Thursday, February 6, 2014
San Diego ACLU new executive director Norma Chavez Peterson (and her senior staff David Loy, Jeff Wergeles, and Rebecca Rauber)
Norma Chavez Peterson
Executive Director ACLU San Diego
P.O. Box 87131
San Diego, CA 92138-7131
Phone: (619) 232-2121
ACLU STAFF BIOGRAPHIES
Executive Director, Norma Chavez-Peterson
The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties’ new executive director, Chávez-Peterson has long been an integral part of San Diego’s organizing community. Chávez-Peterson has nearly two decades of experience in community leadership and nonprofit management, advocating for affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, and immigrant rights. Since starting with the San Diego ACLU in February 2012 as organizing director, Chávez-Peterson was promoted to associate director to oversee legal, communications, policy, and organizing programs in December 2012. In Chávez-Peterson’s short time as the associate director, she has been instrumental in creating integrated advocacy campaigns advancing priority issue areas, such as criminal justice, immigrant rights, and voting rights. Before coming to the San Diego ACLU, Chávez-Peterson was the co-founder and executive director of Justice Overcoming Boundaries, a network of faith, community, education, business and labor partners working together to advance social justice in San Diego. She has a Bachelor’s degree from SDSU in political science and Chicano/a studies.
Deputy Director, Jeff Wergeles
Wergeles joined the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties in February 2011 as the development director, and in November 2013 was appointed deputy director. In this position he leads our development work, and oversees the organization’s finances and operations. Prior to joining the ACLU, Wergeles was the director of development at the San Diego LGBT Community Center and before at KPBS, public radio and television for San Diego. He has an extensive resume of community involvement, serving as president on the boards of Mama’s Kitchen and the Greater San Diego Business Association. Prior to working at KPBS he was a member of their community advisory board, and also served as vice president of the Diversionary Theater and on the boards of the June Burnett Institute and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He holds a degree in economics from UCLA.
Communications Director, Rebecca Rauber
Rauber has devoted her professional and personal life to community organizing and community development. She is the former San Diego director of an international hunger relief organization, and program director for the Central American Refugee Organizing Project of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, helping to create the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s. While with the archdiocese, she led delegations of North Americans to see and live the reality of the region’s civil wars. She was a reporter and news anchor for KPFA and has written for numerous publications, including The Daily Cal, San Diego Lawyer, and Boston Phoenix. Rauber has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley and a certificate in Marketing and Media from San Diego State University.
Legal Director, David Loy
After graduating law school, Loy clerked for the Hon. Dolores K. Sloviter on the Third Circuit and then worked as a staff attorney with Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City and as a public defender and a civil rights attorney in Spokane. He has served on the Southern District Lawyer Representative Committee and previously served on the board of California Appellate Defense Counsel. Loy was named one of San Diego’s Top Attorneys 2009 and 2010 by San Diego Daily Transcript. Loy has a law degree from Northwestern and a B.A. from Brown, and is licensed to practice in California and New York (with inactive licenses in Illinois and Washington).
Norma Chávez-Peterson Takes the Helm at the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties
Nationwide Search Promotes South San Diego County Latina Leader
San Diego ACLU website
September 17, 2013
SAN DIEGO – Effective today—the birthday of our Constitution—Norma Chavez-Peterson is the new executive director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, the organization’s board of directors announced. She will celebrate her new role by giving Constitution Day presentations at her alma mater Chula Vista High School at 8:15 a.m., and a presentation in Spanish at Lincoln High School at 10:30 a.m. (Open to the media; contact Jess Jollett for details.) Also, this Thursday night, Chavez-Peterson will receive an award on behalf of the ACLU at the Center on Policy Initiative’s gala.
[Lea este artículo aquí en español.]
“We know Norma’s excellent work, and we were deeply inspired by her vision for the organization,” said board president and Qualcomm senior vice president Greg Rose. “We are excited about the ACLU expanding its fight for civil rights and liberties for all people in San Diego.”
A search committee of the board conducted a national search and interviewed excellent candidates. Chavez-Peterson, who started with the ACLU in February 2012 as organizing director, was promoted to associate director in charge of legal, communications, policy, and organizing programs in December 2012.
