FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2023
CONTACT: Emerge California
Emerge California Announces Four New Board Members
Oakland, CA – Emerge California, the state’s premier organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, announces four new additions to its Board of Directors: Brittni Chicuata, Alana D. Mathews, Stacy Owens, and Marina A. Torres.
The organization reached new levels of success in 2022 as it celebrated its 20th anniversary and a nearly 70 percent win rate for the 125 alumnae on the November ballot – including Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, State Controller Malia Cohen, and seven state legislators. Emerge California has 206 graduates currently holding elective offices across the state.
“I’m excited to welcome these powerful and accomplished women leaders to the Board of Directors to help lead Emerge California forward and build on our success in 2023 and beyond,” said Board Chairwoman Rhodesia Ransom. “Since our founding more than twenty years ago, Emerge California has trained over 850 Democratic women to run for office, and we’re just getting started. These four women have valuable expertise and skills that will help us grow our movement to even greater heights.”
BRITTNI CHICUATA bio:
Brittni Chicuata (she/her) serves as Director of Economic Rights at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. In this capacity, she focuses on policies and programs to eliminate wealth apartheid, build economic equity and uplift economic opportunities that improve quality of life for the most marginalized in San Francisco. Brittni has worked as a policymaker over the last decade, co-writing and co-leading successful campaigns with tangible impact locally and nationally. Brittni is focused on helping realize the social and health needs of the most vulnerable communities and currently does that by expanding the work of government in making radical investments towards a more equitable society. In addition to Emerge CA, Brittni is a board member of the San Francisco Birth Center, the only out-of-hospital birth facility in San Francisco and a steering committee member of Expecting Justice, whose work includes the vanguard guaranteed income program for Black and Pacific Islander birthing people in San Francisco, to determine if financial stability impacts racialized birth outcomes. A proud native daughter of San Francisco’s historic Fillmore district, Brittni currently lives in Oakland with her family.
ALANA D. MATHEWS bio:
Alana Mathews, an Emerge Alumna, is an equity champion, inclusion strategist and agent of change. She currently serves as an Assistant District Attorney and Policy Director for the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office. She is also an Adjunct Professor at McGeorge School of Law teaching and training on Implicit Bias and is the Founder of the Racial Equity and Justice Summer Practicum program. Ms. Mathews began her legal career as a deputy district attorney for Sacramento County before being appointed Public Adviser by Governor Brown for the California Energy Commission. She was later appointed Chief Consultant for the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change for the California Legislature and is Director Emeritus of Policy, Training and Membership for the Prosecutors Alliance of California.
Ms. Mathews earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Spelman College and her Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Master of Laws, (LL.M) in Governmental Affairs and Public from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
Ms. Mathews has won numerous awards including the Wiley Manual Bar Association’s Attorney of the Year, the National Bar Association’s Nation’s Best Advocate award, Sac Cultural Hub and UC Davis’ Exceptional Woman of Color award, The Ella Hill Hutch award and she was recently recognized by the Sacramento Bee as one of the region’s Top 25 Changemakers. Last year she made history as the first African-American and woman of color to run for Sacramento County District Attorney.
Ms. Mathews currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Girls Scouts Heart of Central California Council and the Advisory Board for Fitrah, Inc. She is a Life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, Black Women Organized for Political Action, and Girl Scouts. She has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento County Bar Association, the Wiley Manuel Bar Association, and the Florin High School Law Academy. She is the founder of the Critical Thinking Workshop series, the Summer Institute for Energy Law and Policy and the Community Justice Collaborate. She is the proud Army wife of retired First Sgt. Eugene Arcurio and mom to Caleb, Jordan, Josiah and Jayden.
STACY OWENS bio:
Stacy is the president of S.E. Owens & Company, a compliance and accounting firm that focuses on political campaigns, non-profit organizations, mission driven businesses, and animal rights organizations. She has taken her lifelong interest in causes that support a more equitable world for women, children, and animals, and has made it the focus of her career. Stacy spends significant time and resources working to move the needle forward for these causes. When not working or volunteering you can find Stacy reading, traveling, or hanging out with her dogs.
MARINA A. TORRES bio:
Marina A. Torres is a Partner at the national law firm of Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP, where she focuses on white-collar criminal defense, government and corporate internal investigations, and complex civil litigation. Marina is also a former federal prosecutor and a former political candidate for Los Angeles City Attorney. She was a political appointee with the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama, where she was part of the policy team leading the design and implementation of the President’s executive actions on immigration. She has been honored for her immigration and civil rights work numerous times, as well as by various law enforcement agencies for her criminal prosecution work. Ms. Torres received her law degree from Stanford Law School, where she was on the executive board of the Stanford Law Review, and her BA from the University of California at Berkeley. She is also a proud AmeriCorps alum, having spent the year prior to law school in the fields of Illinois helping migrant farm workers fight employer abuse and workplace safety violations. She is a 1st-generation Latina with family roots in Michoacán and Jalisco, Mexico, and daughter of formerly undocumented parents.
Links to the full bios of all Emerge California Board of Directors Members are available on the Emerge California website.
Emerge California has a proven track record of getting Democratic women elected. Since the organization launched in 2002, the program has trained more than 800 women to run for office. 206 alums currently serve in elected office, including Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis; State Controller Malia Cohen; State Senators Aisha Wahab and Marie Alvarado-Gil, State Assemblymembers Dawn Addis, Lori Wilson, Mia Bonta, Pilar Schiavo, and Rebecca Bauer-Kahan; San Francisco Mayor London Breed; San Bernardino Mayor Helen Tran; Los Angeles City Councilmember Katy Young Yaroslavsky; and San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott.
For more information, please visit ca.emergeamerica.org.