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Staff

An image of Cruz Avila, Executive Director of Alcohol Justice
Cruz Avila, MS    Email emailButton
Executive Director

Cruz Avila was most recently CEO at Poverello House in Fresno, California for 6 years. There he managed a $3 million-dollar budget, 37 employees, Naomi’s House, The Men’s Resident Rehabilitation program and a temporary overnight shelter for men and women. Cruz also collaborated with other agencies to provide clients with access to mental health counseling and housing. Cruz’s professional experience has focused on organizational management in non-profits, community and economic development and social services. Previous to Poverello House, Cruz was a Manager of Residential Services for Housing with Heart, a non-profit organization that is the social service unit of Jamboree Housing that develops and constructs affordable housing across the state. He also worked in Riverside County Office of Education as a Resource Manager and Counselor. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services and a Master of Art degree in Organizational Leadership. He is working towards completing his Master of Art in Counseling for completion of his Marriage and Family Therapy License (MFT)

A portrait of Michael Scippa, public affairs director
Michael Scippa    Email emailButton
Public Affairs Director

Michael has over 35 years of senior management experience in media advocacy and production, marketing, communications, and government relations. In addition to directing similar efforts at Alcohol Justice since 2006, he created the Free The Bowl® and Free Our Sports® Youth Video Contests and directed the REEL Recovery Film Festival - San Francisco Bay Area Edition.






Maite Duran     Email  emailButton
Drug Free Communities Project Coordinator

Maite is a community organizer at Alcohol Justice and the founder of Youth for Justice, a youth advocacy group. In her role as Project Coordinator, she organizies meetings and coordinates efforts of the San Rafael Alcohol and Drug Coalition (SRADC), conducts extensive community outreach, heads efforts to expand in-school alcohol and marijuana prevention policies, and recruits and organizes youth actions.

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Mayra Jimenez     Email  emailButton
Advocacy Manager

Mayra Jimenez is the Senior Advocacy Manager at Alcohol Justice. Based out of Southern California, Mayra manages the California Alcohol Policy Alliance (CAPA) and supports the Los Angeles Drug and Alcohol Policy Alliance (LADAPA) in their efforts to sustain partnerships, create alliances and advance alcohol policy as a social justice issue. Mayra is a native of Los Angeles, CA. She has a background in environmental prevention, grassroots community engagement and health equity advocacy initiatives. She is a community organizer and facilitator by training and an advocate for social justice and reparations at heart. Over the past 9 years, Mayra's work has centered on partnerships with organizations and activists across Los Angeles, across California, nationally, and internationally on issues of alcohol and other drug (AOD) substance use prevention, human rights, environmental justice, indigenous autonomy, and liberation movements.

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Bruce Wolfe, MSW     Email emailButton
Chief Information, Security & Technology Officer

Bruce is tasked with managing all office, administrative and Internet technology. With over 30 years of corporate ownership and senior management experience, he oversees Alcohol Justice's total technology enterprise including but not limited to networking, support, security, hardware, systems administration and web application services in addition to assisting in advocacy and legislative affairs, and social work. He is also a professional audio engineer, stage manager, amateur radio operator, T'ai Chi instructor and martial arts tournament judge. Bruce holds a BA & MA degrees in Social Work with emphasis in Social Development from San Francisco State University and an experienced Life Coach. He serves on many government and nonprofit boards including San Francisco's Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, CARE Community Land Trust, Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, Life Services Alternatives, DogPAC-SF, SF Amateur Radio Club, Care Association, Free Assn/Gnosis Retreat Center, PublicNet-SF, Californians for Energy Choice & SF Clean Energy Advocates among other boards and coalitions. Bruce lives in SF's Haight Ashbury with his service dog, YuKan, and kitty, Fruitbat.

A picture of upstanding citizen and CAPA Community Organizer Raul Verdugo
Raul Verdugo    Email emailButton
Community Organizer

Raul is the community organizer for the Los Angeles Drug & Alcohol Policy Alliance (LADAPA). LADAPA advocates for safe and healthy communities by reducing drug- and alcohol-related harm through public awareness and policy change. He is focused on coalition building, leadership development, strategic planning and policy development. Raul represents Alcohol Justice, with its on­going effort to promote evidenced-based public health policy through the empowerment of local communities. He is a native of Los Angeles and currently enrolled at the Academy of Art University.


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Christina Mira     Email emailButton
Community Outreach Coordinator

After graduating from Brigham Young University with a BA in Family Studies with emphasis on Social Services, Christina joined Alcohol Justice’s new Latino MAT Access Outreach Program as a Promotora de Salud, working with members of the Canal community of San Rafael, to inform and educate residents on Opioid Use Disorder and Medication Assisted Treatment. Christina is a Marin County native and lived most of her life in the Canal neighborhood where she now serves.




Look!  It's Yavar!
Yavar Amidi     Email emailButton
Program Manager

Yavar Amidi is a community organizer at Alcohol Justice based out of the San Rafael headquarters. His work focuses on alcohol prevention at the intersection of social justice and public health to create healthy, thriving communities. Yavar has experience as a local community organizer and coordinator in Marin County and the Bay Area with successful grassroots social justice, immigrant justice, and electoral campaigns where he was involved in advocacy, strategy development, volunteer coordination, and community and media outreach. He is committed to organizing against the predatory and negative impacts of the alcohol industry to ensure that the lives and futures of our communities are put ahead of immoral profits!

Carson Benowitz-Fredericks, MSPH, CHES     Email emailButton
Research Director/Web Content Manager

Carson is responsible for generating both original research in support of Alcohol Justice/CAPA’s projects and content for the website. He holds a Master’s of Science in Public Health with a health communications emphasis from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has formative experience in community health with the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, and spent four years conducting tobacco control research at UCSF. He moonlights as an overdose prevention trainer with the DOPE Project/Syringe Access Services in San Francisco.