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Our Team

Rise South City is built of a team of staff and volunteers from the Bay Area committed to our community.

Francesca Pedraza


Julio Garcia

Founder and Executive Director of Rise South City in South San Francisco aims to create a new center of gravity in the climate movement by uniting frontline communities, allies, and organizations toward resilient, regenerative, and equitable neighborhoods. 

Julio Garcia has been a true champion and an environmental justice leader for the Latinx community in San Mateo County and throughout the Bay Area for the past 23 years. In standing up for environmental justice issues on a local and regional scale, Julio and Rise South City staff have been influential in the fight for access to green spaces, self-determination, and instrumental in creating equity policies throughout San Mateo County.  

Julio has created robust and well-regarded educational and leadership development programs that have been attended and replicated by community EJ organizations and government agencies across the Bay Area, and the state. 


Julio Garcia served as the Program Director of Nuestra Casa of East Palo Alto from 2009-2021, I which he created programs that directly benefited BIPOC communities. He also led the Environmental and Water Justice program from 2017-2020. During his time leading this program, Nuestra Casa served as one of 13 Outreach Partners selected by the San Francisco Bay Disadvantaged Community and Tribal Engagement Program, which was part of a statewide effort that was funded and administered by the California State Department of Water Resources (DWR). 

Julio’s leadership goes beyond his role as the executive director of Rise South City, he serves on the board of directors table for Ravenswood Medical Center, and he has directly impacted policy change to better serve communities of color. Also, he was part of The Environment Justice Review Team of representatives from Bay Area equity and social justice organizations that helped develop San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission Environmental Justice policies. His work continues today as a Bay Adept’s Leadership Advisory Group member and part of a new group of BCDC EJ Advisors tasked with guiding the agency to implement Environmental Justice Policies.  


Martha Agustin Ortega 

Martha Augustin.jpeg

Martha is a great leader in the community. She has worked with Rise South City since April of 2022. As a person that has struggled herself as a member of the Latinx community, she became involved with her community with the purpose of providing and bringing resources about programs that can benefit people in disadvantaged positions. Martha got involved in her leadership role at her children’s school, as the president of English Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) in 2000, where she collaborated with parents voicing their needs and concerns for the benefit of their their students. She also volunteers with Padres Unidos (United Parents) with the Mark Silverman firm for immigration services and advocacy. She participates with the Highway Patrol in Redwood City delivering Christmas presents to children from low-income communities every year. Martha is the director of Full Mission (court companionship and assistance to families of the Latinx community). She served as lead promotora at Nuestra Casa of East Palo Alto for the past 2 years and has assisted them in training other promotoras and community participants. 

Martha es una gran líder en la comunidad, ha trabajado con Rise South City desde abril de 2022. Como persona que ha luchado como miembro de la comunidad Latinx. Se involucró con su comunidad con el propósito de brindar y traer recursos sobre programas que puedan beneficiar a las personas en posiciones desfavorecidas. Martha se involucró en su papel de liderazgo en la escuela de sus hijos, como presidenta del Comité Asesor de Aprendizaje de Inglés (ELAC) en 2000, colaboró con los padres expresando sus necesidades y preocupaciones que beneficiarían a sus estudiantes. También es voluntaria con padres Unidos (United Parents) con la firma de Mark Silverman para servicios de inmigración y defensa. Participó con el departamento de Patrulla de Caminos en Redwood City entregando regalos de Navidad a niños de comunidades de bajos ingresos cada año. Martha es la directora de Full mission (provee servicios de compañerismo de corte y asistencia a familias de la comunidad Latinx). Se desempeñó como líder de promotoras en Nuestra Casa de East Palo Alto y trabajo ahí durante 2 años ayudado a capacitar a otras promotoras y participantes de la comunidad. 

Rosa Maria Adame Valdivia


Rosi has resided in Redwood City for 25 years. She is a mother of three and a grandmother to one beautiful girl. She is passionate about working with communities and helping families learn and grow. Rosi is a member of a group in her community church and has taught Sunday school to children for the past 15 years. Her dedication to families has guided her work with underrepresented communities in in Redwood City, with local schools. She has also worked with Terry, Libre, and the highway patrol, and as an advocate for community members in the Latinx community. This work lead Rosi to the promotoras program at Nuestra Casa of East Palo Alto, and, in October of 2022, Rosi joined the promotoras group at Rise South City. Rosi is passionate about community and enjoys teaching and helping bring information to communities that are in many ways left behind. She believes in humanitarian work and building equity among disadvantage communities. “Under the eyes of God, we are all created equal, and therefore we should all be treated equal.”  

Rosi ha residido en Redwood City durante 25 años, es madre de 3 hijos y abuela de una hermosa niña. Le apasiona trabajar con las comunidades y ayudar a las familias a aprender y crecer. Rosi es miembro de un grupo de formación religiosa en la iglesia de su comunidad y ha ensenado en la escuela dominical para niños durante los últimos 15 años. Su dedicación a las familias ha guiado su trabajo con las comunidades poco representadas en Redwood City con las escuelas locales. También ha colaborado con Terry, Libre y el departamento de la patrulla de carreteras, y como defensora de los miembros de la comunidad Latina. Este trabajo llevó a Rosi al programa de promotoras en Nuestra Casa de East Palo Alto y, en octubre de 2022, Rosi se unió al grupo de promotoras en Rise South City. A Rosi le apasiona la comunidad y disfruta enseñar y ayudar a llevar información a las comunidades que en muchos sentidos se quedan atrás. Ella cree en el trabajo humanitario y en la creación de equidad entre las comunidades desfavorecidas. “Ante los ojos de Dios, todos somos creados iguales, y por lo tanto todos debemos ser tratados por igual”

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