Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Latino boys laughing
Community leaders around a table with Jonathan London
Jonathan London from the Environmental Health Sciences Center (right) at a team building event with members of the Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Working together to build healthy communities in California

The Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee (CSTAC) at the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) provides community members with a space to discuss, collaborate and give feedback on EHSC projects. The committee informs the work scientists do by providing a window into the communities where their research is done. Current CSTAC members include:

Sarah Aird

Californians for Pesticide Reform

Sarah Aird is an attorney and co-director of Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR).

CPR is a statewide coalition of over 185 organizations. Its mission is to protect public health, improve environmental quality and support a sustainable agricultural system by building a movement across California to change pesticide policy and practice.

CPR supports safe, ecologically sound and socially just forms of pest management, as well as the expansion and protection of the public’s right to be aware of pesticide use, exposure and impact on the environment and in communities.

Colin Bailey  

Environmental Justice Coalition for Water 

Colin Bailey is executive director of Environmental Justice Coalition for Water (EJCW).

EJCW is a coalition of grassroots organizations working on more equitable water distribution, management and policy for the state’s underserved communities. EJCW’s mission is to ensure access to clean, safe and affordable water for all.

John Capitman   

Central Valley Health Policy Institute

John Capitman is a professor of public policy and executive director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at California State University-Fresno. He also serves on the board of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

The Central Valley Health Policy Institute helps improve the health of residents through access to health care via policies and programs it develops with communities throughout the San JoaquinValley.

Ben Duran   

Central Valley Higher Education Consortium

Ben Duran is executive director of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium (CVHEC) and a respected educator and leader in higher education.

CVHEC represents 25 colleges and universities from Stockton to Bakersfield. The consortium develops policies to help some 250,000 students finish their degree.

Paul English   

Environmental Health Investigations Branch, California Department of Public Health

Paul English is an environmental epidemiologist and scientific advisor for the Environmental Health Investigations Branch (EHIB) at the California Department of Public Health.

EHIB studies how the environment affects health and provides policymakers and the public with information to reduce people’s exposure to harmful substances found in air, water, soil, buildings and consumer products.

Laurel Firestone   

Community Water Center

Laurel Firestone is an attorney and co-director of the Community Water Center (CWC).

CWC develops water solutions through community organizing, education and advocacy in California’s San Joaquin Valley. CWC ensures people have access to safe, clean and aff­ordable water by giving rural and low-income communities a voice.

Linda Helland   

Office of Health Equity, California Department of Public Health

Linda Helland is a team leader at the Office of Health Equity (OHE) at the California Department of Public Health.

OHE helps all Californians achieve optimal health by promoting more equitable social, economic and environmental policies. Helland’s team ensures measures taken to combat the effects of climate change on health are helpful not harmful, especially for those who already experience limited access to health care.

Rey Leon   

San Joaquin Valley Latino Environmental Advancement & Policy 

Rey Leon is founder and executive director of San Joaquin Valley Latino Environmental Advancement & Policy (LEAP). He’s also the Mayor of Huron, California, a small city near Fresno known as “The Heart of the Valley.”

San Joaquin Valley LEAP is an environmental organization that builds awareness of social justice issues and strengthens grassroots leadership among Latinos, immigrants and youth. Its goal is to achieve environmental sustainability and improve community health.

Debra Oto-Kent   

Health Education Council

Debra Oto-Kent is the founder and executive director of the Health Education Council (HEC).

HEC brings together community members, non-profits, businesses, schools and government agencies to solve California’s health problems. By advocating for access to health care, education, economic well-being, social support and safety in underserved communities, HEC promotes health and prevents disease.

Shankar Prasad   

Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency

Shankar Prasad is a physician and toxicologist at the Off­ice of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) at the California Environmental Protection Agency.

OEHHA is the lead agency in California that assesses environmental health risks. OEHHA implements the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, which creates the list of substances that cause cancer or harm during pregnancy.

Prasad has long been an environmental justice advocate and is co-chair of the Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

Phoebe Seaton   

Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

Phoebe Seaton is an attorney and co-founder and co-director of the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability (LCJA). A veteran of policy issues related to water and land use, Seaton brings attention to low-income, unincorporated communities in California to help them address critical infrastructure and service deficits.

LCJA improves the future of at-risk communities in California through organizing, research, legal representation and policy work.

Seaton is co-chair of the Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

Sarah Sharpe   

Central Valley Asthma Collaborative

Sarah Sharpe is associate director of the Central California Asthma Collaborative (CCAC). She helps lead a coalition of eight California counties working together on policy issues related to asthma prevention, education and treatment.

CCAC works in the San Joaquin Valley to advance knowledge around asthma, create healthy home, outdoor and school environments, and promote access to quality health care.

Marilyn Silva   

Department of Pesticide Regulation, California Environmental Protection Agency

Marilyn Silva is a toxicologist for the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) at the California Environmental Protection Agency.

DPR is responsible for regulating pesticides to protect public health and the environment. DPR assesses human health risks from pesticides, licenses pest control businesses and monitors pesticides