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April 2021 Newsletter

WELL 2021 Virtual Conference: Water, Jobs, and a Post-COVID California Economy

Register here

The WELL 2021 Virtual Conference, scheduled for Thursday, May 27 from 9:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m., aims to bring the link between water and the economy into the spotlight. As the world remains focused on the ongoing pandemic and subsequent economic challenges, WELL will highlight how water plays a pivotal role in the state’s economic recovery. We believe investments in water infrastructure will not only help mitigate climate change impacts and improve water security across the state, but will also help local governments get people back to work, something desperately needed to get back to pre-COVID economic levels. 

WELL will also look at the Human Right to Water through a COVID lens, breaking down water utility debt and the sunsetting moratorium on water bills for struggling families. The right to safe and affordable drinking water for our rural communities and farmworkers continues to be neglected, even as their importance to our economy soars to greater heights. Additionally, WELL will refocus attention on the growing water issues that existed long before the pandemic and have become exacerbated due to climate change: drought and the Colorado River, water contaminants such as PFAS and TCP, and natural disasters like floods and fire. 

This all-encompassing conference, aptly themed Water, Jobs, and a Post-COVID California Economy, will leave people with this key takeaway: Water is a gift, and if cared for properly, it can play an important role in the state’s most pressing economic and social problems.

Join WELL for this urgent and informative conference by registering here or on our website at latinosforwater.org/conferences

While it is our priority to make our educational content free and accessible to all, WELL is funded in part by your generous donations. Please consider supporting this WELL Virtual Conference by making a donation upon registering. Our suggested donation is $50, but we will gratefully accept anything you are able to give. Every dollar counts, and we appreciate your support!

Meet some of the WELL 2021 Virtual Conference Panelists!

Ron Miller is the Executive Secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. The Council represents 150,000 skilled construction workers in 14 Trades and 48 affiliated unions and district councils. Miller became Executive Secretary in 2012. 

Miller leads the negotiations for billions of dollars’ worth of Project Labor Agreements with public and private entities, which guarantee that a skilled and trained workforce from Building Trades affiliated unions will be on the job. These include SoFi Stadium, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles Community College District, Long Beach City College, LA Football Club/Banc of California Stadium, LA Unified School District, LA World Airports, Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, LA County Metro, Westin Anaheim Resort, AEG, SunCal, NBCUniversal, the Related Companies and Paramount Pictures.

Alfred Martini is the Operations Manager/Sr. Litigation Paralegal at SL Environmental Law Group, a San Francisco-based environmental law firm. Alfred assists with the factual investigation and prosecution of water contamination cases on behalf of public water systems. Prior to working for SL Environmental Law Group, Alfred worked for local government, where he became acquainted with many of the concerns faced by the firm’s municipal clients. Alfred’s interest in serving Latino communities stems from his Latino heritage. His mother is from a pueblito outside of Guadalajara, Mexico, and he grew up spending summers on his abuela’s ranch in the San Joaquin Valley. Many of his extended family still reside in the San Joaquin Valley, where access to affordable and clean drinking water continues to be a struggle. 

Joone Lopez  is the General Manager of the Moulton Niguel Water District, which provides water, wastewater and recycled water services to six cities in South Orange County. Before joining Moulton Niguel, she served as the General Manager of Calaveras County Water District located in Northern California. Joone’s prior experience includes working for Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company as its Assistant General Manager and serving as the Deputy General Manager of Central Basin Municipal Water District . Joone is a Board Member for California WateReuse Association, California Water Data Consortium, Southern California Water Coalition, South Orange County Wastewater Authority, and WaterNow Alliance.

Thanks to our WELL 2021 Virtual Conference Sponsors!

WELL would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors for supporting the upcoming WELL 2021 Virtual Conference. If you would like to join them in sponsoring this annual event for local elected officials, please contact Brianne Logasa at brianne@latinosforwater.org

Save the Date! New WELL Webinar Coming this June

In this upcoming WELL Webinar, What Local Leaders Need to Address the Water Energy Nexus, we bring together utilities experts, local elected officials, and community leaders to examine the water-energy nexus and share innovative policy and community-based solutions that will ensure sustainable water and energy for all Californians. Stay tuned for a detailed webinar description and registration information!

Thank you to our WELL Webinar Sponsors!

WELL would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors for supporting the upcoming WELL Webinar on June 24th. Your generosity makes this event possible, and we appreciate your unending support.

Follow WELL on Social Media!

Follow WELL on social media to get current California water news and updates about WELL programs and events:

 Water Education for Latino Leaders




Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL) educates local Latino elected officials on California water policies to promote timely and equitable actions that strive to develop a robust economy, healthy communities, and a resilient environment for all Californians. Visit our website: www.latinosforwater.org.

Earth Day 2021

April 22nd marked the 51st annual Earth Day, a day of action dedicated to protecting our planet and its natural resources. Earth Day advocates from around the world come together to work towards meaningful change in climate action, science and education, and conservation and restoration. 

At WELL, we commit ourselves to Earth Day by leaning on our own philosophy: “Educate. Organize. Serve.” In these three actions, we set out to provide our state’s local elected leaders with the knowledge, network, and tools to develop a robust economy, healthy communities, and a resilient environment for all Californians. 

Join us in our commitment to serve you by participating in our upcoming events and programs. By getting involved and educated on water policy, you’re one step closer to creating a healthy planet for everyone.

WELLo Spotlights

Eduardo Martinez, Council Member for the City of Richmond and WELL UnTapped graduate of 2018, passed a resolution along with his colleagues requiring the city’s Climate Action Plan to incorporate the latest scientific data related to sea level rise. The City of Richmond has 32 miles of shoreline, so making these updates will inform the current policy, zoning, and building codes. Congratulations, Eduardo!

Belen Bernal, former Mayor for the City of South Gate and WELL UnTapped graduate of 2019, is taking her environmental advocacy work to new heights as the new Executive Director of Nature for All. Nature for All is a non-profit organization that protects the public lands and green, open spaces of LA County and the San Gabriel Mountains. We’re so happy for Belen to lead this mission-aligned organization, and we look forward to partnering with her in the future. Way to go, Belen!

California Water News Highlights

Worried that you may have missed some important water news this month? WELL has you covered. Here is a sample of noteworthy water news for the month of April:

  1. Western Farm Press: More water spending sought for West in infrastructure bill
  2. CBS News: Western U.S. may be entering its most severe drought in modern history 
  3. Circle Blue: California Report Tallies Hundreds of Failing Water Systems in the State
  4. Sacramento Bee: Why won’t Gavin Newsom declare a drought? California recall puts him in tough spot
  5. CBS News: Experts say climate change threatens America’s food supply. Can farmers in the Mississippi Delta save it?

WELL Associate Members

Earlier this year, WELL established an Associate Member Program. This program enables organizations to gain access to Latino leaders who share similar interests, allowing members to strategize about the best ways to solve California’s water challenges. Our Associate Members’ participation is a key component to our mutual continued success. We thank our Associate Members, listed below, for their support. If you’d like to learn more about the Associate Member Program, please visit: latinosforwater.org/associatemembers.