2021 Board Candidates

Meet the candidates

S. K.
A) Your past association or participation in ASD & KNSJ and other activist orgs?  I am Setche, an inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA) consultant & trainer; building bridges that transform hearts, minds, systems, and behaviors. I also work as a DEI facilitator at the National Conflict Resolution Center and a facilitator at Non-profit Management Solutions, helping non-profits achieve their missions.And I’m the DEI manager at the nonprofit, Social Advocates for Youths.I’ve been involved with ASD for 5 yrs, been on the board for 3 years and acting as interim president and president for about 15 months. 
B) What is your vision for ASD & KNSJ?  The left is disconnected at the moment with so many important movements and organisations. My vision is that ASD is truly a central hub that promotes and facilitates synergy across these movements in order to leverage our people power here in San Diego county, to achieve progressive systemic changes. I envision an ASD that provides guidance, tools, structures, and an Activist Training Academy for people interested in learning how to do activism effectively and honing their leadership and community organizing skills.I envision an ASD having the people and organizational power to “threaten” local politicians and special interest groups; thus, getting ever closer to it’s vision of a sustainable community where all people can thrive; where all are guaranteed dignity, respect, healthcare, housing, comprehensive education, jobs, and more. 
C) Why are you running and what will be your time commitment/level of participation in ASD & KNSJ?  “As part of the professional managerial class, I used to think that activism was a dirty word, since all was relatively well with me and I didn’t see the need for systemic change. I was blind to the realities outside my bubble!After years of sustained effort, I woke up to the realities of the deep wealth and income inequalities that are often perpetrated by our local and national politics and corporate interest, deeply-rooted in systemic greed and legal corruption. I woke up to how social and economic injustices are intertwined and compound on each other. And that’s why I joined Activist San Diego – to help raise public consciousness about the systemic cancers that plague our human progress, and drive transformational action towards a more just society.”I’ll love to commit to leveraging my organizational development and talent development skills (to the best of my ability) to help ASD have more robust and sustainable systems, structures, and culture to help maximize it’s reach, impact, and sustainability. 
D) What resources and funds are you pledging to attract to ASD & KNSJ? My membership fee and whatever else I can. I will leverage my networks (to the best of my ability) to attract new members, volunteers, and donors to ASD.
Frances Yasmeen Motiwalla 
A) Your past association or participation in ASD & KNSJ and other activist orgs?  I was delighted to discover ASD last year after moving to San Diego, and my first action was the Protect The Vote Car Caravan we held on November 4th, 2020, the day after the Election. It was a beautiful day because not only did we have a new President, I had also found my new organizing home.   Since helping organize that event, I began regularly attending ASD’s monthly commUNITY meetings and board meetings, as well as many of our coalition group meetings, including the Racial Justice Coalition and RiseUp.  This summer I was voted in by the board to be an interim Board Member, and I am currently serving as our Interim Volunteer Coordinator and our liaison to the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.   Getting to participate in GGJ’s Anti-Militarism & Feminist Movement Building campaign is personally a rewarding way to continue doing Peace organizing, which I did professionally with Peace Action from 2008 until earlier this year.   I’ve also been involved in other organizations, including co-founding OneWheaton, a group of alumnae of my evangelical Christian college supporting the LGBTQ+ students on campus, and serving for several years on the advisory board of Everybody Gym in Los Angeles, an inclusive wellness space, and the first with non-binary changing rooms.   I ran for Congress in the March 2020 primary, in CA-34, Northeast Los Angeles.  During that experience and since I’ve joined many Democratic clubs, DSA, and the LA Tenants Union. I’ve attended two state Democratic party conventions and have been learning about the system and how progressives can impact it.  My work these days is helping candidates understand how to run and navigate the system successfully, as an independent consultant.  
B) What is your vision for ASD & KNSJ?  I would love to see both organizations thriving, which would include a growing membership leading to increased contributions – with those resources being put to skillful organizing, moving legislation, pressuring elected officials, and training up the next generation of organizers.   
