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2020-2021 CHCI-Altria Public Policy Fellow

Hometown: Compton, California
School: University of California, Berkeley
Degrees: B.A. in Legal Studies and Chicano Studies
Placement: Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

Mayra Lozano is a community organizer from Guerrero, Mexico, raised in Compton and South-Central Los Angeles by strong immigrant parents. Most recently, she completed UC Berkeley’s John Gardner Public Service Fellowship at Immigrant Defenders Law Center, a social justice law firm that defends immigrant communities against injustices in immigration court. Guided by her own experiences with homelessness, she is currently a board member at Water Drop LA a weekly grassroots initiative distributing 1600+ gallons of water to the homeless population in Skid Row. Growing up undocumented in a low-income neighborhood, Mayra had to learn to navigate poverty without access to federal safety net programs. These life experiences are what motivated her to seek a career in public policy and advocacy.

As a student at Berkeley, Mayra focused her educational career in the field of Legal Studies and Chicana/o Studies. She conducted field research for her honors legal studies thesis, which looks at the new economies of work experienced by migrants. While at Berkeley, she volunteered at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant providing legal services to refugees. Growing up Mayra witnessed the constant exploitation her parents experienced in factories that took advantage of their undocumented status. As part of UCLA’s Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, Mayra advocated for worker safety. In collaboration with the University of Illinois – School of Public Health and Centro De Trabajadores Unidos, she co-authored a health report highlighting OSHA violations and health risks in the recycling industry in Southeast Chicago to aid 10th ward Alderwoman Garza during negotiations with scrap metal companies. During her time in Chicago, she was able to work alongside community organizers in campaigns against labor rights violations.

Her goal as a CHCI Fellow is to learn how to create community centered policies from experienced leaders and community members.