June 2021 Newsletter
Welcome Letter from Victor Griego
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Welcome to The Splash, WELL’s monthly newsletter.
Many of you have received past editions and for some of you this is your first edition. I hope you enjoy this special message this month.
Today I would like to welcome Mr. Paul C. Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez is the new Executive Director at WELL. Paul has experience as an elected water board member for a local LA County water agency and currently serves as a Councilmember in the City of Baldwin Park. As a child of immigrant working parents, Paul knows the struggles of working families and how precious water is to individual health, community quality of life and economic prosperity. He also knows the role local elected officials can play in ensuring water is safe and affordable to all residents of California. Paul’s professional and life’s experiences are exceptional assets he brings to the work at WELL.
I look forward to working with Paul. As the Board President of WELL, I speak with confidence that Paul will have the Board of Directors 100% support in achieving his organizational goals. To learn more about Paul visit LatinosforWater.org/meet-the-staff.
Please feel free to reach out to Paul to get more information and to support his work for WELL.
He can be reached at Paul@LatinosforWater.org.
Si Se Puede!
Founder and Board President
WELL Webinar Recap: What Local Leaders Need to Address the Water-Energy Nexus
On Thursday, June 24th, local elected officials and WELL supporters joined WELL for an informative and relevant discussion on the water-energy nexus. Our panel of experts included Teresa Herrera of Silicon Valley Clean Water, Theresa Kim of LADWP, and John Jontry of Metropolitan Water District. The panel was moderated by Igor Tregub, WELL UnTapped Graduate and Senior Policy Advisor for the California Solar and Storage Association. The discussion shed light on the complexities of our water and energy production and distribution, how they’re related, and how local leaders can make our future energy and water resources more sustainable. Thanks to all who attended, and we hope to see you at the next one!
Thank you to our WELL Webinar Sponsors!
WELL would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors, California Association of Sanitation Agencies, Mesa Water District, and LADWP for supporting our last WELL Webinar on the water-energy nexus. Their generosity made this event possible, and we appreciate their unending support.
Irais Lopez-Ortega, Vice Mayor for the City of Calistoga, WELL UnTapped Graduate of 2019, and WELL Board Vice Chair, was recently profiled in the most recent issue of Calistoga Living Magazine. In this issue, Vice Mayor Lopez-Ortega shared her story about her experience moving to the United States and seizing opportunities and making a name for herself in her town of Calistoga. To see her cover story and profile, follow this link. Congrats on this amazing recognition, Vice Mayor Lopez-Ortega!
Marta Cruz, Mayor of Cloverdale and WELL UnTapped Graduate of 2020, has now made history for the second time since she was first elected in November 2018. She first made history as the first Latina elected to Cloverdale’s city council in 2018, and just one month ago made history again as the first Latina mayor for the city. We are incredibly proud to have Mayor Cruz representing the Latino community in Cloverdale through her passion and leadership! You can read more about her story here.
Since last fall, WELL’s Programs and Research Interns have been working hard to support WELL’s programs and further research and discussions around water and environmental justice topics. WELL would like to take a moment to recognize their work and highlight some of their research.
Briana Lopez, UCLA Class of 2021
Congratulations to Briana for not only completing WELL’s internship program, but also for graduating from UCLA! She did some wonderful research on environmental justice movements in both Los Angeles and Richmond. You can click here to read her white paper, titled “Environmental Justice (EJ) Community Case Study Analyzing California EJ Issues.”
Isabella Blanco, UCLA Class of 2023
Isabella put in a ton of hard work this year supporting WELL’s webinar program and conference. For her research project, she did a deep dive into water contamination in different regions of California. We wish her the best of luck in her remaining years of school, and know she’s doing great things this summer as an intern with the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC). You can click here to read her white paper, titled “What’s in the Water? A Guide to the Major Water Contaminants in California.”
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 June:
- Lake County News: Senate Passes Sen. Dodd’s water access and equity bill
- Jefferson Public Radio: 5 Things To Know About The Klamath Water Crisis
- Business Insider: A ‘megadrought’ in California is expected to lead to water shortages for production of everything from avocados to almonds, and could cause prices to rise
- Bloomberg Law: U.S. Water and Power Are Shockingly Vulnerable to Cyberhacks
- CalMatters: Watershed restoration is key to a climate-smart future
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.
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.