Mesa Directiva y Personal

Biografías del personal de la ACLU

To reach the ACLU offices, send us an email.

Ejecutivo/Administratión

Directora ejecutiva, Norma Chavez-Peterson

NormaSmallColorChávez-Peterson has long been an integral part of San Diego’s organizing community with nearly two decades of experience in community leadership and nonprofit management, advocating for affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, and immigrant rights. Since starting with the San Diego ACLU in 2012 as organizing director, Chávez-Peterson was promoted to associate director to oversee legal, communications, policy, and organizing programs later that year. In Chávez-Peterson’s short time in leadership, she has been instrumental in creating integrated advocacy campaigns advancing priority issue areas, such as criminal justice, immigrant rights, and voting rights. Before coming to the San Diego ACLU, Chávez-Peterson was the co-founder and executive director of Justice Overcoming Boundaries, a network of faith, community, education, business and labor partners working together to advance social justice in San Diego. She has a Bachelor’s degree from SDSU in political science and Chicano/a studies. Twitter @normachavezp.

Director Adjunta, Jeff Wergeles

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. Twitter @jeff_wergeles.

Gerente de negocios, Laurie Levine

LaurieSmallColorLevine has worked in the accounting field for 30 years. Her experience as the office manager for a training and consulting professional prepared her for the multi-faceted responsibilities of managing the business functions of the San Diego ACLU. For five years she was the sole proprietor of a bookkeeping consulting service. Levine’s belief in the dignity and equality of every human being fuels her passion and dedication to helping the ACLU fight for individual rights and fundamental freedoms.

Mayra Lopez, Asistente de Proyectos Especiales

statue crown-BWLopez joined the ACLU after receiving her masters in history at San Diego State University with a focus on the U.S. Labor Movement, U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, and Mexican History. While completing her undergraduate career at the University of California, Riverside, Lopez became inspired by the labor and civil rights movement, leading her to work as a student organizer for AFSCME 3299, SEI-ULTCW, OUR Walmart, and UAW 4123. Lopez also coordinated an intensive summer program to give students organizing training through education, skills building, and hands-on-in-the-field experience working on a variety of campaigns for economic and social justice. Twitter @kats9_sanchez.

Abogacía

Organizadora Comunitaria , Gloria Cruz

GloriaSmallcolorCruz is a local activist and a lifelong advocate for LGBT and immigrant rights, being a member of both communities. She has been a community organizer, in San Diego and Los Angeles, for the past 18 years. Cruz worked with San Diego LGBT Pride, where she focused on structuring the festival to be welcoming to all people. She was recently elected to the board of directors of The LGBT Center of San Diego. As one of the founding members of the San Diego Dream Team and still an active member, she works closely with students and community members to improve access to legal counsel for immigrants in remote detention and to promote its Undocuqueer project. Her advocacy work with the ACLU focuses on education equity, immigrant rights, LGBT rights and police accountability. Cruz continues to bridge the issues of those affected by injustice with her strong dedication to the legal and advocacy vision of the ACLU. Twitter @gloriacruzisso.

Asociada de Relaciones Binacionales, Esmeralda Flores

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. Twitter @_esme9_.

Organizadora Juvenil , Andrea Gaspar

AndreaSmallcolorGaspar develops an organizing and leadership program for high school students in San Diego and Imperial counties, implementing a year-round curriculum to introduce youth to critical thinking, civil rights and liberties issues, and the value of integrated advocacy. She has a bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine in International Studies and Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies and a double minor in African-American studies and Latin American literature. As a queer Mexican womxn born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana, she believes that youth organizing is one of the most powerful tools to bring transformative justice and challenge both macro and micro levels of systemic oppression that are affecting and killing communities on a daily basis. Twitter @agaspar126.

Asociado política, Amanda Le

AmandaSmallColorLe graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in international studies-political science/sociology and a minor in business. At UCSD, Le was an active member of the student council, International Center, and the Education Abroad Program, through which she studied political science in Spain. Le previously worked for a Buddhist foundation managing media outreach and had an earlier stint with the San Diego ACLU as a communications intern. Twitter @aallz25.

Director abogacía, David Trujillo

statue crown-BWTrujillo 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.

