CLARE CRAWFORD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Clare Crawford joined CPI as Organizing Director in 2010, bringing over 17 years of experience working with disenfranchised and impoverished communities as an organizer and advocate. In San Diego as well as in Texas, Oregon and the South Bronx, Clare has been a leader in efforts to advance the rights of workers, immigrants and low-income communities through organizing, voter engagement, leadership development, coalition building and grassroots campaigns. She has led campaigns for public school reform, renters’ rights, affordable housing, electoral reform and the rights of homeowners throughout the country. She was named CPI Executive Director as of January 2011, replacing Donald Cohen, who moved on to head two national projects.


KYRA R. GREENE, PHD, DEPUTY DIRECTOR Before joining CPI, Dr. Greene was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at San Diego State University where she taught courses on socioeconomic inequality, race and qualitative research methods. She has served as an instructor in sociological courses on public policy at both Rider University and Stanford University. She was also the Diversity Coordinator for the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (EDGE-SBE) program at Stanford University. Dr. Greene’s past research has focused on social movement messaging/framing, legislative processes and public policies affecting the lives of people of color and people with disabilities. Dr. Greene earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University. She also holds a B.A. in Social Sciences from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Continue reading


PETER BROWNELL, PHD, RESEARCH DIRECTOR Dr. Brownell holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and an M.A. in Demography, both from UC Berkeley. Prior to joining CPI, Dr. Brownell was an Associate Social Scientist at the RAND Corporation, where he also maintains an adjunct affiliation while continuing his role as Principal Investigator on projects relating to the occupational health of immigrant farmworkers and to estimating immigration flows. Dr. Brownell has also been a visiting research fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and a guest scholar at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, both at UC San Diego. His past research has focused primarily on immigrants and immigration, with a particular focus on migration between Mexico and the United States. Past projects have addressed the factors related to Mexican immigrants’ wages in the United States and the role of U.S. policy in structuring immigrants’ labor market outcomes and decisions regarding migration and settlement. His research has also addressed health topics such as youth smoking and the measurement of childhood obesity.


QUYNH NGUYEN, DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Quynh Nguyen started at CPI in 1998 as an organizer and is now focused on building CPI’s membership and grassroots fundraising. She is a board member of the Southwest Center for Asian Pacific American Law. Quynh graduated from UCLA with B.A.s in Sociology and Asian American Studies.


TRINH LE, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Trinh Le is one daughter out of five children from a Vietnamese refugee family and grew up in a low-income immigrant household. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in Sociology and Asian American Studies. She has organized in many diverse communities in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast before coming back to San Diego. Trinh first joined CPI as an organizer in 2011 working on numerous campaigns including landfill, Property Value Protection Ordinance, Project Labor Agreements, and the Community Budget Alliance. She is now the Leadership Development Director, where she oversees CPI’s leadership development initiatives such as the Students for Economic Justice program, Leading A New Way, and Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute. Trinh has been on the board of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) – San Diego chapter, Mid-City CAN in City Heights, and the San Diego Leadership Alliance. She received “Most Valuable Organizer” of the year award in 2013 by the New Organizing Institute, and she also received a commendation by the City of San Diego Human Relations Commission in 2015. She is currently working towards her Masters in Nonprofit Leadership and Management at the University of San Diego. Continue reading


EMILY HOWE, J.D., RESEARCH AND POLICY ANALYST Emily Howe graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law, where she served as an Equal Justice Works chair of the Public Interest Law Foundation. Starting in 1998, she gained policy experience at the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and British House of Commons. For two years, she led rural community health programs with the U.S. Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa. Additionally, she worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable John S. McCann, gained mediation experience at California nonprofit, Global Majority, and promoted peacebuilding initiatives at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. Her work has focused on advocacy for low-income workers and underrepresented populations, with a specific emphasis on the African immigrant community in San Diego. She holds active law licenses in California, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.  


SUSAN DUERKSEN, SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR A journalism graduate of Indiana University, Susan Duerksen was a reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune for 17 years, covering healthcare and medical news during most of that time. Before joining CPI in 2006, she received a Master in Public Health degree from San Diego State University. She worked as a public health researcher at SDSU for four years, with a focus on policy and community changes to prevent childhood obesity. Susan also served as volunteer co-director of the San Diego chapter of Health Care for All, a group supporting state legislation for single-payer health care.


JESSICA CORDOVA, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST Jessica graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a BA in Ethnic Studies and a Masters in Latin American Studies with an emphasis in Communications. Most recently she worked at the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters in Latino Outreach. She has co-produced and edited various short documentaries. She formed part of an audiovisual oral history project interviewing militants and survivors of the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Dictatorship over three summers in Spain. These oral histories are available for public streaming at the UCSD Special Collections Library. She is currently working on another oral history project; gathering the stories of San Diego based Chicana activists. She also associate produced the documentary “Everything Comes from the Streets.”


KIM UY, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Kim Uy moved to California from New Manila, Philippines in 2001. She attended San Diego State University and earned a B.A. in Business. Kim is inspired by her grandmother to give back to her community. Kim joined CPI in 2014 and is happy to support the most passionate and determined group of people she’s ever encountered. In the long term she hopes to continue working in organizations that focus on helping out their local communities. When she is not concentrating on spreading good vibes at work, Kim loves to make people laugh, cook, and bike around town.  


ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ, DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR Ashley Rodriguez joins CPI with six years of experience managing grants and coordinating community engagement initiatives at KPBS. She has managed multiple documentary social media campaigns, as well as grant initiatives for Latino Public Broadcasting. Ashley helped to organize a statewide coalition that advocated around public transit to provide free transit passes to students. She served as the Event Chair for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of SDSU, and is now active with their advocacy arm, the ACS Cancer Action Network. She is on the board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN), serving as the fundraising chair, and is a committee member of the local political action committee, Run Women Run. She is passionate about social justice and creating a more equitable society through advocacy. Ashley graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in International Security and Conflict Resolution, and minored in Spanish and Women’s Studies. She will complete her Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego in 2015.

Ana Laura Martinez, Leadership Development Coordinator

Ana Laura Martínez was raised in Tijuana and San Diego. Coming from a working-class and immigrant household, she grew up aware of many forms of injustices that her family and community experienced. While a student at UCSD, she was involved in spaces that organized around educational equity, immigration, labor, and anti-racist campus measures. She received her undergraduate degrees in Ethnic Studies and History from UC San Diego and is currently working on finishing her Master degree in Latin American Studies from UC San Diego. Prior to working with CPI, Ana Laura organized as a student with SEIU-Good Jobs L.A. through the UCLA Labor Center, AFSCME 3299, and UAW 2865. She also worked at UCSD as a teaching assistant, grounding her teaching philosophy on critical thinking, sharing knowledges to empower students to read the world differently and to incite commitment in social justice outside of the classroom. Continue reading