Board and Staff Information


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Norma Chavez-Peterson, Executive Director

NormaSmallColorChávez-Peterson is an integral member of San Diego’s civil rights community, with nearly two decades of visionary leadership, organizing and advocacy experience in California’s second-most populous county and southern borderlands. She joined the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties (“ACLU SDIC”) as organizing director in 2012, and became the affiliate’s executive director in 2013. She was instrumental in creating the ACLU SDIC’s integrated advocacy campaign to advance priority issues such as criminal justice reform, police accountability and immigrant rights. Under her leadership, ACLU SDIC staff size has more than doubled to forty dedicated professionals who work with, and within diverse communities to build power together. Further, the affiliate expanded its presence in the Imperial Valley, establishing an Imperial County office in January 2018.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Chávez-Peterson was executive director of Justice Overcoming Boundaries, a collaborative network of faith, community, education, business and labor partners she co-founded to advance social justice. She currently serves on the boards of Partners For Progress and Engage San Diego; and most recently, helped to launch the San Diego Rapid Response Network.

In her annual Salute to Women Leaders, California Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. named Chávez-Peterson the 79th District’s Woman of the Year for 2017, saying “Norma demonstrates the kind of strong, passionate, visionary and effective leadership we need so desperately right now to protect the rights of our most vulnerable residents.”

Norma Chávez-Peterson attended San Diego State University where she earned a BA in Political Science and Chicano/a Studies. She is married and lives with her family in Chula Vista.

Jeffrey Wergeles, Deputy Director

JeffSmallcolorWergeles joined the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties in February 2011 as the development director, and in November 2013 was appointed deputy director. In this position he leads our development work, and oversees the organization’s finances and operations. Prior to joining the ACLU, Wergeles was the director of development at the San Diego LGBT Community Center and before at KPBS, public radio and television for San Diego. He has an extensive resume of community involvement, serving as president on the boards of Mama’s Kitchen and the Greater San Diego Business Association. Prior to working at KPBS he was a member of their community advisory board, and also served as vice president of the Diversionary Theater and on the boards of the June Burnett Institute and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He holds a degree in economics from UCLA.

Ana Márquez, Board Relations and Executive Assistant

Anna MárquezMárquez joined the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties team in July 2018. As Board Relations and Executive Assistant, Márquez provides administrative assistance to the ACLU-SDIC’s Executive Director and supports all Board of Directors’ functions. She brings with her over two decades of administrative and marketing experience in the private sector, both in Northern and Southern California. Márquez studied history at the University of California, Berkeley. A native San Diegan, Márquez has always been passionate about social justice issues and uses her experience to help contribute to the ACLU-SDIC’s mission, vision, and core values.

Jhon Monrreal, Administrative Associate

statue crown-BWMonrreal is born and raised in San Diego. He is a first-generation college student attending San Diego Mesa college in pursuit of transferring to a 4-year university with a Public Health major. Monrreal previously worked for Circulo de Hombres, a program through an organization called Izcalli. There he assisted young Chicano/Latino males from the San Diego Unified School District feel a sense of support and belonging on their school campus as a means for them to reach their intellectual potential. On my free time, he likes to go on adventures and spend time with his daughter. He is happy to be a part of an organization that is filled with passion and ambition.

Samantha Ollinger, Business Manager


Ollinger joined the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties in October 2017 as the Business Manager. In this position she is responsible for bookkeeping and related financial and administrative duties under the supervision of the Deputy Director and in cooperation with other staff and the Board of Directors. Ollinger holds a degree in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting from Temple University.

Kathleen Sanchez, Executive Administrator – Office Manager

statue crown-BWSanchez comes to the ACLU after more than nineteen years specializing in human resources with one of the biggest public relations and advertising agencies in San Diego. She attended the University of Arizona where she studied early childhood education and special education. She says she loves being surrounded by everyone’s drive and passion, and is inspired and grounded by family, and close friends.


