Huntington Park, CA
Address: 6325 Pacific Blvd. Ste 300; Huntington Park, CA 90255
Telephone: (323) 826-9771
Fax Line: (323) 588-7079
Conference Room: ext. 118
(In alphabetical order by first name)
Director of Research and Policy – ext. 100
For the past 18 years at CBE, Bahram has managed a number of research, policy, and planning projects and has worked closely with CBE community members, organizers and attorneys to provide technical assistance for various campaigns. Bahram has served on different advisory groups including those at the US EPA and various California regulatory agencies, and he has been recognized for his contributions to environmental health and justice policies including an award from the American Planning Association for his work on the precedent-setting Clean Up Green Up Ordinance in the City of Los Angeles. Working with CBE staff, members and academic partners on collaborative and participatory action research projects, Bahram has authored, coauthored, and contributed to reports, articles, and academic papers covering diverse topics in environmental policy. He attended UCLA for his undergraduate and graduate training in Environmental Studies and Urban Planning. In his free time, he coaches soccer, bikes, walks, cooks, reads poetry, and spends time with family and friends.
Executive Director – ext. 105
“As a daughter of Pilipino immigrants, I saw my parents were afraid to teach their children their own dialect. As I learned my history, I understood the struggles in the Philippines and in the US as rooted in the same oppressive system that puts humanity in ecological crisis. We must work for the survival of the future of the earth and our people.”
Now, in her 12th year with CBE, Darryl embodies CBE’s leadership ladder, having first encountered CBE at the age of 18, when she took one of our Toxic Tours. Later, in 2005, she formally joined CBE as Southern California’s Youth Program Coordinator. In 2011, Darryl transitioned into the role of CBE’s Southern California Program Director and was at the helm of successful community-based campaigns against the fossil fuel industry and against toxic polluters such as Exide Technologies. Darryl was instrumental in leading the passage of Clean Up Green Up, a City of Los Angeles ordinance that is one of the first Environmental Justice Green Zone Policies in the nation. She has worked on the passage of statewide energy and climate policy, and has worked to advance local clean energy and transportation goals. Darryl graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Asian American Studies. After graduating, she worked for the AFL-CIO Labor Union and Pilipino Workers Center of Los Angeles. She previously served on the board of The California Fund for Youth Organizing.
Youth Program Coordinator – ext. 107
A queer feminist from Southeast LA, Dilia’s passion for environmental justice sprouts from witnessing her family work various jobs in the city of Vernon and growing up adjacent to the industrial part of Walnut Park. Prior to CBE, Dilia organized with Bienestar Human Services and CSULB’s Center for Latino Community Health, fighting for health equity and queer and gender justice. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Comparative Literature and History with a concentration in Latin@ Studies from Williams College.
Grassroots Fundraising Organizer – ext. 112
Dinah graduated from UCLA, studied anthropology and labor and workplace studies, and it was here that her roots as an organizer began to take form. Her belief in social justice and the right to a dignified life for all people led her to continue her work as an organizer. Before joining CBE, her work was primarily focused in the Labor Movement, where she had the opportunity to work with various institutions and organizations like the UCLA Labor Center, the CLEAN Carwash Campaign, the Garment Worker Center, and SEIU-United Service Workers West. What she loves about organizing is the amazing power that people have to transform their lives and their communities through collective action.
Communications Fellow – ext. 109
Gissela was a child when CBE’s campaign against La Montaña in South East Los Angeles first began. Her mother, Mercedes Sanchez, worked as a Community Outreach Worker for CBE at the time. Gissela grew up seeing what the power of community could accomplish. She was part of CBE’S Youth Action Club at Huntington Park High School during her junior and senior year. During her time with Youth Action, Gissela participated in the efforts to stop the construction of a Power Plant that was proposed in the neighboring city of Vernon, CA. This was eventually a victory for CBE. In December of 2016, she completed her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Queer Studies. Gissela was president of the Sociology Student Association at Cal State Long Beach for two years. This position led to her building a great organizing network in Long Beach and she was able to be part of the “Stand with Women Against Abuse” campaign by the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and Healthy Communities. She was also an intern for the Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization and took part in work around comprehensive immigration reform. She has a strong passion for environmental and social justice issues and is excited to be part of the CBE team.
