(323) 349-0661 info@latinosforwater.org

January 2020 Newsletter


WELL 2020 Annual Conference 2020 Registration Is Open!

WELL is convening its unique state-wide educational water conference for local elected officials throughout California on March 20-21, 2020, at the San Jose Marriott, 301 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113. This is WELL’s eighth annual conference, and it is set to be better than ever before! WELL knows that local elected officials make important decisions that ensure clean, safe, and affordable drinking water for all, protect our natural resources, and bolster our local economies. The goal of the WELL 2020 Annual Conference is to provide elected officials with a better understanding of important water issues in order to maximize the positive impact they have in their communities. What local elected officials learn from this conference will help them work toward developing comprehensive, long-term water policies. We invite you to participate in this educational  opportunity!

Each year, WELL aligns its Annual Conference with the United Nations’ World Water Day, scheduled for March 22, 2020. WELL is proud to support the UN’s World Water Day campaign for 2020, “Water and Climate Change.” That is why  the WELL 2020 Annual Conference theme is “Climate Change and Political Climate Impacting California Water.”

Please fill out this form to register. Once you register, please contact Brianne Logasa, WELL Program Manager, at (323) 349-0661 to pay the registration fee and learn about payment options and hotel accommodations. Your conference attendance will be guaranteed once you pay the registration fee. 

Registration fee for elected officials: $325
Registration fee for non-elected participants: $525

Limited partial scholarships are available for city council members, mayors, county supervisors, and school board members. Discounted lodging rates are available for elected water board officials and others.

For questions or assistance, please contact Brianne Logasa at (323) 349-0661 or by email at brianne@latinosforwater.org.

Link to register for the WELL 2020 Annual Conference: http://bit.ly/2020WELLConference

WELL Network Spotlight: City of Calistoga Council Member Irais Lopez-Ortega

Congratulations to City of Calistoga Councilmember Irais Lopez-Ortega on being selected to the 2020 cohort of the Hope Leadership Institute fellowship program. The Hope Leadership Institute is the first and only statewide leadership program specifically designed for Latina working professionals in California. Councilmember Lopez-Ortega, a former WELLo and current WELL Advisory Board Member, was one of 26 women chosen from throughout California to participate in this year-long leadership program. We wish Councilmember Irais Lopez-Ortega the best of luck as she begins this new endeavor! To learn more about the Hope Leadership Institute, you can click here to be redirected to their website.

Recycled Water and Innovative Ideas at the SD-32 Legislative Water Workshop!

The WELL team went to the City of Pico Rivera to cohost the 32nd Senatorial District Legislative Water Workshop on Saturday, January 11th in partnership with State Senator Bob Archuleta (SD-32); former WELLo and current Mayor of Pico Rivera Gustavo Camacho; Water Replenishment District (WRD), and Coca Cola. More than 50 leaders from across the region met to discuss water issues affecting Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. Workshop attendees were comprised of elected officials from across Senate District 32. 

Robb Whitaker, General Manager of the Water Replenishment District, provided an overview of water resources throughout the region. Ken Manning, Executive Director of the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, shared with attendees the governance behind water cleanups and potential funding sources for elected officials looking to improve water quality in their communities. Irma Muñoz, Chair of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, discussed the importance of regional collaboration and provided opportunities for elected officials to get more involved with water governance. Lastly, WRD hosted attendees on a tour of the new Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling and Environmental Learning, educating local officials about recycled water and water purification. 

WELL is grateful to these water experts for sharing their knowledge with local leaders as well as to the event moderator, Lynda Noriega, President of the California Domestic Water Company. We would also like to thank those who attended for their engagement in and their passion about their community’s water resource issues. The following are photos from the workshop.


Attendees listening to Senator Bob Archuleta.

From left to right: Ken Manning, Irma Muñoz, Senator Bob Archuleta, Robb Whitaker, and Lynda Noriega.

Mayor Gustavo Camacho of Pico Rivera speaking to Legislative Water Workshop attendees.

WRD tour of the Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling and Environmental Learning.

Legislative Water Workshop attendees in front of the WRD Albert Robles Center for Water Recycling and Environmental Learning.

Special thanks to the Water Replenishment District and Coca Cola!

WELL would like to give special thanks to the Water Replenishment District and Coca Cola for sponsoring the Legislative Water Workshop on January 11, 2020. Their generosity is what made the event successful, and we appreciate their support of WELL and its programs. We look forward to working with the Water Replenishment District and Coca Cola again in the future.


 Meet the UnTapped 2020 WELLos!

Congratulations to our new UnTapped WELLos! WELL UnTapped is a six-month fellowship program for elected officials across the state to learn about regional water challenges and best practices as well as to develop the leadership and interpersonal skills needed to make a lasting impact on California water policy.

After a competitive application process, we have selected nine of the top local elected officials in California to embark on the UnTapped program. This diverse group comes from all areas of the state, but they are united by their passion for water and their communities. Meet the WELL UnTapped 2020 Cohort:

  • Councilmember Marta Cruz, City of Cloverdale
  • Mayor Salvador Melendez, City of Montebello
  • Mayor Pro Tem Francisco Ramirez Jr., City of Hanford
  • Board Member Hugo Rojas II, Centinela Valley Union High School District
  • Director Jennifer Santana, Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
  • Councilmember Emma Sharif, City of Compton
  • Commissioner Igor Tregub, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board
  • Councilmember Olivia Trujillo, City of Arvin
  • Director Javier Vargas, Valley County Water District

To learn more about the 2020 UnTapped cohort, read their bios here

The opening retreat of UnTapped 2020 took place in Los Angeles, which included an exploration and survey of the LA River, team-building exercises such as Speed Interviews and Circle to Square, and an introduction to leadership development tools. WELLos had the opportunity to interview and hear from the following guest speakers: Senator Elena Maria Durazo, California’s 24th State Senate District;  Ed Reyes, Executive Director of RiverLA; and Liliana Griego, Senior Manager of Policy, Advocacy, and Engagement at Friends of the LA River.

The female-identifying WELLos and WELL staff with Senator Elena Maria Durazo. 

UnTapped 2020 WELLos discussing their community’s water issues.

UnTapped 2020 WELLos at the LA River Center. 

 Intern Highlight: Fernanda Soto

Meet Fernanda Soto, who started last month as WELL’s new Programs & Research Intern. Fernanda is from Wilmington, California, and is a full-time student at UCLA, where she is majoring in sociology and public affairs. She is interested in environmental justice and community outreach.

We welcome Fernanda to WELL and are excited to see her translate her passion into great work for Latino leaders across the state.

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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.