Jolt Action

Who We Are

Jolt Action is lead by Latinos who have fought, marched & organized for our community. We’ve come together to build a movement in Texas that challenges the status quo & innovates civic participation.

Senior Staff

Diana Maldonado



A community, political and educational leader in the Central Texas region, Diana Maldonado will drive forward Jolt’s mission to harness the power of young Latinos to transform Texas through their voice and their vote. 


She joins Jolt through her role as CEO and President of Maldonado Strategies, LLC, where she positions businesses for success and lasting impact. In her prior role as President and CEO of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she implemented the CEO Speaker Series to bring dialogue and connections that impact Latino business and issues. 


Diana is the first Latina elected to represent Williamson County in the Texas House of Representatives during which time she authored and co-authored 88 bills and was named “Freshman of the Year” by her colleagues. She served in an Executive role for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, was appointed to the State Affairs and Defense & Veterans Affairs Committees, served as President of the Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees and spent two decades building a career at the Texas State Comptroller’s Office. 

Jackie Bastard



Jackie is a first generation college graduate. She attended the University of Houston Downtown where she obtained a B.S. in Criminal Justice and then obtained a M.A. in Criminology from the University of Houston Clear Lake.


Jackie is excited to be part of Jolt, an organization that empowers, equips, and mobilizes individuals to speak up not only for themselves but for those who are afraid to do so for fear of reprisal. 

Maria Tolentino



Maria is a proud Texas native, Chicana, and first-generation Mexican-American. She is the granddaughter of migrant farmworkers and daughter to immigrant mother from Monterrey, Mexico. Maria has been in the non-profit sector for 16 years working with underserved communities, single-parent households and at-risk youth to remove barriers while developing employment and educational opportunities. She is a proud mother of five and a hobby sugar artist/baker for local and national charities.

Through her personal experiences of the injustices facing the Latinx communities and political issues that were near and dear to her heart, she was drawn to become involved with Jolt. She wants to be a voice of empowerment and become a force for positive change in the Latinx community.

She hopes to encourage, educate and mobilize the Latinx community to use their voting power for positive change in addition to advocating for those who cannot vote.

James Canup

Development Director


James Canup (he/him/his) comes from deep Texas roots in Dallas and Rockwall County. An Austinite since 1991, James is a Longhorn and a fundraiser, activist and nonprofit leader who, for more than two decades, has advanced progressive causes in the state, from the ACLU of Texas to Annie’s List to the Texas Observer.

James is thrilled to join the Jolt team and says that now is the moment for younger Latina and Latino residents to seize the levers of power in Texas from the right-wing extremists who have held power for three decades. He aims to serve that movement by helping to generate unprecedented donor love for Jolt’s vital and timely mission.

James is eager to partner with Jolt’s amazing leaders and staff, with the boards of Jolt Action and Jolt Initiative, and the community to deliver the support required to change the face of Texas.

Austin Staff

Tom Curcio

Office Manager


Tom has spent the first half of his career working in the Wine and Spirits industry
throughout Colorado. While working in the wine business, Tom had several
opportunities to travel the world and experience firsthand the beauty of people,
their culture and historical traditions. A decade ago, as his thirst for adventure
grew, Tom began traveling to Central America in support of education
development and poverty alleviation in Honduras and Guatemala. After
numerous trips to some of the most rural communities in Central America, Tom
felt called to leave the traditional business world to advocate for social change,
equality and justice in our local communities. When he´s not doing his part to
support the mission at Jolt, Tom spends most of time playing guitar, enjoying
great food and practicing his Spanish.

Sarah Chavez

Development Associate


Sarah (she/they) believes that through Jolt’s innovative and effective work, Texas’ leadership will become more reflective of the diverse communities in her dearly-loved home state. She proudly joined the organization in April 2023.

Sarah has owned a bicycle shop, managed restaurants, and fundraised for campaigns and nonprofits for over a decade. She enjoys two-stepping with her spouse, petting their cats, listening to music, and cheering on the Dallas Cowboys.

Fernando Avelar

Writer and Multimedia Designer


Fernando Avelar is a creative Writer and Multimedia Designer at Jolt who joined the Austin team July 2023. He is excited to share the news of becoming a U.S. citizen and looks forward to using his voice at the polls. Fernando grew up in Mexico City and has lived in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and now Austin. He graduated from University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design. He aspires to use his design skills to encourage Latinos to be civically engaged in order to shape their communities.

