December 2020 Newsletter
WELL End-of-Year Giving
This year has been especially hard on almost everyone. As the WELL team looks back on 2020, we think about the extraordinary challenges of social isolation, fear for the safety of our loved ones and neighbors, and those dreaded Zoom mishaps. Conversely, WELL is also extraordinarily proud of our accomplishments this year. Through WELL UnTapped, regional workshops-turned-webinars, and the WELL Virtual Conference, WELL has been able to bring together leaders from across the state in new and meaningful ways.
Even with WELL’s accomplishments this year, there is still more work to be done. With rising temperatures and natural disasters across the state, droughts on the horizon, and the pandemic still looming over everyone, we need your support now more than ever before. Today, traditional water education and administration in California is overly complex and run by long-entrenched groups who rarely consider the impacts water policy has on the impoverished or the Latino populations. We teach the process and the facts to prepare our leaders to make better decisions for their communities. In order to continue this valuable and necessary work, we need your financial support.
Your role as a WELL supporter is essential to WELL’s continuous success. That is why we develop educational and training programs that provide local elected officials with essential education about today’s water issues. Because of WELL, you and others have the opportunity to benefit by attending our conferences and events focused on local and state water policy, water quality and supply, and water infrastructure. Your donation will assist us in training new leaders about the fundamentals of California water management and policy with the same high quality programs you have come to expect from us.
WELL Webinars Through 2021
Our past WELL Webinars—covering topics from groundwater contamination in the Central Valley to water sector impacts of COVID-19—have been some of WELL’s key programs in this new era of virtual programs. We thank all of those who were able to join and support WELL Webinars throughout 2020, and we are excited to announce that they will continue into 2021! Our first WELL Webinar in the new calendar year will be focused on water recycling in Southern California. Stay tuned for upcoming webinar topics, dates, and times.
WELL Received ‘Giving While Living’ Grant from Woodard & Curran Foundation!
Earlier this month, WELL received a Giving While Living Grant from the Woodard & Curran Foundation! The Woodard & Curran Foundation is dedicated to supporting environmental nonprofits across the nation that are working to protect the environment and our water. For the foundation’s 10th anniversary, it awarded 10 Giving While Living Grants of $10,000 each. WELL was one of only three California nonprofits and the only one specializing in Latino leadership to receive this national award! This grant signifies a commitment to ensuring clean water as a basic resource while tackling pressing community issues. We extend our gratitude to the Woodard & Curran Foundation for awarding us this grant and to our WELL community for their continued support!
Igor Tregub, former Commissioner for the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board and 2020 UnTapped graduate, was recently named “Elected Official of the Week” by the Young Elected Officials Network. The recognition came for Commissioner Tregub’s acts of service in the midst of COVID-19 and for co-founding the Young Elected Officials Immigration Caucus. Congratulations, Igor!
Rey Leon, Mayor of the City of Huron and a 2019 UnTapped graduate, was awarded the “Clean Energy Champion” Award from the California Energy Commission. Mayor Leon’s electric vehicle ridesharing program, known as “Green Raiteros,” offers transportation to essential locations to Central Valley farmworkers, including to doctor appointments and pharmacies. It is because of this great program that Mayor Leon received this coveted award. Congrats, Rey!
Marta Cruz, UnTapped graduate of 2020, was recently appointed Vice Mayor of the City of Cloverdale. Since being elected to the Cloverdale city council in 2017, Vice Mayor Cruz has been working hard for her community. This Vice Mayor appointment makes Marta the first Latina to serve in this position. Keep up the good work, Marta!
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 December:
- Water Finance and Management: Closing the Funding Gap: Finance Considerations for Today & Tomorrow
- Bay Nature: California Commits To Conserving 30 Percent of Its Land and Water by 2030. What Does That Mean?
- Lake County News: House Passes Water Resources Development Act; Final Bill Expected To Become Law This Year
WELL Intern Spotlights
WELL’s day-to-day operations and programming would not be possible without the support of our interns! Meet two of our interns below:
Ashley Duenas: Ashley is currently a second-year student at Whittier College, double majoring in Environmental Science and Political Science with a minor in English. She serves as the internal chair for her school’s Diversity Council and as Vice President for TOBGLAD (Transgender, Other-Identifying, Gay, Lesbian, and Allies for Diversity). She loves working at WELL and engaging with local elected officials through WELL Webinars and conferences. She finds it so inspiring that WELL strives to support and promote water education even in unprecedented circumstances.
Isabella Blanco: Isabella is a second-year Environmental Science major at the University of California, Los Angeles. Coming from a low income agricultural town, she has experience with grassroots organizing, educational outreach, and minority advancement in STEM. Her love for environmentalism and policy has influenced her collaboration and leadership initiatives at UCLA as the director of social media for UCLA Sustainability and as a student researcher for the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge. It is her goal to one day work as an environmental lawyer. As a Latina, she has found her internship with WELL to be incredibly eye opening, as she gains understanding of regional water issues while working with Latino leaders to address those concerns. This experience has inspired her to be a trailblazer who can make a positive impact for communities like her own that face the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation.
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.
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 (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.