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Old Governing Board

The HHPNC Board meetings are held on the 1st Thursday of the month from 7:00 pm at the Highland Park Senior Center. (Currently due to COVID-19 we will continue to have VIRTUAL/ZOOM/TELEPHONIC Meetings)



PRESIDENT: Estrella Sainburg: 
 Estrella Sainburg is a native Angeleno and current resident of Highland Park. Since high school, Estrella has served in numerous roles and organizations where she has contributed to building equity and environmental justice in Los Angeles and abroad. Having fallen in love with our neighborhood at a young age as she helped her mother open and run a business locally and now as an active community member, Estrella wants to see the residents, businesses, houses of worship, and schools of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council thrive. Estrella sees a great need in our community to increase knowledge of resources, opportunities, and decision making in our city and connectivity among community members, find equitable solutions for a healthy and economically thriving neighborhood, and secure access to clean air, water, and public lands. With her community organizing skills and bi-racial background, she hopes to serve in a just manner as a liaison between the Latinx community and the anglo community in a time with great discrimination and division here and across the United States. Estrella is honored to have been elected into the Neighborhood Council and is excited to listen to the community, work with all who are willing, and learn from our past, current, and future leaders!   You may contact Estrella at

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: Nicholas Pisca.   Nicholas Pisca has been a current resident of Highland Park since 2013.  Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he came to Los Angeles to pursue his PhD from the University of Southern California and never left.  He has since put his knowledge and skills into practice through varied and rich professional experience as a civil servant for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and in his current role with the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services.

Nicholas is passionate about serving his community and strives to be involved with change that is both meaningful and impactful to all residents, especially those who are the most vulnerable.   You may contact Nicholas at

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT:  Jeannie Park: I grew up on the East coast and attended Wellesley College, where I majored in English literature and Art history. I spent the next nine years in Seoul, where I witnessed South Korea’s lurch from a military dictatorship to a fledgling democracy with a robust export-based economy. When the economy crashed in the 1990s, I returned to the States and studied political economy and comparative public policy at UC San Diego to understand why, and to process the social-economic upheaval I had lived through. Nothing in my life could have foretold that I would work for the City of Los Angeles and live in Highland Park! Yet my time outside of LA has prepared me uniquely to serve this Council and this community. I am thrilled to be working in the realms of transportation and sustainability, areas in which Highland Park can lead the way. My other passion is community mental health. A part-time student at Pacific Oaks College whose aim is to become a therapist, I am committed to building up resilience at the individual, family and community level. You can reach me at  You may contact Jeannie at

SECRETARY: Robert Diaz: I believe that to be a fulfilled person one has to live a life of service to others. I have made my life just that and as a member of HHPNC I hope to help others with the highest good in mind. It’s an honor to be on the board. My goal is to work as a team with the board members in appreciation, attention, and gratitude. You may contact Robert at


TREASURER:  Emily Aldrich:  Emily Lu Aldrich is the founder of Accolade Publicity and Consulting Inc., a full-service film and television public relations firm specializing in film festivals, theatrical/VOD campaigns, and awards consulting. She has been a resident at Highland Park for seven years. You can often see her walking down York Blvd with her toddler. Emily is very excited and looking forward to serve the community. Being part of the Neighborhood Council is a huge honor and she looks forward to making a difference.  You may contact Emily at


Mary Allison:  My name is Mary Allison and I have lived in Highland Park since 2010 with my husband. We are happy to be raising our son in such a vibrant community, along with our dog. I have my clinical doctorate in occupational therapy and have worked in mental health and pediatric settings. I volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Bob Baker Marionette Theater right here in Highland Park. I am honored to serve this great community on the neighborhood council! You may contact Mary at

Ashley Aragon:   As a lifelong resident of Highland Park, Ashley knows how vibrant and special our neighborhood truly is. With the goal of highlighting the tenacity, resilience, and work ethic that resides within our community, she proudly carries Highland Park with her no matter where she goes. Ashley is honored to serve as a member of HHPNC and understands the magnitude and urgency behind an inclusive neighborhood council. She believes that this can only be achieved through transparency and continuous encouragement of civic engagement surrounding future conversations about key issues impacting our neighborhood and community members. In her free time, Ashley enjoys visiting and spotlighting local businesses in Highland Park – some of her many favorites being Delicias Bakery and Antigua Bread. You may contact Ashley at

Brendan Cronshaw: (Photo pending) Brendan Cronshaw is a native Southern Californian and with his wife has been a resident and homeowner in Highland Park since 2019. He immediately fell in love with the diverse and welcoming community in Highland Park as well as its charm and character, and is eager to give back as a Director-at-Large. Brendan is a graduate of UC Berkeley with degrees in Urban Studies and Chinese, and has since worked in commercial real estate finance in San Francisco and Los Angeles on various projects, including affordable housing. When not at work, Brendan can be found working in the yard or taking walks throughout the neighborhood with his wife and their mini poodle, Birken. Brendan is excited to bring his background and expertise in urban development to the HHPNC and the community to help ensure Highland Park remains a vibrant, diverse, and equitable community for all, while also balancing the need for more housing and the desire to preserve the history and character of the neighborhood. You may contact Brendan at

Theresa Elorriaga:  Proud part time worker and full time worshipper in Highland Park.  I’m happy to help with any questions related to my role as LGBTQ+ Liaison, Census 2020 Liaison, and Data Liaison.  Please contact me at with suggestions for solutions you’d like to see implemented in our community.

