Emerge California Announces New Board Members Josefina Ramirez Notsinneh and Janice Rocco

Oakland, CA – Emerge California has elected Josefina Ramirez Notsinneh and Janice Rocco to its Board of Directors. Both are public policy experts based in Sacramento.

Josefina Ramirez Notsinneh is a Senior Associate in Government Relations for Children Now, a leading nonpartisan umbrella research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children's health, education, and well-being in California.

Josefina is experienced in working with a wide-range of public affairs governmental and corporate entities on successful legislative, community outreach, and media relations campaigns. She previously served as a Senior Legislative Consultant in the Office of Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), and prior to that spent 4-years at Ogilvy Public Relations, in their Sacramento public affairs practice, where she was a key member of the West Coast Latino outreach specialty team.

Prior to Ogilvy, Josefina spent a decade working in state government and politics, progressing from completing California’s prestigious “Capital Fellowship” program, serving as a legislative aide and consultant, a committee consultant with the Assembly business and professions committee and serving as the capitol director for a legislator.

Throughout Josefina’s vast experience in public policy, politics and community leadership – she’s been immersed in developing state and local programs that meet the needs of diverse communities in California. Josefina has critical experience working with local stakeholders to create partnership opportunities to find solutions to pressing issues that underserved communities face, and also has wide involvement with political campaigns and knowledge of interacting with ethnic media.

Josefina has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Riverside. Originally from Orange County, she moved to Sacramento when she was selected as a Jesse Marvin Unruh Assembly Fellow in 2003. Josefina is a proud graduate of the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) Leadership Institute, a statewide leadership program for professional Latinas in California to gain vital leadership and advocacy skills. In 2013, Josefina was appointed by the California State Senate as a public member on the University of California Regents Selection Advisory Committee. She is actively involved in the Sacramento Latina Leaders Network. Josefina is also an alumna of the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project, and involved with the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project where she volunteers at these dynamic leadership conferences held annually in Sacramento for Latino and API high school students. Josefina lives in Sacramento with her daughter Olivia and husband Curtis who is a director of public affairs for the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, a federally recognized tribal government in Yolo County.

“Josefina brings multi-faceted expertise that spans policy-making, community leadership, and political campaigning to the Emerge California board,” said Executive Director Kimberly Ellis. “With her broad experience, Josefina will make a big impact on our mission of building a strong pipeline of women candidates who are ready to run and serve across California.”

Also joining the board is Janice Rocco, California’s Deputy Insurance Commissioner overseeing Health Policy and Reform at the California Department of Insurance (CDI). Janice led the Department’s successful efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act and was a key player in developing California’s related state health care reform laws. 

Prior to joining Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones’ executive team in January 2011, Janice spent twelve years working for the California State Assembly. She served as then Assembly Member Hannah-Beth Jackson’s Chief of Staff from 1999-2004, next as the Senior Consultant to the Legislative Women’s Caucus in 2005, and in late 2005 went to work for then Assembly Member Dave Jones’ and served as his Chief of Staff until his term ended in 2010. 

Janice has worked to address a wide range of public policy issues including health care, domestic violence and sexual assault, early childhood education, income inequality, civil rights and reproductive rights. As President of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Rocco appeared on The Today ShowGood Morning America, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight. In her current position, she is interviewed regularly about health care and insurance issues. Before working for the Legislature, Janice worked for Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo from 1994-1997. 

Janice has worked on many political campaigns and served as campaign manager for a number of successful state legislative races. She also worked on the campaign to defeat Proposition 73 (parental notification) and among her first campaigns was working to defeat Proposition 209 (anti-affirmative action measure). She served four terms on the national board of NOW, and has served on the PAC Boards of various organizations including the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, NOW, California NOW and NARAL’s Privacy PAC. “Janice’s impressive experience in policymaking and managing political campaigns will be a huge asset to our organization,” said Kimberly Ellis. “By adding Janice’s leadership to our board, Emerge is poised and positioned to grow to the next level, training even more women candidates to run for office and win across California.”

Since its founding, Emerge California has recruited and trained nearly 400 women. Fifty percent of those women have run for public office or have been appointed to local and statewide boards or commissions. Of those who have run, nearly 70% have won their races. In addition, 50% of Emerge graduates are women of color.

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