Welcome our new Policy and Partnerships Manager

Bayou City Waterkeeper
June 25, 2024

Join us in welcoming our new staff member Guadalupe Fernández, BCWK’s Policy and Partnerships Manager. Guadalupe will manage our policy and government relations work alongside our interdisciplinary team.

What is the last waterbody that you visited?

To kick off the summer, I went tubing in the Guadalupe River (we share a name, of course!) near New Braunfels with my husband and my dog. I was concerned about the low water-levels in the river. We heard from the locals that low water levels are becoming a persistent occurrence. Closer to home, I regularly visit Sylvan Beach. I enjoy walking my dog along the shore with the refreshing ocean breeze. Living less than a mile from the Ship Channel, I’m constantly reminded of the importance of protecting our waterways.

Tell us about your background.

For more than a decade, I’ve worked advocating against structural injustice and inequity at all levels: individual, systems, and social change. I am committed to building collective power among directly impacted community members, advocates, and allies towards our collective vision of a just, healthy, and safe Houston region.

I’ve worked on a number of initiatives, including advocating for policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels. I’m passionate about justice and equity, and this passion is fueled by my own background as a daughter of immigrants from a low-income community in the south-side of Chicago. Witnessing and experiencing the struggles of marginalized communities firsthand ignited my desire to advocate for systemic change. I am excited to bring that passion to Bayou City Waterkeeper. I believe that everyone deserves access to clean water and a healthy environment.

In my past role at Connective, a Houston-based nonprofit, I worked to ensure that services and institutions are community-centered and accessible to those that need them the most. In my previous role as the Director of Children’s Immigration at Children at Risk, I oversaw federal and state public policy advocacy to transform the policies and practices that impact immigrant children and families. Prior to that, I served as the Policy and Advocacy Manager at Tahirih Justice Center Houston where I developed the first program for local and state advocacy on policies impacting immigrant victims of gender-based violence. These experiences honed my skills in building coalitions, legislative and administrative advocacy, and community engagement. I began my career ensuring that immigrant children and survivors of violence and their families were empowered to navigate the complicated legal and social systems in Houston and Washington, DC.

What part of your job do you think you will nerd out about? 

I look forward to sinking my teeth into water policy and working with our public officials, stakeholders, and community on implementing the right solutions for our region.

How do you think your work as the Policy and Partnerships Manager will impact our community?

By working collaboratively with stakeholders and public officials, I hope to contribute to developing effective water policies that ensure clean water and a healthy and sustainable environment for all in our region. My experience in building relationships and advocating for systemic change will be invaluable in this role.

Why is Houston special? 

Houston’s creative resilience and its diverse communities are what make it truly special. I’m excited to be part of a community that is constantly striving for a more just and equitable future, especially when it comes to our environment.