Dallas Staff

Cristina Dolores Garrido



Cristina is a first-generation Mexican-American, born in San Antonio and raised in Fort Worth. In 2012, she became the first in her family to go to college. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Arts, she came back home to North Texas. Since then, Cristina has been an active member of the Dallas-Fort Worth community. She holds leadership positions in youth-led, progressive organizations, and has volunteered and been a staff member on several political campaigns, including local, state, and congressional.

Cristina’s hands-on experience in organizing and her personal passion for justice for Latinx communities drew her to Jolt. She understands the complexities of our communities, and hopes to uplift the disenfranchised. Cristina is excited to be a part of the mobilization of young Latinx communities and help raise our voices. 

Maria Aguilar



Maria Aguilar is Texas born and raised organizer and activist. From working as a server in the food industry to running a university chapter for the Bernie Sanders campaign, Maria has always has always desired to work for her community. Ensuring the protection of Black and Brown Queer folk, recognition of the working class contrubution, and uplifting young Black and Brown students are just a few goals Maria works towards with the work they do both within and outside of Jolt. Some of their hobbies include cooking cultural staples, attempting to learn the drums, driving to sing her heart out, and light hiking.

Jay Rosa

Deputy Field Organizer


Josue A. Rosa is a first-generation Salvadoran student born and raised in Dallas, Texas studying at Texas A&M majoring in Political Science and minoring in Business Administration. Josue’s experience in advocacy extends to working with State and Nationwide nonprofit organizations that help at aiding and empowering marginalized communities. Josue is passionate about providing the necessary information and tools to organize lower-income areas and is excited to closely work with other organizers to uplift Latine voices and empower them to be civically active here in Texas.

Azael Martinez

Deputy Field Organizer


Azael Martinez was born in Ciudad Juarez, but relocated to Fort Worth early in life. Being raised in a poverty stricken household and in a poverty stricken neighborhood, he experienced first hand the hardships that are faced within marginalized and impoverished communities. This has caused him to seek ways to aid in bringing about positive change to these primarily black and brown communities, leading him to a position as a DFO at Jolt. He is currently finishing his last semester at TCC before pursuing a degree in anthropology. His hobbies are playing music, watching anime, and hiking.

Houston Staff

Christina Ramirez

Regional Organizer


Christina Ramirez was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She is a deputy field organizer with Jolt on the Houston team. She began working with jolt to help in their efforts to assist with getting our communities civically engaged. She is deputized in 5 counties, Harris, Montgomery, Brazoria, Fort Bend & Travis County. She enjoys traveling, driving & spending lots of time with her kids.

Beverly Baker

Deputy Field Organizer


I worked in California doing the census in the late 90s it was paper then no computers, since I have joined the Jolt familia. I’ve come to learn more and more about our heritage background being undercounted overlooked and underpaid. Working as Deputy Registrar, has allowed me to engage in Civic conversations for our communities black brown Latinos, we have been suppressed for so long I want to be a part of the solution and no longer part of the problem. As this world changes we as citizens of Texas, will continue to reach out speak for the people stand in the gap and encourage the younger generation of  Latinos black and brown to ensure they are future candidates, as a TEAM, we must continue to educate and be leaders to stop in the oppression in Texas.People need to be heard civically, and I’m honored to do the duty that comes along with spreading the good news and information so that we can place someone in a higher position to help and bring our community together #WeareTexas

Julie Neuman

Regional Organizer


 I started with Jolt as a volunteer assisting in their efforts to build a stronger democracy through voter registration. I have a passion for helping people regardless of their ethnicity or socioeconomic background and I was lucky to find a position that helps to facilitate these interests.  I believe in a cooperative social power and helping people is a real source of energy for me.  I look forward to being able to continue helping others become civically engaged in order to make a difference.

Giovanni Mena

Deputy Field Organizer


Giovanni Mena is a Deputy Field Organizer at Jolt. He aspires to make change and grow as a young Latino. Giovanni grew up in a big family of 7 with 4 brothers and 2 sisters. He graduated from Cypress Park High School and is looking to further his education, and help others by any means!

Vanessa Rivera

Deputy Field Organizer


Vanessa Rivera is a proud Latina born & raised in Houston, Texas. UHD graduate in Interdisciplinary studies with a double minor in Communication & Political Science. Has a passion for civic engagement, community empowerment & loves to bike ride.

