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Our Staff and Board


Belen R. Flores


*Feminist. Social Justice Advocate. Latina. Nature Enthusiast. Truth-seeker. Global Citizen.*

Belen Flores was born and raised in north Sacramento, CA where she enjoyed playing soccer and engaging in outdoor recreation.  After graduating from high school she was recruited to the Sierra College women’s soccer team.   After a few years of classes she decided to move to San Diego for a fresh start and a change of scenery, but a year and a half later decided to return home to finish her college education.  While majoring in Mass Communication at CSUS, she simultaneously gained a passion for politics during the historic 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama.  Interning for places like the district office of Pro tem Senator Steinberg and the California Center for Civic Participation, she established her interest in engaging low-income and diverse groups of youth to the political process so that they may take meaningful action in their communities.  Over the past eight years at the CalCenter Belen has helped mobilize hundreds of youth through her environmental program Green Focus and, as Executive Director, intends to expand several civic education programs for youth across the state.  

Clarissa Laguardia


*Justice, Mental Health, and Equity. Identify as Queer Latinx Indigenous Immigrant. Self-Awareness. Intellectual Curiosity.*

Clarissa grew up in El Salvador during a Civil War and migrated to the United States after high school. She navigated the immigrant experience much on her own. She swiftly mastered the language and developed a keen curiosity for cross-cultural communication. As an immigrant and former Limited English Proficient individual, she’s passionate about language access and social equity work. She was appointed Language Access Manager by Gov. Brown for the CA Complete Count - Census 2020. She served on the Language Accessibility Advisory Committee at state and county level. At the peak of the pandemic, she launched a grassroots organization, Rethink Language Access. She managed the Newman Civic Fellows program, of which she is an alum, nationwide for Campus Compact. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Intercultural/International Communication and master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Sacramento State University. For over a decade, Clarissa has devoted her time to advance civic action as a community advocate and organizer. She’s been recognized by the League of Women Voters, Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and participated in numerous civic leadership programs. As Executive Director, she hopes to expand civic participation programs to engage ALL youth statewide, especially those belonging to historically oppressed groups. On her spare time, she loves hot yoga, going on hikes, gardening, making jewelry, and spending time with her dogs.      

Raziel Ramil



*Educator. Grassroot & Community Organizer. Filipina. Daughter of Immigrants. Environmental Justice Advocate. Lifelong Learner*


Raziel, pronounced “Rachel”, Ramil was born in Santa Clara, California, and moved to Stockton, California at a young age and has grown up in the Central Valley ever since. As a young adult, she initially pursued a career as a doctor in the medical field, which led to feelings of being lost. It was not until working with various non-profits and engaging with her community that she realized this aspiration of being a doctor was largely shaped by her parents, and not her own passions. This inspired a needed change to her career path. Today, Raziel is a recent graduate from the University of California, Davis, and has a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Development with a minor in Education. With her expertise and experience, she hopes to continually learn and expose herself to the complex dynamics within our society to empower youth. Raziel strives to see a day where the work of civic participation and education brings a life where resources and happiness have no borders and limits for vulnerable communities. Aside from advocating and engaging with the community, she loves listening to R&B music, skateboarding, and spending time with loved ones.

Emxa Swan


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*Movement Builder. Communalist. Human Rights Advocate. Southerner. Food Enthusiast*

emxa, pronounced “Emma,” moved to California in 2021 from the southeastern region of the United States and brings with them a global perspective on politics. emxa comes from a devout Christian family with strong historical ties to the security, labor, and defense establishments of the United States government. As a teenager, they pursued a high school education to prepare for a technical role in the US Military but did not join because of a disqualifying disability. This forced emxa to restructure their life path in 2010 and reconsider the value of higher education. After attending college and earning their Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology, emxa gained employment in 2017 as a news aggregator. They spent multiple years compiling and presenting information on international human rights violations, corporate ethics, and global defense spending. Now, emxa is committed to helping the next generation connect the dots between their civic engagement and the larger international socio-economic landscape. In their spare time, emxa likes to play chess, ferment vegetables, and watch video essays.


Matt Henigan



Deputy Director for Sustainability

CA Department of General Services

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CJ Lynch



Co-Founder Realtor/Chief Operation Officer,

Red Dog Real Estate Brokerage 

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Monica Rodriguez



CalCenter Alumna and

Undergraduate student,

UC Davis 

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Julie Adams



Executive Director,

Student Senate for

CA Community Colleges 

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Rosie Ramos



Equity and Engagement Coordinator

Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG)


James Muldavin

Jim was the Executive Director of the California Center for Civic Participation for almost 40 years. Prior to founding the organization in 1981, Muldavin mowed lawns, scooped ice cream, moved furniture, sorted mail, washed dishes, cleaned buildings, poured beer, drove trucks, worked on the docks, and waited tables. After college at UCSB and working for a political awareness project for Boston area teens founded by his Aunt Albie, he returned to California to establish Capitol Focus, the former flagship program of the CalCenter. He is amazed at the longevity of the organization and grateful for the thousands of youth and adults whose curious spirits, generous hearts and thoughtful minds have made his work so rewarding.

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