Chief of staff for PICO National Network, the largest faith-based organizing group in the country.
Denise serves as the Chief of Staff of the PICO National Network, a national, faith-based community organizing network consisting of 54 local and state federations in 21 states. Together, the organizations in PICO mobilize thousands of faith community leaders each year to make public policy changes at the local, state and national level to reduce racial and economic inequality. PICO leads organizing campaigns on immigration reform, criminal justice reform and economic justice in partnership with community leaders in 1,200 religious institutions from 35 faith traditions. PICO runs the largest non-partisan, volunteer-led voter engagement program in the country and trains 15,000 grassroots leaders per year to challenge powerful interests on behalf of working families. In her role as Chief of Staff, Denise leads the national staff team and coordinates with PICO Network organizations. Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, Denise served as Deputy Director, Director of Development and Director of Southeast Expansion. She helped PICO groups integrate data-driven voter engagement tools to strengthen the organizing work in Florida, Louisiana and Alabama. In Florida, she ran the 2012 “No on 3” campaign to stop a revenue measure which would have reduced public investment in Florida. In Louisiana she helped to build a sentencing reform effort. In California’s Bay Area in 1992, she led campaigns to achieve school reform and youth organizing in Oakland, a “Yes In My Back Yard” campaign which led to the development of affordable housing in San Francisco neighborhoods and a campaign to pass an affordable housing bond measure in 2002. Denise holds an A.B. in Romance Languages and Literature from Harvard University. She loves living on the water in Tampa Bay, visiting her family in Puerto Rico, and hanging out with her husband Julio, dog Chico and Marley the cat.