Acting Executive Director
Hoopa Valley Tribe
Candee McCovey was previously the Executive Director of the Hoopa Valley Housing Authority. There, she performed executive leadership, supervisory and management responsibilities of 25 employees, constant contact with the public, Tribal Chairman, Board of Commissioners, Tribal Council, tribal departments, land department and federal agencies requiring the exercise of tact and diplomacy; and knowledge of project development, planning, accounting, financial management, budgeting, investments, and performed sound business practices according to the policies and procedures of the Hoopa Valley Housing Authority. In her volunteer life, she is a Captain with the Hoopa Volunteer Fire Department, and is inspired by the energy and leadership of young people.
Community Organizer -Northern California
Calvin Hedrick is Mountain Maidu. Calvin is the Lead Organizer for CNVP in Sacramento. He has over 22 years of experience working with American Indian communities in California Calvin earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Native American Studies from Humboldt State University (Now CalPoly Humboldt) and attended Graduate school at UCLA. He is a Maidu dancer and is knowledgeable in Native culture. Calvin lives with his wife Virginia and three sons (ages 21, 12, 10) and two nieces (ages 5 and 7) in Carmichael, CA.
Diné & Northern Paiute
Cheyenne L.E. Phoenix, 26yr old, is from the Diné (Navajo) and Nümü (Northern Paiute) Nations - she is our full-time Youth Organizer at California Native Vote Project who currently works and resides on the occupied territory of the Tongva and Tataviam peoples aka “the LA Basin”. Her role is to support, lead and coordinate CNVP’s grassroots organizing work through social justice campaign development and implementation, base building, leadership development, build capacity and other activities with Native youth 14-25 year olds across California. Cheyenne has been an active member of the Los Angeles/Southern California Native Community since she was an adolescent. Cheyenne has held many leadership positions and has presented at a number of conferences, workshops, events, trainings, and fundraisers throughout the local Native Community. Some of them include the annual United National Indian Tribal Youth Conference, the UCLA American Indian Youth Conference and Basketball Tournament, and the Department of Mental Health annual conference. In 2013, Cheyenne filled the Youth Representative position with the American Indian Community Council, and facilitated the United Native Youth Los Angeles, a coalition of all of the Native youth councils that exist across Los Angeles. From fall of 2016 to spring of 2017 she held a position on the Associated Student Body at Long Beach City College as the Chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee. Since 2016, she has consistently helped create a voice for the movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline #NoDAPL in Standing Rock throughout Tongva Territory (LA). As well as other Indigenous centered issues such as Oak Flat, Mauna Kea, and Big Mountain. She has also collaborated with many Black, Indigenous, and People of Color organizers on different issues and struggles including DACA, TPS, Dismantling ICE/Detention Centers, Indigenous Filipino Migrants, and more. Cheyenne has traveled across Turtle Island (North America) to ensure Indigenous voices/communities are present including a trip to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City (occupied Lenape Territory) and Tepoztlan, Mexico both in 2019. As a young Indigenous womxn, Cheyenne continues to uplift Native American, Alaska Native, Indigenous peoples and all marginalized communities throughout Southern California and Indian Country through her organizing experience, maintaining a sober lifestyle, and by sharing the knowledge of her ancestors with the people
Co-founder and Executive Director
Diné & Chicana
Chrissie Castro, Diné and Chicana, is the co-founder and Executive Director of the California Native Vote Project. She is the Vice-Chairperson of the Los Angeles City and County Native American Indian Commission, and co-led the change to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in the City and County of Los Angeles. She also co-founded Advance Native Political Leadership, and is a leadership and coach trainer for multiracial grassroots leaders in service to healing, justice and liberation.
Elizabeth Garcia provides support with administrative, operational and to the organization in general. She received her B.A in Sociology with the option in Social Welfare and Social Justice from California State University, Northridge. She believes in the importance of access to higher education for all students. In her free time she enjoys traveling, the outdoors, and spending time with her dog, Luna.
Special Projects Manager
Isel Cuapio, Tlaxcalteca, is an experienced journalist and organizer skilled in storytelling, radio broadcasting, and digital campaigns. Isel joined the project in 2020 to support and advance the electoral justice work to increase Native political power in California. They received a B.A. in Political Science and English from UC Riverside in 2017. Isel enjoys writing poetry, photography, and organizes in their community.
