Cesar was born in Toluca, Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, California and Burien, Washington. As a brown man raised by a single mother, family, faith, community and education have been important since his upbringing. These teachings and values have shaped Cesar’s character and allow him to fulfill multiple roles in society. Cesar is a tio, caretaker, healer, organizer, an advocate for children and youth, and a promoter of mental health. Incorporating his passions into a professional field, Cesar is currently a Mental Health Therapist for youth and families in King County.
For Cesar, the most exciting aspect of being part of Colectiva’s Board, is the direct connection and impact to the immigrant community. Cesar is passionate about justice. Through his service as a Board Member he continues to advocate, learn, build, and empower the community.
Cesar enjoys spending time with his loved ones, going to community art events, checking out friend’s music shows, as well as watching a good movie. He also enjoys reading, doing puzzles with his niece, playing the bass, and going on walks with his dog, Koffy.
Board Vice President
Sandra is originally from El Salvador and came to Seattle 39 years ago as a refugee from the civil war there. She has two daughters and five grandchildren. She retired from teaching in 2023 after 30 years of service in public schools. In the 1990’s, she helped to found the Immigration Reform and Social Justice Committee. Previously, she also served on the Board of Directors of Casa Latina and the Northwest Immigrant Right Project. Sandra is an active member of the Highline Teachers’ Union (HEA), of which she served as a representative on the Executive Board for 7 years. Sandra is deeply committed to the causes of racial equality, social equality, gender equality, and economic justice, as well as the fight for full human rights for all. Sandra hopes to continue learning, as well as to be able to contribute, while serving my community with Colectiva Legal del Pueblo.
Melissa is currently a law student at Seattle University. She previously worked as an immigration paralegal and union organizer. She is passionate about social justice work and hopes to practice public-interest work in the future.
As a Mexican American, Melissa is excited to be part of the board as a space to connect with the community and support an organization fighting for immigrant rights. In her free time she likes to do outdoor activities, read, and travel.
Judith assumed the role of treasurer and joined the board in the summer of 2023. Judith graduated from Trinity Lutheran College in 2016 with a double major in Psychology and Business. After graduating, she moved to Miami, Florida, where she worked in the finance sector as a Financial and IT Risk Management consultant. Since then, she has transitioned to Fintech and now works as an Instructional Designer. Judith grew up in the Puget Sound area but proudly hails from Chihuahua, Mexico. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the Seattle food scene, spending too much time at museums and bookstores, listening to podcasts, learning new skills (skiing this winter), and spending time with friends and family.
An immigrant herself, Judith is deeply passionate about the intersection of law and social
justice. She aligns with La Colectiva’s commitment to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their socio-economic background, has access to quality legal representation. She believes that access to justice is a fundamental right and hopes to assist La Colectiva Legal Del Pueblo in fulfilling its mission of equalizing access to justice.