Mr. Cardenas has a long record of public service that includes serving as a commissioner of the former Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, Board of Public Works Commissioner, Chief of Staff and Executive Officer for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and served as the Executive Director of the 2001-2002 Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission. He currently serves on the California Fair Political Practices Commission as an appointee of then-Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Career wise, Mr. Cardenas has a private law firm that focuses in the areas of business, administrative, and public law. He is also an educator at Cal State University, Los Angeles where he teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses for the College of Business and Economics. Mr. Cardenas received his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and his B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Southern California.
Director of Community Outreach and Engagement
Rafael is a proven and inclusive leader, manager and advocate driven by his core values of justice, collaboration, accountability, balance, respect, trust and innovation. Over the years, he has worked and organized in the nonprofit, government, service and philanthropic fields. This multisector experience has gifted him the skill to develop and maintain relationships with individuals from diverse disciplines and backgrounds for purposes of realizing common objectives, social impact, equity and community/systems change. Rafael previously served as Director of Community Relations for First 5 LA; Director of Community Relations for the Los Angeles Dodgers; Chief Service Officer and Director of Neighborhood & Community Services for City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Executive Director of Collective SPACE; Founder and Executive Director of Public Allies – Los Angeles; Director of Civic Education & U.S. Citizenship Project Director at the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund; Affirmative Action Campaign Coordinator at the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF); Campaign Field Director at Coalition LA & Senior Field Deputy for LA Councilmember Mike Hernandez. Rafael was born and raised in the downtown area of Los Angeles. He graduated from Cal State University at Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicano Studies and received his Master’s Degree from the USC Price School of Public Policy.
Arianna Bankler-Jukes works as the Deputy Director for the 2021 Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission. She is a strong believer in community power and participatory democracy and is excited to bridge the gap between the people and the City.
Arianna completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, focusing on Urban and Social Policy with a specialization in Management. Last year, she worked as a Strategy and Impact Consultant for the Alameda County Complete Count for Census 2020 Committee, developing outreach strategies to reach the bay area’s hardest to count populations. Prior to attending Columbia, Arianna worked for California State Senator Nancy Skinner as her Senior District Representative, focusing on issues such as criminal justice reform, homelessness, housing and gun violence prevention. She is a Coro Fellow graduate of 2016 and has spent time working in labor and on political campaigns. She is a native Angeleno and is excited to be back in her hometown.
- Robert Battles
Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement
Rob grew up in South Central Los Angeles. For over 10 years, he has been a consultant for various agencies, nonprofit institutions, and community-based organizations on work ranging from civic engagement to communications campaigns. He is committed to building the capacity of teams from organizations that are providing phenomenal services to youth and families. As a former community organizer and active community leader, Rob strives to connect his skills and services with social efforts that promote community and systems change. He prides himself on being able to enhance community engagement efforts by tailoring communications strategies around the voices of the people most impacted. As a father and activist, Rob approaches his work with integrity and intentionality and always uplifts communities of color and challenging systems of oppression.