Our Team

 

Board of Directors

Stephen L. Collier, Board President

Steve Collier has been a staff attorney at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic in San Francisco since 1987, representing low-income tenants in all aspects of housing law. He specializes in affirmative tenant suits for wrongful eviction and habitability, and Ellis Act eviction defense. In addition to his work at Tenderloin Housing Clinic, Steve is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Golden Gate University School of Law.

 

María Guadalupe Arreola, Board Secretary & Treasurer

Lupe Arreola has been active in the San Francisco tenant community for over 10 years. She is the former Director of Counseling Programs at St Peter's Housing Committee where she worked from 2001 to 2008 counseling and organizing San Francisco tenants. Lupe served on the board of directors of the San Francisco Community Land Trust, as a member of the Lead Poisoning Citizens' Advisory Committee, and on the board of directors of Partnership for Immigrant Leadership and Action (PILA). She currently works as an housing and public accommodations discrimination investigator and mediator at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.  

 

Gen Fujioka, Director

Gen Fujioka is the Senior Policy Advocate at the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development. Prior to this, Gen was the Director of Programs at the Asian Law Caucus, a San Francisco based nonprofit law office dedicated to serving the needs of Asian Pacific Americans. Gen joined the Caucus in 1989 and served as its lead attorney on land use, eviction, and housing development cases as well as on other civil rights matters. Previously, Gen also served as a staff attorney for five years with the Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County.

 

Larry Gross, Director

Larry Gross is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES). He has been with CES for over 38 years, since its inception in 1973. CES is a grassroots, multi-racial, multi-ethnic tenants' rights organization serving low and moderate income renters throughout the greater Los Angeles area. CES' impressive track record includes leading campaigns to win rent control in the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood, among many other accomplishments. Larry has been selected to serve on many City housing task forces and committees over the years, most recently being appointed by the L.A. City Council to the City Rent Stabilization Ordinance Study Oversight Committee.

 

Michelle Kezirian, Director

Michelle Kezirian is the Directing Attorney at Bet Tzedek Legal Services in Los Angeles. She has practiced in both the private and nonprofit sectors and previously served as a senior staff attorney at Inner City Law Center, and as an associate at Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May (now Reed Smith). Her work has been recognized with her naming as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Michelle received her law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis where she graduated with a B.A. degree, Phi Beta Kappa and with highest honors.

 

Pahoua Lor, Director

Pahoua Lor is an attorney in private practice in Fresno. Until 2012, she was a Staff Attorney at Central California Legal Services where she assists clients with unlawful detainer defense and provides housing advocacy by working with a range of community groups. She has also served as Interim Director of The Southeast Asian Institute for Advancement, Fresno, CA. She is fluent in Hmong.

 

Staff

Dean Preston, Executive Director

Dean is the founder and Executive Director of Tenants Together. Dean is an attorney with expertise on tenant rights. Dean has trained hundreds of California attorneys, counselors and organizers on tenant rights issues and provides ongoing technical assistance to tenant advocates across the state. He regularly testifies before the state legislature on tenant rights issues and has been involved in numerous ballot campaigns at the local and state level. In 2008, Dean played a key role in the campaign against Proposition 98, a ballot measure that would have abolished rent control statewide. Prior to launching Tenants Together, Dean was a staff attorney for seven years at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic (THC) in San Francisco where he represented low-income tenants in housing matters. His practice included defending tenants against eviction, suing landlords for wrongful eviction and substandard housing conditions, and fighting conversion of rent-controlled housing. Dean has received awards from numerous tenant rights organizations.

 

Aimee Inglis, Associate Director

Aimee was formally trained as a community organizer through the Midwest Academy's Organizing program, and has focused professionally on starting and managing volunteer programs at non-profit organizations. She started her work with Tenants Together as a volunteer counselor on the Tenant Rights Hotline. As staff, her role at Tenants Together has been focused on building a strong Member base, which includes educating volunteers, managing the Tenant Rights Hotline, leading online organizing efforts, and engaging in state and local policy on tenants’ rights. 

 

Leah Simon-Weisberg, Legal Director

Leah is the Legal Director of Tenants Together. Before joining TT, Leah was the managing attorney of the Anti-Predatory Lending and Home Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Practice at Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA). Leah previously served as co-Executive Director of the Eviction Defense Network (EDN) in Los Angeles, California. At EDN, Leah litigated over 1,000 unlawful detainer cases on behalf of tenants facing eviction in Los Angeles County. Leah has extensive experience providing education to legal service providers and tenants facing eviction.

 

Dan Harper, Organizing Director

Dan is a veteran organizer. He started his organizing career with ACORN in 2002 where he worked as a community organizer working with Spanish speaking residents in Stockton for clean air and safe parks. He has over a decade of labor organizing experience with SEIU and AFSCME. Dan has also worked as a political organizer for pro-tenant, progressive candidates, including as campaign coordinator for John Avalos’ campaign for District 11 Supervisor in San Francisco. Dan has been a longtime member of Tenants Together. Dan is deeply committed to empowering renters and working for economic justice.

 

Adolfo Echeverry, Office Manager

Adolfo Echeverry graduated with a B.S in Agribusiness at Universidad Nacional de Colombia and has over 20 years of experience in the management field. He moved to the United States in 1999. Since, he has worked exclusively with non-profits. Before joining the Tenants Together’s team, Adolfo worked for almost 9 years as Research Associate/Management Assistant at the San Francisco Welcome Back Center.

 

Evelina Nava, Legal Fellow

Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow, Evelina Nava, joins our team hitting the ground with a project in San Jose which aims to improve rental housing conditions and combat slum housing. A Berkeley School of Law graduate, she brings her experience growing up in low-income communities in the Central Valley to help communities facing similar challenges in San Jose. She has assisted and represented low-income tenants, including monolingual Spanish speakers, in eviction cases as an intern at the East Bay Community Law Center and at Bay Area Legal Aid. Her Peace Corps service reinforced her passion for community development and addressing root causes of poverty and inequality.

 

Eduardo Torres, East Bay Organizer

Eduardo has been organizing in his hometown of Bay Point with ACCE West Pittsburg for Progress for 3 years where the focus has been improving the quality of life in the unincorporated community. Eduardo’s educational background is in Recording Arts and his professional experience includes working in media and performing arts. Eduardo previously worked at Univision Communications for 9 years. He is excited to be organizing for tenants' rights in the East Bay, where low-income tenants and communities of color are facing increasing rising rents and displacement.

 

Sara Linck-Frenz, Hotline & Volunteer Coordinator

Sara Linck-Frenz was first introduced to the fight for housing justice through Causa Just: Just Cause, a grassroots organization that works to build leadership to achieve justice for low-income black and brown communities in San Francisco and Oakland. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Sara studied a rotating mix of cultural geography, queer/gender studies, Latin American literature and dance. She now spends most of her time sorting through the intersections of resistance, care and justice with her chosen family. Sara is very excited to be a part of the Tenants Together community and grateful for the opportunity to support the fight for safe, affordable, and equitable housing in California.

 

 

 

 

 

Tenants Together member organizations regularly provide guidance on state legislation and support state and local efforts for renters' rights.

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