C) Why are you running and what will be your time commitment/level of participation in ASD & KNSJ?  As mentioned, I’m happy to have found an organization with which I can continue doing anti-war work, which is why I have volunteered to lead the GGJ committee.  That work includes three-hour meetings about every other month, and attending next year’s conference assembly for several days.   I’m doing my best to not overcommit, which is why I hope we can find someone to take over as the volunteer coordinator – however, until that happens, I’m also putting in some extra time on that.   
D) What resources and funds are you pledging to attract to ASD & KNSJ? I’m committed to giving my time and organizing talents, which is difficult to put a price tag on.  While I’m not personally in a place to give financially, I do hope to help grow our membership and effectiveness.  
Sergio Hernandez 
My name is Sergio Hernandez. I was born in Gardena California and moved to San Diego when I was 12. I’ve been involved in a variety of projects from music to activism. I like learning and to have thought provoking conversations about western politics and society as a whole. I’m a person who always puts family before everything, especially my parents since if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be writing this bio right now. 
A) I’ve been an active member of the public organization/political party PSL and a member/comrade of 2 Non-public democratic centralist organizations. I’ve also ventured by myself in promoting “radical” ideas and theory when I was active in the Southern California music scene. I’m currently living in the ASD house. 
B) My vision of ASD is to promote my personal belief that ‘education is liberation’ and try to make that fundamental belief that we put behind everything ASD does in the future. I want ASD to be effective in the radical community of like minded parties/organizations that have been extremely effective in the aspect of mutual aid and anti-fascist action in the community and maybe international. 
C) I have faith and I see potential with ASD to be leaders in the community. I can’t promise I’ll be active 24/7 but I am always committed to projects that have good intentions behind them and that are truly progressive. 
D) I have a good understanding of how modern media is consumed and I’ve also participated in almost decades worth of participation in progressive movements that really illustrate the kind of world that I want the next generation to inherit. In regards to resources and funds I guess I’m more curious to see what funds and resources I get from ASD to make the projects that will revolutionize  and put ASD in the forefront I get to achieve said things. I’m willing to invest as much as the next guy but relocating funds is something that I will advocate for I often think if it wasn’t me being the only funding the garden I tried to build in the ASD house it would have been so much more successful and I would have accomplish to help local families in city heights who I spoke to in person and said they would really be if it from getting free and fresh produce. I invested 500.00 plus dollars but it honestly failed because I couldn’t afford the vegetables during planting season and when they were planted I couldn’t afford an irrigation system to water the veggies effectively and efficiently. Donating fresh veggies isn’t exactly going to create a perfect Utopia but it would help a couple people and that’s really what I’m getting at with this example of the failed garden. I suppose I’m answering the question with a question but how much funding am I going to get to push ASD to a new height?
Elise Dearborn
A) Your past association or participation in ASD & KNSJ and other activist orgs?
B) What is your vision for ASD & KNSJ?

C) Why are you running and what will be your time commitment/level of participation in ASD & KNSJ?
D) What resources and funds are you pledging to attract to ASD & KNSJ
A) I’ve had the honor to serve as Chair of the DSASD Education Committee, and as the Public Power San Diego Chair, of which Activist San Diego is a member. This August I received an invitation to the ASD Retreat and, once there, Martin and the group convinced me to become a Board member. I would like to be there to help guide it, and to ensure that I can better my San Diego community to the best of my ability.
B) I see ASD nurturing our local progressive organizations, ensuring that they work together cooperatively without conflict, and, hopefully, providing classes for San Diego progressives on various issues afflicting San Diego, California, and the world. Through education and hands on learning, we can better help our communities. I see KNSJ as a beacon for ASD and its fellow organizations. It’s an amazing way for us to share our vision with the rest of the community.
