James Suazo (he/him/his) serves as Associate Director for Long Beach Forward, where he is the connector of multiple initiatives, campaigns, and collaborative efforts and drives our organizational strategy to build community knowledge, leadership, and power. James is in the process of transitioning into the Executive Director role by January 2021. James is an avid reader, writer, artist, organizer, and abolitionist, who identifies as queer, Latino, and Native American (Jicarilla Apache). James’ passion for social change began growing up in Santa Ana, California where he started organizing low-income bus riders throughout Orange County in 2008. Since then, he has worked for elected officials; managed political campaigns; and organized with students, community-based groups, and labor unions throughout Orange County, LA County, and Long Beach. Living in Long Beach for the past decade, James also organizes locally with the Long Beach chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. Engaging in organizing as liberation work, he enjoys working on narrative strategies and teaching others organizing as a way to build movements and move hearts and minds. James graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in English Education with emphases in Comparative World Literature and Language and Linguistics.