As organizing director, she led the organization’s Latino voter mobilization campaign in Escondido, which turned out seven percent of that city’s electorate, and the San Diego component of the statewide campaign to replace California’s death penalty (Proposition 34). In Chavez-Peterson’s short time as the associate director, she has been instrumental in creating integrated advocacy campaigns advancing priority issue areas, such as criminal justice, immigrant rights, and voting rights.
She has also been a key leader for the ACLU of California’s efforts in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. Chavez-Peterson was one of the leaders who created an unusual and groundbreaking coalition of San Diego leaders, which included law enforcement, business, and labor leaders, that called upon Congress for commonsense immigration reform.
Chavez-Peterson has nearly two decades of experience in community leadership and nonprofit management, advocating for affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, and immigrant rights. Previously, Chavez-Peterson served as a senior manager at MAAC Project, a social service nonprofit that promotes self-sufficiency for low- and moderate-income families.
Chavez-Peterson was the founder and director of Justice Overcoming Boundaries, a faith-based leadership development and community organizing nonprofit that addresses issues of people historically excluded from decision-making and political power. She also played a lead role in previous fights for comprehensive immigration reform, leading to massive demonstrations, including a 2006 march of more than 100,000 people through the streets of San Diego. At JOB, Chavez-Peterson worked closely with the ACLU during the 2007 wildfires when false reports of an immigrant family looting goods from the Qualcomm evacuation center led to abuses and intimidation of immigrants and people of color throughout the county.
Key allies shared enthusiasm for the decision. Assemblymember and majority leader Toni Atkins said, “I’m excited for San Diego and California to have yet another strong woman in charge of such an important organization serving our communities.” Nora Vargas, vice president of community and government relations of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, said, “Norma is one of those exceptionally strong, strategic, inspiring leaders who also draws on a depth of personal experience to inform her work.”
Former Assemblymember and Republican floor leader George Plescia said, “I got to work with Norma in bringing diverse voices together to support commonsense immigration reform at an unprecedented press conference at Qualcomm headquarters. I appreciate her leadership in that effort, her advocacy, and her ability to look beyond labels to find common ground.”
“Building on the steadfast foundation created by our outgoing executive director, Kevin Keenan, I am eager to deepen our roots in communities directly affected by the civil rights and civil liberties issues of our day,” said Norma Chavez-Peterson, executive director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. “It is tenacity and heart that makes our organization powerful, and I am excited to continue to work with our excellent staff, board, allies and community partners to build a better region and country for all.”
Chavez-Peterson succeeds Keenan who will move to New York City in December due to his wife being hired by the prestigious Union Theological Seminary as an assistant professor of social ethics. During his eight-year tenure, Keenan helped grow the organization from seven to 24 staff and achieve other accomplishments.
In the role of strategic projects director, Keenan will assist with the organization’s transition during the coming months.
Know Your Rights – An Activist’s Guide
Free Speech, Protests & Demonstrations in California
ACLU San Diego website
Download a comprehensive guide for people who care as much about free speech as we do.
In large part created by our sister affiliate, the ACLU of Northern California, we produced a guide for people who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe and those who may never have thought of themselves as protester but who are forced into action to protect a precious freedom or right.
You are part of a vigorous tradition of protest that dates back generations in our state: from the founders of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties who marched alongside of farmworkers in the Imperial Valley in the 1930s to workers who went on strike against exploitative labor conditions on the docks in San Pedro in 1923 to the repressive Red Scare years, when demonstrators were hosed down by police outside House Un-American Activities Committee hearings in San Francisco City Hall; to the civil rights protesters of the 1960s and 70s who helped end segregation throughout the state.
Both the California Constitution and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protect your right to free expression. But there are questions you face when you decide to organize and speak out:
When do you need a police permit?
Are there things you cannot say or do?
Are there any limitations on when or where you can demonstrate?
What about civil disobedience?
We hope this guide will help answer these questions for you.
For more than 75 years, the ACLU has supported the rights of individuals from all walks of life to dissent, demonstrate and make their voices heard. Whatever you believe, we urge you to stand up and speak out.
Legal AS THE LAWYERS FOR THE BILL OF RIGHTS we’re committed to defending everyone’s freedom. Yours too.
Take Action Today “SO LONG AS WE HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY WILLING TO FIGHT FOR THEIR RIGHTS, WE’LL BE CALLED A DEMOCRACY.” -ROGER BALDWIN, ACLU FOUNDER
(All the above downloaded on Feb. 3, 2014)