Share This Valencia Street, #125 San Francisco, CA 94103(415) 431-4210Email: info[at]

About People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER)

PODER’s Mission

PODER’s mission is to organize with Latino immigrant families and youth to put into practice people-powered solutions that are locally based, community led and environmentally just. We nurture everyday people’s leadership, regenerate culture, and build community power.

PODER’s Vision

PODER’s vision is a society where everyday people can shape their neighborhoods and economies. We organize with Latino immigrant families, along with other low-income communities of color, to cultivate community rooted solutions that create a society where immigrant rights, social, racial, economic, and environmental justice are central to the world in which we live.



Laura Melgarejo | Civic Engagement Coordinator

Laura was born and raised in Mexico, in the state of Michoacán. She migrated at the age of 14 to the United States. Laura is the first generation of her family to attend college and the first organizer in her family.  Laura was active as a volunteer in efforts to pass legislation (AB 540) that allowed undocumented students to attend college and pay tuition as California residents.  In 2003, Laura was recruited as a Youth Organizer for the Common Roots: Youth Organizer Program.  She is currently a Community Organizer at PODER working on environmental health issues and immigrant youth empowerment.  As a student at San Francisco State University, she received a scholarship from the Chicana/Latina Foundation and was a member of the Youth Empowerment Fund Advisory Board of the Department of Children, Youth and their Families. She is currently enrolled in the Masters in Public Health Program at San José State University.

Contact Information: Google Voice: (650) 254 – 6837 / 

Amy Aguilera | Civic Engagement Organizer

Amy Aguilera became involved in social justice work after learning about HR4437, a discriminatory legislative bill aimed at California’s immigrant communities. Born and raised in Oxnard, CA to immigrant parents she saw the injustice this would bring to many families like her own. This led Amy to volunteer and later work with social justice groups that worked to better the lives of Latin@ immigrant families.

Today, Amy works as a Civic Engagement Organizer with PODER. Her focus is on community education around immigrant rights and advocacy on language justice for monolingual Spanish speakers.

Contact Information: Google Voice: (805) 253 – 2269 /