Founding Executive Director
Pablo Rodriguez brings twenty-one years of experience developing successful mass civic and electoral participation campaigns throughout the United States. Pablo is based in Sacramento and oversees CNC Education Fund’s integrated leadership development and mass voter engagement strategy which serve the counties of Riverside, Imperial, Fresno, Tulare, Merced, and Sacramento Counties.
The integration of CNC Education Fund's grassroots leadership development and mass non-partisan voter engagement creates the environment for CNC Education Fund to be a trusted messenger and build relationships with families living in the San Joaquin and Coachella Valleys. Since 2011, CNC Education Funds year-round non-partisan Civic Engagement programs have spoken with over 150,000 voters via live phone calls and directly at their homes.
Prior to joining Communities for a New California Pablo served as a Public Policy Consultant and Communications Director at a Sacramento political strategy firm. His responsibilities included the development and implementation of Federal political strategy, issue research, communications, and national 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 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. He has also previously served on the Boards of the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project in Sacramento. As well as the La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley, CA.
Venise Curry, M.D.
San Joaquin Valley Regional Director
Venise began with CNC Education Fund as a door-to-door canvasser and phonebanker in 2011. Her commitment to engaging voters quickly led her to become the Team Leader of the twenty-member Civic Engagement Project team. A highlight for Venise came in 2012 when her non-partisan GOTV team successfully contacted 30,000 voters of which over 15,000 cast a ballot on election-day.
As a result of Venise’s leadership, CNCEF’s non-partisan Civic Engagement Program increased foreign-born voter turnout to 73% of eligible voters. That is 9% higher than the 64% overall turnout among all Fresno County Voters.
The leadership Venise has demonstrated combined with rigorous work ethic she has instilled in her Fresno team members have had a great impact on CNCEF as a whole. Combined, the Fresno, Coachella, and Merced team's programs have become increasingly effective in educating and motivating voters to become consistent in casting their ballots. As CNCEF continue to grow, we anticipate being able to solidify a powerful rural voter engagement infrastructure of voters who are able to influence and shape public policy decisions for their families.
Like Venise Curry and Alma Diarte, Kimberly began with CNCEF as a door-to-door canvasser and phonebanker. Her excellent work with the Civic Engagement Projects led her to become the Team Leader of CNCEF’s Fresno Civic Engagement Project Team.
In the Spring of 2014, Kimberly led a twenty-member phonebanking team who contacted nearly 6,500 residents of Fresno and identified over 1,400 who were eligible and interested in enrolling into the Affordable Care Act. In addition, the phonebanking team supported turnout for the WeConnect Affordable Care Act Enrollment event by identifying over 3,000 Fresno Residents who were interested in attending the enrollment event. The WeConnect ACA Enrollment event was a great success with nearly 3,000 people in attendance.
During the summer of 2014, Kimberly implemented a three week non-partisan civic engagement project in which the CNCEF Fresno team spoke to nearly 9,000 Fresno voters. The message -- $5 Billion More for Public Education, Health and Human Services should be included in the California state budget to support working-class families of California. Over 80% of voters we spoke to agreed.
Most recently during the Fall of 2014, Kimberly led a sixteen-member phonebanking and door-to-door canvassing team that spoke with over 14,000 Fresno County voters. Of them, 78% committed to casting a ballot during on Election-Day.
Advisor to CNC Education Fund
Emilio specializes in providing coalition building, field operation, and campaign management and serves as an Advisor to CNC Education Fund. Emilio Via his leadership CNCEF is partnering with small-business owners to increase their participation and influence in shaping public policy in the City and County of Merced.
Emilio holds over ten years experience working in the non-profit sector and the labor movement. His prior experience includes serving as Director of Field of Operations at JPM&M, Executive Director of North Tahoe Family Resource Center, Development Coordinator with the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation in Arizona, an as an organizer with SEIU International in Wisconsin and California.
