List of Inland Equity CLT Board Members and Staff Demographics
Anabel Nevarez serves as the President of the Inland Equity Community Land Trust. She is currently the co-chair for the Inland Empire chapter of Democratic Socialists of America that serves Riverside and San Bernardino counties. She began her community activism in high school through the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and since then, she has volunteered her time fighting for immigrants rights, healthcare justice, housing and education. Anabel is Mexican-American first-generation daughter of immigrants and was impacted by the housing crisis in 2008. After Christmas, she became homeless and moved cross-country to live on her sister’s couch, and understands that there are many routes to poverty that can only be resolved with long-term, comprehensive solutions, such as the guaranteed right to housing. She grew up throughout southern California, having moved dozens of times, and attending an array of local schools in the process. She is also finishing her Bachelors in Neuroscience at the University of California, Riverside. Anabel is now working as a field director for several local campaigns. In the past, she led successful voter outreach to get the first Latina elected to Riverside City Council and most recently.
Gabriella Armenta is of Mexican and Mexica/Indigenous descent. Gabriella is the Co-Founder of Danza Azteca Citlaltonac, a traditional Mexica group founded in the Coachella Valley in 2007, and Talking Circle Citlaltonac. The legacy and spirit of this group’s origins comes with the belief of Musica, Canto, y Danza…mantiene el cuerpo y el espíritu en armonía / Music, Song, and Dance keeps the body and spirit in harmony as a way of LIFE. A longtime resident in the Coachella Valley, growing up in a Mexican cultural household and a dedicated community builder has inspired Gabriella to establish an initiative that combines music and arts, religious roots, and community empowerment throughout the Coachella Valley. Her family history and connections to her roots are at the foundation of her work to empower others and incentivize them to participate in healing practices and community resilience through dance and traditional talking circles.Culturas Music & Arts, Coachella February 2015- Present Responsible for supervising / overseeing the work of the other officers and ensuring that they function together as an effective organization and adheres to all bylaws and duties set forth.Gabriella is liaison for the organization President at Alas Con Futuro, Palm Desert September 2020 and present of Alas Con Futuro is a student club at College of the Desert. Alas facilitates information on financial resources for undocumented students. Alas provides educational presentations throughout the Coachella Valley. Gabriella is Volunteer Field Advocate at American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and fighting for essential policy changes that will support suicide prevention and mental health at all levels of government.
Matthew Snyder received his Ph.D. in English at UC Riverside and is a Continuing Lecturer in the University Writing Program there. He is also a writer and activist, as well as a co-host of the podcast, The Future Is A Mixtape (www.thefutureisamixtape.com ). After his involvement with Occupy Riverside, he co-founded the organization, The 28ers (website: 28ers.org). The 28ers ultimate goal is to pass a 28th Amendment to the US constitution to forever sever private wealth from politics by creating exclusive public financing for all federal elections, and have held several events on issues related to the corrosive effects of money in politics that block foundational change to procuring the human rights to housing, food, shelter and healthcare in America. In 2019, he worked with other community members of the I.E. to create the Inland Equity Community Land Trust, and is on the Executive Board as its Secretary. With decades of writing and organizational work in his background and resume, he brings financial management and grant writing to the organization. Also his policy research helps with our organization collateral materials. Matthew is a white male.
Michael Milan serves as Treasurer of the Inland Equity Community Land Trust. He works for the City of Palm Springs in the vacation rental department. Michael is the Chapter President forAsian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) Inland Empire chapter. He brings several years of fundraising and strategic planning to the organization. Michael is an American of Filipino descent.
Heather Stevning serves as the Palementarian and is the executive director of Option House. Option House provides 24-hour crisis intervention shelter, transitional housing, outreach services, legal services, information, education, and awareness to family violence victims to STOP the Cycle of Abuse. Heather brings with her over 25 years experience in non-profit management in the Inland Empire with an emphasis on fund development and media relations, as well as the unique experience of having been a DV survivor. Her prior positions as Executive Director, Corona-Norco United Way and that of Marketing Director, YMCA of the East Valley. Graduate of East Texas Baptist University and is fluent in Spanish. Heather is a white female.
