The Central Coast Climate Justice Network (CCCJN), which started in 2018, has named Ana Rosa Rizo-Centino as its new network manager.

CCCJN is a collaboration of organizations and community leaders dedicated to a climate movement that advances social, economic, racial and environmental justice for Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

By forging a regional partnership between social justice, anti-racism, and environmental movements, CCCJN expands the region’s collective power to advance restorative actions and systems change, the network said.

The organization’s work centers on communities that bear the greatest burden of climate change impacts.

The Community Environmental Council (CEC), Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), and partnering social justice and environmental organizations launched the network five years ago amid the backdrop of the Thomas Fire and Montecito debris flow.

Relying on a collaboratively designed charter, the network maintains an intentionally horizontal leadership model that emphasizes leadership by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), working class folks, and a commitment to consensus-based decision making. 

Rizo-Centino brings some 20 years of experience in leadership development, focused on equity, inclusion and intersectionality. A graduate of UCSB Santa Barbara, Rizo-Centino has worked nationally, statewide and locally on many social justice issues.

“Environmental and climate justice demand a truly holistic approach that uplifts underrepresented people like me,” she said. “As a young, working class, first generation immigrant, and a queer woman of color, I belong to several demographics disproportionately affected by environmental and climate degradation.

“Also, as a mom, I am deeply committed to making sure that the next seven generations benefit from the uplifting work that we are able to do.”

“We are thrilled to continue building momentum with the experienced leadership and passion Ana Rosa brings to the network manager position,” said David Pellow.

“The work of CCCJN has never been so needed or so urgent. CCCJN’s member and ally organizations are deeply committed to doing the on-the-ground work needed to build lasting, systemic change,” he said.

“I am humbled to apply my unique perspective and extensive experience to elevating and expanding the work of CCCJN, its Network Members and its Allies,” said Rizo-Centino.

The part-time network manager position will oversee the next phase of the organization as it deepens its roots across Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, plus expansion to San Luis Obispo County and implements key initiatives, including:

· Designing a Green New Deal: Conducting a grassroots campaign in communities to envision a locally designed, BIPOC-led Green New Deal with the aim of representing and advocating for local needs, prioritizing indigenous and BIPOC populations.

· Building climate resilience and climate leadership: Collaborating with frontline communities most impacted by the climate crisis to build leadership and resilience from the ground up.

· Addressing and changing systemic racism: Breaking down barriers that stifle the voices of underrepresented communities that are critical for a healthy and strong climate justice movement. 

Current CCCJN members include member organizations that participate in regular meetings, committees, and on-the-ground work, and ally organizations that support the CCCJN mission and the network’s activities.

Current member organizations are: 350 Santa Barbara, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, Community Environmental Council, Future Leaders of America, Mixteco/Indigena Community Project (MICOP), Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Sierra Club Santa Barbara-Ventura Chapter, and UCSB Environmental and Climate Justice Hub.

Current ally organizations: city of Santa Barbara, county of Santa Barbara, Environmental Defense Center, Los Padres Forest Watch, and The Fund for Santa Barbara.

The Central Coast Climate Justice Network is made possible with support from the James S. Bower Foundation, McCune Foundation, El Gato Channel Foundation and The Fund for Santa Barbara.

For more information, visit For inquiries or more details, contact Rizo-Centino at or 805-770-1857. 

Prior to CCJN, Rizo-Centino served as executive director at One Step A La Vez (OSALV), an organization that advocates for youth in the Santa Clara Valley with an emphasis on addressing environmental justice, LGBTQ+ issues, and educational access.

Previously, she was the Central Coast senior organizer for Food & Water Action.

Rizo-Centino was elected to the City Council in her hometown of Maywood, California, also serving as mayor. During her time on the council, she focused on increasing government transparency, support for working families  and environmental justice issues, such as clean drinking water and planting a thousand trees, as well as doubling park space.

Rizo-Centino has received the Women of Action award from Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, as well as awards from Supervisor Gloria Molina and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.

She served as a board member for the LA League of Conservation Voters for nearly seven years, and also serves as president of the Central Coast Environmental Voters. She is board chairwoman of Transition US and board secretary of La Casa de La Raza.