The Advocacy Team created a mission statement to guide their work.
The Advocacy Department executes the mission  and values of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties in the community through the building of strategic relationships, and by engaging and developing community leaders in order to create sustainable social change.”

David Trujillo, Advocacy Director

statue crown-BW Trujillo has spent his career working on issues of social justice and has years of experience in community organizing, political campaigns and the legislative process. Prior to joining the San Diego ACLU, Trujillo served as Planned Parenthood Northern California’s public affairs director. There he was part of the campaign teams that defeated a Parental Notification Initiative in California and so-called Fetal Personhood Amendments in Montana and Mississippi. Trujillo also helped pass legislation that made California the only state in the country in the last five years to expand access to birth control and abortion services. Trujillo grew up in San Diego and has a degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.

Chelsey Birgisdóttir, Policy Associate

ChelseyChelsey Birgisdóttir brings experience in policy advocacy and community organizing through her work with The Bronx Defenders, Move to End Violence and Resonance Network. From working on civil forfeiture campaigns as an organizer in the Bronx to lobbying California legislators on police use of force bills as an ACLU Precinct Captain, Birgisdóttir has a demonstrated commitment to police reform. Prior to joining the ACLU office, Birgisdóttir trained full-time as a professional rugby player on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Rugby Sevens Team. Although prematurely side-lined from playing rugby due to injury, she is excited to use her gifts and strengths as a writer, an organizer and professional athlete to co-create powerful policy advocacy campaigns with folks in San Diego and Imperial counties and beyond. When she is not doing policy research or attending city council meetings, Birgisdóttir enjoys performing with her samba group Super Sonic Samba School and rolling on the mat at her Brazilian jiu-jitsu gym.

Marylin K. Carrillo, Community Liaison in Imperial Valley

statue crown-BWCarrillo, an Imperial Valley native, graduated from Cal State University San Marcos (CSUSM) with a double major in Mass Media & Women’s Studies and a minor in Communications. While at CSUSM, she was president of the Women’s Studies Student Association and served as the women’s wellness advocate at the CSUSM Women’s Center.

Carrillo began her career at the Center for Community Solutions shelter in San Diego. There, she worked with domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, refugees, and survivors of elder abuse. She later joined their North County Family Violence Prevention Center’s legal department as their bilingual legal advocate, helping clients navigate the complex court system. In 2013, Carrillo was one of a few California residents selected to be part of the Women of Color Network Inc. Leadership Training Institute.

In 2014, Carrillo served as the domestic violence and sexual assault advocate for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest (PPPSW). After this role, and prior to joining the ACLU-SDIC in 2019, Carrillo served as PPPSW’s community engagement specialist and was instrumental in the opening of the first Planned Parenthood clinic in the Imperial Valley.

During her free time, she enjoys dancing Bachata, Salsa, and Kizomba, reading, and spending quality time with her family, four dogs and turtle.

Gaia Croston, Digital Organizer

Statue_BWCroston grew up in San Diego and received her bachelor’s degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Edinburgh. While in college she was involved in the national Youth Stop AIDS Campaign for three years, advocating for better prevention, awareness, and care for individuals living with HIV in Scotland and beyond. Gaia also spent time working on student newspapers and with community organizations including the Centre for LGBT Health and Wellbeing. She is delighted to join the ACLU team and as Advocacy Associate, she hopes to connect many community members to opportunities that allow them to grow and effect positive change.

Savana Doudar, Policy Associate

Savana DoudarDoudar graduated from California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM) with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies. While attending CSUSM, she served as the student body president where she represented students on and off campus. As president, she placed an emphasis on civically engaging students, holistic wellness, promoting basic needs and ensuring that the university was transparent and accountable to the student body. Doudar’s past advocacy efforts include lobbying state and federal legislators for increased financial aid funding and funding for minority-serving institutions.

