Rafael González serves as Director of Community Relations for First 5 LA. He is responsible for facilitating partnerships with municipalities, civic/community organizations, and parent/caregiver leaders throughout Los Angeles County in order to advance First 5 LA’s goals. Central to this work is building and maintaining relationships with the broader Los Angeles community to advocate for early childhood well-being and equity through policy and systems change.
Rafael has worked in the spheres of community organizing, local government, philanthropy, national service, civic engagement, civil rights, immigrant integration and youth development. This multifaceted backdrop has afforded him the chance to develop and maintain relationships with individuals from different disciplines and backgrounds for purposes of achieving common objectives, social impact and community change.
Rafael previously served as Director of Community Relations for the Los Angeles Dodgers; Chief Service Officer and Director of Neighborhood & Community Services for City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Executive Director of Collective SPACE; Founder and Executive Director of Public Allies – Los Angeles; Director of Civic Education & U.S. Citizenship Project Director at the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund; Affirmative Action Campaign Coordinator at the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF); Campaign Field Director at Coalition LA & Senior Field Deputy for LA Councilmember Mike Hernandez.
Rafael serves on the boards of the Community Coalition, Center for Nonprofit Management, El Monte National Little League, ActiveSGV and the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps. He also serves on the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Advisory Council, Durfee School Site Council, and the City of El Monte’s Planning Commission.
Rafael was born and raised in the downtown area of Los Angeles and resides in the City of El Monte. He graduated from Cal State University at Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicano Studies and received his Master’s Degree from the USC Price School of Public Policy. He is married and has three sons.
Fun Fact: I was in a rock n’ roll band as a teenager and coach little league baseball with my sons.