Director of Organizing
Paiute (Kawaiisu) & ChicanX
Joey Williams, a member of the Nuwa (Kawaiisu) people out of the Kern Valley Indian Community, began organizing over 15 years ago as a youth pastor working to dismantle the school to jail & prison pipeline in Bakersfield. He has been a product of the foster care , jail, and probation system since age 7. Joey went on to serve as Board Chair, Organizer, and Chapter Director at Faith In Action Kern County, now Faith In The Valley Kern, and worked at PICO California as Field Director. Joey committed his life to bringing people of color, young people, and disenfranchised targeted communities off the sidelines and into the big fight for good jobs, quality education, and ending mass incarceration and police brutality. Joey's proudest moments were the electoral wins on Prop 30 and 47, which he benefited from a felony reclassification in 2015, and most recent with wins on Prop 55 & 57, even winning in Kern in 2016. Joey currently is the Co-Vice Chair of the LA County Cares First Community Investment Advisory Board-CFCI (Measure J) representing the Native American Community, which is allocating $100 million from the LA County Sheriff's Department, and investing back in the communities they have harmed. Joey is currently the Director of Organizing at the CA Native Vote Project is committed to dismantling White Supremacy, and building native power so that all our people can be free, self determined, and live the full life their Creator intended.
Diné & Mexika
Maya Sanchez is Diné and Mexika, born and raised in Los Angeles. She started as a canvasser for California Native Vote Project in 2017 and was brought onto the Team in 2019 as a Youth Organizer. In her time here she has developed a passion in working with Native Youth and advocacy for our MMIWG2S+ relatives. She was a 2021 Fellow in the Remembering our Sister Fellowship with Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute. In her spare time Maya enjoys developing her passion for the Culinary arts, Discovering new small businesses to support and spending time with her Dog.
Sygourney "Pony" Piaz
Diné, Nakoda, Aaniih
Sygourney has had over 2 years of organizing at CNVP. She began as a canvasser at CNVP back in 2018. Before becoming a youth organizer was a youth in the Native Youth for Justice- Los Angeles. In December of 2019, she was brought onto CNVP as a youth organizer. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 dogs, Kiiyahe and Breacher.
Fellow Youth Organizer
Angelina Diaz is a Diné (Navajo) and Guatemalan women, who was born and raised in Inglewood, C.A. She currently resides in the Inland Empire County, on Kizh and Tongva territory. As a Youth Fellow Organizer, Angelina helps bring Native and Indigenous youth across California to a safe environment where they can be able to express who they are without being judged from what background they came from. Angelina is also currently an Ambassador with The California Endowment: President’s Youth Council, she brings justice to her Native and Indigenous communities in the California area. When Angelina isn’t serving her community, she loves to spend time with her relatives off/on the reservation. She also enjoys playing the guitar, singing, playing soccer, and spending time on self-care habits.
Statewide Outreach Manager
Liam Walsh is a UC Santa Cruz alumni who serves as the statewide outreach manager for the California Native Vote Project team. Liam grew up in Portland, and moved as a teenager to the Valley Center area near the Rincon Reservation where his family lives. Liam spends most of his free time surfing, skiing, and playing guitar for his dog. Liam found his passion for social justice work while working with ACORN at UC Santa Cruz. As the statewide outreach manager Liam works in the areas of Covid programs, census work, and voter engagement work surrounding elections.
Community Organizer Los Angeles
Osage, Absentee Shawnee, and Muscogee Creek
My name is Juay Roybal-Kastl, I'm Osage, Absentee Shawnee, and Muscogee Creek, and I occupy Tongva territory. I'm a New Community Organizer in Los Angeles; however, I began with CNVP as a canvasser before the pandemic. I'm very honored and excited to be a part of this journey with you.
Senior Program Manager
Mexica, Zapotec Xicana
Maria Villamil is a Mexica, Zapotec Xicana Indigenous first-generation daughter of Mexican and Zapotec descent. She is a single mother of two sons and a daughter. She has been involved in community transformation and organizing since her early years in high school. She has had the opportunity to work closely in community transformation and human development with many community leaders and organizations across the city of Los Angeles and State for the last two decades.