MEET THE TEAM
President and Founder
Born and raised in Tyler, Texas, Chuck Rocha followed in his father’s footsteps as a union worker for the Kelly – Springfield Tire Company. Chuck started his union career at 19 as a member of the United Rubber Workers Local 746. He soon after became the youngest officer ever to be elected of Local 746 and later was appointed as National Political Director. Chuck became the only Latino to serve as the National Political Director of a significant U.S. labor union. He served as Dick Gephardt’s and John Edwards’ National Labor Director during the 2004/2008 presidential election cycles.
In 2010, Chuck founded Solidarity Strategies, a consulting firm that specializes in providing political services including mail, phones, and general consulting to progressive candidates, corporations, and nonprofits. Solidarity Strategies is a 100% minority owned small business. Clients vary from VoteVets, NCLR, to Bernie Sanders for President.
Chuck frequently makes appearances on the news providing insight on Latino issues and current political races. He is a regular contributor to FOX News as a Latino vote expert and Democratic strategist. Chuck also authors op eds on the Hill and the Huffington Post.
Chuck currently serves as an Executive Board Member for the Hispanic Lobbyists Association and Demos. He is a graduate of the Harvard University Trade Union program. Chuck is a recipient of the 2016 Goldies All-Stars award for his work as a Senior Advisor to Bernie Sanders’ Presidential campaign. Most recently, he was elected a member of the District of Columbia Democratic State Committee.
Vanessa was raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland to parents who immigrated from Peru. She is the first in her family to graduate from college. She received a B.A. in Political Science and double minor in Psychology and Education from American University. She has previous experience working with U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, District of Columbia Public Schools, and the D.C. Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs while still in undergraduate studies.
Vanessa began as an associate with Solidarity Strategies in 2015 and later became Vice President of the firm. She serves as a public representative for the firm and builds lasting relationships with key stakeholders and clients. Vanessa’s work at the firm includes management of the team, clients, and projects. During her time at Solidarity she has provided phone, translations, event planning, communications, partnership facilitation, and general consulting services to our array of clients.
She is most proud of the successful wins of Latino candidates and now Members of Congress: Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Darren Soto (FL-09), and Nanette Barragan (CA-44).
Vanessa has led independent expenditure campaigns as well as advised for candidate campaigns and ran various programs from GOTV to grassroots lobbying. Last year, she was recognized as a Rising Star by the Campaigns & Elections magazine in the Class of 2016 and was the only Democratic Latina.
Luis was born and raised in Michoacán, Mexico. At the age of 14, he relocated to Visalia, California. He attended California State University – Fresno where he received a B.A. in Political Science.
In 2014, Luis did an internship with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. During his internship, he was exposed to the many facets of a Congressional office. Luis’s responsibilities included researching and analyzing a broad range of legislative issues including taxes, the environment, veterans, women’s issues, and foreign policy. Luis has a range of experience from his work in the Mexican Consulate in Fresno, California and the U.S. Forest Service.
As the Creative Director at Solidarity Strategies, Luis creates content that is appealing, creative, and effective. His works include newspaper ads for the Bernie Sanders Campaign, booklets for the National Council of La Raza, mail pieces for candidates running for office, among others. His approach consists of innovative ways to communicate with minority communities.
He is very passionate about learning and understanding the issues related to the Latino community. He hopes to use his creative skills and background in political science to serve others.
Melissa was born in Chicago, Illinois to parents who immigrated from Mexico. She is the first in her family to attend college and earn a degree. She received a B.A. in Political Science and Hispanic Studies from Illinois Wesleyan University and studied journalism at American University for a semester.
During her semester in Washington, she was an intern at Running Start, a nonprofit that encourages young women to become involved in politics. Her work at Running Start helped her discover her passion for inclusive politics, focusing specifically on women and Latinos. She then became a summer intern at the Political department at Univision Communications in DC, where she helped analyze and track the 2016 presidential campaigns.
After graduating from her university in May, Melissa returned to Washington and worked as an intern at Squared Communications, a public relations firm. There, Melissa helped the firm with proposals, press releases, and handling clients’ social media accounts. She is excited to be a part of the Solidarity Strategies team, where she is in a position to learn more about campaigns and most importantly help elect Latinos into office.
Andi’s family immigrated to Salt Lake City, Utah as refugees in 1998. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Psychology from Weber State University. During her last semester of college, she did an internship for the House of Representatives in Washington D.C.
Andi’s proudest accomplishment is having had the opportunity to volunteer through a humanitarian program in Panama, with the program Amigos. She became fluent in Spanish, and fell in love with the Panamanian culture.
She served as the Sociology club President at her university where she grew passionate about race and ethnicity, political sociology, and urban sociology. Andi also served on the advisory board of the Salt Lake City Peer Court, a program of Utah Law Related Education organization. Salt Lake Peer Court is a court diversion program certified by the Utah Youth Court Association under the Utah Youth Court Diversion Act.
Cristina grew up in Panama City, Panama. She went to an international school which made her eager to keep engaging with other people from all over the world and come to D.C. for a college education.
She is deeply interested in international relations and graduated in 2017 with a government and English degree at Georgetown University. During her studies she was part of LASA, the Latin American Student Association in which she helped with event planning and fundraising for many non-profit organizations.
Cristina is passionate about social justice and helping minority communities and she plans to continue helping in any way she can in future.