Anna Lisa Vargas
Eastern Coachella Valley Lead Community Organizer
Anna Lisa Vargas is a life-long resident of the Coachella Valley. Anna Lisa overseas the integrated leadership development and mass voter engagement strategy efforts for CNC Education Fund in the Eastern Coachella Valley. Anna’s area of expertise is skill-building and capacity building for community leaders in the areas of education, advocacy, and public policy change. Anna brings over ten years experience working with the Eastern Coachella Valley Latino community and an array of successful community campaigns and projects.
2012 was a highlight for Anna Lisa with CNC Education Fund. She oversaw a twenty-four member phonebanking and door-to-door non-partisan GOTV canvassing team which contacted nearly 20,000 voters in the Eastern Coachella Valley. Of them nearly 10,000 turned out to vote on election-day. Thanks to Anna Lisa’s leadership. The non-partisan Civic Engagement program increased foreign-born (immigrant) voter turnout to 81% in the Coachella Valley. That is 12% higher than the 69% voter turnout among all voters in Riverside County. Anna Lisa continues to provide leadership and guidance to the Eastern Coachella Valley team and mentorship to Alma Diarte who has taken on the leadership of the Civic Engagement Project team. Thanks to the culture of excellence Anna Lisa established - each CNC Education Fund Civic Engagement Project has improved upon the other.
Anna Lisa received her Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Anthropology from UC Irvine in 2004. Anna returned to Coachella to work on behalf of local families and communities, with emphasis on community health, education, and advocacy.
Eastern Coachella Valley Community Organizer
Alma implements the volunteer recruitment, leadership development, phonebanking and door-to-door canvassing efforts for CNC Education Fund. Alma began with CNC Education Fund as a phonebanker and door-to-door canvasser. She leadership and commitment to excellence propelled her to become Team Leader of CNCEF’s Civic Engagement programs and subsequently to become full-time staff for CNCEF.
Alma has led innovative phonebanking Civic Engagement Projects in collaboration with Mobilize the Immigrant Vote in support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a path to citizenship. In 2013 Alma she led a twelve-member phonebanking team which patched-thru over 2,250 voters supportive of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, in twelve California counties, with their Congressional representatives.
In May of 2014, Alma lead a 12-member phonebanking team who successfully contacted over 4,500 permanent absentee voters during a non-partisan get out the vote campaign. In June 2014, Alma implemented a two-phase non-partisan GOTV program which spoke with over 12,500 Riverside County voters and in the process raised Latino Permanent Absentee Voter Turnout (PAV) by 21% in CNCEF's priority communities.
The highlight of 2014 for Alma came in the fall when her Coachella team contacted nearly 22,000 voters in Riverside and Imperial Counties. Of them, 64% of the Riverside County voters the team contacted cast their ballots - 24% higher than the county aggregate. Similarly, 63% of the Imperial County voters the team contacted cast their ballots - and astonishing 28% higher than the 35% county aggregate.
Alejandro Romo Carrillo
Merced Community Organizer
Alejandro (Alex) Carrillo is a Central Valley native and a Community Organizer in Merced for Communities for a New California Education Fund. He has several years of experience in political organizing, community outreach, capacity building and leadership development. Alex got his start in social justice work through the Youth Action Commission of Stanislaus County where he began as a volunteer and within five years was serving as its Executive Director. Alex developed and implemented programs to engage young people (11-18 years old) in civic participation within Stanislaus County.
Prior to joining the CNC Education Fund team, Alex worked for Dewey Square Group as a Consultant and Lead Organizer for the Path to Health campaign in the Central Valley. He worked with various hospitals outreaching for Covered California, Medi-cal and Medicare enrollment. A highlight for Alex came in 2012 where he led a successful non-partisan campaign that registered over 3,000 new voters in Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties.
Alex is also a Young People For 2014-2015 Fellowship Alumni, where he developed a social justice blueprint focused on developing young leaders and unlocking their potential in the San Joaquin Valley. He is a member of the Courts Cohort where fellows and alumni develop strategic plans on how to impact the United States judicial system. Alex was also co-founder and President of a student organization called “The Freedom Forum”, a non-partisan political club, at Modesto Junior College. During his time as President of The Freedom Forum, he helped organize and execute a scholarship fund for civically engaged students, raising over $3,000.00 in seed money for scholarships and organized various candidate forums and guest speakers.
