, Executive Director at Working Partnerships USA, brings fifteen years of community organizing, civic engagement, and public policy experience working in communities of color and with low and moderate-income families.
Under Derecka's leadership, Working Partnerships USA co-founded Silicon Valley Rising, a coordinated regional campaign to inspire a tech-driven economy where all workers, their families and communities thrive.
The unprecedented labor-faith-community alliance is working to build a new economic model that rebuilds the middle class, to raise wages and workplace standards for all workers in this valley, and to address a regional housing crisis that is pushing families and children to live in garages, cars, or near creek beds in order to survive. Silicon Valley Rising members have moved Apple, Google, and a half dozen other companies to increase standards and support contract worker organizing and policy campaigns to increase funding for affordable housing and protections for renters are moving across the Valley.
Derecka also led Working Partnerships USA to launch a strategic plan for 2015-2018 including: improving the wages, benefits, and working conditions of 100,000 low-wage workers through industry and sector-based policy and organizing campaigns; developing cutting-edge health prevention programs aimed at eliminating growing health disparities based on race and income; and advancing progressive tax and fiscal policies through engaging our base of 60,000 infrequent voters in a new model of community-driven governance that connects mass-based civic engagement, deep grassroots organizing, and values-based leadership.
As Working Partnerships USA's organizing director from 2008 to 2013, she was instrumental in developing organizing and campaign strategies to win policies improving the lives of workers and their families, including the 2012 minimum wage increase in the City of San Jose. She led the organization's non-partisan civic engagement programs building an organized base of more than 40,000 low-income communities of color in Silicon Valley, registering more than 14,000 voters and working to increase civic participation rates of voters of color and low-income voters in Santa Clara County.
Mehrens is the daughter of a union construction worker and a union community college teacher and is married with two young children. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree in Sociology, History and International Studies.
(Image: Derecka Mehrens, Source: Wikimedia)
is the CEO of Palo Alto Housing, an affordable housing group. Tsuda led the City of Mountain View’s Community Development Department (CDD) since 2008. His career includes experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors and he has more than 20 years of experience in city planning, including four years as the Assistant Community Development Director in Los Gatos. In addition to his community development background, Tsuda also was Director of Corporate Real Estate for a technology company for five years and a lecturer for seven years in the Urban and Regional Planning program at San Jose State University.
This past May, Tsuda received the “Bringing It Home” award from SV@Home
, a non-profit policy and advocacy organization focused on increasing affordable housing, on behalf of the work he and the Mountain View Community Development Department staff did to create the North Bayshore Precise Plan. The plan, which was approved in December 2017 by the City Council, will nearly double the number of affordable homes in Mountain View by adding a total of 9,850 new homes in the North Bayshore area including 2,000 affordable homes. Hailed as a blueprint for addressing the Bay Area’s housing crisis, the plan was supported by a broad coalition of local and regional community-based organizations. The award was presented during SV@Home’s
May 18, 2018 policy luncheon, the concluding event of Affordable Housing Week 2018.
(Image: Randy Tsuda, Source: Twitter)
is the Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County. Mr. Johnson joins Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County after an illustrious 19-year career at Petaluma-based Committee on the Shelterless, better known as COTS. Prior to his appointment as CEO of COTS in 2013, Johnson held several leadership roles, including COO and Associate Executive Director, where he achieved housing outcomes that were consistently twice the national average and led the non-profit from a small grass roots organization to a widely respected Sonoma County entity with a reputation for getting excellent results housing children and adults.
“Habitat for Humanity’s mission and vision are among the most compelling on earth. I feel incredibly fortunate at this important juncture to scale-up Habitat’s innovative, cost-efficient housing construction like the Sonoma Wildfire Cottage initiative”, said Johnson. “This pilot project is going to light the way forward and demonstrate that Habitat has just the right housing solutions at just the right time for hundreds of hard-working and fire-impacted families in Sonoma County” says Johnson. “I am so honored and proud to be a part of it!”
(Image: Mike Johnson, Source: Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County)
Nancy Ewbank Miller is the Director, Regional Adult Education Programs at Santa Rosa Junior College. She has primary administrative responsibility for direction and oversight of regional Adult Education programs and the Sonoma County Adult Education Consortium, serves as the primary contact for faculty and staff with regard to Adult Education budget, curriculum, schedule, program development, and staffing. She also directs Regional Adult Education programs, including Learning Centers, corrections education, Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (IBEST) programs, pre-apprenticeship, services for adults with disabilities and other community partnership programs.
The Santa Rosa Junior College and Habitat for Humanity are partnering to increase the number of students who will be trained in prefab production techniques. There is not only a housing deficit in the area but a lack of construction workers. The hope is that this partnership will both provide skills that will allow students to earn a better living, while contributing to the supply of local workers with construction skills.
Develops and manages grant and program development opportunities related to regional Adult Education programs for the Consortium and District in coordination with faculty and staff; develops and initiates new non-credit Adult Education programs in response to community and labor market needs. Interprets District, State and Federal policies regarding non-credit and fee-based instruction for Adult Education, grant compliance and foundation requirements.Implements policies and procedures related to the District’s instructional departments. Provides direction and support for community outreach projects and activities; collaborates with all District and regional outreach providers to establish an effective marketing and information-sharing network.
is the Director of Community Engagement and oversees residents, parent and youth engagement programs for the Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County (CAP Sonoma). In addition, Vince coordinates overall community engagement planning, strategy development and implementation for the CAP Sonoma. Committees include:
Accountable Communities for Health - Oversight Committee
Accountable Communities for Health - Leadership Team
Hearts of Sonoma - Community Engagement Committee
Santa Rosa Violence Prevention Partnership - Operational Team
Santa Rosa Violence Prevention Partnership - Liaison to the Policy Team
Southwest Santa Rosa Health Action Committee
Executive Team - Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County
Healthy Communities Strategy Team - Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County
(Image: Vince Harper, Source: CAP Sonoma)