Pablo Rodriguez, Executive Director

Pablo Rodriguez brings nineteen years of experience developing successful mass civic and electoral participation campaigns throughout the United States.   Prior to joining Communities for a New California Pablo served as a Public Policy Consultant and Communications Director for JG & Associate.  His responsibilities included the development and implementation of political strategy, issue research, communications, and community organizing projects.

Pablo also previously served as Director of the Dolores Huerta Community Organizing Institute, where he developed trainings for mass base-building, and direct political action campaigns for organizations throughout California.  In addition he developed service-learning programs with San Jose State University, the National Association of Social Workers, and Loyola Marymount University (LMU). In partnership with LMU, he also initiated the development of the first micro-finance program focusing exclusively on farm workers in the United States.

Pablo currently serves as a board member for the Chicano  Latino Youth Leadership Project, a 501c3 non-profit that organizes high school student leadership programs in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Fresno, CA.   Pablo also serves as a board member with California Common Cause, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization committed to achieving transparent and accountable government, as well as encouraging citizen participation in democracy.   Pablo also serves as Board Chair with the Americans for Democratic Action Education Fund, a nonprofit advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.  The ADA Education Fund is committed to promoting public policy education and citizen empowerment.  


Anna Lisa Vargas, Coachella Valley Civic Engagement Project Team Leader

Anna Lisa Vargas is a life-long resident of the Coachella Valley. In 2004, she received her Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Anthropology from UC Irvine. Anna returned to Coachella to work on behalf of local families and communities, with emphasis on community health, education, and advocacy.

Anna is the Director of Poder Popular, which is a grassroots leadership development and community empowerment organization. This is accomplished by providing skill and capacity building for community leaders, education, advocacy, and policy change. Anna has over seven years experience working with the Eastern Coachella Valley Latino community and various community campaigns & projects.


Venise Curry, Fresno County Civic Engagement Project Team Leader



Daniela Simunovic, Community Organizer – Fresno County

Daniela grew up in Fresno and has spent over five years organizing immigrant communities in the San Joaquin Valley with Fresno Metro Ministries and the Center on Race Poverty and the Environment.  She holds extensive experience in addressing environmental health issues.   

Daniela has directed campaigns to increase electoral participation among Latino voters in rural areas of Fresno and Tulare Counties.  She successfully worked to elect clean air advocates to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Board.  Daniela is currently a Master’s Candidate at the UCLA Luskin School of Public  Affairs pursuing her M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning.


Jamie San Andres, Community Organizer – Fresno County

Jamie San Andres, B.A. in Political Science and Anthropology, Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (formerly known as American Humanics) from Fresno State University.  She is a first generation Ecuadorian-American Latina passionate about facilitating the process of empowerment of communities to bring political, economic, environmental and social justice for themselves.  

Jamie recently served as an international human rights observer for rural and indigenous communities in Ecuador targeted by foreign multinational mining corporations.  She is committed to advocating against environmental racism and to achieving human and environmental rights.


Yovanna Bravo, Community Organizer – Central Coast

A native of Stockton located in California’s San Joaquin Valley - Yovanna began organizing at the age of 18 with MEChA at CSU Monterey Bay. She currently serves as Executive Committee member of the revitalized Springfield Grange serving the Pajaro Valley and is member of the Watsonville Autonomous Brown Berets.

Yovanna has eight years of community organizing experience in Monterey and Santa Cruz County.  She is an Anthropology major with interests in Indigenous spiritual belief systems, feminist theory and environmental and farmworker justice. Yovanna is the proud mother of a 4 year-old daughter


Cynthia Ruiz, Community Organizer

Cynthia Ruiz a graduate from U.C. Santa Cruz received her B.A. in Latin American and Latino Studies with an emphasis in environmental justice.  She has been an advocate for change since high school and continued to participate in non-profit organizations on the U.C. Santa Cruz campus.

Through these organizations and as Dr. Flora Lu Holt’s research assistant, she has traveled to Mexico, Honduras, and Costa Rica.  She plans to travel through Latin America as much as possible.  Cynthia is committed to earning her Ph.D and will be applying for her Masters in Mexico.  Most of her extracurricular activities embody the passion she has studying cultures in relationship to environmental impacts.  Additionally, she loves to dance and was a member of the UCSC Sabrosura Latin Dance Troupe.


Sallie Ayala-Perez – Stanislaus County

Sallie holds twenty years of experience building diverse coalitions to achieve common goals through effective community engagement and communications strategy and tactics.  As a community organizer she has specialized in municiple and county public policy, youth leadership development and social justice. 

Sallie’s concentration of work is to support children in achieving academic success by improving their physical environment and condition of health through her work with local corporations, municipalities, counties, schools, districts, nonprofit, faith-based organizations and community leaders throughout the Central Valley and Northern Regions of California.