Elissa grew up exploring the natural spaces in the Bay Area. She grew up in Pittsburg, but roams widely and considers herself a regional expert from Walnut Creek to Discovery Bay. She has experience in a number of fields, including time in the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. She obtained a B.S. in Natural Resource Planning & Interpretation Humboldt State University in 2010, with extensive coursework in critical race, gender and sexuality studies.
Elissa has spent the past 9 years working in the watersheds of Contra Costa County; she was with the Contra Costa County Flood Control District for 4 years prior to joining the CCRCD staff in 2016. She coordinates regional watershed groups including the Contra Costa Watershed Forum, Walnut Creek Watershed Council, and Friends of Marsh Creek, and conducted a water needs assessment for disadvantaged communities in eastern Contra Costa County. In her free time, Elissa serves on the East Bay Regional Park District Advisory Committee, as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Pittsburg, reads, and explores our regional, State, and National parks.