Dear Members of the Cruz Reynoso Bar Association,
We hope that you all are safe and well during this time when so many have been affected in various ways by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are writing to check in with all of you and update you about developments with the organization and what lies ahead for the CRBA given the current coronavirus situation, including information about online elections, membership renewals, and our mentorship program.
We want to first thank you all for your individual commitment and continuing support of the Cruz Reynoso Bar Association. The CRBA has been able to grow and thrive to increase its community engagement and presence by, among other things, hosting recognition and public service events here in Sacramento and in surrounding areas. For example, in 2019, CRBA participated in the following notable achievements and endeavors with the help and support of our members:
None of the above would be possible without your continuing participation, support, and membership. To that end, for those of you who have not done so, we would kindly ask that you please submit your annual renewal application for 2020 to provide us with your most up to date information. Also, because many have been impacted financially, if one is not able to pay the full amount for their annual membership dues, we are announcing a “pay what you can” option selectable on this year’s membership application form. We would like to remind everyone that, per our bylaws, only current CRBA members are eligible to vote during CRBA elections. Our updated membership application is provided below, along with an electronic communication consent form which we would also like to update/receive from all members. You may pay your dues by check or credit card, or online at: http://www.crbasacramento.com/membership-levels.html.
As mentioned above, membership dues can be reduced upon request if financially impacted by the pandemic, as indicated on this year’s updated membership application. Please send completed applications and any questions relating to membership to Board member Laura Neacato (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Annual Meeting and Board of Director Nominations/Elections
With that, we would like to switch topics and discuss the CRBA’s annual meeting for 2020. In addition to other events which have been postponed, we will be forced to delay our annual meeting out of concern for the public health risk a gathering could entail for our members, their families, and our community. This is unfortunate because many of you know that our annual meeting is a great opportunity to catch up with familiar faces and meet new members, stay informed about CRBA business, as well as participate in the election of Board members and/or Officers whose terms are ending. Because it is uncertain when we will be able to meet in the future, we have decided to hold the election of Board members via e-mail.
As such, if anyone is interested in running for a Board position (or nominating an individual to run) please reach out to President Brian López (email@example.com) to discuss more. For those interested, any attorney who is a member in good standing of the State Bar of California and a current member of the CRBA is eligible to run, nominate, and/or vote for a Board position per our by-laws. We ask that all individuals communicate their interest or nomination for a position on the Board AND also submit their membership application renewal by May 15, 2020. Shortly following that date, instructions will be sent to then-currently registered CRBA members only in order to provide more information and instructions about the e-mail voting process.
What’s ahead in 2020?
Before we close, we also want to let you all know that despite the complications with the coronavirus restrictions we face, we are committed to continuing the mission of the CRBA and our service to our community and its improvement. For the time being, we will hold off on in-person events as mentioned, but programs such as our Mentor-Mentee program will not only proceed, but will also be opened up to recent grads who are in need of mentorship, as well. If you or someone you know may be interested in being a mentor or mentee (or both), please reach out to Board member Cecilia Guevara Zamora (firstname.lastname@example.org) and also look out for the application materials we will be sending out soon. We also strongly hope that things will improve enough to allow us to hold our Defensor de Justicia event this fall/winter. Other initiatives we will be exploring are video conference CLE events and other novel ways to connect professionally and socially.
In closing, we hope that you and your loved ones are and continue to remain healthy and safe and that we will have a chance to get together once the danger has passed. Many thanks for your understanding and your continued commitment not only to the CRBA, but to our community.
CRBA Board of Directors
Brian Lopez, President
Erandi Zamora-Graziano, Vice President
Santiago Avila Gomez, Treasurer
Cecilia Guevara Zamora, Secretary
George Acero, Chair
Luis Cespedes, Director
Laura Neacato, Director
Alberto Rosas, Director
Noemi Esparza, Director
The scholarship application for this year’s CRBA Unity Bar Scholarship can be found below. The application deadline has been extended to October 11, 2019. Please distribute to your networks.
To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be currently enrolled and in good standing in any year of law school at: Lincoln Law School, McGeorge School of Law, or U.C. Davis’ King Hall. The CRBA UNITY Bar scholarship will be awarded at the UNITY Bar Dinner, which will take place on October 30, 2019 in Sacramento. The winner of the scholarship will be provided a ticket to attend the Unity Bar Dinner and is encouraged to attend.
CRBA member Judge Emily Vasquez has been selected by the Sacramento County Bar Association Board of Directors as the SCBA Judge of the Year! Many of you may know Judge Vasquez not only through her position as a Sacramento County Superior Court Judge, but also through her extensive involvement with many different organizations here in the Sacramento area. As such, those of you who know her also are aware that she is truly an inspirational figure for not only our members but so many others she has assisted, mentored and collaborated with throughout the years. Our congratulations go out to her for this well-deserved award! Please also mark your calendars as the award ceremony will be held on September 19, 2019 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel at the SCBA’s annual Bench Bar Reception.
On March 16, 2018, CRBA members presented at Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference at UC Davis. The presentation, "You can be a Lawyer? Se se Puede" was given by CRBA President Brian Lopez, Secretary Cecilia Guevara Zamora, Board Member George Acero and CRBA members Judge Sonia Cortes and Matthew Martinez. Thank you to our panelists.
The new Cruz Reynoso Bar Association Board had its elections for the 2019 executive officer positions. Please join me in congratulating the new CRBA executive team:
President – Brian López (Immigration attorney, Carson & Kyung)
Vice President – Erandi Zamora (CRLAF Staff Attorney, Labor & Civil Rights Litigation)
Secretary – Cecilia Guevarra (CRLAF Staff Attorney, Rural Housing Project)
Treasurer – Santiago Avila-Gomez (Executive Secretary, ALRB)