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Meet the District 5 Staff
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Frances Herbert -  Chief of Staff 

Frances Hérbert is no stranger to City Hall or public service.  She began her service at 14 volunteering for Forrest Williams in his first successful bid for San Jose City Council.  She began her career as the community relations manager for Councilmember Forrest Williams of District 2 in San Jose.

She has comprehensive experience in public relations and government administration.  Frances has been heavily engaged in critical public policy implementation as well as the staffing of key legislative members.

Frances moved to the office of then-Assemblymember Jim Beall where she managed aging disability, housing, land use and transportation policy for Assemblymember Beall. Frances followed Jim Beall into the Senate where she was the Senior Field Representative for three years representing Santa Clara County. Frances has worked for fifteen years with elected officials; most recently as the Chief of Staff for all five of the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors.

She has a Bachelor's degree in Public Relations and Communication and a Master's in Public Administration from San Jose State University. She resides in San Jose with her husband Christopher, son Kai and a feisty Boston Terrier, Harvey Birdman. 

Policy Areas: Policy Director, Housing, Land Use, Transportation, Budget, Media Relations, Technology Issues, Emergency Management, Website, Newsletter 

Assignments: City Council, Transportation and Environment Committee, Rules Committee 
(408) 535-4948
 

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 Omar Torres - Community Outreach Coordinator
Omar joined us after concluding his time as Executive Director of the Santa Maria Urban Ministry, a food pantry that helps eradicate poverty in our low-income communities. 

Raised in the Washington Neighborhood of San José, he grew up seeing difficult challenges within his community such as poverty, lack of education, gangs, drugs, and other issues. He began his community organizing career at 14 years old when he joined with his neighbors to bring the Brenda Lopez Memorial Plaza, Washington United Youth Center, and Biblioteca Latinoamericana to the Washington Neighborhood.  As the Washington Neighborhood Association President, he was instrumental in erecting new traffic lights in the Washington School area. Later he organized in the King-Ocala, West Evergreen, and Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrance communities as a Community Activity Worker for the City of San José's former Strong Neighborhoods Initiative

He also worked as the East San José Weed & Seed Site Coordinator, aggressively assisting the San José Police Department to "weed out" gangs, drug use, and drug trafficking in targeted hotspot neighborhoods and to "seed in" social and economic revitalization efforts.

He will continue to recruit community residents so they can empower themselves to solve problems in their neighborhoods & organizing around issues like immigration, poverty and other social justice issues in his role as 
our District 5 East San José Community Outreach Coordinator.  He is here to listen to our community concerns and suggestions. Omar graduated from San José State University in May of 2011 with a major in Political Science and minor in Public Administration. In his spare time, Omar enjoys running and spending time with his family.

Policy assignments: Community Outreach, Public Safety, Event Management, LGBT Outreach, Boards, and Commissions

(408) 535-4943;
  

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 Huascar Castro - Policy Aide

Huascar grew up in San José and is a recently graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He also interned with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. During his off time, Huascar is an avid sports fan and is either watching basketball or playing basketball with his close friends. Huascar also loves the summertime because barbecue and pool parties are his definition of a good time.

Assignments: Planning & Code Enforcement, Public Works, Permitting, Housing

(408) 535-3841; 
 




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Kiara Arreola - Council Assistant

Policy assignments: Community Outreach, Human Services, Immigration, Event Management, Commendations 

Neighborhood Areas: Plata Arroyo Neighborhood Association, Capitol Park Neighborhood Association 


(408) 535-4905;
  


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Sachin Radhakrishnan Policy Aide

Policy assignments: Homeless Concerns, Participatory Budgeting, Arts 

Neighborhood Areas: Cassell Neighborhood Association, Mt. Pleasent Neighborhood Association, Alum Rock Village Association, Warner Heights Neighborhood Association 


(408) 535-4947;
  

 

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Bruce HuynhPolicy Aide

Policy assignments: Asian Community Concerns


(408) 535-4905;
bruce.huynh@sanjoseca.gov

Sabrina Parra-Garcia - Interim Chief of Staff
After receiving her Bachelors in Economics from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, Sabrina initially came to the West Coast to work on a state environmental campaign doing outreach to Latinos. She moved back East to continue her environmental work at two different non-profits on issues such as climate change and diversity in the environmental movement before coming to Santa Clara County in 2009. She built on her non-profit experiences working with People Acting in Community Together and Unite Here on education, public safety, immigration reform, hospitality expansion and City planning. She most recently worked as the San Jose and Latino Vote Director for Ro Khanna in his run for Congress.

In her spare time, Sabrina likes to dance salsa, swing, and blues, all of which she used to teach. She also enjoys reading, hiking, movies, karaoke, and spending time with her friends at some of the many amazing restaurants in San Jose and Santa Clara County.

Policy assignments: Immigration, VTA, Development

(408) 535-4946; S

Sabrina Parra-Garcia - Interim Chief of Staff