By Allison Don
Charlie Gillig and Jessica Nare of the San Diego Leadership Alliance (SDLA) 2013 Class have been appointed to the City of San Diego’s Human Relation’s Commission, which, among other activities, works to ensure that all city residents have equal access to economic, political and educational opportunities and equal access to service protection and accommodation in all businesses and public agencies.Read more
Founding Attorney, Law Office of Kimberly R. Simms
Kimberly earned her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California and started her own law practice focusing on the unique legal needs of the medical marijuana community. In this position she has fought relentlessly for patients’ rights, met with government officials to craft reasonable and effective regulations that allow for safe access, and litigated against cities when they refused to comply with state law. Kimberly is at the forefront of this emerging area of law. She has taught courses on Medical Marijuana Law and has been interviewed by NPR, CNN and various media outlets as a leading expert in this field.
Furthermore, as a passionate advocate for LGBT rights, Kimberly is committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of the LGBT community through legal work, education and public policy work. She is currently expanding her practice to include legal services in adoption and surrogacy matters. Kimberly is a member of the Young Professionals Council, a philanthropic organization supporting the San Diego LGBT Center.
As an active volunteer in the progressive community, Kimberly serves as a volunteer attorney for the California Innocence Project; a program devoted to releasing wrongfully convicted inmates. She serves as the Director of Communications for the San Diego County Young Democrats and is excited to serve her second term on the Executive Board of the Sa Diego County Democratic Central Committee as the Director of Fundraising. Kimberly looks forward to the work she and her NLC Institute Fellows will do throughout the community.
Community Worksite Organizer, SEIU Local 221
Mark Leo was born in Baguio City, Philippines in 1984. He immigrated to the United States at the age of one, after his father had joined the Navy. After a brief stint in Oregon, his father was stationed in San Diego, California, which Mark would call home. As a “native” San Diegan, Mark grew up in the Paradise Hills and attended Morse High School. After graduating high school, Mark attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and got his undergraduate degrees in both History and Asian American Studies, making sure his concentration would be on social and economic justice issues.
Mark would return to San Diego and work for two years with the San Diego County Office of Education, working in the Juvenile Court and Community Schools. He would then return to academia and attend San Francisco State University getting his MA in Asian American Studies, a program that pushed students toward community work. After graduation Mark returned back to San Diego and worked for the Center on Policy Initiatives, and more recently as political/community organizer for SEIU Local 221.
Policy Advocate, Environmental Health Coalition
Carolina Martínez is a Policy Advocate at Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), a social and environmental justice non-profit based in the San Diego/Tijuana border region. Martínez’ work with EHC’s Toxic Free Neighborhoods Campaign focuses on National City. She is responsible for supporting residents in this low-income majority Latino community advocate for land use policies that respect their priorities, improve health, and are consistent with environmental justice principles.
Currently, she is working on the implementation of a comprehensive community plan that includes phasing polluting industries out of a residential neighborhood and creating an affordable housing project. Carolina has an M.A. in Urban Planning and an M.A. in Latin American Studies. Her work experience includes environmental justice policy advocacy in Oxnard, California, collaborating with community groups in Orange County on cultural and social justice campaigns, and researching international labor rights.
Carolina enjoys working at the intersection of race, culture, gender, civic engagement, environmental issues, health, and city planning in the struggle for environmental justice. She spends her free time playing Son Jarocho and learning to play Bomba.
Web Content Specialist, Port of San Diego
Barbara Moreno is the Web Content Specialist for the Port of San Diego, the fourth largest port in the state of California. In her current role, she is a key member of the Port’s web and social media team. She also is a co-producer for the agency’s in-house video production unit. In her four years at the Port, her videos have earned several awards including a 2010 Webby Award Honor for online video (News & Politics Category), three national Telly Awards and first-, second- and third-place awards from the San Diego Press Club.
Prior to this, Barbara worked as a television news producer in cities including Las Vegas, Sacramento, Phoenix and Los Angeles. Her newscasts were nominated for several Emmy awards and she earned a Radio Television and News Directors Association award for “Best Breaking Newscast.” She also worked as an online news editor at the San Diego NBC web site, NBCSanDiego.com.
Barbara is a member of the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Young Professionals Council (YPC), and was part of the inaugural class of the YPC Academy in 2012. She is an active volunteer with the Center and participated in the “Equality Voters Vote” effort this past election, registering first-time voters and participating in GOTV (get-out-the-vote) phone banks.