Comunicaciones

Estratega de comunicaciones, Lauren Alexander

Lauren AlexanderAlexander joins the San Diego ACLU after working for the  New York Civil Liberties Union’s communications department for the last three years. There, she worked to shape public opinion in New York on a wide range of civil liberties issues from criminal justice to women’s equality. She developed strategies to promote legislative and legal initiatives including the statewide campaign that proceeded the settlement of a seven year lawsuit against New York State to fix its broken indigent defense system. Before the ACLU, Alexander worked with ABC’sGood Morning America as a writing and production associate.  After graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she is happy to  leave behind the cold brutal winters of New York and Chicago for the sunshine and temperate climates of Southern California. Twitter @LaurenGA88.

Estratega de comunicaciones, Anna Castro

AnnaSmallColorCastro graduated from Amherst College in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Black Studies.  She volunteered with the Texas Civil Rights Project and Austin’s Self-Help and Advocacy Center, learning first-hand about the intersections between the criminal justice system and immigration policy in a border state. At Amherst, she served as Senior Chair of La Causa of Amherst College, and worked towards fostering stronger relationships between the college and the local community. Twitter @apcastro16.

Estratega de media social, Ferchil Ramos

statue crown-BWRamos, born in the Phillippines, has long lived in San Diego, and seeks to make an impact on the city and the communities where he serves and lives in. With a diverse professional and volunteer background, a broad range of skills led him to his role as new media strategist for the San Diego ACLU. Ramos helps highlight civil liberties in new and exciting ways. In 2015, he was recruited to be a RISE Fellow for RISE San Diego. In his spare time, he volunteers as director for the Filipino American Arts & Culture Festival, where he adopted a sense of civic duty and culture. Twitter @WHATtheFERCH.

Directora de comunicaciones, Rebecca Rauber

RebeccaSmallcolor2Rauber has devoted her professional and personal life to community organizing and community development. She is the former San Diego director of an international hunger relief organization, and program director for the Central American Refugee Organizing Project of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, helping to create the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s. While with the archdiocese, she led delegations of North Americans to see and live the reality of the region’s civil wars. She was a reporter and news anchor for KPFA and has written for numerous publications, including The Daily Cal, San Diego Lawyer, and Boston Phoenix. Rauber has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley and a certificate in marketing and media from San Diego State University. Twitter @rebeccarauber.

Proyecto de Reforma al Systema Penal

Directora del Proyecto de Reforma al Systema Penal, ACLU de California, Margaret Dooley-Sammuli

MargaretSuitSmallColorBased in San Diego, Dooley-Sammuli leads the ACLU’s statewide many criminal justice and drug policy campaigns in California – including protecting the significant reforms embedded in Proposition 47 and leveraging the Affordable Care Act to advance a public health approach to drug policy. She has a decade of experience working on criminal justice and drug policy reform in California, including spearheading historic campaigns to revise the state’s drug possession penalties (SB 1506 & SB 649). Before joining the ACLU, Dooley-Sammuli was deputy state director with the Drug Policy Alliance, where she led the organization’s criminal justice advocacy in California. In her previous career, she was an editor based in Shanghai, China with The Economist Intelligence Unit. Twitter @MDS_cj.

Abogado de la política de salud y drogas, Kellen Russoniello

KellenSmallColorRussoniello earned his JD and MPH from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. While in graduate school, he drafted Good Samaritan overdose prevention legislation for the District of Columbia, which became law in March of 2013. He also volunteered by drafting motions to seal criminal records, providing outreach to sex workers and homeless people, and teaching middle-school children about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He has interned with the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Drug Policy Alliance, and the ACLU of Washington State. Kellen currently serves on the board of directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Twitter @krussoniello.

Filantropía

Gerente de relaciones con donantes, Jeremy Bloom

statue crown-BW
Bloom has worked in the nonprofit fundraising and political organizing fields for more than seven years. Prior to coming to the ACLU, Bloom lived in Santa Barbara and served on the boards of a community-based foundation and faith group. He is an active member of Young Professionals Council, a project of the San Diego LGBT Community Center, currently sitting on the executive committee as the secretary/treasurer. Bloom is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, in Fredericksburg, VA, with a degree in international affairs and Middle Eastern Studies.

Oficial de relaciones de donantes, Amy Corton

statue crown-BWCorton 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.

Asociada de Filantropía, Alison Ross

statue crown-BWRoss joined the ACLU in September 2015. As the Development Associate, she provides support in donor stewardship and cultivation and plans all development related events. Ross’s past development experience draws from both nonprofits and political campaigns. She is a graduate of University of California, San Diego with a degree in communication. At UCSD, she graduated Magna cum Laude, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the Stewart Society, and the Caledonian Society, and earned Highest Distinction for her thesis examining the intersectionalities of race, religion, and politics in the United States.

