County of San Bernardino Bargaining Committee Candidate Statements 2023

Candidate Statements

Each candidate has been given the opportunity to submit a 50-word statement of why they should be elected to serve on the bargaining committee.


Oracio Diaz – Social Service Practitioner

I’ve been employed with San Bernardino County Children and Family Services as an SSP for twenty-two years. I’m part of SEIU’s Executive Board and a member of CFS’s Join Labor Management Committee. I’ve been on the past two bargaining committees and helped win great contracts. I’m dedicated and experienced, seeking to continue to fight for fair working conditions and represent the needs and interest of our entire bargaining unit effectively.

Darren Guentert – Social Service Practitioner III

Making a difference in the lives of my colleagues has always been a passion of mine. I helped bring home our last contract, my third, and was the “numbers guy.” It was the best contract we ever bargained for. I have the fight, drive experience and knowledge to help bargain for an even better one. Make your vote count! I won’t let you down.

Nicolas Hollis – Social Services Practitioner II

Nicolas Hollis should be selected to the bargaining committee due to him having the best interest of the SSPs. He is already active with SEIU when a representative comes to the Victorville CFS office. He will fight for the best contract.

Shavona Parker – Social Service Practitioner

I bring with me 23 years of social work experiences, being a voice and advocating for the underserved/underrepresented. APS has been underrepresented in union activity/negotiations for far too long. Let me be your voice and advocate for you alongside other SSPs, in all areas of concern (ex. pay/benefits/retirement). Choose me!

Gina Pulido – Social Service Practitioner II

I am committed to all members of SEIU 721. Let’s work together ti create a sustainable workplace to bring together a strong force to protect and improve our jobs. I am passionate about CAPS for caseloads and safe working environments in order to ensure safety of children and families.

Staci Richards – Social Service Practitioner III

I’ve been a SSP with CFS for 26 years; 18 of those as a Carrier social worker. For the last 8 years I’ve been a court officer, developing relationships with social workers in every region. For my entire career I’ve fought for reasonable caseloads and fair wages. I established and chaired the Carrier Committee at Gifford CFS and chaired the Regional Issues Committee. I firmly believe that social workers deserve to be treated as professionals and have working conditions which reflect that. I formerly co-chaired the Joint Labor Meeting and I’m currently an Executive Board Member of our union- SEIU Local 721. I’m 100% committed to helping employees obtain a fantastic contract.

Diogenes Anthony Roman – Social Services Practitioner III

I have been with the county for more than 10 years. I am a disabled combat veteran, hispanic, bilingual and I am willing to fight for what we deserve. I was at the last kick off and most people that spoked referenced my speech.


Graciela Arzola – Clinical Therapist Pre-License

My name is Graciela Arzola, CTI with DBH. I am seeking your vote to be elected to the bargaining committee and to be your voice. My objective during negotiations will be to obtain a cost-of-living increase, lower health care cost, renegotiate rates for stand-by-pay and obtain deserved overtime pay.

Donna Caudillo – Clinical Therapist Pre-License

I would be honored to represent you on the Bargaining Committee team. These are trying economic times, the time for change is now. My goal is to secure a strong contract that will empower our members, protect our jobs, raise our wages, and increase our benefits.

As such, I humbly request your vote to be your negotiator at YOUR table.

Marquita Dempsey – Clinical Therapist Pre-License

My name is Marquita Dempsey and I am a pre-license Psychologist at DBH. I am asking for your vote to the 2023-2024 candidacy for the bargaining team. Currently, I am a member of the union for over five years. I would love the opportunity to serve and advocate for my coworkers. I want to continue in helping in the this process of fighting for a better contract.

Lanita Edwards – Clinical Therapist Pre-License

What do you think when you hear the phrase ” Your words have power ?” Is it the deeper meaning of speaking up ? or could it be the meaning of expressing your needs ? Everyday we go to work to help our clients in getting the power back that they once had or the power they never knew they had. So let me be for you what you do for them . Let me fight on your behalf , let me hear your concerns, let me help make those concerns into a realistic solution . Let me be an extension of you as a Bargaining advocate . My name is Lanita Edwards and voting for me is the first step to getting to where we hope to be.

Thuy Nguyen – Psychiatrist II

My name is Thuy Nguyen. It has been a privilege to serve as one of the 2019-2023 bargaining team representatives. With team effort and solidarity, we can dialogue and collectively work towards a better MOU that will lead to an equitable contract for the members of the Professional Unit and improve safety in the workplace, staff recruitment/retention by standardizing caseloads, and comparable employee benefits to keep up with the pace of 8% inflation, health insurance and soaring gas prices.

Uchenna Nnaji – Clinical Therapist II

It has been my great privilege to have served in this capacity last bargaining committee. I feel I am the perfect candidate as I have a personal belief to strive for fairness and equity throughout the county. I am currently a CT2 for the psychology internship program as for Children and Youth Services. This role allows me to work in many multidisciplinary teams and I have a strong familiarity with a vast variety of programs and departments. My familiarity with the county and SEIU bargaining team has led me to being a strong advocate for employee needs. My area of focus is gaining livable wages, overtime pay, improving current benefits and working towards telecommute options.

Staci Schrauben – Occupation Therapist II

I have worked here over 12 years and want to assist in getting a fair contract for SEIU members. I recently went to the union to get assistance in a matter that involved a change in the tour of duty and wanted to ensure the proper channels were being followed. I’m dedicated to making sure voices are heard and good communication among SEIU members. Thank you.

Connie Tong – Speech Therapist

I’ve been with the county for 16+ years and lucky enough to be on the last two contact negotiations. I feel strongly that I represented SEIU members well in getting us good, fair contracts that others are envious of. I would be honored to be elected to sit at the bargaining table again to ensure all members have a contract they can be happy with. Thank you.

Categories: San Bernardino County