Lisa Hershey | Executive Director
Lisa Hershey has served as Executive Director of Housing California, based in Sacramento, since November 2016. She has an extensive background in leading multi-sector initiatives around statewide policy change. In her previous role as Associate Director, she supervised Housing California staff, managed operations and cultivated non-traditional partnerships with multi-sector coalitions, networks and agencies, bringing the housing sector into greater conversations around climate change, equity, health and resident organizing.
Lisa started at Housing California as the Sustainable Communities Coordinator and held the position from May 2014 – December 2015. Before joining Housing California, Lisa served as the Public Health Institute (PHI) program director for California Convergence, a network of resident leaders and partners creating healthy, safe, and equitable communities where every person can participate and thrive. During her 21 years in state and local public sector roles, Lisa managed department-wide equity and place-based initiatives. She also served as an advisor to the director and deputy director on Policy and Programs in the California Department Public Health (CDPH) to inform SB 375 and AB 32 initial implementation and development of the Strategic Growth Council. She represented CDPH as a liaison for the department’s executive team with other state departments, agencies, and diverse external partners.
Lisa received a B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University and a Master’s in Public Health from Loma Linda University School of Public Health., She is also a yoga teacher and certified peace ambassador. Lisa loves to run, practice yoga, and hang out with her family.
Direct dial: 916.287.9885
Jack Avery | Policy Associate
Jack Avery joined Housing CA in February 2020 as a Policy Associate. He has a background in public policy advocacy, nonprofit programs, and direct services. Prior to his time at Housing CA, Jack held multiple roles at United Way Bay Area, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty throughout eight counties of the Bay Area. He served as the Public Policy Analyst, leading local, state and federal advocacy efforts on multiple issue areas, including affordable housing, food insecurity, public benefits, and the minimum wage. Jack also had experience as a Program Specialist, developing and leading an educational and outreach campaign for CalSavers, a new, state-sponsored retirement savings program, for over 7.5 million Californians who lack access to retirement savings at work. Before working at United Way Bay Area, Jack co-founded and led the Spark Initiative, a youth-led program providing peer mentorship and case management for youth experiencing homelessness, foster care, and justice systems involvement. The Spark Initiative is a program of VOICES Youth Center, which has pioneered lived-experience-leadership for over 15 years.
Jack Avery grew up in San Francisco, California and attended City College of San Francisco, before transferring to, and graduating from, University of California, Los Angeles, with a BA in Political Science.
Direct dial: 916.287.9883
Jade Chin | Administrative Associate
Jade Chin joined the Housing California team in January 2021 as an Administrative Associate. In this capacity, she supports the day-to-day operations at Housing California. She assists with Housing California’s Annual Conference and helps to coordinate and arrange meetings and in-house events.
Prior to joining Housing California, Jade worked for nine years as the Assistant to the Executive Director for the California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body for high school sports in the state of Californian. She interacted with the executive committee which was comprised of school superintendents, high school principals, athletic directors, and other school district staff. She also gained comprehensive experience in organizing conferences and large-scale meetings. Jade also supported the Executive Director for the Center for Civic Partnerships, part of the Public Health Institute. In this capacity she helped sustain the Healthy Cities and Communities initiative in various cities throughout California.
Jade attended Hartnell Community College in Salinas and then transferred to California State University, Long Beach and California State University, Sacramento. Outside of work, Jade spends most of her time with family and close friends.
Direct dial: 916.287.9890
Amber-Lee Leslie | Legislative Advocate
Amber-Lee Leslie joined Housing California in May 2021 as a Legislative Advocate for Land Use and Finance. She works closely with Housing CA’s leadership, policy and program team, Board of Directors, resident leaders, and partners to advocate for equitable land use and affordable housing development policy statewide.
Before joining Housing California, Amber-Lee was a Legislative Aide to the Land Use Policy Committee Board Chair in Fairfax County, Virginia, where she collaborated with a variety of stakeholders to ensure that land use applications aligned community needs with local zoning ordinances and planning guidance. She was deeply involved in policy amendments that created allowances for new residential development in a commercially zoned area, which emphasized housing diversity and affordable homeownership opportunities.
Amber-Lee has also worked as a Housing Choice Voucher Policy Analyst for a nonprofit group representing housing authorities nationwide, and as a Research Assistant on a social policy issues including affordable housing and public-private partnerships in urban areas.
Amber-Lee earned a master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus in urban development from Georgia State University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Emory University.
