Leadership

Jolt Staff

Jolt is led by Latinx who have fought, marched and organized for our community. We’ve come together to build a movement in Texas that has the power to win our community the respect we deserve. Combined, our team has over 30 years of experience organizing, advocating, and defending the Latino community.

Cristina Tzintzún Ramírez, Executive Director

Cristina Tzintzun is a nationally recognized advocate and leader in the Latino community. She was named “Hero of the New South” by Southern Living Magazine and hailed by the New York Times for her success with Workers Defense Project (WDP). At just 24, Cristina co-founded WDP and helped pass half a dozen local and state laws to protect the rights of hundreds of thousands of workers, guaranteeing them higher wages and safer working conditions. Cristina was also named a “changemaker” by the Texas Observer, and her work has been featured on NPR, USA Today, Univision and MSNBC’s Up Late with Alec Baldwin. Cristina is the author of the book “Presente! Latino Immigrant Voices in the Struggle for Racial Justice” and other works on race, class and gender.

Brigid Hall, Deputy Director

Brigid Hall is a leader in the civil rights movement who has dedicated her career to ensuring marginalized communities have a seat at the table in the decisions that impact their lives. She has helped take immigrant and racial justice organizations to scale in Texas, impacting the lives of millions of people across the state. Her niche is in the finance, fundraising, and operations of million-dollar entities. Brigid has worked at organizations in Texas, California, and Chile, and brings her unique leadership style wherever she goes.

David Sanchez, Civic Engagement Director

David brings over eight years of organizing and electoral  experience to Jolt. Most recently David worked as the Outreach and Engagement Coordinator for the Democracy Initiative, where he helped pass Automatic Voter Registration in Illinois and Fair Elections in Washington D.C. Prior to his work with the Democracy Initiative, David was DMV Coordinator for the People’s Climate Movement (PCM) and helped bring over 200,000 people to march for climate change in the streets of Washington D.C. Previous to his work with PCM, David worked across southwest states in a senior level capacity for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, and served as the Texas Deputy State Director. David earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of North Texas, and Masters in Public Administration from DePaul University.

Antonio Arellano, Communications Director

Antonio Arellano is a multi-media journalist and human rights advocate who has been nationally recognized as one of the most influential young Latino voices in the United States, by Hispanicize. Originally from Michoacán, Mexico he served as a social media correspondent for KTRK ABC13 in Houston, Texas prior to joining Jolt in September 2018

His social media accounts combined reach an estimated 100 thousand millennial voters. He uses his platforms to engage and empower the youth to fight for immigration reform, racial equality, LGBTQI issues, and civil rights. Antonio’s consistent innovation has garnished national attention, and he has been featured in national publications such as the Washington Post, Vice News, Huffpost and USA Today.

Tess Ortega, Organizing Director

Tess has been volunteering with the organization since February, 2017 and is a Jolt Organizing Institute Graduate. Before joining Jolt, Tess worked as a College Readiness Advocate at Austin Partners in Education helping low income students meet state college readiness standards and apply to institutions of higher education. During the summer of 2017 Tess was a lead organizing fellow in Texas for Planned Parenthood’s Summer of Defiance campaign focused on preventing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Tess got her start in non-profit work in college as a member of the 2015 Texas 4000 for Cancer team, she helped organize and participated in a bike ride from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska to raise money for cancer research and support programs. Tess holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Hector Sifuentes, Digital Content Specialist

Hector is a native of Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Texas State University with a degree in Digital Media Innovations. Since age ten he has been creating videos. In school he learned coding and web design skills. HTML, CSS, JavsScript, Python, APIs, and WordPress.

 

 

 

Tina Chavez, Project Manager

Tina Chavez serves as the Project Manager for Movement Mujeres at Jolt. Prior to joining Jolt Tina worked at various educational and basic needs focused nonprofits in Austin. Her background is in community engagement, resource sharing, event planning and fundraising.  She is a proud Mexican American with ties in Guanajuato, Mexico and Houston, TX. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Youth and Community Studies. 

Amanda Rocha, Logistics Coordinator

Amanda Rocha is the Logistics Coordinator for Movement Mujeres at Jolt. She joins Jolt with more than 7 years of experience in the nonprofit, education, and social work sectors in Houston. While Amanda is proud to call the Houston area home, she is also very proud to be Chicana, as she is part of a 5th generation of Mexican-American families native to Texas. She holds an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and a Master of Social Work degree from The University of Houston, where she focused on political and macro social work. As as a social worker, she is guided by values that include social justice, the dignity and worth of the individual, and the importance of human relationships.

Karen Quintero, Dallas Organizer

Karen Quintero  She is an a graduate of the Jolt Leadership Institute, which she now helps facilitate. As a community organizer, she trains volunteers, and creates safe spaces for latinx people throughout Dallas. She develops students to form their own Jolt chapters on college campuses all over North Texas.  During her time at Jolt, she has collaborated with the Inside Out Project, and led an event featured in a Time Magazine cover piece. A Mexican immigrant herself, she is passionate about immigrant rights, has worked extensively with the Dallas Immigrant community and served as a Bilingual Advocate for Dallas CASA. Karen holds a BA in Public Affairs and Community Service from the University of North Texas.

Kelvin Lopez-Garcia, Houston Organizer

Kelvin is a recent transplant to Texas; he previously resided in Wichita, KS where he graduated with a degree in Political Science at Wichita State University. Realizing the potential to civically engage the Latinx community in Texas, he was eager to make the move. Kelvin first began his involvement with Jolt in September of 2018 as a canvasser and then transitioned to become the Houston Organizer.  Before working for Jolt, Kelvin participated in various city-wide organizing for immigrant’s rights and working to make his campus and hometown more welcoming to immigrants and the Latinx community. Most notably, in September of 2017 when the President announced the termination of the Obama-era DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, Kelvin mobilized over 400 people at a rally in support of DACA recipients exactly one week later.

 

Board of Directors

Elsa Reyes, President
Lesley Nowlin-Blessing, Secretary
Teo Tijerina, Treasurer
Robert “Bob” Dailey, Member
Kandace Vallejo, Member

Leadership Council

Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood
Dr. Hector Ruiz, Advanced Nanotechnology
Frank I. Sanchez, Needmor Foundation
Sara Gould, Smith College
Dr. Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California
Nona Niland, Niland Foundation
Bonnie Mills, Mills Family Foundation
Carmen Rojas, Worker’s Lab
Julene Perez-Gonzalez, Hispanics in Philanthropy (formerly)