Penny Newman is on the Advisory Board of the Inland Equity Community Land Trust. She is the Founder of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), a non-profit, grassroots, base-building organization working on environmental health and justice issues in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. She retired in March of 2018 after 40 years of service. Penny professional education is in Speech and Language Pathology with an emphasis in neuropathology. She earned her Associate of Arts degree (with Great Distinction) from Riverside Community College and in 1981 received her Bachelor of Science degree (with Honors) in Communicative Disorders from California State University at Fullerton. Penny has been active in the community through many civic organizations including Little League, Cub/Boy Scouts, PTA and Junior Women’s Club. She earned the inaugural “Jurupa’s Citizen of the Year” award from the West Riverside Business Association. In 1978, seeing the threat to her children and the community, Penny focused her attention on the Stringfellow Acid Pits, a hazardous waste dump site located in Pyrite Canyon and began organizing to stop exposures from the then uncontrolled toxic chemicals.
Andrew Simolke is on the Advisory Board of the Inland Equity Community Land Trust. Andrew Simolke is a lead Union representative at UDW Home Care Providers Union. He has done volunteer service for local social justice organisations in the Inland Empire. Andrew is white, and has an extensive background in planning community events, protest-action and public speaking. Andrew has a degree in Communications and Economics from CSUBS.
Blanca Lopez serves as the Inland Region Campaign Director of Golden State Opportunity Foundation and CalEITC4Me. As the National Campaign Coordinator for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, Lopez implemented several Latino civic engagement campaigns across seven states during the 2016 Presidential Election. She is highly committed to addressing poverty issues specific to the Inland region and brings over 10 years of organizing and leadership experience.
George Aguilar serves on the Advisory Board of the Inland Equity Community Land Trust. Mr. Aguilar is a business owner (Aguilar and Associates) with strong ties to the local community. As a former President of The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Inland Empire, Mr. Aguilar is also part of the Chicano Latino Caucus and Vice Chair of the Colton Utilities Commission. He helped create La Esperanza Market in the city of San Bernardino. LULAC of the Inland Empire has been part of developing businesses and mentoring many others. Mr. Aguilar is passionate about developing an effective organization that makes a positive impact on his community. He is a Licensed Realtor, with a Masters of Science Degrees in Business Administration and Management. Past President of LULAC of the Inland Empire, California Partnership, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, Inland Empire Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Colton Utility Commission. Currently President of Teatro Kopal (Community theater group). President/C.E.O. of Impact Medical Supplies, LLC. Proud of my Mexican American heritage.
Yolanda Esquivel Advisory Board of the Inland Equity Community Land Trust. Mrs. Esquivel is President of LULAC Council 3190 I was born in Donna, Texas and came to California in 1967. Graduated High School in 1969. Attended college at the University State College at San Bernardino received a B.A., teaching credential and a Master’s Degree in Education. Yolanda is the president of LULAC Of Riverside (The League of United Latin American Citizens). The Council, 3190, was established in 2010, in the city of Riverside. She has been a member since its inception, a board member and now president. LULAC 3190 was established to help our community in the areas of healthcare, social and political justice. LULAC of Riverside has developed the most successful free medical health care clinic in Riverside. This clinic provides free dental treatments, free vision exams and glasses and free primary care. Many other medical services are also provided. Last year our clinic was canceled due to the COVID. In the year 2011 our LULAC Council 3190 drew the Congressional, State Assembly and Senate district lines for Western Riverside County’s electoral maps. During this time of COVID, LULAC has assisted in purchasing and delivering PPE to health providers and donated free food gift certificates to families in need.
