Michelle joined Public Advocates as a Policy Advocate in 2016, focusing on tenant issues, housing, land use, public transit, and climate policy in the legislature. She helped build and strengthen many statewide coalitions and worked on groundbreaking legislation, including AB 686 – which brought affirmatively furthering fair housing into California law – and AB 1482 – the state’s anti rent gouging and just cause for eviction law.
Michelle took a break from Public Advocates in late 2020 to be Chief of Staff to Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela. Team Valenzuela accomplished many first for Sacramento – the city’s first safe camping locations for people experiencing homelessness, the city’s first funded participatory budgeting project, incorporated “last resort” language into police use-of-force standards, abolished the racist anti-cruising ordinance on the 1980s, brought million of dollars into underserved communities, and much more.
Michelle returned to Public Advocates in 2022 as a Senior Policy Advocate to lead the Investment Justice Project with the Metropolitan Equity Team.
Michelle is a proud community college transfer student from Sacramento City College. She graduated with High Honors from the University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Community and Regional Development, with emphases in Policy, Planning and Global Communities. She was trained as a community organizer by the great Mary Gonzales and Greg Galluzzo, who taught President Barack Obama how to organize.
Michelle serves as a delegate to the California Democratic Party, an elected delegate to the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, and as a founding member and vice chair of the Queer Democrats of Sacramento County. She was selected by Sen. Bernie Sanders as a PLEO delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Finally, she serves as chair of Organize Sacramento, which provides training, education, and technical assistance to community groups on techniques of community organizing and local government processes so that they might act strategically when community issues become organizing campaigns.