CALIFORNIA LATINO CAPITOL ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION
Board of Directors, 2022-2023
Victor Torres is a Senior Legislative Aide for the office of Senator Josh Becker. In his role, he works on various policy issues including local government, education, transportation, and the environmental quality.
Prior to Senator Becker’s office, Victor served in the Office of State Senator Melissa Hurtado and as a Capital Senate Fellow in the Office of State Senator Robert M. Hertzberg. Victor has a B.A in Political Science and a minor in Chicano/Latino Studies from UC Irvine. Born in Orange County and raised in Fresno, Victor grew up in a family deeply involved in ballet folklórico. Victor is a proud alum of the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project (CLYLP), which introduced him to a career in public policy. He enjoys watching Japanese anime and caring for his assortment of houseplants.
As a proud daughter of immigrants, Alexandrina is the first of her family to attend a four-year university and recently obtained a Bachelors in Politics from UCSC. Prior to that she received an AS in Social Studies and an AS in Political Science at American River College. Her passion for politics was sparked by her involvement in addressing Latinx-based issues through community activism while attending American River College.
Throughout her undergraduate career Alexa has served in many leadership roles ranging from serving as club president of Latinos Unidos at ARC to being elected as Vice President of Internal Affairs at UCSC in 2019. During her time at UCSC, Alexa worked closely with administration to address composting issues on campus, and designed and instituted a Housing Legal Aid office to assist students affected by the housing crisis in Santa Cruz.
Alexa is also a 2019 UCCS Cohort Alumni where she worked as a Health Justice Fellow with the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and researched waste diversion rates throughout the UC campuses. Alexa currently dedicates herself to addressing environmental issues by working on waste and plastics pollution legislation with Californians Against Waste as a Policy Associate.
Department of Housing and Community Development
Joseph Nuñez is this year's Communications Director. In this role he hopes to utilize social media and email to keep members of the capitol community up-to-date with professional development opportunities that are facilitated by CLCAF and other professional organizations.
For school he went to East Los Angeles College, then transferred to UC Davis. He now works for the Legislative Division with the California Department of Housing and Community Development as a Policy Analyst, where he reviews bills and recommends positions to the Governor's Office. Prior to this role he served in both houses of the State Legislature as a Legislative Assistant, working on both policy and communications.
What drives him to continue his career in public service, and to serve on the CLCAF Board, is his passion for contributing to his community in positive ways. For him, his community includes his family, the City of Cudahy and Southeast Los Angeles area (SELA), schools he's attended, and the capitol community. On a professional level he finds joy in mentoring, being mentored, collaborating, and sharing resources with others. On a personal level, he enjoys being outdoors, trying new foods, visiting new places, and meeting new people.
Brandon Garcia is a Legislative Assistant for the Office of Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gomez Reyes. In his role, he staffs various policy issues including transportation, the environment, and economic development as well as staffing her on the the Judiciary Committee and the Utilities & Energy. Prior to joining her office, he was an environmental advocate at Environmental & Energy Consulting where he worked on transportation, waste, environmental and energy issues.
Brandon earned his B.A. in Government and a minor in Communication from CSU Sacramento. He was born and raised in downtown Sacramento.
Andres Ramirez is a Lobbyist/Senior Government Relations Associate at Townsend Public Affairs, Inc. a full service lobbying firm with offices in Sacramento, Washington DC, Bay Area, Central Valley, and Southern California -- representing Local Government, Public Agency, Non-Profit, and Private Sector Clients.
Andres has experience and proven success in policy creation, shepherding bills through the legislative process, securing direct fiscal allocations for clients through the CA State Budget and Federal Appropriations processes, and providing strategic consulting to clients navigating the complexities of the political landscapes in Sacramento and Washington, DC.
Andres is a native of Sacramento and enjoys staying involved in the athletic and other extracurricular programs at Holy Spirit Parish School and Jesuit High School, both of which are his alma mater. Andres attended UCLA where he was a member of the rugby team and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations.