Direct dial: 916.287.9887
Christopher Martin | Policy Director
Christopher Martin joined Housing California in August 2017 as a legislative advocate with a focus on California homelessness policy. Chris now leads Housing California’s policy team as the Policy Director. Prior to joining Housing California, Chris worked as Executive Director for Friends of the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois advocating for public lands and sustainability.
Christopher has worked in the State Capitols of Illinois and Michigan, and the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. While in D.C., Chris worked for then-Rep. Tammy Duckworth to secure funding for homeless veteran care for various non-governmental organizations in Illinois and around the country. After working for the Congressperson, Chris started with JDRF Advocacy as a Grassroots Coordinator to advocate for federal Type 1 diabetes research funding and support for programs assisting those affected by the disease, with which he lives. While in this position he supported and managed volunteers along the west coast including in California. Christopher now serves on the Board for the JDRF Northern California Inland Chapter as their Advocacy Team Chair (ATC).
Christopher has led many bills and budget requests since joining Housing California. He led on bills to create a supportive housing program for Medi-Cal beneficiaries (AB 74, Chiu 2017), prohibit discrimination against voucher holders (SB 329, Mitchell 2019) as well as the Homeless Youth Act of 2018 (SB 918, Wiener 2018). Chris also has led advocacy for investment out of the budget to address homelessness including historic investments like the ones in 2019 and 2020 of nearly $1B. He also sat on the Executive Steering Committee at the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) for the Adult Reentry Program, which appropriated $50m in funds to community-based organizations (CBOs) to support formerly incarcerated Californians in transitioning back to community.
Christopher received a B.A. in both Political Science and Criminal Justice from Michigan State University.
Direct dial: 916.287.9886
Iris Murillo | Communications Manager
Iris Murillo joined the Housing California team in February 2020. She has over 14 years of marketing, sales and public relations experience. In the last six years, she has served as Director of Marketing for Christian Church Homes (CCH), a faith-based non-profit housing developer and property management organization. Iris has extensive experience developing and executing comprehensive communication plans targeting and engaging specific groups central to the mission of the organization. In her role she has also created and executed an art program and a digital learning program serving low-income seniors residing in affordable housing and enabled residents to visit the State Capitol where they met with legislators and promoted affordable housing bills. Over the last two years, she has also collaborated with communication directors from numerous housing organizations.
She previously served as a Library Commissioner for the City of Hayward where she worked to pass a ballot measure funding the development of a new city library which opened in late 2019. Iris holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Information Systems from Cal Poly Pomona and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Cal State East Bay.
Direct dial: 916.287.9831
Khrystyna Platte | Membership and Special Projects Associate
Khrystyna Platte joined the Housing California team as an Administrative Assistant in September 2019. Since joining the organization, Khrystyna has assisted in various areas of the organization including the planning of the 2020 Housing California Conference, and its transition to a highly successful virtual “Un-Conference”. Prior to working at Housing CA, Khrystyna worked in the non-profit sector since 2013 coordinating local, statewide, and national events such as conferences, workshops, and elected official dinners geared toward providing technical assistance and information to local government officials and staff.
As the Membership and Special Project Associate, she strives to draw on her experience in the detailed processes and adaptiveness required for successful events-- and use those skills to help strengthen and grow Housing California and its Membership.
Khrystyna earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from Sacramento State University and is currently pursuing a Certificate in Accounting through American River College in Sacramento, CA.
Direct dial: 916.287.9889
Jazmin Posas | Program Manager
Jazmin Posas joined Housing California in January 2018. Prior to Housing California, she worked as a Program Coordinator for Student Action with Farmworkers, as a Program Associate at CaliforniaVolunteers, and as an application counselor for the Marketplace Exchange.
As a Program Associate for CaliforniaVolunteers, Jazmin oversaw a portfolio of AmeriCorps grants and worked with programs across the state to provide technical assistance on AmeriCorps grant compliance and policies. At Student Action with Farmworkers (based in Durham, North Carolina), she coordinated an internship and a fellowship program, organizing and training students from across the country to engage in the farmworker justice movement of the southeast. She conducted community outreach to raise awareness of issues related to farmworkers and garner support for organizational programs. While in North Carolina, she worked in Raleigh and surrounding rural communities providing education on access and utilization of the Affordable Care Act to residents of low-income communities and H2A visa recipients.
Upon returning to California, Jazmin got involved with campaigns such as Make it Fair (now the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act), and organized residents to become civically engaged in local government.
Jazmin graduated from California State University of Sacramento with a B.A. in History and received a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University’s Continuing Education program. She is currently a fellow in the Women’s Policy Institute, creating policy to advance gender and economic justice through the Economic Justice team.
