Hernandez joins the Board with a stellar social justice background. He is currently the Senior Field Organizer for Economic Justice at the Washington DC based Community Change, dedicated to building the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change the policies and institutions that impact their lives. Hernandez is also actively involved within the local community serving on the McCune Foundation’s Social Change Institute’s Advisory Committee and is a co-founder of City Corps of Oxnard, a youth leadership and service-learning program that provides job training and life skills for low income and young people of color. He has also led youth development and health education efforts at El Concilio del Condado de Ventura, was the Director of the Central Coast Environmental Health Project (CCEHP) for California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) and a founding member of the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE).
“Cesar is an impressive individual,” said Housing Trust Fund VC Board Chair Jennie Buckingham. “Between his private sector work as Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Reiter Affiliated, the largest fresh berry grower in the world, to his many community endeavors advocating for low-income people, Cesar brings a valuable perspective to our Board.” Leading labor strategy efforts to improve earning, working, and living conditions for over 20,000 harvesters in the U.S, Hernandez led the company’s philanthropic giving and supply chain responsibility efforts in both the U.S. and Mexico. His work earned him the position of Fellow with the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.
Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Cesar Hernandez immigrated with his family to the United States in the late 1970’s and was raised in Oxnard. “As a kid growing up in Colonia Village, a public housing project built and managed by the City of Oxnard, my community was always a source of inspiration,” commented Hernandez. “My success is directly linked to the stability that affordable housing provided to my parents. I remember feeling lucky to have my own bedroom, where I could study and dream about what I could become and where I wanted to go in the world. It is my hope that we can all work together to help more families thrive and it starts with a safe place to call home.”