Board of Directors

Pat Zaharopoulos  PAT ZAHAROPOULOS, Esq., President & Chief Executive Officer

Pat Zaharopoulos, Esq. is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Middle Class Taxpayers Association. She has more than 40 years’ experience working in the public sector for city, county and state government, most notably as a prosecutor for the State of California for more than 30 years. She also served as an adviser to San Diego’s mayor and city council, working for transparency in local government. She has argued eight cases in the California Supreme Court, and received the Attorney General’s Award of Excellence. She has been named Public Lawyer of the Year by the San Diego Bar Association, was nominated twice for California District Attorney’s Association Prosecutor of the Year and was a Department of Justice nominee for Women of Vision in the Law. Ms. Zaharopoulos received her Juris Doctor with Magma Cum Laude from the University of San Diego, and her MA/BA in Political Science from University of California, Riverside. She is the Chair of the Pension Plan Committee, and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Neighborhood House Association, and also sits on the Advisory Board of the Employee Rights Center. She is an immigrant from Greece after the German occupation and Civil War, and has two children and a grand-child.

 

Murtaza BaxamusaMURTAZA H. BAXAMUSA, Ph.D., AICP, Secretary-Treasurer

Murtaza H. Baxamusa, Ph.D., AICP is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Middle Class Taxpayers Association. He is a certified planner and develops affordable housing for the San Diego Building Trades Family Housing Corporation, and teaches urban planning at the University of Southern California (USC). He has over 10 years’ experience in economic development and sustainable urban planning, and has previously worked for the USC Center for Economic Development and the Center on Policy Initiatives. He has doctoral and master’s degrees in Planning from USC, and a bachelor’s degree with honors from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He serves on several nonprofit boards, including Civic San Diego, and the San Diego City-County Reinvestment Taskforce. He received the Ruby Award for Outstanding Advocate from the San Diego Housing Federation in 2012, as well as the John Lyons Memorial Fellowship, an honor that was read into the Congressional Record of the 112th Congress. The City of San Diego proclaimed June 17, 2008 to be “Dr. Murtaza H. Baxamusa Day” in recognition of his contributions to the city. He is a home-owner in Bay Park, and lives with his wife and two daughters.

 

LINDA LEGERRETTE

Linda LeGerrette is a co-founder of the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, having dedicated themselves to teaching leadership development, which has empowered over 2500 young students to believe in themselves and to know that they can make a difference. Linda is a product of San Diego’s public schools, and married 44 years with her husband, Carlos. They have one daughter, two grandchildren, two dogs, and have lived in their South Park home for over 40 years. Linda and her husband, Carlos, were awarded with the UT Latino Champions Lifetime Award in 2014 as well as the Mesa College 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award.

BOB E. NELSON

Bob Nelson is the Chairman of the Commission of the Unified Port of San Diego. His 40 years of government and political service includes participation as President Clinton’s representative on the U.S. Competitiveness Policy Council, and serving as chair of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation, the San Diego LGBT Community Center, and City of San Diego Revenue Review and Economic Competitiveness Commission. He has also served on the City of San Diego Public Utilities Advisory Commission and in various advisory capacities to the Mayor of San Diego and the San Diego County District Attorney. He serves on the Port’s Environmental Advisory Committee and represents the Port as an Advisory Member of the San Diego Association of Governments Board of Directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors of CleanTECH San Diego. Prior to public service, Nelson built one of America’s largest independent public relations agencies, now part of Porter-Novelli Group.

ELIZABETH RIGGS

Hon. Judge Elizabeth Riggs was the first African American woman judge in San Diego. She was appointed to El Cajon Municipal Court, 1979 and was a Presiding judge in 1984-1985. She became the first and only African American woman judge for 20 years in San Diego County Trial Court. She opened El Cajon’s first domestic violence court in 1997 and became a Superior Court Judge in 1998 until her retirement in 2002.  She has served as Past President of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association, founded the Black Attorneys Association of San Diego, and served as a board member of the San Diego Legal Aid Society, Urban League of San Diego, and the African-American Museum of Fine Arts. She has been honored as a Legend of the Bar by the San Diego Bar History Committee, 39th Senate District’s Woman of the Year in 2007, and inducted as a Trailblazer in the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2008.

"This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in." -- Theodore Roosevelt
"As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow." --Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Inequality of rights is created by a combination in one part of the community to exclude another part from its rights." -- Thomas Paine