Barbara is passionate about volunteering. She is a board member of the San Diego chapter of Gay for Good, the only national all-LGBT volunteer group. Each month, the group volunteers with a different non-profit or community organization within San Diego County.
Barbara grew up in Burbank, California and earned her B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from California State University, Los Angeles.
Skadden Fellow/Staff Attorney, Casa Cornelia Law Center
Charlie Gillig is a Skadden Fellow at Casa Cornelia Law Center, a legal non-profit that provides free representation to immigrant victims of abuse. At Casa Cornelia, Charlie founded and serves as director of Casa Cornelia’s satellite office in the low income, high immigrant neighborhood of City Heights. In this capacity Charlie has a caseload of asylum seekers, victims of domestic violence and unaccompanied children. He also provides community education on legal rights and serves as the Asylum Task Force Chair at the San Diego Refugee Forum.
Before moving to San Diego, Charlie lived in Washington, D.C., graduating with a dual degree in law from Georgetown University Law Center and in international relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Upon graduation at Georgetown, Charlie received the Jeffrey Crandall Award, given to the graduating student that most exemplifies a commitment to public interest law.
Charlie is a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont. After college, Charlie worked as a journalist in Hong Kong and as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa.
Program Associate, The San Diego Foundation
Sadie Brinton is the Program Associate for Regional Outreach at The San Diego Foundation, where she supports the work of seven affiliate foundations. The San Diego Foundation’s affiliate foundation help identify and meet the emerging needs of the diverse communities throughout San Diego County through collective philanthropy and member engagement. Sadie provides grantmaking and marketing coordination, membership management, and operational support to the seven affiliates and more than 200 active volunteers.
Sadie is Co-Chair of the Events Leadership Team of Women Give San Diego, a women’s collective giving organization, a board member of the Duke Club of San Diego, and an active member of the San Diego chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy.
Prior to moving to San Diego in 2011, Sadie was an intern with the White House Office of Public Engagement, where she worked on disability policy and women’s issues. She also volunteered as a legal assistant at CASA de Maryland, a Latino and immigrant advocacy organization, and consulted for the Entertainment Industries Council, a nonprofit that raises awareness of major health and social issues through the entertainment industry and media.
Sadie grew up outside of Washington, D.C. in a Virginia suburb. Active in political campaigns since high school, Sadie most recently volunteered with the 2010 campaign of Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly and the 2012 campaign of San Diego Congressman Scott Peters. Sadie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina
Associate, LeSar Development Consultants
Jessica Lawrence joined LeSar Development Consultants as an Associate in February of 2011, having previously worked as an administrator for the New York City Mayor’s Office in the Department of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. Her experience also includes an internship with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HCD).
In her current role, Jessica primarily focuses on supporting LDC’s provision of consulting services related to affordable housing policy and planning, community development and homelessness, with an emphasis on grant writing, research and reports, and analysis of local, State and Federal funding sources. Her work with LDC has also included a variety of business development and communications activities.
Jessica graduated Magna Cum Laude from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a BA in Urban Studies and Public Policy. In addition, she holds a Certificate in Real Estate Finance, Investments and Development as well as a Certificate in Real Estate Entitlement, Development and Design from the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate. She is also a member of the Urban Land Institute San Diego/Tijuana Chapter Young Leader’s Group.
Pharmacy Intern Coordinator, CVS Caremark
Paul Richardson currently serves as the Pharmacy Intern Coordinator at CVS Caremark for the Southern California and Southern Nevada regions. He works as a liaison between CVS Caremark and multiple pharmacy schools throughout the Southwest, where he oversees the interviewing and hiring of pharmacist interns and graduate interns that support over 300 CVS community pharmacies.
Paul started with CVS in 2000 in the pharmacy department as a Lead Technician, was a pharmacy trainer for five years, aided on the transition team for both the Sav-on and Longs Drugs acquisitions, and served as a problem solver for struggling stores until he began in his current role in 2010.
Paul is an active member of the Young Professional Council – A Program of the San Diego LGBT Community Center and served as CoChair for their 2012 Champagne Brunch fundraiser. He has been an integral part in launch of CVS Caremark’s first LGBT Colleague Resource Group, known as C-FI, Colleagues for Inclusion. He sits on the Community Advisory Board for both PIMA Medical Institute and Newbridge College Pharmacy Technician Programs.
Paul was born in Arizona and relocated to San Diego post high school, where he has made his home. In his spare time he enjoys volunteering, traveling, movies, and good food. He is currently finishing prerequisites to attend pharmacy school.