When a personal friend invited Liliana Peliks to attend the first Mothers Out Front house party in San Francisco, she walked away convinced. Liliana felt in her spirit that joining the effort to bring Mothers Out Front to San Francisco would be a perfect volunteer fit for her. So, she signed up and got busy helping to build the new team.
It was a boon for Mothers Out Front San Francisco.
Liliana has strong experience in nonprofit management, development and marketing. At her core, she’s an environmental innovator. And, at a heart and soul level, she’s an activist. “Everything in my background has been centered in environmental justice, social justice, work in indigenous communities,” Liliana says. “This is what I was bringing to the table.”
To understand what Liliana truly means, you’d have to listen to her talk about cultural traditions and how she built her impressive resume of experience. “I used to work for an organization called Pachamama Alliance. The mission of this organization is to awaken people to the possibility of living an authentically fulfilled life.” She describes that as a life where we all can accomplish our highest personal purpose while living in a loving and coherent relationship with one another, with the Earth, and with what each of us holds as sacred. "I wasn't born in this country," she says. "I come with different traditions."
A native of Mexico City, Liliana met her husband, Nalco, while traveling abroad. They married and began raising their family in San Francisco. She's lived here for 10 years. Liliana and Nalco have a six-year-old daughter, Hannah. And, Liliana is pregnant; the baby is due in March.
Like many, Liliana’s plate is not just full, it’s overflowing.
“Moms like me, who have jobs and families, and other things we care deeply about might say, ‘Can I add one more thing? Can I add work in one more organization, even if that organization might be ready to change the world?”
At that first house party, Liliana answered "yes" — and that’s basically how she got-in on the ground floor of leading the new San Francisco team. She works closely with the co-founders, Kathie Piccagli and Maia Piccagli, a dynamic mother-daughter duo with supportive coaching and training from Mothers Out Front California Senior Organizer Linda Hutchins-Knowles. Liliana helps to develop organizing strategy, strong marketing plans, and new ways for recruiting new members—while staying rooted in “the work” of promoting sustainable environmental policies and addressing the climate crisis.
Over the last two years, Liliana has participated in dozens of meetings and walked in many marches. She's testified in front of official bodies and put on her Mothers Out Front gear to support partner organizations. She has a particular passion for repurposing scrap material so it can be transformed into art (that's what she does in her 9-to-5 life) and for reducing & eliminating toxicity in the air, water and generally in our lives.
Figuring out how the San Francisco team can leverage its power in a challenging place like the "Golden Gate City" is something Liliana feels uniquely called to do. The future is unsure, the world as we know it now might become even worse and our children will face the consequences of our irresponsibility, she says. She finds strength in advocating with other mothers for a healthy environment today and a livable climate tomorrow for all children.
"In the San Francisco area, our team is still lean, the numbers are pretty small. But our mission -- it's powerful! I'm with Mothers Out Front for the long haul."
Rosemary Lytle, Frontline Communications Consultant for Mothers Out Front, is a columnist who worked in newspaper journalism for more than 20 years