Carlos Montes-Ponce is an organizing and program associate/regional organizer at the ACLU of Northern California, where he focuses on organizing, mobilization, and civic community engagement work in the Sacramento area.
Prior to joining the ACLU as an organizer, Carlos developed community leaders through community organizing on immigration, homelessness, and transparency and accountability in policing. He worked with Faith in Action National Network on initiatives and campaigns to move policy at regional, state, and national levels such as ending the Sacramento Sheriff’s ICE contract, increased access to health care for undocumented immigrants through the Healthy Partners program, the local “Migra Watch” 24-hour rapid response hotline to provide support to those who are targeted by ICE and to provide resource referrals. As a member of the Sacramento Immigration Coalition, through community partnerships he helped developed a network of trained legal observers, a network of sanctuary churches, and provided trainings on Know Your Rights, accompaniment, and information to immigrants. He continues to highlight and document the abuses of immigration detention through the Campaign for Immigrant Detention Reform (CIDR) on alternatives to detention of immigrants at Yuba County jail and Yolo County juvenile detention facility.
Carlos received his bachelor’s in government international relations from California State University, Sacramento. While there, he supported the Office of Governmental Affairs by performing original policy research, lobbying at the state capitol on behalf of students, and recruiting volunteers for events and special initiatives as assistant director of Office of Governmental Affairs, Associated Students, Inc. As an undergraduate, Carlos mentored several fellow political science undergraduates through the Odyssey Mentoring Program a peer-to-peer mentoring program available to all political science students to integrate students into campus life and to facilitate students during their time at the University.
When he is not working, he tends to his cacti collection, both big and small, gathered from all over California, cares for his South American biotope aquariums, and loves to dance. Carlos is a board member to the Latino Center of Art and Cultures, which seeks to advance, celebrate, and preserve the art and culture of Chicano, Latino, and Native populations for present and future generations. The center is a multi-disciplinary cultural center and public space serving the Sacramento community by offering Latinx programming, art education workshops, and a community gathering place.