C) I’m running because I strongly believe progressive San Diego needs to ramp up its actions, campaigns, and missions. Currently we have the neo-liberal elite dominating nearly ever vector in local government, and we need to change that. We need to make visible the issues effecting our local constituents to these very constituents, so they can fight. I want to join ASD so I can assist in developing a strategy to make this a reality.
D) The resource I plan on devoting to ASD is myself – my mind, my connections, and my influence within the community.
Carlos Quezada 
My name is Carlos Quezada.  I am 40 years old and work for the San Diego Unified School District.  I have over 20 experience in the education field and I speak English, Spanish &French. I have lived in San Diego for 20 years, learned English while living in Montana, have been lucky enough to travel to Spain, England, Brazil and was a foreign exchange student to France my Junior year of High School. For the last 5 years I have run a community organizations called Love City Heights under the fiscal sponsorship of the City Heights Town Council.  We are creating a more safe and welcoming community along University Avenue by creating street art/murals on local businesses.  We have created over 30 murals along University Avenue trying to create San Diego’s first Drive-Thru gallery.  I/we are also on the committee that oversees the Tierra Central Community Lot next to the 15 fwy.   I have a vested interest in the City Heights Community rising to a level where people feel safe walking around their neighborhoods, where it can be a “go to” destination being an international marketplace, where the ARTS can have a positive impact on local infrastructure and stop the stigma of it being a less-than community.   I care about San Diego in general but it’s difficult to talk about an issue that doesn’t affect City Heights whether it be homelessness, food insecurity, safety, resource accessibility, immigration, education…  City Heights IS San Diego and vice versa. 
A) Your past association or participation in ASD & KNSJ and other activist orgs? I have been a Co-Op resident for 5 years and plan to continue residing there continuing to make it a livable, welcoming and productive space. I wholeheartedly support ASD’s mission to advocate for social justice, equity and equality.  I haven’t participated in rallies in the past, mainly due to work schedule, but have attended gatherings to discuss issues and have also attended many monthly ASD meetings in person and virtually. I am also the founder of Love City Heights, a community lead organization that uses ART as a means to tackle safety and social issues partnering with local businesses and community leaders. 
B) What is your vision for ASD & KNSJ?  I wish for KNSJ to reach a broader audience.  Having heard live many of the programs when the station was accessible, it is apparent the information provided by the shows affects a large population and keeps listeners informed on current social issues.   My hopes for ASD is for it to continue doing the great work it has done through rallies, press conferences, attending community resource events and in-person gatherings. 
C) Why are you running and what will be your time commitment/level of participation in ASD & KNSJ? I believe having a member on the board that is also a resident is important to maintain a good communicative relationship.  It would be ideal for the Co-Op, the radio station and ASD to work together as one entity to prevent any confusion as to what responsibilities or duties aren’t being met.  Although my work hours may vary, I am willing to make a commitment to attend the scheduled meetings and as many gatherings or events as possible.   Personally I have paid the dues for all the residents as a gift to keep everyone up to date and have also donated food/lunch to ASD/KNSJ volunteers and will continue to do so when applicable. 
D) What resources and funds are you pledging to attract to ASD & KNSJ? It would be great if Love City Heights and Activist San Diego were to partner up and do fundraisers, collaborate on events and do community projects.   As part of the committee that runs the Tierra Central Lot at the 15 fwy, along with Fern Street Circus, City Heights Community Development Corporation, San Diego County Bike Coalition, City Heights Business Association, local leaders and artists, we have a community space that can be used by businesses or organizations for events and would gladly offer that space to ASD in the future. KNSJ will be DJing LCH’s Car &Bike Show event next month giving us entertainment throughout the event and also promoting the radio station and ASD as well. If it’s possible to partner with ASD through a fiscal sponsorship LCH would be helping partially fund ASD through any donations received.  
Valentin Ramirez 
ASD Representative to Mexican Solidarity Coalition / Coalicion en Solidaridad con Mexico
Alex Polvarosa