Daniel Robles

Regional Organizer


Daniel Robles is a Texas raised activist and organizer. Graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelors in Political Science. He served in a congressional internship but felt like not enough was being done in the communities around his constituency and Houston at large. Daniel is driven by politics and one day hopes to have a career in public policy and legislative work. He enjoys movies, video games, and books in his free time.

San Antonio Staff

Robert Laurence

Regional Organizer


Robert is a community organizer and consultant who has been organizing in San Antonio and beyond for the past four years. Having to grow up in poverty and with family healthcare debt, he comes to progressive politics not just theoretically but for practical reasons. He looks forward to continue building people power with Jolt and advocate for voting rights both at a community level and the legislative level. With a background in training and campaigns, he tries to facilitate and encourage the community to get involved in politics at all levels. He enjoys dancing, reading about international relations and film history. He believes, organizing communities is not only a worthy cause but a practical necessity to build a better world.

Andrea García Rodriguez

Regional Organizer


Andrea was born and raised in Mexico.  After coming to Texas, she knew she wanted to be a voice for her community and work in politics. She graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with Summa Cum Laude Honors in 2021. She has held different leadership positions and volunteered for different organizations and campaigns throughout her college years. Now that Andrea has graduated, she is excited to work for Jolt to mobilize the young latinx people in Texas and ensure that their voices are heard in all places where decisions are made. She hopes to obtain her master’s degree and run for office in the future.

Cris Boneta

Regional Organizer


Cris Boneta was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. His family is from Puerto Rico and New York. While going to college it was not uncommon for Cris to have 2 or 3 jobs at a time to pay for his education. He’s held positions as a busboy, a cook at Mcdonalds, and all kinds of glorious jobs that did not usually care about his personal well-being. As recent as 2018 Cris has worked for the minimum wage. He has been poor for much of his life and as such understands the plight of the working poor. He’s a first-generation bachelor’s degree recipient. He majored in Public Administration and is an Americorps Alumni. Some notable organizations he’s had the pleasure of serving with include Public Allies, Planned Parenthood Action, Environment Texas, The Texas Victory Project, and the Working Families Party. Cris fights for the poor. The hungry. The sick. He has been very happy to call Jolt home for the past year. And intends to continue to fight for Latinos and other marginalized groups in the state of Texas for a long time.

Cristian Núñez Ramirez

Regional Manager


Cristian is a dedicated Regional Manager in the social justice space whose upbringing and experiences have shaped his unwavering commitment to voter engagement and empowerment.


Born and raised in Zitácuaro, Michoacán, México, Cristian witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by marginalized communities. 


He was raised by two powerhouse women — one his biological mother and the second who became his mamá too– and his loving grandparents. Through them, Cristian learned the values of perseverance, resilience, and community early on.


Driven by his passion for social justice, Cristian earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He equipped himself with the skills to effectively advocate for those whose voices are often unheard.


Cristian’s journey in the social justice space began with Battleground Texas, where he actively participated in community outreach programs and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts.


Having worked as a Data Practitioner in the tech industry, Cristian has developed a deep understanding of the power of data and technology in driving insights and informing decision-making. He combines this expertise with his passion for social justice to create meaningful impact.

Erick Soberanes



Erick Soberanes is a graduate from Texas State University, studying Art & Design as well as Computer Science. As a first generation Mexican-American, he finds inspiration through learning more about his cultural roots and creating Tex-Mex flavor. Erick is passionate about educating the public through exciting digital mediums that hope to inspire and connect emotionally to our Latino community. He currently resides in Austin, Texas and has joined Jolt as a Digital Content Specialist.

Brandi Ruiz

Executive Assistant


Brandi was born & raised in the Westside of San Antonio and a former student of Edgewood ISD.  She went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from UTSA.  She is also an alumni of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Latina Leadership Institute.  In addition to her education, she brings a wealth of work experience which includes most recently executive assistant to the CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio and previously executive senior secretary for former District 7 council member, Ana Sandoval.  Brandi also has 2 children and 3 fur babies.  


“Growing up in the Westside of San Antonio, I noticed a lack of resources for affordable healthcare, higher education, and a quality education.  Joining the Jolt team, I know I am a part of the mission of to empower my gente and help them to find their voices. I’m excited to work with our team to encourage voter registration in our communities and help in building the Latino-led movement.”