Araceli Garcia Muñoz
California Voting Rights Act, Community Organizer
Araceli is the Team Leader of Merced Civic Engagement Projects. She began working with CNC Education Fund in the Fall of 2014 as part of the 16-member non-partisan Civic Engagement Project team lead by Lisa Marroquin who spoke directly with over 13,000 voters in Merced and Stanislaus Counties.
The Fall 2014 campaign focused on the cities of Merced, Los Baños and Turlock. The goal was to update the current city council election systems from at-large to single-member district-based election systems in order to ensure each neighborhood and family had a voice at city hall regardless of where they live. Single-member district elections will provide the opportunity for every neighborhood, for every family in Merced, Turlock, and Los Baños to have a real voice in shaping public policy priorities. District elections will create the environment for increased transparency and accountability of its elected city leaders.
Araceli’s current work focuses on generating support for the City of Merced youth to have a voice in shaping the city’s public policy priorities. In addition, the goal is to build the momentum for the city to allocate sustainable funding for recreation and job training.
Araceli is currently a third year student at UC Merced pursuing her Bachelors in English and a minor in Sociology.
Merced, Community Organizer
Hector joined CNC Education Fund as a door-to-door canvasser in the summer of 2015 as part of the 10-member Civic Engagement Project in Merced, which was lead by Araceli Garcia Munoz. Hector became part of the CNCEF volunteer committee consisting of over twenty Merced residents. He volunteered for monthly canvass efforts to speak to Merced residents about the districting process in Merced. Hector’s passion to empower families stems from his roots in the Central Valley city of Hanford.
He is a product of the challenges that rural areas of California are faced with everyday, the lack of transparency, and lack of diverse representation, unequal resources, and the insufficiency of local official’s fighting for rural families. His interest in working for CNCEF as a community organizer is sparked by the view he holds, which is that something must be done to change the status quo. Hector first began his passion for change at College of the Sequoias in Visalia where he joined a Sustainability Club that was advocating for sustainable education, environmental justice, and sustainable food.
Through the Sustainability Club Hector was part of a student movement on campus that pressured the school’s president to hold monthly forums with students to discuss the budget cuts in 2011. He transferred to University of California, Merced in the Fall of 2013 pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy. During his tenure at UC Merced, he became a Maddy Institute Intern. He held a second concurrent internship for the UC Merced Law Clinic. In the Fall semester of 2014, he was selected to participate in the UCDC Washington Center program. He was able to intern at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. for The Democratic Caucus.
Hector is part of the UC Merced alumni class of 2015 and currently working for Communities for a New California Education Fund fighting to change the status quo.
Merced, Community Organizer
Samantha is a Community Organizer in Merced for Communities for a New California Education Fund (CNCEF). Samantha joined CNCEF in November of 2014 as a member of the non-partisan Civic Engagement Project Team conducted by Lisa Marroquin.
Samantha’s work with CNCEF started as a phone banker and together with her team were able to speak to more than 13,000 voters in the cities of Merced, Turlock and Los Baños. Samantha spoke directly with hundreds of voters from Merced informing them about Measure T and how it would create the environment for a voice for every neighborhood at City Hall by creating six single-member districts. Measure T was passed by Merced voters!
In fall of 2015 Samantha joined the Civic Engagement Project lead by the community organizer, Araceli Garcia. The work centered building a base of voters who join the CNCEF South Merced committee who believe investment in youth should be a core city service, as matter of public safety and economic development. As in 2014, Samantha again spoke with hundreds of Merced voters via door-to-door canvassing and phone banking. In addition, Samantha also spoke with voters about the implementation of Measure T and invited voters to participate in the district line drawing process. As a results of Samantha and her teams work, voters in Merced will be better prepared and informed leading into the city's first district elections in 2016.
Currently, Samantha is a fourth year student at University of California, Merced seeking a Bachelors in Political Science and a minor in Professional Writing.