Esmeralda Flores, Immigrant Rights and Binational Affairs Advocate

EsmeraldaSmallcolorFlores conducts extensive outreach in Mexico for the San Diego ACLU’s Lopez-Venegas v. Johnson settlement that challenged government policy on voluntary returns. For the past four years before joining the ACLU, Flores worked as a staff attorney with the Binational Defense and Advocacy Program, housed at the Casa del Migrante in Tijuana, Mexico. Her focus was on the documentation of human and civil rights violations and family separation issues due to deportations. In 2013, Flores presented a friend-of-the-court brief before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She is a graduate of the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California School of Law. She also completed a post-graduate International Migration program at the prestigious Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) in Tijuana.

Christie Hill, Deputy Advocacy Director

christie-newHill is a San Diego native and has worked in California, Washington, DC and New York advocating for the rights of women, children, and low-income communities. She has focused her work on issues that impact the lives of people of color including education equity, homelessness and economic justice. Hill earned her bachelor’s degree from the School of Social Welfare at Berkeley, and a juris doctorate from Columbia Law School, where she served for two years as an adjunct faculty member.  Prior to joining the San Diego ACLU, she served as the program and policy director at the Center on Policy Initiatives and helped to launch a campaign focused on promoting equity and transparency in the City of San Diego’s budget as well as fighting for a higher minimum wage.

Crystal Quezada, Senior Community Advocate in Imperial County

Statue_BW Crystal has over ten years of experience in state legislative affairs and has strong expertise in policy advocacy and research and analysis. She was born in El Centro and grew up in Calexico, CA where she attended Imperial Valley College. In 2005, she moved to Sacramento and later she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from California State University, Sacramento. In 2008, Crystal started her legislative career at the California State Capitol by participating in the Assembly Fellowship Program and served as legislative staffer for various member of the California State Assembly. Prior to joining the ACLU, Crystal served as Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber’s Legislative Director for five years. Some legislative measures she had the opportunity to work on include, education equity, prevent racial and identity profiling by law enforcement, comprehensive sexual health education, clarifying voting rights for former offenders, among other important issues. Crystal has participated as a guest speaker at the Imperial Valley Migrant Program Young Latinas Leadership Program in El Centro, CA and was the program coordinator for the CAMP Scholar’s Internship Program in Sacramento that recruits and mentors the next generation of migrant leaders in California through professional development, civic engagement, and relationship building.

Graciela Uriarte, Lead Organizer

Graciela Uriarte Graciela is a first-generation college graduate and proud daughter of immigrant farm workers in the Central Valley. She was born and raised in the rural agricultural community of Mendota and San Diego became home when she studied Political Science and Chicano/a studies at the University of California, San Diego. Since attaining her bachelor’s degree, Graciela has been involved with and worked for MANA de San Diego in the Hermanitas Mentorship Program and Pre-College Institute’s Upward Bound. She is passionate about organizing in order to impact on a range of issues critical to making society more equitable. As an advocate and scholar, Graciela is a current RISE Urban Leaders Fellow and active with the Chicano/Latino Alumni Association. In her spare time she enjoys discovering new places to eat and learning about different topics through podcasts.

Nazanin Wahid, Community Education and Training Advocate

Nazanin Wahid Nazanin Wahid was born in Afghanistan during the Soviet Union War. Her family escaped the devastation of war and became refugees in Pakistan, India and finally the United States. Growing up in the US, she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and in Comparative Religions from UCSD in 2000. She received an MA in Peace and Justice Studies from USD in 2003. Since graduating, she worked as a community organizer, dedicated to civic engagement and social awareness in underrepresented communities. She also managed several California campaigns for education and individual races in the 79th Assembly District. Nazanin lectures on topics covering the Middle East, Islam, Immigration, Muslims in America, War/Peace and Women’s issues as well as Social Activism. She spent many years dedicated to educational and social development in Islamic Centers throughout Southern California, teaching leadership in youth and interfaith understanding through community service and civic duty. Nazanin lectures on topics covering the Middle East, Islam, Immigration, Muslims in America, the Environment, War/Peace, Women’s issues as well as Social Justice.


