Kimberly Alvarenga (pronouns: she/her/ella/siya) has over twenty years of experience growing the economic and political power of underrepresented communities and approaches her work as the daughter of an immigrant domestic worker. In 2005, Kimberly served as Director of Economic Justice & Human Rights at the Women of Color Resource Center, where she led statewide policy advocacy on behalf of women and girls. In recognition of her political leadership, in 2008 Kimberly was invited to serve as the District Director for California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, where she spent six years advocating for policy change at the local and statewide level. Among her accomplishments, Kimberly played a significant role in the passage of AB241: The California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and the California Trust Act. As Political Director for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, which represents over 54,000 workers across Northern California, Kimberly championed a number of critical local and statewide issues that impact working families and continued to grow her expertise in California state policy advocacy. Kimberly was delighted to return to her roots in the domestic workers movement as the incoming Coalition Director in August 2017.
Megan Whelan (pronouns: she/her/ella/siya) began working with the California Domestic Workers Coalition in 2016. In what became her role as Statewide Logistics and Communications Coordinator, Megan supported the convening of hundreds of domestic workers across California to assert their power in the State’s capitol; trained dozens of worker and employer spokespeople; and led the development of the core messaging and story-based communications strategies. After the coalition won the establishment of the Domestic Worker and Employer Education and Outreach Program under the CA Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in 2019, Megan became the Director of Programs for the Coalition to help lead the design and implementation of the first-of-its-kind program to make domestic workers rights a reality in California. In 2021, Megan became the Associate Director with the growing CDWC staff team. She is grateful and honored to be able to learn from and work alongside the brilliant domestic workers who are leading the movement across the state.
Tina Shauf-Bajar (pronouns: she/her/ella/siya) was born in the Philippines, raised in the South Bay of Los Angeles County and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2000. Growing up in a working-class immigrant household and community, Tina has passionately dedicated her life to serving the people through her work in the non-profit sector since 2004 and grassroots movement-building engaging in local, national and international solidarity work since 2007. Through her previous work with the Filipino Community Center, GABRIELA-USA and Migrante, Tina has worked with low-income and marginalized communities of color, immigrant, survivors of trauma and violence and LGBTQ people of color communities, and has deepened her dedication toward resolving systemic problems in the communities she has served. She is excited to be part of the CA Domestic Workers Coalition staff team and larger domestic workers movement, bringing domestic workers’ voices and power to the forefront of our larger fight for freedom, dignity and justice.
Vanessa Barba (pronouns: she/her/ella/siya) joined the domestic worker movement as a volunteer with Mujeres Unidas (MUA) in 2014, just after the CA Domestic Workers Bill of Rights had been passed. During this time she conducted outreach and education on the new landmark legislation with domestic worker leaders and built her knowledge of MUA’s programs and statewide domestic worker organizing before moving into her role as MUA’s Development Assistant. In this role, she was able to ensure that both MUA and the CDWC operated sustainably. In 2016 she moved back to her hometown of Los Angeles to work as an Organizer with the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), a worker center focused on workers in low-wage industries in LA. As an Organizer with KIWA, Vanessa organized workers from a variety of industries, including restaurant, garment and domestic workers, to develop worker leadership, organize workplace campaigns against wage theft and health and safety violations, and to strengthen relationships with local labor law enforcement agencies. Vanessa’s experience as an organizer includes drafting grassroots legislation, leading local policy fights, and ensuring enforcement and implementation of housing, immigrant rights, and workers rights policies. Vanessa joined the Coalition in January 2020.
Bry Gonzalez (pronouns: they/she/elle/ella) was born in Los Angeles and raised in the Inland Empire to two immigrant parents, both of whom are former domestic workers. Their experience with working class struggles and issues was shaped early on by their experiences working alongside their parents. Their experience with organizing began with grassroots student organizing at UCLA, as part of the Student Labor Advocacy Project (SLAP) to advocate that the university treat their students with respect and provide them with the rights they deserved. As an intern for AFSCME 3299, she worked to create solidarity and community support between career and student workers to further the fight for labor rights on the UCLA campus. Graduating in June of 2022 with a degree in Labor Studies, their undergraduate thesis analyzed the relationship between conceptualizations of racialized gender and domestic worker hiring practices via the platform economy to illustrate how racial stereotypes are used to exploit Latina and, more broadly immigrant, women. Bry is committed to a grassroots approach to collective liberation.
