serious issues that arise in the contexts of victim’s advocacy, restorative justice, and improving quality of life.  

Olivia is a Pleasanton native and was a candidate in her hometown's 2013 City Council special election where she achieved a bronze place finish.  She is planning to run again in the 2014 City Council race for a full term. 

I am a US Air Force Veteran. I am the Regional Director for the Federation of Public Service Employees, the 1st Woman President of the Compton NAACP and also the 3VP of the CA-Hawaii State Conference.

Francesca Vega began her current appointment as Director of Government and Community Relations at California State University, Northridge in December, 2012. As a member of the CSUN President's extended cabinet, Francesca is a vital member of the CSUN leadership team. 

Kate is a 4th generation Californian and grew up in the Bay Area. She lived in Venice Beach and Topanga Canyon for many years but has settled in Sacramento to raise her three children.

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