Mayra Lopez

statue crown-BWLopez has years of experience

Advocacy

Organizer, Gloria Cruz

GloriaSmallcolorCruz is a local activist and a lifelong advocate for LGBT and immigrant rights, being a member of both communities. She has been a community organizer, in San Diego and Los Angeles, for the past 18 years. Cruz worked with San Diego LGBT Pride, where she focused on structuring the festival to be welcoming to all people. She was recently elected to the board of directors of The LGBT Center of San Diego. As one of the founding members of the San Diego Dream Team and still an active member, she works closely with students and community members to improve access to legal counsel for immigrants in remote detention and to promote its Undocuqueer project. Her advocacy work with the ACLU focuses on education equity, immigrant rights, LGBT rights and police accountability. Cruz continues to bridge the issues of those affected by injustice with her strong dedication to the legal and advocacy vision of the ACLU.

Binational Outreach Associate, Esmeralda Flores

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.

Youth Organizer, Andrea Gaspar

AndreaSmallcolorGaspar develops an organizing and leadership program for high school students in San Diego and Imperial counties, implementing a year-round curriculum to introduce youth to critical thinking, civil rights and liberties issues, and the value of integrated advocacy. She has a bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine in International Studies and Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies and a double minor in African-American studies and Latin American literature. As a queer Mexican womxn born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana, she believes that youth organizing is one of the most powerful tools to bring transformative justice and challenge both macro and micro levels of systemic oppression that are affecting and killing communities on a daily basis.

Special Projects Associate, Amanda Le

AmandaSmallColorLe graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in international studies-political science/sociology and a minor in business. At UCSD, Le was an active member of the student council, International Center, and the Education Abroad Program, through which she studied political science in Spain. Le previously worked for a Buddhist foundation managing media outreach and had an earlier stint with the San Diego ACLU as a communications intern.

Advocacy Director, David Trujillo

statue crown-BWTrujillo 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.

Senior Policy Advocate, Homayra Yusufi-Marin

HomayraSmallcolorYusufi is trained as a policy analyst dedicated to creating change through advocating for policy reforms. Yusufi served as a consultant for the City of Emeryville and Emery Unified School District analyzing the impacts of housing policies on educational outcomes and also spent three years working for CAIR San Diego where she addressed civil rights issues confronting the Muslim community. Yusufi holds a degree in Political Science from San Diego State University and a Masters in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Communications

Communications Strategist, Lauren Alexander

Lauren AlexanderAlexander joins the San Diego ACLU after working for the  New York Civil Liberties Union’s communications department for the last three years. There, she worked to shape public opinion in New York on a wide range of civil liberties issues from criminal justice to women’s equality. She developed strategies to promote legislative and legal initiatives including the statewide campaign that proceeded the settlement of a seven year lawsuit against New York State to fix its broken indigent defense system. Before the ACLU, Alexander worked with ABC’sGood Morning America as a writing and production associate.  After graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she is happy to  leave behind the cold brutal winters of New York and Chicago for the sunshine and temperate climates of Southern California.

Communications Strategist, Anna Castro

AnnaSmallColorCastro graduated from Amherst College in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Black Studies.  She volunteered with the Texas Civil Rights Project and Austin’s Self-Help and Advocacy Center, learning first-hand about the intersections between the criminal justice system and immigration policy in a border state. At Amherst, she served as Senior Chair of La Causa of Amherst College, and worked towards fostering stronger relationships between the college and the local community.

New Media Strategist, Ferchil Ramos

statue crown-BWRamos, born in the Phillippines, has long lived in San Diego, and seeks to make an impact on the city and the communities where he serves and lives in. With a diverse professional and volunteer background, a broad range of skills led him to his role as new media strategist for the San Diego ACLU. Ramos helps highlight civil liberties in new and exciting ways. In 2015, he was recruited to be a RISE Fellow for RISE San Diego. In his spare time, he volunteers as director for the Filipino American Arts & Culture Festival, where he adopted a sense of civic duty and culture.

