(323) 349-0661 info@latinosforwater.org

WELL UnTapped Summer 2024 Fellows

Andrae Gonzales

Vice Mayor, City of Bakersfield

Councilman Andrae Gonzales, elected in 2016 to represent Bakersfield’s Ward 2, became the city’s first Latino Vice Mayor in 2023. A proud East Bakersfield native and UC Berkeley graduate, he focuses on improving infrastructure, revitalizing downtown, reducing homelessness, and enhancing residents’ quality of life.

Gonzales served on the Bakersfield City School District Board (2010-2016) and is deeply involved in the community as CEO of Stewards and founder of several nonprofits. He chairs the Budget and Finance and Housing & Homelessness Committees.

Angie Jimenez

Councilmember, City of Montebello

Angie Jimenez was elected to the Montebello City Council in 2018 and serves the 5th District. She owns a business consulting and event management company and manages a nonprofit focused on COVID education for marginalized communities. Previously, she worked in the LA Mayor’s office and organized for economic justice.

A dedicated volunteer, Jimenez supports nonprofits like Padres Contra el Cancer, committed to improving the quality of life for children and young adults with cancer. Born in Montebello, she attended local schools and graduated from Bell Gardens High School. She is a single mother of two and has lived in South Montebello for over 15 years.

Cassandra Chase

Vice Mayor, City of Lakewood

Vice Mayor Cassandra Chase, elected to the Lakewood City Council on June 7, 2022, represents District 5. Born and raised in Lakewood, she graduated from St. Joseph High School and the University of California, Irvine.

A dedicated community volunteer, Cassandra has been involved with the Lakewood Jaycees and served as Miss Greater Lakewood. She was appointed to the Measure L Citizens Oversight Committee in 2020.

Professionally, Cassandra is a business strategist and social entrepreneur. She founded Chase Consulting Group, providing strategic services to small businesses and non-profits, and co-founded Read Lead, a non-profit promoting literacy. She also coordinates the Empowerment Congress, fostering civic engagement.

Dr. Jaguanana “Jag” Lathan

Trustee, Antioch Unified School District

Dr. Jaguanana “Jag” Lathan, born in Oakland, CA, worked diligently to successfully complete high school after becoming a teenage mother at age 17. She became the first in her family to earn a college degree and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She began her teaching career at LAUSD and has held various educational roles, including assistant principal and county-level executive director of equity.

Dr. Jag is the founder of Amara Leaders, a nonprofit organization designed to support the needs of Black women in leadership. Dr. Jag is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of New Generation Equity, an educational equity firm that supports institutions to align their equity goals and initiatives with their actions. Dr. Jag enjoys Pilates, hiking, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Israel Fuentes

Board Clerk, Colton Joint Unified School District

Israel Fuentes is a Board Member and Clerk for the Colton Joint Unified School District. He has over 26 years of experience in public relations, marketing, and business development.

Fuentes has received multiple awards, including “The Distinguished Gentlemen” recognition from Majority Assembly Member Eloise Gomez-Reyes. He is a former Volunteer Commander with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (Fontana Station C.O.P.S.) and has served for 10 years on the Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) for the Community of Bloomington.

Fuentes is married to Adriana Carrillo de Fuentes, and they have two daughters, Adrianna E. and Sharon A.

Jeanette V. Flores

Trustee, Charter Oak Unified School District

Jeanette V. Flores is a native of the East San Gabriel Valley. Ms. Flores chose Covina as the place to raise her children and is proud to have her four children attend Charter Oak Unified School District. Previously with the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, she advanced policies to support healthier food choices and opportunities for physical activity in under-resourced communities.

Ms. Flores is a graduate of the H.O.P.E, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality Leadership Institute, and a graduate of EMERGE California, a political candidate training program for women who aspire to run for office. She was also named Woman of the Year for the 48th Assembly District. She serves as Secretary for the YWCA San Gabriel Valley Board of Directors. She is proud to be the first Latina on the board. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and her master’s degree in public administration from California State University, Long Beach. She enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering to support local youth programs.

