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2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission hires state and regional outreach staff

This week, the 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) announced the addition of three outreach staff members who will be charged with providing region specific and statewide support to the Commission’s outreach and engagement activities.

Sulma Hernandez joins the Commission as the Outreach Coordinator. Kimberly Briggs will serve as Field Team Lead for the Greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Jose Eduardo Chavez will serve as Field Team Lead for the Central California region. Andrew Amorao will serve as Field Team Lead for the San Diego and Inland Empire regions.

“We are excited to announce additions to our team,” stated Chair Isra Ahmad. “These outreach positions are key to reaching the diverse communities of California. We purposefully hired individuals from specified regions who demonstrated having strong existing relationships with local communities. As trusted messengers, they will be instrumental to facilitating and increasing participation in the process.”

Prior to joining the Commission, Sulma Hernandez served as Owner & Community Relations Consultant for Sulma Hernandez and Associates, where she managed community relations for non-profits and businesses and developed communications programs, outreach, and strategic planning for community projects related to equity and social justice. Ms. Hernandez organized and facilitated group discussions to address community issues and identified solutions to provide equitable services for underserved populations. She also worked as Mayoral Aide/Regional Programs Coordinator for City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Public Safety-Gang Reduction Youth Development, served as Regional Coordinator – Homeless Count for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, served as Council Aide/Field Deputy for the City of Los Angeles Council District 6, and as a Litigation Clerk for the Caldwell, Leslie & Proctor, PC. Ms. Hernandez graduated from UCLA with degrees in History and Chicana & Chicano Studies.

Prior to joining the Commission, Kimberly Briggs was involved in Census work as a Communications Coordinator for the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti in the City of Los Angeles. There she conducted outreach to Los Angeles City Departments, external stakeholders, and community members. She delivered presentations and assisted with outreach events. She also created their digital campaign, including social media toolkits, ads, video scripts, and coordinated their translation and remediation. Ms. Briggs also worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, worked for City of Los Angles Councilmember Bernard Park’s Office, worked for the City of Los Angeles Office of the City Clerk-Elections Division, and the Workforce Investment Board. She is a graduate from USC with a degree in Journalism/Sociology.

Prior to joining the Commission, Jose Eduardo Chavez served as a District Representative with the California State Assembly. There he monitored and updated the Assemblymember and District Director on local issues and was the liaison to state, district, local agencies, and constituents. He built relationships and engaged with local community foundations, elected officials from County, City, State government, and others to do outreach and collaborate. He also worked as a Parent Engagement Coordinator for Every Neighborhood Partnership, served as a Student Media Coordinator for the Office of Spiritual Formation at Fresno Pacific University, served as a Union Representative/Organizer for the United Farm Workers of America, and as a Researcher/Principal Investigator for the Center for Collaborative Research for Equitable California. He is a graduate from Fresno Pacific University with degrees in Political Science and Spanish.

Prior to joining the Commission, Andrew Amorao served as a Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau where he established partnership agreements with local governments, small to medium sized businesses, and non-profit organizations to develop and implement strategies to eliminate barriers to the Census in hard-to-count communities and locations. He planned and ensured public engagement activities were executed, resolved problems that arose, and determined the need to reassess outreach strategies. He conducted presentations to the various groups, was instrumental in training Census staff, and maintained a positive environment. He previously worked as a Civic Engagement Organizer and Human Rights Organizer for Alliance San Diego and served as a Civic Engagement Coordinator for Samahan Health Centers. He is a graduate of San Francisco State with a degree in Asian American Studies.

Every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its electoral districts so that the state’s population is evenly allocated among the new districts.

In 2008, California voters passed the Voters First Act, authorizing the creation of the independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw new State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization district lines. In 2010, the Voters First Act for Congress gave the Commission the responsibility of drawing new Congressional districts following every census.

For more information, please visit WeDrawTheLinesCA.org.

This article was released by the 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission.