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CHCI-Coca Cola Intern
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
School: University of California, Davis
Major: Political Science & Sociology
Placement: The Office of Rep. Jimmy Gomez

Rocio Perez is a first-generation college student attending the University of California, Davis double-majoring in Political Science and Sociology. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants from Puebla, Mexico and was born in the Westlake/Macarthur Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. Growing up, she assisted her parents in street vending and in garment factories where she witnessed the effects of exploitative practices on her parent’s health and financial stability. The exploitation that occurs in the garment industry such as unsanitary working conditions, cheating workers off their wages and the piece rate system has fueled her ambitious mentality in pursuing a career in employment law.

Advocating for the intersectionality of immigrant rights in the labor market led Rocio to work on SB926, the Workplace Protection Act, alongside the Western Center on Law and Poverty. The law aimed to protect low-income workers on CalFresh programs who quit their jobs as a result of a violation of their workplace rights from being denied their aid. She has extensive organizing and policy analysis experience as part of the California Dream Network with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), informing immigrants about their rights and policy changes at the local, state and federal level.

As an HSF Scholar, member of Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honors Society and of the California Dream Network, Rocio has gained access to many opportunities that have equipped her with the skills necessary to advocate for immigrant rights and marginalized communities. As a CHCI intern, Rocio hopes to gain valuable knowledge about the legislative process on issues affecting her community and build a network that guides her throughout her future endeavors. In the future, Rocio hopes to attend law school and work for a non-profit that defends workers’ rights.