Co-Director, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
Veronica Garibay is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability. Based in the agriculturally rich San Joaquin and East Coachella Valleys Leadership Counsel works alongside the most impacted communities to advocate for sound policy and eradicate injustice to secure equal access to opportunity regardless of wealth, race, income, and place. Areas of focus include land use, natural resources, environmental justice, municipal services, civil rights and government transparency. Prior to launching Leadership Counsel, Veronica was the Community Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Community Equity Initiative (CEI), a program of California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA).
Ms. Garibay led CRLA’s advocacy efforts in the San Joaquin Valley to ensure equitable land use planning in rural communities, access to basic services such as safe and affordable drinking water and waste water service, and access to public transit. Veronica leads Leadership Counsel’s SB 375 regional and state-wide advocacy efforts. Her work has also focused on developing and maintaining meaningful community engagement in land use and investment decisions at the state, regional and local levels. Veronica holds a B.A in Law and Society and Psychology from UC Santa Barbara and a Master of Public Administration from California State University, Fresno.
I care about land use decision-making and its impact on the sustainability and health of low-income rural communities. I am deeply committed to improving conditions in our communities by following the lead of community residents, those who are most impacted by decision making that continues to feed cycles of poverty and neglect. Community residents have to be part of the solution. I strongly believe that local leadership is necessary to create change, and we can do that by supporting, mentoring, and empowering local leaders to assume positions of power. I am a young Latina woman working to fundamentally address the root causes of inequality. I was raised in the farmworker city of Parlier in Fresno County, and the San Joaquin Valley is my home.”