CoastPride is an organization created by our local community in San Mateo County to improve the support, visibility and awareness of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals and families.
CoastPride embraces allies to create an affirming and welcoming community that nurtures individuals of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to live to their full potential.
We believe that together we will continue to make the Coastside, from Pacifica to Pescadero, a kind and safe place for the LGBTQ+ community at large.
A welcoming and safe Coastside where all LGBTQ and gender-expansive individuals, their families, and allies, thrive.
Creating a Coastside that supports and celebrates people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
“Phenomenal work! Thank you for your leadership!”
Facilitate access to services, programs, and events to create a supportive community.
Partner with schools, nonprofits and other entities to bring education, training, mental health, social services, community building and wellness events to the coast of San Mateo County.
Work with local schools, businesses, faith-based organizations, non-profits, and civic leaders provide an integral support system, especially for the vulnerable youth population.
Promote a nonjudgmental and accepting local community on the coast to help nuture LGBTQ community members and their families throughout their lifecycles.
Meet our board members
Jenny Walter | Vice Chair
Jennifer Walter assists tribes, courts, local governments, and organizations on social reform issues. She brings over three decades of experience and expertise in strategic planning and communications, community outreach, project management, organizational development and collaboration to promote social justice change.
She has a passion and commitment to strengthening tribal/county/state/federal relations and elevating LGBTQ issues through a race and equity lens.
Ms. Walter’s experience includes over twenty-year career as a lawyer for the California Judicial Council where she led a statewide tribal needs assessment, obtained funding for and launched a unit focused on tribal/state relations, initiated and consulted on the documentary, Tribal Justice, served as lead counsel to the California Tribal Court-State Court Forum, and developed statewide policies relating to children, youth, families and concurrent jurisdiction of tribal and state courts. She serves as a tribal appellate judge for the Northern California Tribal Court Coalition. She was the first cochair of the San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission and served on the commission for 5 years.
She lives with her wife and their 16-year old daughter in Half Moon Bay, California.
Kassi Talbot | Vice President
Kassi Talbot (she/her/hers) is a doctoral candidate for Educational Leadership at San Francisco State University. She has been a co-learner/educator for the past six years. She teaches Middle School Social Studies and High School Spanish in Pescadero. Kassandra holds a M.A. in Education, Equity and Social Justice; concentration in antiracist teaching and transformative practices in the rural context. Her ultimate goals include using her position in the community to catalyze transformations in the current school system into one that serves all students equitably. She hopes community members and former students will come back to the coastside community to continue the fight, lead and support future generations. Kassandra is a Red Cross First Aid Instructor, Trauma Informed Instructor and local radio host for KPDO 89.3.
When she is not working on projects for the youth, Kassandra enjoys spending the day with her partner and dogs, cooking, watching a good anime series and surfing.
Kelly Kramer | Treasurer
Kelly Kramer has had a successful career in information technology for over 30 years. Starting as an IT leader in major law firms, the majority of her career has been at the global consulting firm McKinsey and Company, advancing to Director in Technology and Digital Services Leadership and Excellence.
Kelly is also a licensed Resource Parent in San Mateo County, California. As a child advocate, she has provided emergency care for children suddenly brought into protective custody, working with county agencies and the family court system. She has extensive knowledge and experience in childhood trauma, attachment disorders and medically fragile infants.
She lives with her Covid companion, Brody, a rescued 5-year-old German Shephard, and is a hot yoga enthusiast who enjoys biking and hiking the coastal trails.
Leila Lurie | Secretary
Leila Lurie is a resident of El Granada and school-based therapist at Fremont Union High School District. She has over 20 years of experience in schools working with a diversity of young people. She is presently responsible for the District’s social and emotional learning curriculum and training. As a member of the District’s leadership team, she has spearheaded its equity training and developed numerous trainings on Trauma Informed Care and Implicit Bias. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in professional psychology from the John F. Kennedy University Campbell, where she obtained her Marriage and Family Therapist license. She is a certified trainer in Integrative Treatment of Complex Trauma for Adolescents and as a Complex Trauma Professional through the International Association of Trauma Professionals. She is also a certified RISE trainer on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression.
