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Board of Directors

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:  Harry Blumsack


SECOND VICE PRESIDENT:  Ángela Gonzales-Torres (Angie)

SECRETARY:  Theresa Saso

TREASURER:  Samantha McBride




Elliot Avila:  Photo and bio pending. 

You may contact Elliot at

Photo of Board Member Charles Blumsack

Charles "Harry" Blumsack:  I ran for the board to help keep people in their homes, support our unhoused neighbors, and champion local business. As a lifelong Angeleno I have seen our City change, often in spite of residents’ needs. I am committed to supporting a holistic, community driven vision for Highland Park. As a member of the Neighborhood Council, my mission is simple: empower our neighbors. I want to make sure that residents facing financial hardships are informed about City and State initiatives aimed at providing relief to those in need. I want to amplify the reach of local mutual aid networks, food bank programs, and services in kind. I want to ensure that residents of Highland Park are actively informed of new land use proposals, so their voices can be heard clearly and early on. I want to engage our community business leaders and ask how we can help mitigate the effects of the pandemic. It is an honor to serve this community. You may contact Charles at

John Collinson HHPNC board photo.jpg

John Collinson:  John is a 36-year resident of Northeast Los Angeles, including 27 years in Highland Park. He developed a love for Highland Park and Eagle Rock during his studies at Occidental College that has only grown stronger over the years. For the last three decades, John has worked as a fundraising professional for an array of Los Angeles arts, cultural and educational institutions, and is now using his skills to make Highland Park a better community for all.

You may contact John at


Karen Daniel:  I’m an Armenian American who grew up in Eagle Rock and Glendale from 1978 – 1997 and have lived in Highland since 2018. With a Bachelor's Degree in Urban Studies from San Francisco State University and over 10 years of experience working in Human Resources, I enjoy community engagement as well as volunteering with organizations that tutor youth, support the community's unhoused and work to preserve green space. I believe that economic vitality is important for a community to thrive and enjoy getting to know the stakeholders who work towards the planning and development of this unique neighborhood. As a council member, I intend to keep the community informed and amplify their voice.
You may contact Karen at

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Angela Gonzales-Torres:  Ángela Gonzales-Torres (Angie) is a Northeast LA native, daughter of a deportee, and sister to three raised by a single mother. Her research at UCLA includes Chicano and Central American studies and Anthropology, and she aims to pursue a JD/MA program next. She is passionate about opportunities to support formerly incarcerated and system-impacted individuals, mentor nontraditional students like herself in pursuit of higher education, and advocate for those compelled into invisibility by gentrification, legal violence, and stigma. Happy to be here, HLP. ¡Vamos a empezar!

You may contact Angela at


Jens Jonason: 

I was born and raised in Sweden. My two decades in Los Angeles have grown me into the person I am now. Raising a family in Highland Park (Garvanza), where I’ve lived for five years, is shaping who I’m becoming. 


As a parent of a young child, I’m obliged to strengthen the long-term livability, vibrancy, resilience, and power of the neighborhood and all its people.


As a professional designer of digital products, I bring my skills as a creative problem solver with an engineering twist to the Neighborhood Council and the community. 


As an optimist, I believe that we can and will make things better. If we forge relationships, pool our diverse strengths, and respect our neighborhood’s deep history we can improve the quality of life for everyone in our community. 


Please get in touch at and tell me what issues are important to you. 


Angela Mendoza:  Photo and bio pending. 

You may contact Angela at


John Vangelisti:  Photo and Bio Pending.  You may contact John at


Photo of Board Member Ramona Joy Mikelson

Ramona Joy Mikelson:  Ramona has been a resident of Highland Park since 2018. Originally from the Seattle area, she moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn to work for a Highland Park based artist and fell in love with the neighborhood. She is a filmmaker, poet, and a fashion design student at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. Ramona is honored to serve on the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council as the Arts Director and is eagerly anticipating working with the community members to keep Highland Park the beautiful neighborhood it is.