Cheryl Alethia Phelps, Communications Director

statue crown-BWA native San Diegan, Phelps is deeply committed to dismantling systems that perpetuate injustice, isolation and powerlessness. This passion and 25 years of experience in nonprofit, legislative and philanthropic environments inform her work as communications director for the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. Prior to joining the ACLU, Phelps was a consultant specializing in strategic communications, social impact project design and philanthropy, and civic engagement. She was previously employed as the San Diego Foundation’s Director of Civil Society, where her efforts achieved notable innovation in the use of digital media to enhance news literacy and inspire San Diegans to share their own stories. Before that, she was employed by the U.S. House of Representatives’ committee with 360º oversight jurisdiction of executive branch agencies and programs. Phelps was a founding director and chairman of the U.S.-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for California Humanities, the state’s independent nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Edgar Hopida, Civic Engagement Communications Strategist

ferch-smHopida, a Filipino American Muslim, brings over a decade of experience in communications and public relations.
Before joining the ACLU, he served as the Public Information Officer of San Diego City College. Prior to City College, Hopida was the Director of Marketing and Communications at Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL). Before TJSL, he resided in Indiana where he served as Communications Director for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the oldest and largest national American Muslim umbrella organization.
Hopida was instrumental in the founding and development of the San Diego Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego), an American Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, as its Director of Public Relations and Senior Consultant. While at CAIR-San Diego, he appeared on local and national news and wrote op-eds on Islam and American Muslim civil rights that appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
In 2017, he was appointed by Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas and the Chula Vista City Council as Commissioner on the Charter Review Commission.
In 2007, Hopida served as a Columbia University Next Generation Project Fellow for the West Coast Assembly.
Hopida holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from San Diego State University.

Alison Ross, Communications Coordinator & Strategist

statue crown-BWRoss joined the ACLU-SDIC team in 2015. In her role as communications coordinator, she helps to translate the ACLU’s advocacy, public education and legal work into powerful written and visual content to share with our audiences, and she manages the progress of multiple communications projects from ideation to the creation of cogent, error-free organizational assets. Ross also manages our popular Constitution Day program and she’s served as editor for multiple ACLU-SDIC reports. Prior to joining the ACLU, Ross worked in development at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, and in 2012 and 2014, she worked on Rep. Scott Peters’ successful congressional campaigns. In 2011, she was accepted into the Clinton Global Initiative University program. Ross earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). At UCSD, she graduated Magna cum Laude, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the Caledonian Honor Society, the Steward Honors Society and earned Highest Distinction for her honors thesis examining the intersectionality of race, religion and politics in the United States.

Edward Sifuentes, Senior Media & Communications Strategist

Edward SifuentesSifuentes, a former longtime local journalist, is a Sr. Communications Strategist. Before joining the ACLU in January 2017, he had been a reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the North County Times. During his 16 years as a journalist, he covered the region’s most disenfranchised communities, including undocumented immigrants, migrant workers and homeless people. He also covered state government and local politics, and reported on issues concerning race and ethnicity, tribal casinos, and the military. The son of immigrants from Mexico and the first in his family to graduate from college, Ed attended San Diego State University earning a BA in Journalism with a minor in Latin American Studies.


Amy Corton, Director of Donor Relations

amy-smCorton has an extensive background in fundraising and non-profit governance. Before joining the ACLU Corton worked for Project Concern International as the director of planned giving and as the development officer for the Women Empowered Initiative. She also has consulted with nonprofits including Planned Parenthood, Words Alive, San Diego Hospice, and Educational Enrichment Systems, and served as the Treasurer and President of the Board of Directors of both Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties and Congregation Beth Israel. Corton is a graduate of Cornell University and Emory University Law School.