Direct dial: 916.287.9881
Jacqueline Ramirez | Policy Associate
Jacqueline Ramirez joined the Housing California team in February 2020 as a Policy Associate. As the first person in her family with the opportunity to pursue higher education, she is committed to creating collaboration around social issues. Before working in Housing California, Jacqueline researched social equity and policy around homelessness, housing, economic development, and health issues in the Southern California region.
A Los Angeles native, Jacqueline attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received a B.A. in Anthropology and minored in Global Studies. She also attended the University of Southern California, earning a Master of Public Administration, and Master of Social Work focused on Social Change and Innovation. Jaqueline is currently a fellow in the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, fostering German and American relations as well as creating a better understanding of the challenges faced in the global landscape.
Direct dial: 916.287.9830
Tori Truscheit | Organizing Director
Tori Truscheit joined Housing California in July 2019 as the Statewide Organizer. She now serves as Housing California’s Organizing Director. Most recently, she was Solidarity Manager at Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose, where she organized food bank volunteers to support housing and immigration justice. She was the lead organizer and a founding member of the San Jose chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice, where she won a 2019 campaign to make sanctuary protections for Santa Clara County immigrants the strongest in the country.
In the South Bay, she organized homeowners and renters for tenants’ rights and low-income gardeners for increased access to organic food. Previously, in New York City, she organized teachers around state evaluations after time as a public middle school teacher and education policy researcher.
Tori received a B.A. in English from Yale University and a Master’s in teaching from Pace University. She is also a freelance journalist, reporting on LGBT issues for outlets like Buzzfeed.
Direct dial: 916.304.3747
Robert Reyes Villagomez | Statewide Organizer
Robert Reyes Villagomez focuses on developing the capacity of the Residents United Network and advancing Housing California’s priorities to end homelessness through expanding access to affordable housing and services.
In 2019, Robert worked with Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) in the South Bronx. He organized tenant associations and trained members to lead direct actions, testify at city hearings, and push for stronger renter protections at the state level. In Uniontown, Alabama, Robert served as the Social Justice Fellow with the Samuel Lawrence Foundation and Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice. Robert developed a citizen science based environmental testing campaign and designed a youth engagement campaign focused on the arts and civic engagement.
Robert achieved a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from New York University in 2018. Robert is based in Los Angeles and prior to working with Housing California, worked with Step Up on Second to connect unhoused individuals to permanent housing. He enjoys horror movies, gardening, working with metal and wood, and organizes in his community.
Direct dial: 323.609.7128
Jenny Welch | Operations Director
Jenny Welch has served as Operations Director for Housing California since July 2020. In this role she is responsible for ensuring that the day-to-day operations of Housing California run smoothly and are administered effectively, including overseeing the organization’s administrative & office functions, overseeing the organization’s membership growth, coordinating fund development efforts and providing overall organizational support, including board relations, in close partnership with the Executive Director. She previously served as Housing California’s Operations Manager from July 2017 – July 2020.
Before joining Housing California, Jenny served as a Project Manager at the Local Government Commission where she supported local policymakers and stakeholders in their efforts to build more livable communities in California. Through this experience she gained extensive experience in facilitating meetings, events and collaborative groups with diverse stakeholders; organizing and conducting events; and managing and implementing complex projects. She also worked at the U.S. EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities and the State of California’s Strategic Growth Council.
Jenny obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego.
Direct dial: 916.287.9882
David Zisser | Associate Director
David Zisser serves as Associate Director at Housing California, where he oversees and coordinates the organization’s efforts to shape a new affordable housing and homelessness narrative, shift and build power through resident organizing and multi-sector coalitions and networks, and advance policy change. David is also Housing California’s lead on California’s Roadmap HOME 2030.
Prior to joining Housing California in August 2018, David worked for four years as a Senior Staff Attorney at Public Advocates, where he co-convened the Bay Area’s only regional equity coalition and led the organization’s housing justice advocacy in Oakland. David partnered with dozens of grassroots and policy organizations in local, regional, and statewide coalitions to advance affordable and supportive housing, fair housing, tenant protections, community benefits, and equitable transit and climate investments.
Previously, David worked for four years at the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, DC, as Counsel in the Fair Housing and Community Development Project, and served as a Housing Fellow at New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
David received a law degree from UC Hastings and a Master's in City Planning, with a focus on housing and community development, from UC Berkeley. He received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UCLA. Outside of work, David spends most of his time exploring the outdoors with his wife and two daughters and visiting family in the Bay Area and Oregon.
Direct dial: 916.287.9884