Women's Policy Institute-County Class of 2017-18

The class of 2017-18 Women’s Policy Institute-County is composed of 20 grassroots community leaders. They come from four counties—Los Angeles, Monterey, Riverside and San Bernardino—and are working in five teams. 

We are grateful to the following funders for their generous support WPI–County fellowship program: Annenberg Foundation, Anonymous Funder, The California Endowment, Groundswell Fund, The Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation, Race, Gender and Human Rights Fund of the Women's Foundation of California, Southern California Edison, Walter & Elise Haas and WHH Foundation


Los Angeles County, Health

The Los Angeles County health team is focused on food insecurity in their area, and supporting low income families who receive food stamps.

Danielle Guillen, graduate student, USC Price School of Public Policy

Linda Ly, graduate student, USC Price School of Public Policy

Malaika Merid, graduate student, USC Price School of Public Policy

Radin Rahimzadeh, graduate student, USC Price School of Public Policy



Monterey County, Economic Justice

The Monterey County economic justice team is carrying forward the work of the previous Monterey County team to advance early childhood care & education. 87% of adults in Monterey County expressed a desire for their children to attend some form of child care or preschool but only half said their children were enrolled in such programs due to financial concerns. The team is researching funding mechanisms to invest in these early childhood programs.

Nina Alcaraz, First 5 Monterey County

Darlene Coronado, Easterseals Central California

Amanda Mihalko, Monterey County Health Department

Janeth Rojas, Monterey County Office of Education


Riverside County, Criminal Justice

The Riverside County criminal justice team is a dynamic group of women who are researching barriers to housing for formerly incarcerated persons. Over half of the homeless population in California has a criminal conviction, making it a major factor contributing to homelessness. Some of the members of this team are formerly incarcerated women who want to help others successfully re-enter society and have healthy lives with dignity.

Linda Armstrong, Fruit of the Heart & All of Us or None Riverside

Bobbie Butts, Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce

Yesenia Teran, realtor

Erica Wilson, Law Office of Vonya Quarles & Starting Over, Inc.


San Bernadino County, Health

The San Bernardino County health team is focused on the fact that their county has one of the highest rates of teen STDIs and teen pregnancy rates. They will work with the county health department and local school districts to focus on the implementation of the California Healthy Youth Act, a state law requiring comprehensive sexual health education.

Alexandra Beltran, San Bernardino Generation Now

Elizabeth Morales, Catalina’s List

Desiree Sanchez, Catalina’s List

Jocelyn Sida, Catalina’s List


San Bernadino County, Economic Justice

The San Bernardino County economic justice team is composed of nonprofit professionals who assist victims of domestic violence in overcoming abuse and rebuilding their lives. Some members are survivors as well. The team’s goal is to create more housing assistance and opportunities for women leaving domestic violence shelters in their area.

Brigette Gonzalez, Family Assistance Program

Tracey Rick, Family Assistance Program

Elsa Scott, Family Assistance Program

Heather Stevning, Option House, Inc.