Staff

Jessica LehmanJessica Lehman
Executive Director
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jessica@sdaction.org

Jessica Lehman is proud to work with an incredible and passionate group of people at SDA, after coming on as Housing Advocacy Director with Senior Action Network. She previously worked as a community organizer at ACORN and then at an independent living center, where she founded the Disability Action Network, a grassroots group of people with disabilities building a voice for their community. As a person with a disability who employs home attendants, Jessica supports domestic worker rights as a founding member and leader of Hand in Hand: the Domestic Employers Association. She leads monthly Organizer’s Forum calls, as part of the National Disability Leadership Alliance, to share ideas and experiences related to organizing the disability community.

Ligia MontanoLigia Montano
Health Care Organizing Director
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ligia@sdaction.org

Ligia comes from a working class Latino family. All her life, her parents set a good example for her. They are honest and hardworking people who have always believed that family unity is a key ingredient in reaching individual, and collective goals and objectives. She grew up in Nicaragua. She’s a single mother living in the Portola District. When her daughter was born she started to find out about the different community services in San Francisco. Community organizations such as La Raza Centro Legal, Compañeros del Barrio, Arriba Juntos, Mission Hiring Hall, and others made her realize that we can support each other in different ways. She became a parent organizer at her daughter’s pre-school, and later she worked as parent organizer at Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth. As a single mother who was isolated and struggled to make ends meet, she understands the need of supporting systems and communities that include everyone as a member of the society. She wants to stand for changes in the way our city marginalizes seniors and persons with disabilities.

Pi RaPi Ra
Senior and Disability University and Computer Classes
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srira@sdaction.org

Pi Ra (alias Disabled Senior in Training) has a background in Paratransit services, computer programming, pedestrian safety organizing, and communal living. He has worked as a short order cook (and how would you like your eggs?), goat farmer, house painter, and landscaper. He manages the Senior & Disability University (SDU) and Computer Training programs at SDA. SDU provides Community Organizing Training connected to senior and disability issues. The Computer Training program offers ongoing supportive one-on-one free basic computer usage skills to anyone who is just too afraid to try it on their own.

Sarah JarmonSarah Jarmon
Development Director
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sarah@sdaction.org

Sarah was hired by Planning for Elders in December 2008 (before the organization became part of Senior and Disability Action), and she has loved the job since the beginning. Before that she was a worker-owner at Rainbow Grocery Cooperative for over 10 years. She completed her Master’s in Public Health from San Jose State University in May 2008. Sarah has two children who keep her going when everything else gets hard.

DasomBioPic

Dasom Nah
Survival School Organizer
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dasom@sdaction.org

Dasom is passionate about community knowledge building and disability justice. They are a Survival School Organizer and Administrative Assistant at SDA, and they work to connect seniors and disabled people with resources and services in San Francisco. They have been a part of organizing efforts around disability, decarceration, and labor rights since 2015. They believe in and are committed to building inclusive movements.

Peter, smiling with a green field, hills, and a sunset in the backdrop

Peter Estes
Community Resource Program Director
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peter@sdaction.org

Peter has a deep belief in our collective power to build a just society that values and listens to its people. Before joining SDA, Peter has worked on education, housing, and labor issues. He is particularly grateful to have worked with and learned from amazing people on a campaign for trauma-informed schools in DC with Parents Amplifying Voices in Education. When not in the office, Peter likes exploring the nature in and around San Francisco (there’s so much of it!), spending time with his partner and their friends, enjoying warm beverages in good mugs, and attempting to read without getting distracted.

unnamedRaia Small
Community Organizer and Educator
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raia@sdaction.org

Raia is excited to contribute to an organization working to make San Francisco more livable for seniors and people with disabilities. She comes to SDA after ten years of living in New York City, where she organized against policing and tenant displacement in Brooklyn with Equality for Flatbush. Previously, she worked on a campaign to end the tipped minimum wage in New York state with Restaurant Opportunities Center-NYC. She was born and raised in San Francisco, and her family’s experience of facing an Ellis Act eviction in 2001 motivated her to fight against urban displacement in her home city. She’s passionate about economic justice, especially for people who have been excluded from traditional labor organizing (including prisoners, care workers, unemployed people, seniors, and sick and disabled people). Outside of work, she loves to read, write poetry and creative nonfiction, participate in study groups, see live music, spend time outdoors, hang out with friends and family, and sleep in whenever possible.

 

Edith-CastorenaEdith Castorena
Housing Organizer
edith@sdaction.org

Edith Castorena (she/they) is looking forward to deepening their knowledge around housing issues in their hometown. She credits her parents for her passion for organizing, as she was raised in the office and on the picket lines of Unite HERE Local 2. Their only time away from San Francisco has been to earn a bachelor’s degree in Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her time in Santa Cruz brought her a wealth of experiences in student organizing, feminist critical thinking and writing, improv comedy, and how to best pair sandals with socks. She’s now based in San Francisco, and loves taking care of her plants, reading about San Francisco history, and writing in nature. She is excited to be a part of this organization and to help members and staff shape the sustainable and equitable future of SDA.

 

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Yesi standing in front of a tree in a backyard with rock yellow flowers behind. Wearing blue and grey.]Yeserash A Koopman
Housing Organizer
yesi@sdaction.org

Hello, my name is Yeserash A Koopman (she, hers). I’d like to be called Yesi for short. I am a 25 years old first-generation Ethiopian American, I am indigenous and proud. I am from Southern California. Currently, I live in one of my favorite cities, Oakland/EastBay. I have never felt more at home until I moved to the Bay Area! I love my community and all the different events that Oakland’s culture holds for people of color, especially events and festivals to honor the indigenous community. I enjoy learning new things about people and their cultural backgrounds, I enjoy community gatherings especially art shows and dance festivals.  Having experienced being homeless when I was younger and for that reason, I was passionate to advocate for youth facing housing issues and homelessness, women’s rights , and mental health. I don’t come from an organizer background however, I have always felt the need to speak up about injustice since I was young. As of now, I am a housing organizer with SDA’s SRO workgroup. The SRO workgroup is pushing towards housing accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities. I enjoy working and being part of SDA because people are passionate and eager to be part of big changes. I also enjoy learning together and working towards an action.  In a world of challenges and oppressive systems especially towards people of color, I believe that it’s important to know your rights. Learning together about our rights is some of the most important parts of working with our community, especially housing rights. 

 

And thank you to our extraordinary volunteers who keep SDA running!


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