Benjamin Torres, Steering Committee Co-Chair. President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Development Technologies Center (CDTech). CDTech addresses issues of community and economic development in low-income areas of Los Angeles through a social justice lens that empowers residents and communities to rebuild them. Benjamin is recognized as a major social justice leader both locally and nationally through his extensive background and work in developing grassroots and youth leadership, school and community partnerships as well as shaping community benefits agreements. He was instrumental in bringing the Public Allies program to CDTech, to build out the leadership and nonprofit workforce development pipeline in our underserved communities. He is a faculty member and Director of the Community Planning Program at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. He has ten years of experience teaching, curriculum design, student and faculty development and support at LATTC and is responsible for overseeing community outreach and student community service activities. Prior experience includes two years at the Multi-Cultural Education Consortium in Santa Barbara and serving as Youth Leadership Director for La Casa de la Raza in Santa Barbara. From 1997 to 2002, he served as project director for the MultiCultural Collaborative Community School Initiative program in the Watts community of Los Angeles. Benjamin holds a bachelors degree from the University of California Santa Barbara and is completing his Masters degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University. He is committed to building leadership capacity in South Los Angeles and serves on the Board of Directors of key organizations; Strategic Action for a Just Economy (SAJE), Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), Figueroa Community Land Trust and the For Chicana/o Studies Foundation. Benjamin lives in Echo Park, where he proudly grew up, and lives with his long-time partner Juana Mora and his daughters Aurelia and Camila Valentina.