Stephanie Malyn, Donor Engagement Manager

Statue_BW Stephanie Malyn has a background in fundraising and donor engagement programming for San Diego nonprofits. Prior to joining the ACLU of San Diego, She worked for the Museum of Photographic Arts as the Development and Events Coordinator and at the San Diego Museum of Man as the Membership and Development Associate. Malyn also founded and sits on the board of an industry-based early professional’s organization, engaging a community of like-minded individuals and advocating for professional development and growth. In her spare time, she enjoys attending community events and volunteering with the San Diego Humane Society. Malyn is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University.

Stacy Sakamoto, Development Operations Manager

Stacy Sakamoto Sakamoto’s pronouns are she/her/hers. Prior to joining the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, Sakamoto lived in the Bay Area and worked as both a courtroom deputy and litigation paralegal. She spends her free time hiking with the world’s most adorable dog and volunteering with San Diego LGBT Pride as co-chair of She Fest and co-manager of the Pride Festival. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University with multiple degrees in Literature.

David Loy, Legal Director

DavidSmallcolorAfter graduating law school, Loy clerked for Judge Dolores K. Sloviter of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He worked as a staff attorney with Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City and public defender and civil rights attorney in Spokane, Washington before joining the ACLU in 2006. He previously served on the Southern District Lawyer Representative Committee and the board of California Appellate Defense Counsel. Loy was named one of San Diego’s Top Attorneys 2009 and 2010 by San Diego Daily Transcript. He supervises all legal advocacy at the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, and has particular expertise in freedom of speech and religion, open government and public disclosure, police misconduct, and constitutional criminal procedure. Loy has a law degree from Northwestern and a B.A. from Brown, and is licensed to practice in California and New York (with inactive licenses in Illinois and Washington).

Melissa Deleon, Equity Staff Attorney

MelissaSmallColorDeleon is the ACLU’s Equity Staff Attorney, focusing on litigation and initiatives that advance civil liberties in San Diego. Prior to joining the ACLU, Deleon was a member of San Diego’s longest-standing plaintiff’s law firm, Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, where she helped to recover millions of dollars on behalf of injury victims and focused her practice on aviation litigation. A longtime Bar leader, Deleon currently serves on the Board of Directors of National Filipino American Lawyers Association and is a 2017 Committee Chair for Lawyers Club of San Diego. Deleon was the 2016 Chair of San Diego County Bar Association’s Ethnic Relations & Diversity Committee and served as 2013 President of Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego. Deleon has volunteered for Legal Aid Society of San Diego and “Think Dignity,” a local nonprofit that advocates on behalf of the homeless community in San Diego. She was previously the co-director of Community Law School, a program which offered free legal education to the public. Deleon is a three-time recipient of San Diego Daily Transcript’s “Top Young Attorney” award and received San Diego Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” award in 2015 and 2016. A native San Diegan, Deleon received her BA in journalism from San Diego State University and her juris doctorate from California Western School of Law.

Mitra Ebadolahi, Senior Staff Attorney

MitraSmallcolorEbadolahi joined the ACLU in 2011, following clerkships with Judge Margaret M. Morrow of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and Judge Betty B. Fletcher of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. From 2011-2013, she was the inaugural Nadine Strossen Fellow with the ACLU’s National Security Project in New York. In 2013, she joined the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLU-SDIC) as the Border Litigation Project (BLP) Staff Attorney; in 2016, she and ACLU of Arizona staff attorney James Duff Lyall were awarded the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association’s Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award for BLP’s groundbreaking work. Now a senior staff attorney, Ebadolahi’s areas of expertise include: constitutional and administrative law and litigation, particularly in the areas of immigrants’ rights and border justice; Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and litigation; and international human rights law, especially economic and social rights. Ebadolahi attended the University of California, Los Angeles as an undergraduate and the London School of Economics as a U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Scholar before completing her legal studies (JD ’08, LL.M. ’12) at New York University School of Law, where she was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow and a Root-Tilden-Kern Filomen D’Agostino Scholar. Since 2015, she has also been a Lecturer-in-Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, where she has taught seminars on constitutional rights at the border and race & criminal justice, and lectured on immigration law and refugee & asylum law. Ebadolahi is conversant in Spanish and admitted to practice in California and New York.