Director of Finance & Operations –
Finance Associate – ext. 101
Jorge brings 12 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector and social justice movements around Los Angeles. As Finance Associate, he understands the importance and responsibilities that the Finance Department plays in any nonprofit organization. With a degree in Applied Economics and concentrations in Finance and Accounting, Jorge decided to specialize in non-profit accounting where he can contribute to the mission of CBE and his personal mission of having a world where people can express the best version of themselves without being judged or discriminated against.
“My parents taught us we must pay attention to our world and financial system–that we should work for justice for everybody and a healthy environment. My dad was an engineer who encouraged me in science. My mom was a feisty woman who believed women, regular folks can change the world.”
Julia has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan. In her 25+ years at CBE, she has evaluated and advised about industrial pollution sources, industrial chemical phaseout opportunities, and Best Available Control Technical options. Julia evaluates technical reports and publications, turning this information into more accessible material for the community.
Youth Organizer – ext. 102
Born and raised in Lynwood near the Compton Fashion Center, throughout her youth Kayleigh witnessed the ways environmental racism impacts the Black and Brown community. Her passion for environmental justice stems from her own trajectory of living less than a mile from both the 105 and 710 freeways, and from growing up in a food desert. Her passion intersects with food justice, and she hopes to implement that intersection into her own work. She transferred to UCLA from Santa Monica College and now holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chicanx/a/o Studies and LGBT Studies. She organized in efforts to prevent privatization of General Ed classes at Santa Monica College, and organized with fellow QTIAPOC students at UCLA.
Union de Residentes del Sur Este de Los Angeles (URSELA) Intern
I was invited to CBE by Ricardo Gastelum, the adult program coordinator, in October of 2016. I really liked the atmosphere with the members and felt a connection to the organization. I have always enjoyed working with people. I started helping Ricardo with organizational tasks and paperwork. I volunteered for about a year and now I’m an intern. I thank Communities for a Better Environment for giving me a chance to be part of the team. I would still be volunteering for CBE if I wasn’t an intern; environmental justice work is highly important for the sake of the community
Southern California Program Director – ext. 112
“Youth for Environmental Justice gave me the tools and space to challenge and create in my own community, but most importantly, it proved to me that ‘Youth are the leaders of today not just tomorrow.’ I am excited to have the opportunity to work as the Youth Organizer in Wilmington because I strive to offer a similar if not better space than the one that welcomed me 12 years ago.”
Queer Cakchiquel born in Guatemala and raised in Southeast Los Angeles, Milton was 16 years old when he became involved in environmental justice work with CBE’s youth program (Youth EJ), organizing to defeat the proposed power plant, Nueva Azalea, in South Gate. He was active in helping pass AB540, now a California state law, which allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at public California colleges. Milton was selected for this position after serving six years as CBE’s Youth Program Coordinator.
Southeast LA Community Organizer – ext. 120
“I was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico and came to this country more than 20 years ago. Living in SELA, I have seen how many people are sick because of all the contamination in my community. Earlier this year, a former CBE community leader passed away from cancer. This member, who fought side by side with me on many campaigns, lived next to a glass recycling facility that we eventually shut down.
We must remember that the greatest inheritance and most important thing is our health. You can’t buy it and you can’t sell it. We hope to leave our children, grandchildren, and new generations a world that they can truly enjoy. What world are we going to leave them? We need to take care of it, fight for it, so that they will not suffer from so many illnesses caused by the water they drink, the air they breathe, and the soil where they live, and grow their fruits and vegetables.”
After being an active member of Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) for 12 years, and a member intern for 2 years, Ricardo is now the community organizer for SELA. He was part of the campaign to remove La Montaña, a massive pile of concrete rubble, 5.4-acres-wide and five-story-tall, in Huntington Park, that was causing serious respiratory issues to the surrounding community. Ricardo also worked on the campaign to remove a glass recycling plant from Walnut Park, stop the permits that would allow for 2 power plants to be built in SELA, one in Vernon and the other in South Gate, and also supported efforts to close down Central Metal, a metal recycling plant surrounded by homes and schools.
As a former member and now community organizer for SELA, he will take direction from community members because they are the ones who know what changes need to be made. They are the ones who live in SELA and know the environmental threats that exist. Participation needs to be equitable. He firmly believes that community members are critical because they have expert skills and knowledge and to guide the decisions CBE makes in our campaigns.
Southeast LA Communications Intern
Rossmery Zayas became involved with Communities for a Better Environment and grassroots organizing at 14 years old. Now at 21 years old, she continues to works on local, regional, and statewide campaigns out of both South East Los Angeles and Southern California. As the current Youth for Environmental Justice Communications Intern, she focuses on narrative building and highlighting the experiences of those affected by the I-710 South Corridor Project and Exide. She is currently a student majoring in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Social Change and Rhetoric in Los Angeles.
