Cassandra Gutierrez joined Communities for a New California Education Fund (CNCEF) in 2015 to usher in the implementation of Measure T. As a neighborhood canvasser in the underrepresented area of South Merced, she encouraged families to attend a pivotal committee town hall meeting that dictated the final map of district boundaries for Merced’s new election system. Families from the community showed up in unprecedented numbers, resulting in district boundaries that more accurately reflected the diverse community composition in Merced.
Having grown up in Richmond, CA, Cassandra felt compelled to continue participating in CNCEF’s organizing work. The divide between services and resources enjoyed by North and South Merced reminded her of a similar dynamic of economic disparity she witnessed growing up. Cassandra joined CNCEF’s Merced Committee and volunteered to participate in monthly neighborhood canvassing, to talk to Merced residents about their priority issues and to help them become empowered voters.
In 2016, Cassandra joined the CNCEF Sacramento office as a team lead and then as a community organizer. She cultivated a base of informed volunteers to become leaders in their communities to bring about concrete improvements in their lives through grassroots advocacy actions and education forums. Cassandra is now the deputy field director and provides support for CNC programs and projects by overseeing daily operations, coordinating and tracking administrative reports, and preparing program related documents pertinent to relevant fund development.
Cassandra graduated from UC Merced in the Spring of 2016 with a BA in Political Science and a Minor in Professional Writing.