Christina Esquibel:  (Photo and Bio Pending). You may contact Christina at

Renee Garcia: Renee Garcia is grateful to join the Highland Park Neighborhood Council as a Director-At-Large. Previously Renee was a business owner in the apparel industry, and currently she is a Development and Communications professional for a legal services nonprofit organization serving immigrant families and individuals who are facing deportation. Renee is honored to bring her diverse expertise to support the Highland Park Neighborhood Council. She holds a BA in Spanish and International Security and Conflict Resolution from San Diego State University. Renee has been a homeowner in Highland Park since 2016 and comes from a family that is spread across East LA and Orange County. Renee is looking forward to collaborating with the HHNC stakeholders to preserve and protect Highland Park’s rich history, landscape, and community.  You may contact Renee at

Duncan Gregory:  Duncan Gregory is a Creative Consultant who has worked across multiple disciplines including political campaigns, film/television, fine arts, podcasts, theater, and culinary arts. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and is thrilled to be a new member of the HHPNC. In his free time, Duncan enjoys cooking and gardening in his backyard vegetable garden in Highland Park.  You may contact Duncan at

Elizabeth Kerstein: Elizabeth Kerstein is classical singer on the Vocal Arts Faculty at California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley, a charter middle and high school. She conducts choruses, teaches lectures classes, and runs an elementary school outreach program on her campus. In the past few years, she has sung with the San Diego and Santa Barbara Opera Choruses. She sings as the alto soloist at Sinai Temple and plays in LA’s handbell choir, LA Bronze. When not singing or teaching, Elizabeth is a runner and ran her first LA marathon in March of 2020. She loves to hike and is happiest in the mountains surrounding LA. She is thrilled to bring her background in education and marketing to the considerate folks at the HHPNC. She lives in Highland Park with two rambunctious cats, Paprika and Taffy.  You may contact Elizabeth at

John O’Hara:  John O’Hara is a UCLA graduate and five-year resident of Highland Park.  He previously taught middle school in LAUSD schools (with Teach for America) and then earned his law degree at the University of Chicago Law School.  There, he wrote his graduating thesis arguing for the moral and economic justification of universal early childhood education.  Pivoting from years of active practice as a litigator, John currently leads recruiting for an international law firm. John is a proud homeowner in Highland Park and settled down here because, more than other L.A. neighborhoods in which he’s lived, it immediately felt like a strong and welcoming community.  In serving on the HHPNC, John’s goal is to further that community by encouraging responsible development that serves this neighborhood’s residents, increasing usable and safe green space, helping local businesses thrive through attention and promotion, and making the streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and kids.  On the side, he is also active in Los Angeles River revitalization efforts (through a pro bono client). Before the COVID-19 pandemic, you could have found John almost every Friday night at the York Park with his wife and toddler, eating tacos and drinking a super green juice from Jugos Azteca. You may contact John at

Mary Pickert:  Mary is a long-time resident and home-owner in Highland Park, having moved here in 2003.  She grew up in the Bay Area, in a small town south of San Francisco.  When she moved to Highland Park, she was attracted to the community feeling of the neighborhood, within Los Angeles, which felt very distinct from other LA neighborhoods she had lived in.  Mary has a passion for social justice and working on building community and appreciating the great outdoor resources that Los Angeles has to offer.  She recently trained in the Nature for All Leadership Academy, has volunteered for TreePeople and the Sierra Club, and has a professional background in entertainment and digital media.  She is looking forward to bringing her passion for community and outdoor space to her work on the HHPNC board and committees.  You can contact Mary at

MaryLeigh Roohan: Since moving to Los Angeles three years ago, I’ve been drawn to Highland Park and am now so grateful to call this neighborhood home. I am looking forward to being of service to my neighbors and getting to know Highland Park more fully through being a part of the Neighborhood Council. Thank you for having me!

You can contact MaryLeigh at

Mirtala Sanchez:  Mirtala has so much passion, love, and respect for Highland Park. She has lived in Highland Park since she was 4 years old, and her family and she still live in the same home since they first arrived in 1994. She graduated from Monte Vista Elementary, Burbank Middle School, and Franklin High School. Over the past 25+ years, some of her fondest memories have been participating in the annual Christmas Holiday Parades; spending the summers in the HLP pool with neighbors and friends; enjoying meals at Las Cazuelas with her family; walking down Figueroa to see the old annual Car Show; and exploring and running at Debs Park. With her skills and background in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Political Science, and Public Health, she hopes to make a positive impact and contribute to the inclusivity and betterment of her HLP community.  You may contact Mirtala at

Matt Saunders:    Matt Saunders is a proud resident of Highland Park and is honored to serve on this Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council. He’s worked in restaurant hospitality for over 20 years and has an extensive acting resume. He’s a devoted family man with a sincere interest in supporting the Highland Park community.

You may contact Matt at

Emily Spokes: I’m a working mother (currently unemployed due to COVID!) who is committed to the practice of anti-racism. As a regional coordinator for Immigrant Families Together, I’ve been involved since its inception during the height of the family separation crisis. I’m an environmental advocate, co-founder of the NELA Climate Collective and a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby. I attend as many Moms Demand Action meetings as I am able. I have owned a home for nearly a decade in Highland Park and I LOVE MY NEIGHBORS who I consider to be my family. Habla Espanol (though I always need more practice–so if you are interested in challenging me, I encourage you to!). I’m proud to be a member of this council and I welcome you to e-mail me ideas, questions and concerns. Let’s work together!. You may contact Emily at


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