Communications Director, Rebecca Rauber

RebeccaSmallcolor2Rauber has devoted her professional and personal life to community organizing and community development. She is the former San Diego director of an international hunger relief organization, and program director for the Central American Refugee Organizing Project of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, helping to create the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s. While with the archdiocese, she led delegations of North Americans to see and live the reality of the region’s civil wars. She was a reporter and news anchor for KPFA and has written for numerous publications, including The Daily Cal, San Diego Lawyer, and Boston Phoenix. Rauber has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley and a certificate in Marketing and Media from San Diego State University.

Criminal Justice & Drug Policy Project

Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Director, ACLU of California, Margaret Dooley-Sammuli

MargaretSuitSmallColorBased in San Diego, Dooley-Sammuli leads the ACLU’s statewide many criminal justice and drug policy campaigns in California – including protecting the significant reforms embedded in Proposition 47 and leveraging the Affordable Care Act to advance a public health approach to drug policy. She has a decade of experience working on criminal justice and drug policy reform in California, including spearheading historic campaigns to revise the state’s drug possession penalties (SB 1506 & SB 649). Before joining the ACLU, Dooley-Sammuli was deputy state director with the Drug Policy Alliance, where she led the organization’s criminal justice advocacy in California. In her previous career, she was an editor based in Shanghai, China with The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Staff Attorney — Health & Drug Policy, Kellen Russoniello

KellenSmallColorRussoniello earned his JD and MPH from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. While in graduate school, he drafted Good Samaritan overdose prevention legislation for the District of Columbia, which became law in March of 2013. He also volunteered by drafting motions to seal criminal records, providing outreach to sex workers and homeless people, and teaching middle-school children about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He has interned with the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Drug Policy Alliance, and the ACLU of Washington State. Kellen currently serves on the board of directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Voting Rights

Communications Strategist, Jess Jollett

JessSmallColorSince 2009 Jollett has worked in both the communications and development departments at the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties. She formerly spent two years as an Americorps VISTA serving a local refugee resettlement organization, Survivors of Torture, International. Jollett has a degree in Media Communications from Point Loma Nazarene University. She was also a leader in the local arts organization, So Say We All, and her creative writings have been published in San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Writers, Ink Anthology.

Voting Rights Director, ACLU of California, Lori Shellenberger

LoriSmallcolorShellenberger, Director of the California Voting Rights Project, advocates for statewide and local election reform to reduce barriers to voter participation. Since joining the ACLU in 2011, she advocated for the mapping of the first majority-minority supervisor district in San Diego County; worked to increase compliance with the National Voter Registration Act and Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act; and provided technical assistance to San Diego nonprofits to build capacity for civic engagement work. Shellenberger brings a breadth of legal, nonprofit and community organizing experience to the ACLU. She began her legal career at the Alameda County Public Defender and was associate and capital appellate counsel at the Legal Aid Society of New York where she litigated cases before New York’s Court of Appeals, the 2nd Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. She graduated from New York University School of Law.

Voting Rights Attorney, Jonathan Stein

JonathanSmallColorStein recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a master’s in public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy, and a J.D. from Berkeley Law. While in graduate school, Stein served as the Student Regent on the University of California’s Board of Regents, representing the 230,000 students of the UC system. Prior to that, he served on the board of directors of the UC Students Association, led all student lobbying for UC Berkeley, organized and led a statewide student campaign on behalf of Proposition 25 (majority vote budget), and founded and led the Cal chapter of Common Cause. Prior to graduate school, Stein spent four years at Mother Jones magazine as a researcher, assistant editor, blogger, and campaign correspondent during the 2008 presidential elections. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of California Common Cause.

ACLU OF SAN DIEGO & IMPERIAL COUNTIES BOARD OF DIRECTORS – 2015 Term

Mark Adams, Board President*

Octavio Aguilar
Nasser Barghouti
Warner Broaddus
Leticia Cazares
Jeff Chinn
Carl Crider
Deborah Fritsch
David Gangsei
Robert Goldstein
Bob Isaacson
Rimah Khouri
Udoka Nwanna
Greg Rose
Madison Shockley
Pedro Silva
Andrea Skorepa
Joanna Tan
Luz Villafana
Andy Zlotnik

* Board President, Mark Adams

Mark Adams is a San Diego criminal defense lawyer who has been in private practice since 1981. He focuses solely on the defense of serious felony cases in the District Court, earning the highest peer-review rating available from Martindale-Hubbell. He has represented people charged in various classes of cases, with many of his clients being citizens of Mexico with language and cultural barriers; many impaired by mental illness, drug addiction and substance abuse issues or other personality disorders and medical conditions.  Adams attended the University of San Diego School of Law.

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.