You may contact Ramona at


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Camille Demano:  Camille Demano is an enthusiastic and curious resident of Highland Park. During the day, she works with a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that removes barriers preventing under-resourced communities from achieving their highest level of health. Camille is honored to be a part of the HHPNC and is excited to encourage the community’s involvement in guiding Highland Park’s path forward. In her free time, you can often find Camille caring for her many houseplants and beginning to read books that she rarely makes time to finish.

You may contact Camille at

Photo of Board Member Mariam Torres

Miriam Torres:  Miriam Torres Sanchez is a proud Chicana and first-generation student at the University of California, Los Angeles. Miriam is pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and Chicana/o Studies with a minor in Education. Born and raised in Highland Park, the daughter of Mexican immigrants witnessed firsthand the community’s lack of access to healthcare, high-quality education, mental health assistance, and other social services. This inspired Miriam to pursue a career in policy making and community activism. She is very active in youth advocacy and organizations such as HOPE Latinas and HomeboyIndustries to increase civic engagement, political literacy, and create opportunities/provide resources for marginalized groups. As chair for the Youth and Education committee, she plans to inspire the youth, increase their cultural self-esteem, and support students in their studies. 

You may contact Miriam at


Photo of Board Member Ghazal Hashemi

Ghazal Hashemi:  As an immigrant and lifelong Angeleno I am honored to represent the diverse and beautiful community of Highland Park. My goal as Housing Director is to be an accessible and empathetic public servant to all stakeholders and make sure that our concerns are heard in City Hall. I believe that housing is an inalienable right and that we all deserve safe and fairly priced shelter. I know that many residents like myself have experienced significant financial hardship due to Covid-19 and that the lack of support from local and state government has deeply failed to address our mounting concerns. I have lived as a renter in Highland Park for the past eight years and am an active member of the Northeast Local division of the LA Tenants Union, where our organizing efforts aim to protect the dignity and rights of all tenants. It is great privilege to utilize my leadership and creative skills to serve you and our large, vibrant community. 

You may contact Ghazal at



Photo of Board Member Theresa Saso

Theresa Saso: I am a Highland Park resident and want to take an engaged roll in the well being of all the people in our neighborhood. 

You may contact Theresa at



Steve Crouch:  Photo and bio pending.   You may contact Steve at

Photo of Board Member Samantha McBride

Samantha McBride: I moved to Highland Park in 2008, and a big part of why I fell in love with the neighborhood was public transit access, and general walkability of the area! I’d like to be a part of increased pedestrian and cyclist safety in the area. 


You may contact Samantha at



Clara Solis:  Photo and bio pending.  You may contact Clara at

Photo of Board Member Emily Spokes

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




Roger Mora:  Photo and bio pending. 

You may contact Roger at


Neighborhood Council Bank Card Holder:   Samantha McBride

Second Card Holder:   

Second Signer:   Emily Spokes

Alternate Signer:   


Aging – vacant

Animal Services – vacant

Data – Theresa Saso, Terrence Elorriaga, Harry Blumsack

LADWP – vacant

Emergency Preparedness – Samantha McBride, Linalee Dennis

Film – Ghazal Hashemi

Homelessness – Ghazal Hashemi, Theresa Saso, Steve Crouch

Public Works – vacant

Resilience – vacant

Alliance and Coalition Representatives

ARC – Steve Crouch

DWP Advocacy – vacant

DWP Oversight – Terrence Elorriaga

Neighborhood Council Emergency Preparedness Alliance (NCEPA) – vacant

LGBTQ+ Alliance – Ghazal Hashemi, Terrence Elorriaga

Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition (LANCC) – Liz Amsden

Plan Check – Steve Crouch

Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance (NCSA) – Steve Crouch, Emily Spokes

Budget Advocates – Harry Blumsack

Budget Tribunes – vacant

Congress of Neighborhoods – vacant

CIS Filers – Ramona Mikelson, Theresa Saso

USPS Key Holders – Samantha McBride, Duncan Gregory

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