Joy Langford

President, The Water Replenishment District of Southern California

Joy Langford is the Chief Community Benefits Officer at ARCHES H2 Hub, overseeing $150 million in community investments and 220,000 job creations for California’s Hydrogen Infrastructure plan. With over 18 years of experience, as a public-private partnership liaison, she specializes in environmental and corporate responsibility initiatives.

As President of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, Joy manages renewable water rights, throughout Los Angeles, Long Beach, and various parts of Southern California.

Joy holds degrees in Economics and Urban Planning from UC Santa Barbara and serves on various advisory boards. She resides in Los Angeles, California.

Juanita Doplemore

Trustee, Compton College

Juanita Doplemore, a Long Beach resident, is a long-time employee of Federal Express and currently works as a senior global service analyst. She also serves on the California Student Aid Commission as a community appointee, co-chairing the Data, Research, and Strategic Planning Committee and contributing as a member of the Student Impact, Outreach and Communications Committee. Doplemore seeks out philanthropic and community advocacy opportunities and in 2019, served as co-chair of the Veterans Affairs Commission for the City of Long Beach. She is an active member of the Collins Neighborhood Association and served as a troop leader for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles where she was also a council delegate from 2017-2020. Doplemore is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree online through the University of Washington, Seattle, and she earned an associate degree from North Seattle Community College.

Julia Hernandez

Mayor, City of San Joaquin

Born in Michoacan, Mexico, Mayor Hernandez moved to the US as a toddler and settled in San Joaquin where she has lived for nearly 40 years. Her parents, who worked as farmworkers, raised six children. At 14, Mayor Hernandez started joining them in the fields during summer.

Mayor Hernandez and her husband are both from Michoacan and have been married for almost 29 years. Her daughter graduated from Fresno State and became an RN. They also have two beloved dogs, T-bone and Cliff.

With over 20 years in community organizations, she has focused on supporting farmworkers, adults, and youth in rural Fresno County. Elected to the city council in 2004, she became vice mayor in 2006 and Mayor in 2016. Mayor Hernandez is dedicated to improving San Joaquin for all families.

Neftali Galarza

Councilmember, City of Coachella

Neftali Galarza, born to immigrant farm workers in Oasis, CA, holds a Master of Public Administration from California Baptist University and a BA in Political Science from UC Riverside. As a Coachella City Councilmember, he champions initiatives for underserved communities, including the Coachella Immigrant Families Recovery Program and a paid internship program with One Future Coachella Valley.

He is the Director of Community Engagement & Partnership for Riverside County Superintendent of Schools and has served in various community-focused roles, including Director of Community Outreach for the California Alliance for Renewable Energy Solutions. Neftali lives in Coachella with his partner Lucero and their children.

Ollie Cantos

Councilman, City of West Covina

Blind since birth and born in Los Angeles to Filipino immigrants, Ollie was raised in West Covina from age 4. He challenged expectations for people with disabilities and became the first blind person elected to the City Council since West Covina’s founding in 1923.

After obtaining his Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, Ollie served in key roles at the Disability Rights Legal Center, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the White House. He now serves as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education.

He mentors with the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights, is a member of the Kiwanis Club of West Covina, and chairs the board at RespectAbility. Ollie is most grateful for adopting three blind triplet boys—Leo, Nick, and Steven.

Victor Aguilar, Jr.

Councilmember, City of San Leandro

Councilmember Aguilar was elected to San Leandro City Council in 2018 and represents District 3; serving as Vice Mayor in 2020. He was also elected to the San Leandro Unified School Board of Trustees and served from 2016 – 2018. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Hawaii Pacific University and an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from Pasadena City College. In the fall of 2019, he also earned a certificate from the University of Southern California Executive Education Forum for Policy through the Local Leaders Program. He is also the president of the National League of Cities LGBTQ+LO Constituency Group. Councilmember Aguilar moved to San Leandro in 2011 from Los Angeles with his husband, Dr. Nolan Quinabo, PT, DPT. They reside in Floresta Gardens with their three French bulldogs.