Meet the Long Beach Forward team
Marlene Montanez has 16 years of experience in grassroots organizing, civic engagement, and leadership development in immigrant rights, workers justice, land use, and youth ministry. As a community organizer she has a background in popular education, coalition building, and political strategy.
Marlene has been on the forefront of creating systemic change by growing labor and community partnerships. Her role in organizing several successful policy campaigns led to the passage of groundbreaking policies that include a living wage for Long Beach workers, the passing of Measure WW, and the Long Beach Justice Fund. She prides herself in nurturing a number of interns and fellows that are now organizers throughout the county and state.
Marlene migrated with her family from Zacatecas, Mexico at the age of three and was raised in south central Los Angeles and Fillmore, California. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Women Gender Sexual Studies and Political Science from California State University, Long Beach. During her time at CSULB she was co-chair of FUEL, and contributed to the passage of the California DREAM Act. She participated in the first cohort of Dream Summer and interned with the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition in 2011, and the CLEAN Carwash Campaign in 2012. In her free time, she loves gardening and reading.