LLA on the Move: Zelica Rodriguez-Deams

LLA Cohort 2 Alumna
Zelica Rodriguez-Deams
Director, Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations

Zelica Rodriguez-Deams was appointed as the new Director for the Santa Clara County’s Office of Immigrant Relations (OIR) in June 2020.  Zelica was selected after an extensive and competitive recruitment process that included many excellent candidates.  Competitive as the process was, Zelica truly stood out as the right choice to represent and protect the interests of our county’s immigrant communities in these critical times.

Zelica has nearly 20 years of experience in the non-profit field as a community organizer, advocate and community builder.  Her prowess is in research and analysis, strategy development and program impact.  For the past 8 years, Zelica has served on the leadership team at SOMOS Mayfair, first as Director of Programs and then as Associate Director, designing a comprehensive program strategy that puts residents at the center of community change and transformation. She is both an internal and external thought partner, helping craft organizational vision and policies, facilitating strategic partnerships, and serving as a media spokesperson for immigration rights and policies.

Before joining SOMOS, Zelica served as the Director of Policy & Organizing for Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), where she developed and won advocacy campaigns to increase equity, access, resources and rights for immigrant families. She also led SIREN’s robust civic engagement strategy that resulted in a multi-language civic campaign to increase awareness of voter rights and responsibilities amongst the immigrant community.

Born in El Salvador, Zelica came to this country as a child.  She earned her Master’s in Political Science from San Francisco State University and her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Latin American and Latino studies from University of California, Santa Cruz.

LLA Congratulates: Elizabeth Castañeda

LLA Board Member & Cohort 7 Alumna
Elizabeth Castañeda
Silicon Valley Business Journal’s ’40 Under 40′

When she’s not volunteering on the. Latino Leadership Alliance board, this working mom is leading a team at the City of San Jose to build awareness about essential library services. Read more about her in the 2020 edition of ‘40 Under 40.’

El Día de la Raza

Celebrate El Día de la Raza with the Latino Leadership Alliance 

October 13, 2020 from 6:00 – 7:15 pm.

About this Event

Join us and learn about El Día de la Raza and the Latino Leadership Academy (LLA). This year, we will showcase the history of El Día de la Raza and the new Mentoring Program created by the LLA fellows in Cohort X.

Just confirmed: Adrian Felix, associate professor of ethnic studies at UC Riverside and author of Specters of Belonging: The Political Life Cycle of Mexican Migrants will join us to talk about the history of Día De La Raza and why Latino Leadership and Mentorship is so important.



Also joining us: Alberto Mesta Jr., branch manager of the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) El Paso office and editor of satirical website Pocho.com will join us to talk about his experience as a farm worker division attorney, the importance of Latino mentorship, and his involvement in the aftermath of the August 3, 2010 mass shooting in El Paso.


This community event is free, and an excellent opportunity to explore leadership from our cultural lens.

Get your tickets today!

Introducing - Movimiento

Felicidades, Novedades y Más

Latino Leadership Alliance is kicking off its first issue of Movimiento, a quarterly newsletter that highlights the LLA alumni network, recent accolades, updates on jobs and appointments to boards and commissions in Santa Clara County and beyond.

LLA’s mission statement is identify and provide training and support to emerging leaders across the business, government, education and non-profit sectors to take leadership roles in all sectors and in issues affecting the Silicon Valley’s expansive and diverse Latino community. And once our network of dynamic alumni are impacting these sectors with their voice and leadership, we want to highlight, celebrate and amplify their work.

If you are an LLA alum and have something to share for the next issue in November 2020, please submit using this form.