Clarissa Visionary

Clarissa’s Professional Service

  • Executive Director, Parent Voices Oakland. More than a decade’s experience in grassroots organizing with families for kids. Strong advocate for early education, working to elevate parent leadership in public policy
  • Former Staff Accountant, Non-Profit Youth Organization
  • Administrative Coordinator, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

CD Steinem Ms Foundation AwardClarissa’s Awards

  • Woman of Vision Award, Ms. Foundation for Women, 2016 – presented by Gloria Steinem
  • Parent Advocate Award, First 5 of Alameda County, 2017 honored along with Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Mialisa Bonta, Founder, Literacy Lab; Assemblymember Rob Bonta; Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals
  • Oakland District 4 Local Heroes Award, Councilwoman Annie Campbell Washington
  • Community Heroes Award, Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network

Clarissa’s Leadership

  • Member, Alameda County-Oakland Community Partnership Board
  • Co-Chair, Alameda County Early Childhood Policy Committee
  • Member, Steering Committee, Alameda County Early Care and Education Planning Council
  • Lead Planning Team, Oakland Starting Smart and Strong Initiative
  • Women’s Policy Institute Fellow, Women’s Foundation 
  • Co-Chair, Raising California Coalition

Clarissa is the mom of 11-year-old Xavier, a proud Laurel Elementary Lion! She is a deeply committed parent advocate who understands budgets, the importance of public education, and the critical role of parents partnering with teachers to create excellent learning experiences for our children.

Clarissa’s key issues:

  • Ensuring a high quality, democratic public education system where resources are distributed equitably for all schools.
  • Finding ways for our community to participate in and understand our district’s budget. Guiding our board directors to be fully transparent and accountable for public funds, while enhancing autonomy for school sites to properly manage budgets.
  • Encouraging growth of full-service community schools that serve children with special needs, support academic achievement, and fully engage parents.

Over the last five years, Clarissa has built an organizing program around child care that engaged nearly 3,000 families, leading to:

  • Community research study of 600 families in East Oakland neighborhoods, demonstrating the connection between housing, child care and informal childcare (family, friends, and neighbors), and the clear need for more accessible child care.
  • State legislation to ensure child care for families taking ESL and GED courses (AB273, Unlocking Opportunities for Families, Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry, 2017)
  • State budget campaign to win $25 million in child care resources in 2016
  • $300,000 in funding and an Alameda County Board Policy directing all departments to support a community proposal that families experiencing housing crisis (unsheltered or in temporary shelter) receive emergency child care vouchers. This was the first time a community organization succeeded in advocating for an early education item in the county budget process.
  • Improvements to Social Services waiting rooms, including training families on their rights and advocating for language access and kiosks that can shorten lines, following a survey of 250 families.


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