Beverly Earl is a single African American female, and a Mother of four children who are all adults. She has worked 45 years in the nonprofit arena (6 years American Red Cross and 39 years with the Catholic Charities). Beverly has been employed for 52 years and it has only been the last 10 years that I have not been considered low income. While raising her family, she was below the poverty level for a family of 5. She was also a resident of a housing authority housing project for 18 years. Today, she lives in a household over the median area income and pays 56 percent of her income on housing costs. Currently, she is employed with Catholic Charities as Director for San Bernardino County - Family and Community Services. Beverly is responsible for developing programs and providing services for the county of San Bernardino. She has vast experience in working with families who are struggling to address multiple risk factors that make them more vulnerable to homelessness, such as pending evictions, condemned housing, sudden and significant loss of income; severe housing burden cost; pending foreclosure of rental property; extremely low income; overcrowding; recent release from incarceration; or a recent death of a loved one. Beverl worked as support staff for Catholic Charities Project Home Run housing project for homeownership from 1988 to 1998 and rehabilitated 12 houses and built 12 new homes. She became a certified HUD Counselor 1993; In 1992 San Bernardino county Public Health Department designated Catholic Charities as the Federal Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDs (HOPWA) Housing Agent through 2001; Beverly is a HIV/Aids Counselor. In 1995, Catholic Charities began to administer the Cold Weather Shelter Program, and today it’s called the Emergency Solutions Grant which we still administer today. She serves on various community based non-profit boards including Inland Equity Community Land Trust.
Erick Becerril is a building inspector and an Indio Chamber Board Member for the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce. Erick is also the owner and operator of CV Food Trucks, a philanthropic small business that helps launch new small businesses, and organizes food and vendor events throughout the Coachella Valley. Through these efforts, Erick has helped provide a space for these communities, and has guided many new businesses through the legal process of attaining the proper paperwork and permits to operate. Erick is a Mexican American male.
Gerald Katz is the developer of EcoAcre, an ecological living demonstration project featuring a solar powered off grid rammed earth home that shows how green building can provide affordable, safe and comfortable alternatives to the unsustainable methods of construction. The concept of EcoAcre is to achieve as much energy and resources from an acre of desert land to provide for the needs of a family. The residence at EcoAcre is named Solaterre, because it gets its power from the sun and is made from “terre”earth. Solaterre is built with soil from the site with recycled and recyclable building materials. EcoAcre also features the most efficient water using devices and drip watering systems that uses a fraction of the water of most homes. Gerald is Jewish American male.
Rania Safi is on the Advisory Board of the Inland Equity Community Land Trust. Rania is a lead union representative with UDW where she actively develops leaders among union members through quality trainings and relationship building. She believes that identifying effective communication systems reach members of the union and community is essential in their personal and professional development. She has led participation in political campaigns and engaged in lobby visits with local elected officials. She holds a degree in Public Policy from the University of California, Riverside.
Maribel Nunez is the executive director of the Inland Equity Community Land Trust. Maribel is the 1st generation daughter of an immigrant family. She was born in Bellflower, Ca. She is the 1st member of her family to graduate from highschool and the 1st member of her family to graduate from college. Maribel earned a Master's degree in History from Cal State L.A. While teaching History at Riverside Community College she became the Inland Empire organizer with California Partnership in 2010. She became the executive director of California Partnership in 2016 and has transitioned California Partnership into the Inland Equity Partnership to focus on the Inland Empire. The work has further focused on the two main drivers of poverty in California, housing and healthcare costs. The Inland Equity Community Land Trust is an initiative to address the costs of housing and her work for a single payer health care system is to solve the disparities in health care.
Jeff Green is the associate director of the Inland equity Community Land Trust. He was born in Fontana California. Jeff has a BA in history from University of California in Riverside. He was hired as an organiser with California Partnership in 2017 as an organiser. As the associate director, he does policy research, manages the website, grant writing, accounting and communications. Jeff is President of the LULAC Community Service Foundation and a member of several other community groups and civic organisations in the Riverside and San Bernardino area. He is a white male.