WELL UnTapped 2020 Fellows
Marta Cruz was elected as a Council Member for the City of Cloverdale in 2018. She is dedicated to her community, especially those primarily underrepresented, such as the Latino and indigenous communities. She has worked all over the United States–including Chapel Hill, NC and Santa Barbara, CA–studying and teaching linguistics and Spanish. Marta currently serves as a board member for Zero Waste Sonoma County and is involved in many regional and local committees and commissions. She is passionate about the human right to water and community water issues.
Salvador was elected to the City Council for the City of Montebello in 2018. He was recently appointed as Mayor for the City. Outside of his mayoral duties, he is in his third year of Law School at the University of LaVerne College of Law. He is involved in many organizations related to law and service, including the Latino Law Association He also volunteers at legal associations dedicated to offering free legal aid to those in need. He is interested in water infrastructure issues and recycled water.
Francisco Ramirez Jr. was elected as a Council Member to the City of Hanford in 2018. Before being elected, Francisco was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley Board of Directors in 2015. He works as a Business Consultant and leadership educator for the San Joaquin Valley. He is most interested in community engagement and leadership, economic development, and public safety. More recently, he has delved into the world of water and how it impacts his community.
Hugo Rojas II
Hugo Rojas III is a Board Member to the Centinela Valley Union High School District Board of Education. He has always been interested in education. Through this passion, Hugo founded the City of Hawthorne Youth Commission and Hawthorne Health & Safety Youth Sports Fair. He served on the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports under Arnold Schwarzenneger. Hugo works as the CEO and founder of the California Youth Karate Club, Inc. He wants to learn more about water and its intersection with youth and education.
Jennifer Santana was elected as Division Five Director of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District in 2018. Her interest in water topics began with her passion for science. She currently works as Lead Cytogenetic Technologist at City of Hope, a comprehensive cancer research hospital. In 2013, she was recognized by the State Senate for her work empowering young women to seek STEM careers. Jennifer hopes to use her science and research background to find innovative solutions for regional water problems.
Emma Sharif was elected as a Council Member to the City of Compton in 2015. Her leadership experience did not start there; however. Emma served as a Trustee on the Compton Unified School District for 14 years, advocating for underserved students she worked with as a teacher and Youth Development Director in Compton. As a council member, she continues her work to improve education and student services, as well as works on various homelessness, redevelopment, and parks and recreation projects.
Igor Tregub serves as the Commissioner of the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, a semi-autonomous local agency that oversees the City of Berkeley’s Rent Stabilization and Just Cause Evictions Protections Program. Outside of his role as Commissioner, Igor works as a Nuclear Safety Specialist with the U.S. Department of Energy at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Additionally, he is the cofounder and principal at Charles and Tregub Consulting and Chair of the Sierra Club SF Bay Chapter. He is interested in energy, water, and public policy.
Olivia Trujillo was elected as a Council Member to the City of Arvin in 2018. She has previously worked for Senator Bill Greene at his Los Angeles District Office and as the Associate Director of Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE). She now works full time as a public servant, working hard for the people of Arvin. Her passion for water comes from her understanding of the lack of resources many rural communities in the Central Valley face. She wants to better connect water with other issues facing her community.
Javier Vargas serves as a Director at the Valley County Water District in Baldwin Park, CA. He has been involved in his community for over 20 years, including serving as President of an Elementary School Site Council, working as President of Eastside Little League, and serving as a member of the Oversight Committee for the Baldwin Park Unified School District. He is interested in a myriad water issues, including the governance of water and policies surrounding providing his community with access to clean, safe, and affordable water.