Council Members

The Governor appoints the Council’s 31 members. Some are appointed because they are self or family advocates, some by virtue of their position in state government, and some as representatives of other organizations involved in the developmental disability services system. Under federal law, self-advocate and family advocate representatives must comprise at least 60 percent of the Council membership.

Information about applying to serve as a Governor’s appointee is available through here or the Governor’s Office.


Twenty Council Members are self and family advocates who reflect the diversity of the state. They are either at-large members representing the entire state or members representing a specific region of the state. They are:

April Lopez, Chairperson
Family Advocate, At-Large Representative

Ning “Jenny” Yang, Vice-Chairperson
Self-Advocate, At-Large Representative

Maria Marquez
Self-Advocate, At-Large Representative

Kecia Weller
Self-Advocate, At-Large Representative

Sandra Aldana
Self-Advocate, At-Large Representative

Pete Sanchez
Family Advocate, At-Large Representative

Vacant
At-Large Representative

Andrea Vergne
Family Advocate, At-Large Representative person with a developmental disability who is a current or former resident of an institution or immediate relative, guardian, or conservator 4521(b)(1)(A)(iii)

Robert Taylor
Self-Advocate, North Coast Region Representative (Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino Counties)

Charles Nutt
Self-Advocate, North State Region Representative (Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity Counties)

Sandra Smith
Family Advocate, Sacramento Region Representative (Alpine, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba Counties)

Jeana Eriksen
Self-Advocate, North Bay Region Representative (Napa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties)

Francis Lau
Family Advocate, Bay Area Region Representative (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties)

Kilolo Brodie
Family Advocate, North Valley Hills Region Representative (Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Counties)

David Forderer
Self-Advocate, Central Coast Region Representative (Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties)

Rebecca Donabed
Self-Advocate, Sequoia Region Representative (Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties)

Alfredo Rubalcava
Self-Advocate, Los Angeles Region Representative (Los Angeles County)

Jacqueline Nguyen
Family Advocate, Orange County Region Representative (Orange County)

Carmela Garnica
Family Advocate, San Bernardino Region Representative (Inyo, Mono, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties)

Julie Austin
Family Advocate, San Diego Imperial Region Representative (Imperial and San Diego Counties)


In addition, eleven Council Members are appointed because of their position in state government or because of their role with a specified organization. They are:

Diana Dooley (Kris Kent)
Secretary, Social Security Title XIX Agency 4521(b)(2) (A)

Nancy Bargmann, (Eric Gelber)
Director, Department of Developmental Services 4521(b)(2) (B)

Joe Xavier (Elena Gomez)
Director, Department of Rehabilitation 4521(b)(2) (C)

Tom Torlakson (Shari Presnall)
Superintendent of Public Instruction 4521(b)(2) (D)

Janelle Lewis
Non-governmental agency/group concerned with services to individuals 4521(b)(2) (E)

Robin Hansen, M.D.
University Center for Excellence (University of California, Davis) 4521(b)(2) (F)

Larry Yin, M.D.
University Center for Excellence (University of Southern California) 4521(b)(2) (F)

Olivia Raynor, Ph.D.
University Center for Excellence (University of California, Los Angeles) 4521(b)(2) (F)

Jennifer Kent (Michele Villados)
Director, Department of Health Care Services 4521(b)(2) (G)

Catherine Blakemore, J.D.
Executive Director, Disability Rights California 4521(b)(2) (H)

Lora Connolly (Chisorom Okwuosa)
Director, Department of Aging 4521(b)(2) (I)