Perla Gonzalez, Legal Assistant

Perla300x300colorGonzalez has a profound passion for serving San Diego’s immigrant communities. She has been involved in many immigrant rights activities including managing the Screening for Immigration Relief Project through UCSD’s Center for Comparative Immigration Studies. This project was born to help meet the legal service needs of San Diego’s undocumented Mexican population. Gonzalez was also a volunteer with the San Diego ACLU’s Imperial Legal Orientation Project, an intern with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and a research assistant with the Mexican Migration Field Research Program. She most recently served as a consultant for Dr. Mai Khanh Tran’s congressional campaign in California’s 39th Congressional District. Gonzalez earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, San Diego.

Monika Langarica, Immigrants’ Rights Staff Attorney

Monika300x300colorLangarica, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, grew up in southeast San Diego. Prior to joining the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, Langarica was the senior staff attorney at the American Bar Association Immigration Justice Project (IJP) of San Diego where she oversaw the provision of direct representation to detained individuals with diagnosed severe mental disorders facing deportation, trained pro bono attorneys, and engaged in advocacy for pro-immigrant policies at the local and statewide levels. Prior to IJP, Langarica was the Equal Justice Works Fellow at Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, California, where she provided direct immigration relief and engaged in policy advocacy. In law school, Langarica was a founding member of the Youth Defender Clinic and interned with various public defender offices. She also has post-graduate experience at the San Diego County Primary Public Defender’s Office. Langarica holds bachelor’s degrees in American Studies & Ethnicity and in Political Science from the University of Southern California as a Gates Millennium Scholar. She received her Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). She is licensed to practice law in California.

Jonathan Markovitz, Staff Attorney

jonathan-cropBefore starting law school, Markovitz earned a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, and taught courses in sociology, communication, ethnic studies, and writing at UCSD and other area universities. He has written and taught about race, gender, popular culture, social movements, and collective memory. Markovitz is the author of Legacies of Lynching: Racial Violence and Memory (University of Minnesota Press, 2004) and Racial Spectacles: Explorations in Media, Race and Justice (Routledge, 2011). Following graduation from the University of California, Irvine, School of Law, he clerked for Judge John C. Coughenour of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle.

Linda Naters, Legal Program Manager/Paralegal

Judy-cropNaters joins the firm as a paralegal with 20 years of experience in civil and criminal litigation in a broad spectrum of cases, such as legal malpractice, securities fraud, healthcare billing fraud, and environmental violations. A native of Panama, Naters received a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from San Diego State University in 1995, and a Paralegal Certificate, with honors, from the University of San Diego in 1996. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, weight lifting, and salsa dancing.

Jacqueline Ramos, Legal Investigator

Jacqueline RamosRamos, a San Diego native, grew up in the Barrio Logan area. Before joining the ACLU, Ramos served as administrative assistant in the San Diego office of the Immigration Center for Women and Children (ICWC). In this role, she assisted migrant victims of crime with U Visa applications which included screening migrants for immigration eligibility, conducting outreach, communicating with local law enforcement and assisting clients through their immigration process. Prior to ICWC, Ramos worked with the Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migracion in Mexico City as a Fulbright Scholar. Here, she supported the organization’s Legal Clinic and Transnational Family Support offices which included community outreach to inform returned migrants of their rights regarding schooling for their children, documentation and confronting discrimination. This also required continued communication with Mexican government offices such as the Secretary of Public Education, Secretary of External Relations and Integral Family Development. Ramos received her B.A. in political science from San Diego State University. She loves traveling, finding new ways to stay active and all things food.