Mary Bier | Member
Mary Bier is the current Mayor of Pacifica. As a lifelong resident of Pacifica, she is extremely honored to have been elected to serve her community. Prior to being elected to council Mary served as the chair of Pacifica’s Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission, and served as board member for Pacifica Resource Center and Pacific Coast Television. Mary is the director of Alcohol and Other Drug Services at the Daly City Youth Health Center and has been providing substance use prevention services in Jefferson Union High School District since 2005 when an alcohol related accident took the lives of two Pacifica teenagers, one of whom was her nephew, Jonathan. Her work has led to numerous grant-funded programs and opportunities for youth to address their substance use in a holistic and restorative model.
She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Minor/Certificate in Holistic Health from San Francisco State University and is now bringing her strong sense of community and tireless work ethic to CoastPride.
Dana Theractivist Johnson, MSW
Dana Theractivist Johnson | Member
Dana TherActivist Johnson, MSW, is a transgender non-binary community activist, Author, documentary Filmmaker, DEI&B Consultant and Professional Development trainer. Dana received a master’s degree in social work, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and has a variety of professional certifications. Dana’s an Author and Filmmaker of the memoir, TherActivist: They/ Them/ Theirs, a narrative embracing Identity, Intersectionality, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The TherActivist embodies a “therapeutic activism” approach, while servicing and empowering BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities.
Dana serves as a LGBTQ Commissioner and PRIDE Initiative co-chair for the County of San Mateo. They’re a Peer Support Worker for the Q-Corner, a LGBTQ+ peer wellness center of County of Santa Clara. Dana has 17 years’ experience counseling and working with justice-involved youth. They have co-coordinated the San Mateo County Pride Celebration since 2016 and has been on the coordinating committee since its existence in 2012. They’re the emcee of San Mateo County Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) program. Dana’s also a Fellow of Equality of California, Institute Leadership Academy, and Inaugural member of San Mateo County Leadership CORPS Council.
Dana’s motivated in assisting in the implementation of inclusive policies and protocols, and passionate about providing LGBTQIA+ equity services, social justice services, and activism to marginalized communities. When Dana’s not busy servicing the community they spend time engaging in self-care modalities.
Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza | Member
Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza serves as the 10th president of College of San Mateo (CSM), established in 1922 as the first college in the San Mateo County Community College District. She is a longtime leader in the district having served as the Vice President of Instruction at Skyline College in San Bruno for four years (2017–2021). Prior to this, she served as the founding Dean of Academic Support and Learning Technologies (2014–2017) and the founding Director of the Learning Center (2011–2014) at College of San Mateo.
President Taylor-Mendoza leads for social justice and liberation, recognizing our shared responsibility to address the historical legacy of racism to create a more just system of access, reward, and long-term equitable outcomes. She is co-author of Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges: Theory and Practice in Achieving Educational Equity and applies theory to practice as an instructor in the Educational Leadership Program at San Francisco State University.
President Taylor-Mendoza has served on a variety of county councils and boards, including workforce and economic development. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Human Investment Project (HIP) Housing and has served on a range of State Chancellor’s Office committees. She is an Aspen Institute Presidential Fellow and an adviser to the Chancellor’s Office on the Aspen Trustee Fellowship, where she provided strategies to support trustees in their roles as district leaders identifying regional workforce gaps and measuring student equity goals.
A proud community college alumna, Dr. Taylor-Mendoza holds a B.A. in Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles, an M.S. in Counseling, California State University, Northridge, and a Ph.D. in Education, Claremont Graduate University.
As recent empty-nesters, she and her husband James spend time up and down the San Mateo coast, hiking, surfing, and plotting their next vacation trip to exotic locales. Daughter Aramis is attending Caltech studying Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace. Her son Kendall lives and works in Southern California.
Jeanne Vargas | Board Member Emeritus
Jeanne has been a coastal resident since 1989. She enjoys her coastside life with her family, wife, and grandkids.
She has had a massage therapy practice in Half Moon Bay since 1999. Being an advocate for our LGBTQ community is one of her true passions.