José Trinidad Castañeda III
William C. Velasquez Institute, ProAgua Coordinator

José Trinidad Castañeda III is the ProAgua Coordinator at the William C. Velasquez Institute in Los Angeles, where he engages with Latinx and Indigenous communities to promote civic engagement, social and economic justice, as well as sustainable policies. Due to his extensive knowledge on climate action, José played a significant role in the creation of the Los Angeles County Sustainability Master Plan.

José currently serves as a municipal commissioner on the City of Fullerton Parks and Recreation Commission, as well as on the South Coast Air Quality Management District Youth Leaders Council. As an individual who grew up with asthma and bronchitis, José was the voice behind additional air quality sensors in North Orange County to benefit the health of working class communities of color most impacted by respiratory diseases.

In 2018, José received the Certificate of Leadership Award from State Senator Josh Newman for organizing the March for Science and People’s Climate March in Orange County. José recently ran for Fullerton City Council and plans to run for City Council in the 2020 electoral cycle.

José Trinidad Castañeda earned his Associate’s degrees in Anthropology and Biology from Fullerton College, and his Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from California State University, Los Angeles, and a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. José identifies as Indigenous, Chicano, and queer. He was a member of the NLC Los Angeles Engaged Fellowship in 2018.

José is a certified Permaculture and Aquaponic Systems Designer, and the founder of Xinampa Farms, LLC. He focuses on caring for the people and the planet by creating native and edible landscapes for local clients.

Before his work in politics, José created after school sustainability leadership programs for middle school students, who have since gone on to lead efforts to build aquaponic farms at their high schools. When he isn’t empowering youth, you can find José tending to his garden.