Itzel Becerra is a Program Coordinator with the California School Boards Association (CSBA). In this role, she works on coordinating and delivering content materials for school board trustees across the state to prepare for the Masters in Governance Training (MIG), Orientation for New Trustees, Institute for New Board Members, Board Presidents Workshop, Student Board Member Training, and the Brown Act.
A lifelong Californian, she was born in North Hollywood, raised in Tulare, and graduated from CSU Sacramento with her B.A in Government and Minor in Spanish in 2018. She brings a background of state legislative, local government, and association management experience.
Itzel gained knowledge and experience in CA government interning with Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) via the Sacramento Semester Program in 2018, offered through CSU Sacramento’s Political Science department. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Maria Morales is a legislative aide for the office of Assmeblymember Phil Ting (AD-19). In her role, she works on various policy issues including natural resources, utilities and energy, human services and education.
Prior to her current role, Maria served as an Assembly fellow in the office of Assemblymember Mark Stone (AD-29) working on natural resources and human services issues. She also previously served as a research and communications fellow at Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), developing their communications campaign around the 2020 census and election.
Maria is originally from Orange, CA and is a proud daughter of immigrants. She has B.S in Global Health and a minor in Human Rights from the University of Southern California.
Yajaira Lechuga is this year’s Membership Director. This year she hopes to serve the Capitol and Sacramento community and promote personal and professional development for all members.
She grew up in Orange County and attended Pacific Oaks College and California Polytechnic University, Pomona. She received a B.A in Human Development with a specialization in Childhood Education. She now works as a Legislative Aide for Senator Tom Umberg. In her role, she focuses on several policy issues, including education, environmental quality, transportation and budget. Prior to her role, she was a teacher for a local school district.
Lesley Brizuela is a Legislative Aide for Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel. In her role, she works on a variety of policy issues, including housing, transportation, health, and the environment. She is a former Senate Fellow, serving 2020-2021 with the office of Senator John Laird. During her fellowship, she served on the CLCAF board as the Fellows Representative. Prior to her fellowship, she served as a legislative intern to Senator Scott Wiener through the UC Center Sacramento program and received a certificate of achievement for her research on women's reproductive health in schools.
Before working in politics, she served as a youth mentor with the Alameda County Office of Education, in partnership with Project EAT. Her research and work implementing sustainable water refill stations at her Title I high school in 2013 earned her a certificate of recognition from Assemblymember Bill Quirk. For 7 years with Project EAT, she hosted youth environmental summits, built community gardens in disadvantaged communities and food deserts, collaborated with Kaiser Permanente on health-related outreach, and helped extend healthy student initiatives to K-12 schools in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
During her free time, Lesley enjoys spending time making pottery for her small business.
Assemblymember Lisa Calderon
Bri-Ann Hernandez is the Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellow for Assemblywoman Lisa Calderon (D-Whittier). In this role, she works on health, human services, and women's caucus policy issues for the Assemblywoman, as well as staffing her on the Emergency Management Committee.
Prior to joining Assemblymember Calderon's office, Bri-Ann graduated from UCLA with a Masters of Public Health (MPH) in Community Health Sciences, with certificates in Population & Reproductive Health and Maternal & Child Health. During graduate school, she served several roles, including the Thinking Gender 2020 Conference Coordinator with the UCLA Center for the Study of Women, a Maternal and Child Health Leadership Fellow with the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, a Legislative Advocacy Associate with the Feminist Majority Foundation, and a Graduate Teaching Associate in courses like Biotechnology & Society and Psychiatry. Bri-Ann also currently works as a Research Fellow with Ms. magazine, and earned her B.A in Psychology and minor in French from UCLA.
Bri-Ann was born and raised in Hawthorne, CA, and had the opportunity to live in France for a year to teach English to high school students. In her free time, Bri-Ann enjoys riding her e-bike, taking care of her puppers and houseplants, and going camping or backpacking.