Grants Manager – ext. 115
Stephanie has worked for over 20 years with under-represented communities as an organizer, community planner, coalition builder and policy advocate, mostly in the realm of community development, affordable housing and
environmental justice. She launched her community activism as a volunteer organizer deeply involved with residents who secured a major policy win when the City of Los Angeles provided seed funding for a new non-profit to build parks in park-poor neighborhoods. For the past 10 years, she has worked exclusively in coalitions. Most of this work was as staff and then director of the Green LA Coalition, formed to advance a progressive environmental policy agenda for Los Angeles. She earned a Masters degree in City Planning from Boston University and a B.A. in Economics from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. She is growing her family through fostering and adoption and is a parent of two boys.
Civic Engagement Coordinator – ext. 113
“My name means “of the forest” when I learned this- it was as if I became complete. My love for the outdoors and nature came full circle. I made a promise to do what I can do to protect Mother Earth.”
Sylvia brings deep community connection to her role at CBE, as she was raised and currently resides in Wilmington and served as CBE’s Development Associate for 3 years. Before joining CBE, Sylvia was a fundraiser at Peace Action West. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University. She has worked on several electoral campaigns and is a member of the Wilmington Neighborhood Council.
Address: 113 E. Anaheim Street, Wilmington, CA 90744
Telephone: (323) 826-9771
Fax Line: (310) 952-4924
(In alphabetical order by first name)
Community Organizer – (310) 952-9097
“To help people evolve from being passive and inactive into concerned individuals who feel the responsibility to participate in the fight for environmental justice rewards my spirit, and it helps me to continue the long and hard struggle to fight for our planet.”
Alicia was the lead organizer in CBE’s campaign against La Montaña, a gigantic pile of cement rubble from the 1994 Northridge earthquake that was stored on an empty lot in residential Southeast LA County for 20 years, where it sickened neighbors with air pollution including cement dust. Alicia previously worked as an organizer at the LA Alliance for a New Economy, leading their Adams/La Brea Accountable Re-Development campaign and building support in Wilmington, CA for their Port truck drivers’ campaign. Alicia has a strong passion and commitment for environmental and economic justice issues.
Youth Organizer – (310) 952-9097
Raised in Wilmington, Ashley first became involved with CBE during her junior year of high school. As a member of CBE’s youth program (Youth EJ), she worked on the Clean Up Green Up campaign. She was then selected to be a CBE Youth EJ organizing intern. Ashley is very passionate about Clean Up Green Up because it is the first program of its kind in Los Angeles.
Telephone: (510) 302-0430
Fax Line: (510) 302-0437
(In alphabetical order by first name)
Temporary Northern California Program Director – ext. 10
Ernesto began his time at CBE as an East Oakland member, then joined the staff as CBE’s Climate Adaptation Resiliency Enhancement (CARE) Coordinator in April 2016, and was recently selected for his current position. After graduating from UC Davis in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning, he wanted to use what he had learned to help improve his community. Because of his experience with organizing as a member then staff member of CBE and his education, Ernesto is able to serve versatile roles, shifting from community organizing and communications to research and institutional organizing. He is committed to ensuring that the community’s voice is heard and that the planning process is more accessible to residents. One of his final projects as a CBE member was creating a curriculum for community visioning of the development of the Coliseum Specific Plan area.
East Oakland Community Organizer – ext. 24
“When we walk like (we are rushing), we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth… Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
Esther is an Oakland native, a parent of three, and a health and justice advocate who says it’s time for positive change in her city! She is a Licensed Pharmacy Technician with an A.S. degree in Pharmacy Technology. Once injured from work and aware of the issues connecting the health of people and the environment, she began volunteering with local organizations in her neighborhood. After taking a CBE Toxic Tour 6 years ago, Esther became a CBE member and learned to educate and organize her community. She joined the staff in 2016 as CBE’s East Oakland Community Organizer. Esther has served on boards and partnered with other organizations including the HOPE Collaborative, Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm project, and many other coalitions to improve the health and living of East Oakland residents. We must,“Stop Pollution and Just Transition” for real change. Thich Nhat Hanh is one of her favorite inspirations and one of Esther’s many favorite quotes would be, “My actions are my only true belongings” -TNH
Temporary East Oakland Organizer
“Before CBE, I used to think that environmental justice was just for tree huggers. After taking a toxic tour in my East Oakland community, I quickly realized that a fight for the environment was a fight for people. Fighting for mother Earth was also a fight for her most vulnerable children- poor black, brown and indigenous communities of color”.