Bardis Vakili, Senior Staff Attorney

BardisSmallcolorVakili came to the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties in September 2014 after four years in the Orange County office of the ACLU of Southern California. His primary areas of focus are immigrants’ rights and the rights of youth and children, and he also works on voting rights and policing issues. For his work in the field of immigrants’ rights, Vakili has received a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year award in 2017 and a National Lawyer’s Guild’s Daniel Levy Award in 2008. Prior to coming to the ACLU, he was the director of the political asylum program at Casa Cornelia Law Center in San Diego. He graduated from Tufts University in 1997 and the University of San Diego School of Law in 2006, where he received a Wiley Manuel award for pro bono service. Vakili is proficient in Spanish and speaks basic Farsi.


Leticia Cazares, President – Lecturer, San Diego State University, School of Public Health
Neal Ortiguerra, Vice President – Director of Political Action, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest
Greg Rose, Secretary – Cryptographer/Chief Scientist, Deckard Technologies, Inc.
Debbie Fritsch, Treasurer – Retired
Kwofi Reed, EDI Officer – Housing Programs Manager, San Diego Housing Commission
Amber Cyphers Stephens, National Board Representative – Writer/Business Consultant

Octavio Aguilar – Administrative Law Judge, Retired
Carl Crider – Community Volunteer
David Gangsei – Clinical Psychologist, Consultant and Trainer
Robert Goldstein – Retired Partner, Foley & Lardner, LLP
Rimah Khouri-Velez – Deputy Director of Development Services, City of San Diego
Kim Knox – Community Volunteer
Kirk Michie – Investments, Candor Investments
Udoka Nwanna – Intuitive Life Coach and Spiritual Psychic Medium, Spiritual Blacksmith
Angela Reed – Healthcare Executive
Andrea Roggenkamp – Community Volunteer
Wedad Schlotte – Retired Electronics Engineer Manager, Department of the Navy; Vice President, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; Community Volunteer
Madison Shockley – Pastor, Pilgrim United Church of Christ
Andrea Skorepa – Retired CEO & President, Casa Familiar, Inc.
Andrea St. Julian – Attorney at Law, Law Office of Andrea St. Julian
Pat Wilson – Retired
Beatrice Zamora – Community Volunteer


Leticia Cazares, President – Lecturer, San Diego State University, School of Public Health
Andrea Roggenkamp, Vice President – Community Volunteer
Greg Rose, Secretary – Cryptographer/Chief Scientist, Deckard Technologies, Inc.
Kirk Michie, Treasurer – Investments, Candor Investments
Kwofi Reed, EDI Officer – Housing Programs Manager, San Diego Housing Commission
Amber Cyphers Stephens, National Board Representative – Writer/Business Consultant

Octavio Aguilar – Administrative Law Judge, Retired
Carl Crider – Community Volunteer
Debbie Fritsch – Retired
David Gangsei – Clinical Psychologist, Consultant and Trainer
Robert Goldstein – Retired Partner, Foley & Lardner, LLP
Rimah Khouri-Velez – Deputy Director of Development Services, City of San Diego
Kim Knox – Community Volunteer
Udoka Nwanna – Intuitive Life Coach and Spiritual Psychic Medium, Spiritual Blacksmith
Neal Ortiguerra – Director of Political Action, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest
Angela Reed – Healthcare Executive
Wedad Schlotte – Retired Electronics Engineer Manager, Department of the Navy; Vice President, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; Community Volunteer
Madison Shockley – Pastor, Pilgrim United Church of Christ
Andrea Skorepa – Retired CEO & President, Casa Familiar, Inc.
Andrea St. Julian – Attorney at Law, Law Office of Andrea St. Julian
Pat Wilson – Retired
Beatrice Zamora – Community Volunteer


You can contact the Board President or any board member by sending a letter to:
ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties
P.O. Box 87131
San Diego, CA 92138-7131




The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties fights for individual rights and fundamental freedoms for all through education, litigation, & policy advocacy.