2021-2022 Board of Directors:
Lucia "Lucy" Saldivar is the Legislative Director for Assemblywoman Lisa Calderon (D-Whittier). In this role, she works on health, human services, and labor policy issues for the Assemblywoman as well as staffing her on the Assembly Public Employment and Retirement Committee.
Before joining Assemblymember Calderon’s office, Lucy served as a Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellow and as a Legislative Aide in the Office of Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, where she staffed the Assemblywoman on the Assembly Business & Professions Committee. Lucy earned her B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Ancient Studies from Barnard College of Columbia University. Lucy is originally from the border community of San Ysidro, CA.
Kenia Miranda Verdugo was five years old when she migrated to the United States from Mexico. At the time, she did not understand that she was undocumented, as children usually are not aware of these issues. Therefore, oblivious to her legal status, she grew up dreaming of attending a university in the U.S and becoming the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. She dreamt that she would be able to set an example for her three younger sisters and make her mother proud.
However, as her dreams grew, so did the amount of obstacles she faced. Kenia learned that a birthplace and a social security number separated her from the rest of her friends and peers. At the time, she had no power over her legal situation, so she decided to indulge herself in politics. Kenia wanted to learn about why certain laws were passed and how they could be ratified; therefore, she aspires to open pathways for minority children and help form legislation that will benefit underrepresented communities.
Kenia has worked at a pro bono legal clinic assisting families who seek information about legal procedures and has experience assisting clients with filing many different applications in various law specializations. After graduating, Kenia began to work for an immigration and criminal law firm in San Diego, California. She assisted families who were going through similar legal status complications as herself, this enabled her to feel gratitude and pride for her line of work while simultaneously learning and growing. Kenia’s background and experience continue to reinforce her passion for helping underrepresented minorities.
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.
Priscilla Quiroz is a lobbyist at SYASL Partners, a full-service lobbying firm in Sacramento.
Prior to that, she worked in the state legislature for 4 years as a Legislative Aide for Senator Nancy Skinner and as an assistant to Assembly Speakers Rendon and Atkins.
In these roles, Priscilla engaged with stakeholders, provided research support, and advised on policies ranging from clean mileage standards for Transportation Network Companies, to drafting and passing legislation related to clean vehicle fleets. She also oversaw Senator Skinner's office internship program, handling all hiring, training and management.
Priscilla is from Ventura County, CA and graduated with her B.A from UC Davis. In her free time she enjoys spending time in nature, rock climbing, skiing, and taking care of her puppy.
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.
Alejandra Garcia is a Legislative Aide in the Office of Assemblymember Robert Rivas. Prior to that, she served as the Assembly Appropriations Committee Secretary, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute intern, and as a legal assistant for an immigration law firm.
Alejandra graduated from CSU Sacramento with a B.A in Political Science and Communications.
Abraham Mendoza III is a Lobbyist for the California Association of REALTORS, specializing in fair housing and equity issues. He previously served as a Legislative Aide for Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Gipson (D-Carson) and Capitol Fellow for Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), respectively.
In these roles he specialized in health policy, land use, energy, business and professions, natural resources, economic dev, and oversaw the Assembly Select Committee on Infectious Diseases. He also worked on landmark legislation banning police chokeholds, and championed successful budget asks revitalizing the Compton Creek, improving broadband connectivity in public housing, and restoring funding to MLK Community Hospital in South LA.
Abraham is originally from Hanford, CA and was raised across the agricultural Central Valley. He graduated with a B.A in Social Work from CSU Sacramento and is proud of his heritage as a child of farmworkers and descendant of immigrants. In his free time he enjoys photography, live music, watching niche movies and trying out recipes in the kitchen.
Itzel Becerra is a Legislative and Grant Research Assistant with the Renne Public Policy Group. 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. She brings a background of State legislative, local government, and association management experience to the firm.
Itzel most recently worked for the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) as a Professional Development Assistant. There she worked directly with CSDA member agencies to connect them with educational resources and trainings. Prior, she served as a Public Affairs Intern with CSDA, assisting the Advocacy and Public Affairs team by tracking legislation, conducting research and drafting articles for the association’s weekly electronic newsletter.
Itzel gained knowledge and experience in CA government interning with Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) via the Sacramento Semester Program, offered through CSU Sacramento’s Political Science department.
Lesley Brizuela is a 2021 Senate Fellow with the office of Senator John Laird. She is a proud transfer student and attended De Anza Community College before obtaining her bachelor's degree from UC Davis in Political Science (Public Service) with a minor in History. Lesley is also a former UC Center Sacramento intern and has received a certificate of achievement for her research on women's issues.
Prior to 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 water refill stations at her Title I high school in 2013 earned a certificate of recognition from Assemblymember Bill Quirk. In 7 years with Project EAT, Lesley hosted youth summits, built community gardens in disadvantaged communities and food deserts, collaborated with Kaiser Permanente, and helped extend healthy student initiatives for K-12 schools in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
Melanie Morelos is the Legislative Director for Assemblymember Buffy Wicks. Prior to that she worked for Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins. She brings a background of legislative, local government and policy experience to her office.
Melanie is a native of Gilroy, CA and obtained her degree from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.