Angela is a Bay Area and frontline community native. Before joining CBE, Angela was a community correspondent with Oakland Voices, a community journalism project with The Oakland Tribune where she wrote about issues in East Oakland from the perspective of a community member. Angela first became active within the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014, where she began to realize the power of people who are united for a purpose. She has since transitioned to environmental justice because she feels it not only encompasses the fight for black communities and black equity but it advocates for other oppressed people and our collective home.
Address: 120 Broadway, Suite 2 | Richmond, CA 94804
Telephone: (510) 302-0430
Fax Line: (510) 302-0437
Conference Room: ext. 20
(In alphabetical order by first name)
Richmond Community Organizer – Cell: (510) 282-5363
Andrés is a lifelong resident of the Richmond area and has spent his adult life as an advocate for progressive change on the local, state and national levels. He is a seasoned organizer and a co-founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance. He also sits on the boards of several non-profits, and he is currently a Planning Commissioner in the City of Richmond.
Andrés is also a working musician in the Bay Area and has played his Saxophones around the world. Andrés is also a proud father of two sons and is enjoying grandfatherhood with his four grandchildren.”
Human Resources Manager
Emily brought to CBE a decade of experience in finance-related positions in healthcare reform and reproductive rights nonprofits in Portland, Oregon, where she grew up and graduated from Lewis & Clark College. She has been involved with Portland LGBTQ and community arts organizations in a volunteer capacity.
Senior Scientist – ext. 19
Greg has expertise in the fields of industrial investigation, pollution prevention engineering, energy system planning, and exposure assessment. In his 25+ years with CBE, he has led research in campaigns on water quality, air quality and food chain contamination; participated in pollution prevention audits of more than 100 industrial facilities; and authored or co-authored 20 major scientific publications.
Staff Researcher – ext. 17
Jose brings key experience to CBE, having been an organizer with Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action and an Environmental Fellow at Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy where he worked on a campaign that stopped gas tankers from being built off the Oxnard coast. Prior to his current position, Jose was an East Oakland Organizer for CBE. Jose has an Environmental Science degree from UC Berkeley.
Richmond Youth Organizer
We are currently recruiting for this position.
Climate Adaptation Resiliency Enhancement (CARE) Coordinator – ext 14
Laura began at CBE as Richmond Youth Organizer and developed the Richmond branch of CBE’s Youth EJ Program, where our youth members are fighting environmental injustices and moving towards a Just Transition. Laura brings deep organizing experience to her new role as the CARE Coordinator. She graduated from the University of California- Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Art. Some of her previous experience includes volunteering and canvassing for Planned Parenthood, mentoring and tutoring young immigrants in Watsonville, CA, improving transportation for students and workers at UCSC, and coordinating a social media campaign with Physicians for Social Responsibility that highlights the health impacts caused by climate change. Laura also serves on the Richmond Progressive Alliance’s Steering Committee, where she focuses on youth engagement and environmental justice.
Northern California Grant Writer – The duties of this position are currently being handled by a grant writing consultant, Gloria Campos, who previously served as a CBE Grant Writer. We plan to re-hire for this position in early 2018.
Youth Organizing Intern
Joining Communities for A Better Environment as an intern only furthers Adriana’s love and passion for justice. Previously working for an agency that focused on community violence, she decided to continue her work on another branch of justice; Environmental Justice.
Youth Organizing Intern
Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Director – ext. 18
“I went to law school because I knew the system was broken. It was there that I first met community members fighting for environmental justice in Southeast LA, working to move a toxic waste transfer facility, working to move La Montana, working to make a livable world. I immediately saw that community empowerment was the way to bring about change, and that environmental laws could play a crucial role. Fifteen years later, I still believe this is the way to bring about a just, sustainable world.”
Shana has worked as a public interest lawyer and advocate since 1999. Her focus has been on enforcing environmental laws and advocating before administrative agencies to secure meaningful environmental protection statewide. Shana holds an A.B. from University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from UCLA School of Law. In addition to her advocacy, Shana has taught writing at Stanford Law School.
Staff Attorneys – We are currently recruiting to fill two Staff Attorney positions, one in Northern California and one in Southern California.