Xiomara was born and raised in Los Angeles, the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants. She grew up in a politically conscious household and brings to Groundswell 19 years of organizing experience and a strong track record of building power for communities of color through grassroots organizing, leadership development, and civic engagement. She cut her teeth in electoral organizing at UC Riverside, where as a Students for Social Justice Fellow she got out the vote in support of affirmative action for the No on Proposition 209 campaign. She then went to work for SCOPE in Los Angeles, where she learned first-hand how electoral organizing can lead to policy change.
A long-time movement leader, Xiomara spent the next 11 years at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), where she developed the organization’s first in-house electoral program and organizing department. Surmounting the challenge of a membership base composed primarily of people who are not citizens and thus cannot vote, Xiomara created powerful voter programs that paved the way for an array of state and local laws that support the rights of immigrant such as drivers’ licenses for undocumented people, the state’s Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, and the One California program, which provided $2.4 million in funding for citizenship and DACA services throughout California.
Under Xiomara’s leadership, CHIRLA joined the statewide campaigns to oppose three different parental notification ballot measures, as well as the campaign to oppose Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage. While some questioned why an immigrant rights group would get involved in these two issues, CHIRLA used its clout in the Latino community to educate voters and their loved ones about these propositions, recognizing that Latino voters were being targeted to vote yes at their places of worship.
Xiomara is also the mother to two funny and creative children, and in their spare time like to dance and sing to pop music.