Sector Lead Ceremony and Celebration

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We are excited to share that Universidad Popular proudly co-hosted the California Jobs First Southern Border Coalition Ceremony & Celebration for elected Sector Leads on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at the home of the IBEW 569 in San Diego County, with co-conveners San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor CouncilComite Civico del ValleImperial Valley Equity and Justice CoalitionImperial Valley Wellness FoundationSan Diego State UniversitySBCS and San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center.

We opened the gathering with the blessing by Pascha Nierenhausen, a Sector Lead for the California Native American Tribes in Imperial County and a Land Acknowledgement by Stephanie Saavedra, a Sector Lead for the Disinvested Communities in San Diego County. Then we were uplifted by beautiful chanting with Native Bird Singers and dancers who brought heart, culture and tradition to our community celebration.

We then presented each Sector Lead and the Honorable Jose S. Castillo, Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division One, delivered heartfelt remarks and performed the Swearing-In of our Sector Leads in English and Spanish. Justice Jose Castillo was born in Mexico and came to the United States as a child. After serving in the military, he became the first in his family to graduate from college and law school. After law school, he worked as a law clerk for a federal trial judge, a staff attorney for the federal court of appeals, and as a federal prosecutor. In December 2020, Justice Castillo was appointed to the superior court, and in April 2023 to the Court of Appeal.

This community gathering honors and celebrates elected Sector Leads who have been elected by their peers as trusted partners and who consistently demonstrate a strong commitment to and experience serving disinvested communities. The Sector Leads will be responsible for representing their sector, connecting with disinvested communities relevant to their sector, convening and supporting their sector, attending Regional and Subregional Task Group meetings, and sharing insights and information with Coalition. Most importantly, they are lending their expertise and lived experience to empower a more inclusive and grounded economic development process. The Sector Leads represent the following 15 sectors: Labor, Businesses, Grassroots, Government, Economic Development, Philanthropic Organizations, Education and Training, Workforce Development, Environmental Justice, Worker Centers, Disinvested Communities, California Native American Tribes, Youth, LGBTQIA, and Farmworkers.

Thank you to elected officials who attended the event including City of San Marcos Councilmember Maria Nuñez, City of Carlsbad Councilmember Teresa Acosta, and City of Lemon Grove Councilmember Alysson Snow.       

To see more photos of the celebration click the link below.

Thank you to our friend and photographer, Joe Dusel for documenting this historic event. 

Congratulations to the elected Sector Leads by County:

We enjoyed a beautiful ceremony followed by a wonderful meal prepared by our friends at Super Cocina.

Thank you to every person, organization and business that contributed to making this an amazing event. We look forward to the next community gathering!

You can still become a coalition member and can sign up to receive updates. For more information about the California Jobs First and the Southern Border Coalition, visit 

Sponsoring agencies:
Governor’s Office of Planning & Research
Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)
California Labor and Workforce Development

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