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Meet the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Get to know the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee members

The DEI committee makes recommendations to enhance and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion in our city, from researching best practices to supporting our team members to highlighting educational and training opportunities.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Members, 2021 – 2023

Why did you join the DEI committee?

Rosario Aranda

Management Analyst, Housing and Homeless Services

I am a first-generation Mexican American and the first in my family to obtain a bachelor’s and master’s degree. My life experiences in work environments and in the community has opened my eyes to many inequities which is why I joined the committee. I want to contribute and be part of the change in our organization and the community we serve towards a more equitable future.

Barney Dresman

Supervisor, Public Works

I am a European immigrant from both sides of the tracks, my parents struggled for most of my upbringing. I feel so lucky to have a voice in the forming stages of this committee and our discussions are bright, vibrant and impassioned. I am particularly interested in how we address recruitment, training and outreach and to see if we can successfully attain a cultural shift through managerial participation.

Andrea Hilliard

Principal Librarian, Library & Cultural Arts

I am thrilled to have the honor to serve on this committee to direct and support the city’s efforts to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for citizens and employees. I bring personal experiences and professional knowledge of the issues surrounding DEI to our work, as well as a serious commitment to gathering and sharing ideas from staff.

Curtis Jackson

Real Estate Manager, Community Development

I believe seeing a diverse workforce is vital as it creates an expectation of success, whereas too often, executive level work forces are predominantly male and white. This obviously leads to a narrow perspective for those in charge making decisions often for groups of people that they do not understand. I believe there can be great synergy in my experience and work with the University of San Diego that I can share with the city, and vice versa.

Esther Lan

Accountant, Finance

I joined the committee to advocate for individuals and groups that have been lesser represented in Carlsbad. My experiences growing up under the poverty threshold after immigrating to California from Taiwan, acting the translator for my family, working in the Marine Corps and studying at CSU Northridge and UCSD allowed me to be able to identify and highlight important needs and wants our community can benefit from. I hope to assist in the implementation of updates and changes for our community and workforce, which ultimately elevates Carlsbad as a premier place to work, play and live.

Taylor Larsen

Fire Captain, Fire

I joined the committee to work with other motivated individuals who are looking to make positive change in their environment and to lend my efforts to highlight, support and vet steps that can be employed to make Carlsbad an even better place to live, work and play. I hope to establish a solid foundation for ongoing progress by aiding in the establishment of structures and goals that will inform the Steering Committee moving forward, support my coworkers and engage in challenging dialogue that aims to improve awareness and inclusivity throughout the organization.

Cassidy McCarthy

Environmental Specialist II, Public Works

I joined the committee to continue educating people on DEI issues and bring more perspective to the mindsets of people who can be “stuck in their ways.” I hope to help Carlsbad become a more DEI aware city and community and want people to feel welcome no matter where they come from or what they believe. I hope and know the committee will be a strong member fighting for equality, inclusion and diversity in all aspects of the City of Carlsbad way of life.

Sandra Riggins

Library Assistant, Library & Cultural Arts

I feel my role on the DEI committee is to be an ally, to support and listen to the concerns and interests of my fellow employees and residents and to move the city ahead in its work to correct systemic problems, diversify our staff, create an environment where every individual feels supported and included and work to develop programs that increase equity to all employees, both full and part-time.

Ayinde Smith

Storm Drain Maintenance, Transportation

I joined the committee because, coming from the Island of Trinidad and Tobago, working for the City of Carlsbad has been a great experience that has allowed me to take care of my family.

Craddock Stropes

Senior Management Analyst, Public Works

I joined the DEI committee to create opportunities for discovery that will allow people to feel that their unique lives and experiences matter and amplify voices throughout the organization that are too-often under-represented. My skills and passion around facilitation and engagement as well as bringing research, data, case studies and best practices to the committee helps everyone to co-create a way forward that considers a multitude of approaches, and defines outcomes with meaningful metrics that truly reflects Carlsbad's values and priorities.

Josh Clark

Fire Captain, Fire Department

I joined the committee to work with this team toward breaking down barriers for underrepresented groups. I look forward to bringing a unique perspective to the group that will aid in building ever increasing diversity, equity and inclusion for those we work with and those we serve. I hope to collaborate on ideas to work toward the mission of our committee. 

Brandon Tiongison

Library Assistant, Library and Cultural Arts

Although I am not a resident, I became invested in Carlsbad as a whole after working to engender and support the growth of our community through the libraries and enjoying a wide variety of privileges from doing so which I wish to extend to others. I joined the DEI committee as a natural extension of my promise to be my best for the city through my library work and beyond since silence towards oppression and inequities is their enablement and I refuse to be silent for everyone's sake. I hope to help craft strategies for Carlsbad to serve as an equitable and accessible garden for everyone's potential to blossom with a compassionate infrastructure of trauma-informed policies serving as support.

Thanks to Hannah Nelson, Malcolm Warfield, Stephan Tashoff, Tracy Stayton and Kasia Trojanowska for their time serving on the DEI Committee.


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