Staff Bios

May 2015 download 002Josh Butler, Executive Director

Josh migrated to Long Beach in 1992, where he began attending California State University Long Beach, and majored in Political Science. Josh grew up playing soccer, and served as coach for Long Beach Youth Soccer Organization while a student at CSULB. While at CSULB, Josh served as President of the campus chapter of Model United Nations.

Josh went to work here in Long Beach at Disabled Resources Center. There he served as Community Educator where he advocated and organized the disabilities community into action on many issues. One such issue was affordable housing. Josh saw first-hand the devastating impact the lack of affordable housing was having on people with disabilities. That caused the organization to become active and involved in advocating for affordable housing and Josh’s eventual role as Campaign Manager for the group known as the Long Beach Housing Trust Fund Coalition. That campaign was successful, as the City of Long Beach established a Housing Trust Fund in 2006.

After leaving Disabled Resources Center, Josh joined the staff of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske where he served as Chief of Staff. As Chief of Staff, Josh gained an inside view of the municipal structure and the multiple goals and competing interests that City Council Members worked to address. Working under Gerrie Schipske provided Josh an opportunity to continue working in the Long Beach community.

Most recently, Josh was Director of Community Engagement at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles.

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Maria Lopez, Director of Community Organizing

As the first generation college entrant in her family, Maria continues to break barriers as a senior at CSULB majoring in Chicano Latino Studies with a minor in Global Migration. Beforehand, Maria studied at LBCC where she played college soccer while serving as the Associated Student Body, President. In 2013, she received her AA in Social Sciences and a certificate of accomplishment in Administrative Assistance: Microsoft Office. While at LBCC & CSULB, Maria coached for Atletico Long Beach Soccer Club. Leading two teams of young Latinas ages 8-15.

At the same time, Maria had the desire to become a coach that changed lives. Therefore she not only trained these girls to become good soccer players, but also mentored them through her education program. Upon creating GIRLLS (Gaining Intellectual Resources for Life Long Success) Maria thought of all the important things she had missed while growing up. Centering the program on issues that affected the Latina population. The curriculum included- educational planning, how to build healthy relationship & dating violence prevention, how to build a healthy body image, developing leadership skills, and caring for the environment through a presentation on environmental issues.

Maria’s passion for Social Justice stems from her own struggles with her status, the challenges it brings to her family and overall how it affects her community. Maria hopes to continue her work in community and empower others to do the same always having in mind that “leaders create leaders, not followers.


18446998_10154635478211194_8342841457659033060_nJordan Wynne, Community Organizer

Jordan Wynne is a Long Beach native and renter who has recently become involved in the fight for housing justice. Jordan graduated as a 4.0 “golden robe” student from Long Beach Poly High School, and had been involved in service clubs such as the LBP Feminist Club and Gold L Club. After graduation, Jordan studied political science at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. In tandem with rigorous course work, Jordan was involved with a multitude of activist groups around the city, such as CAUSA Immigration Rights, The Bus Project as a GotV canvasser, and DiversIfY, a student advocacy group aimed at dismantling eurocentrism and promoting the voices of students of color.

Jordan has always been passionate about Long Beach, and wanted to concentrate on local advocacy work post-graduation. Conducting this thesis connected Jordan to many different housing advocacy networks, and cemented the idea that real change comes from active work with the community. After completing this thesis, Jordan contacted Housing Long Beach to work as a summer intern, and since become an eager member of the Housing Long Beach team.

Jordan wants to give back to the community of Long Beach who raised them into the person they are today.

Jessica Jacinto, Community Organizer

Jessica was born at Torrance Hospital and raised in Long Beach. She is direct product of the Long Beach school system, having attended Kettering Elementary, Hill Middle School, Cabrillo High School, and Charter College for an MA license. She was also a cheerleader for her middle school and high school, as well as a member of the Cabrillo High School Dance Team.

In her free time she enjoys spending all day with her kids and family, as well as going to the beach in the evenings. She also loves going to the movies and spending time with her friends.

Jessica has two kids, a boy and girl. Her daughter, Ruby, is eleven, and her son, Billy, is eight. 11 years old her birthday is June 17, 2006.

Jessica is single mother and is currently battling a second round of cancer. Jessica is a survivor and fighter, and we are proud to have her on the team.

Benyamin bin Mohd Yusof, Community Organizer


Benyamin bin Mohd Yusof is a Long Beach native who is committed to our fight for social justice.

Of Filipinx heritage, he immigrated to Long Beach from Brunei at a young age and matriculated through Long Beach Unified School District, graduating from Long Beach Poly High School’s PACE program in 2013. He received his bachelor’s degrees in Molecular and Cell Biology and South and Southeast Asian Studies from University of California, Berkeley, where he began his career as a community activist. As an undocumented immigrant of color, he advocated for the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students of color in the bridges Multicultural Resource Center. Here, he extended his political activism to student government, serving as an elected Senator of the Associated Students of the University of California, the most autonomous student government in the nation, with the CalSERVE Coalition.

Through his experience as an organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area, he has witnessed first-hand how gentrification and the need for affordable housing affects all marginalized communities, especially low-income communities of color. He hopes to utilize his knowledge and expertise to inform Long Beach residents on how we can all work together as a community to fight back against systematic oppression and build people and renter power. Most of all, Benyamin hopes that through his participation in Housing Long Beach, he can give back to his hometown and serve the people who make Long Beach wonderful.

Benyamin believes that researching and sharing knowledge is his way of enacting social change, often returning to the words of Filipino national hero José Rizal, “know history, know self; no history, no self.”