Michael Elias

Michael Elias

Local Organizer

As Local Organizer, Michael leads grassroots advocacy efforts for policies investing in the health, safety, and economic vitality of Alameda County’s struggling communities. Michael’s commitment to community advocacy stems from his upbringing as a Mexican-American Bay Area native. The son of an Alameda County public defender and a recent chairwoman of an Alameda County commission, Michael inherited his parents’ passion for serving disenfranchised populations in the East Bay.

In organizing, Michael draws on his professional experience in the government, legal, and nonprofit sectors in striving to develop multicultural and multidisciplinary organizing strategies to address the needs of the community.

After graduating from New York University, Michael became a Community Liaison for a New York State Assembly Member, serving constituents of Manhattan’s Upper West Side and Harlem in matters pertaining to education, immigration, and health care. Michael then returned to California to become a Paralegal with Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) in Berkeley, where he led a statewide community outreach campaign to identify and consolidate class members for a successful class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart. With the mission of empowering low-income Latino students and fostering nationwide Latino advocacy efforts, Michael later founded the Latino Young Leaders in Advocacy Program (LEAD.Latinoamérica), which will annually send Latino high school students on service trips to Latin America to facilitate their growth as leaders and advocates.

In his free time, Michael teaches hip hop dance classes and enjoys training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, hiking, and pick-up basketball.