Alexandra Early(pronouns: she/her/ella/siya) comes to the coalition with more than 10 years of experience working in labor and community organizing. Previous to joining the coalition she worked for 3 years as an organizer with the National Healthcare Workers Union where she organized and trained worker leaders to stand up for better pay, working conditions and patient safety. Prior to that Alexandra coordinated an immigrants workers center at the Chelsea Collaborative in MA. There she assisted workers in fighting back against wage theft, sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions and trained community leaders to participate in local and state campaigns. Alex worked for U.S. El Salvador Sister Cities from 2010 to 2014, coordinating solidarity relationships between a network of cities in the U.S. and their sister communities in El Salvador, and advocacy campaigns on U.S. foreign policy in Central America.
Claudia Palacios (pronouns: she/her/ella/siya) Claudia is a Salvadoran artist, mother, organizer, and birth worker. She is the daughter of a union organizer, and migrated with her mother to Los Angeles, CA at the age of four. Growing up in the garment worker labor movement, she was inspired to create art that is meaningful to communities who are fighting to uphold their dignity. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a major in Neuroscience and Behavior, because she recognized the importance of science knowledge in healing our communities. While at UCSC, she was also heavily involved in Rainbow Theater, a multiethnic theater troupe. She continued her theater training at El Teatro Campesino, where she got to learn about Luis Valdez’s work – using theater to organize farmworkers. In 2017, she began her work in the domestic worker movement with IDEPSCA’s Mujeres en Accion. She has continued supporting workers rights by creating art through community murals, altar work, and theater work. She has been part of the CDWC since 2021 and is excited to continue the work in the Domestic Worker Outreach and Education Program.
Lizbeth Rivas (pronouns: she/her/ella/siya) Lizbeth grew up in a working class immigrant family & community in Lynwood, a city in Southeast Los Angeles. In 2012, she graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Sociology. After moving back to LA, Lizbeth worked in the research & evaluation department of Bienestar Human Services, working with LGBTQ Latinx communities through 2 federally funded linkage to HIV care programs. This work led Lizbeth to pursue her Master’s degree in Social Welfare with a concentration in social & economic justice at UCLA. As an MSW scholar, Lizbeth grew a particular interest in development and the barriers faced by some community-based organizations in securing funding through philanthropic systems that emerged out of colonized wealth. Lizbeth is committed to intersectional and actively anti-racist frameworks towards social and gender justice equity, mental health, and working with immigrant communities of color.
Yairamaren Román Maldonado (pronouns: she/her/ella/siya) Yairamaren is a media specialist with expertise in Latin/o American digital media and community-centered practices. She began her work with media in 2008 via community-based research focused on storytelling and photography in Puerto Rico, where she also worked with Afro-Caribbean immigrants and other communities. While completing her doctoral degree in Latin American Literatures and New Media at UC-Berkeley, she engaged in digital storytelling collaborations with immigrant communities on the San Diego/Tijuana border and with underserved youth living in Puerto Rico. Additionally, her publications include work about countercultural digital media practices, unequal access to technology and digital literacy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Yairamaren’s communications and narrative change work will continue building anti-colonial narratives and digital media practices that center on the self-determination, stories, and voices of BIPOC communities.
Nataly Bautista (pronouns: she/her/ella/siya) Born and raised in San Bernardino to two immigrant parents, Nataly and her siblings grew up helping her mom clean houses after school and fixing yards with her dad on the weekends. Her commitments to her community and the working class struggle are shaped by these formative years and rooted in comunalidad. Nataly received her B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA in 2015 where her research focused on the transnational migration of her Zapotec community from Oaxaca to the U.S., and the growing diaspora in the global north. She previously worked with Day Labor Centers in L.A. and the Inland Empire as an outreach coordinator and domestic worker coordinator.