Jessica Melendez

Jessica was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. Inspired by hearing her father’s experiences growing up in South Central as an immigrant during the crack-cocaine epidemic, she pursued her BA in Politics from the University of San Francisco. After graduating, she began her professional career as an organizer in South Central LA organizing around criminal justice policies, policies in education involving equitable funding, and gun reform. She’s worked towards building thriving and sustainable communities, rooted in justice and equity through systems change work, by implementing a community school model in LAUSD schools and coordinating the South Los Angeles Building Healthy Communities collaborative while enrolled in UCLA’s Masters in Urban and Regional Planning Program. She graduates in June 2022 and looks forward to working with TRUST South LA as their Director of Policy to combat displacement, develop innovative strategies to create community-controlled development, and build power among residents in South LA.