Who We Are

Our mission is to inspire, inform and involve citizens in the public arena on behalf of all, especially the vulnerable.

Our Goals:

  • To inspire and motivate citizens about the genuine difference their involvement can make
  • To inform citizens about key issues and problems impacting the vulnerable
  • To support active involvement in the public arena (politics, government, academia and the media)
  • To provide opportunities for action on behalf of the vulnerable
    • Practical protection now and long-term resolution to the root causes of the problems the vulnerable face
  • To encourage individuals to multiply their impact by sharing their enthusiasm for the movement with others

Our CV Staff:

Jerry Colivas, SAFELY OUT™ Advisory Team Leader
Jerry Colivas had over 20 years experience in the field of emergency management before his recent retirement. During that time, he worked every major disaster in California. His experience includes managing both the response and the recovery aspects of a disaster. Jerry began a career working for the State of California, rising to the position of Regional Manager for the former Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, now the California Emergency Management Agency. During disasters, Jerry held positions in the State’s Operations Center as Operations Chief, Logistics Chief, Deputy Director and Director. He also worked during the recovery phase at the Joint Federal/State recovery center as the Assistant State Coordinating Officer, among other positions. His last position before retiring was with the City of Sacramento as Manager of the Joint Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security where he instituted a number of emergency management programs and projects in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Also, during his tenure with the City of Sacramento, the community dealt with a federally declared flooding disaster, a severe heat and a severe cold emergency. Since his recent retirement, he works part time with the Governor’s Office – CaliforniaVolunteers and does other consulting. He also volunteers his time with the Sacramento Region Citizens Corp Council and with the SAFELY OUT™ Project, a community evacuation project. Jerry specializes in teaching National Incident Management System and Standardized Emergency Management System courses. Jerry is also part of a national cadre of emergency managers that review and accredits emergency management programs across the country and is also a part-time FEMA Disaster Assistance Employee, serving as needed during major disasters. He holds master’s degree in public administration and teaches emergency management courses for UC Davis Extension when his schedule allows.

Gary Dietrich, President & Co-founder
Gary Dietrich graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Santa Barbara and received his master’s degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He was selected for a prestigious California State Senate Fellowship, served as a staff member to the California State Assembly and the State Senate, and has worked on campaigns from legislative to presidential. He now serves as a nonpartisan political analyst on television and radio and has been seen or heard on stations and networks throughout the nation and around the world. Gary is also recognized as an accomplished professional speaker, having addressed thousands of youth and adults regarding the impact of politics, public policy and government on their lives, their state and their nation.

Paul Jacks, SAFELY OUT™ Project Consultant
Paul comes to us after directing Fritz Institute’s Bay Area Preparedness Initiative (BayPrep), a program focused on improving the disaster preparedness of non-profit organizations serving the disabled and people with functional and access needs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Paul took this position after retiring from the state of California after more than 31 years of service. During his career with the state, Paul spent 20 years with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), now the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA), serving eight years as an appointed Deputy Director under Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger. As a Deputy Director, Paul had, at various times, overall executive management authority for the office’s preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation operations. Paul still serves as a member of the CaliforniaVolunteers Commission, a position to which he was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2006. Paul possesses extensive disaster-related experience and will work on strategies to engage the philanthropic and volunteer sectors to expand the SAFELY OUT™ Project.

Silvina Martinez, Project Consultant
Silvina Martínez is a former newspaper reporter and seasoned public relations professional specialized in multicultural communications. Through comprehensive, multicultural communication strategies, she helps corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations build sustainable partnerships with advocacy and community-based organizations, media, business groups and elected officials representing California’s diverse communities.

Silvina has written in both English and Spanish throughout her career, first for the third largest newspaper in Argentina and later for The Sacramento Bee in California. She was an international correspondent and wrote for La Opinión of Los Angeles, EFE news agency and Agence France Press. She holds a degree in Journalism from the Colegio Universitario de Periodismo in Córdoba, Argentina. In the United States she is certified by the American Translators Association.

Silvina will help Citizen Voice and SAFELY OUT™ reach out to California’s diverse communities.

John McGinness, Project Consultant
John McGinness spent over 27 years with the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department and has served in every service area of the Department. He is a highly decorated veteran with a background in many high-profile assignments.

McGinness served for many years as a member of the elite Sheriff’s Motorcycle Detail where he was a training officer and team leader. He also served as a CSI investigator, homicide detective and department spokesman. He was promoted through the ranks and ultimately commanded the Centralized Investigation Division until he was appointed Undersheriff in March of 2001. Mr. McGinness served as Undersheriff until elected Sheriff in 2006.

McGinness is now an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice, Communications, Leadership and Professional Studies with the California State University. He also hosts his own daily show on Sacramento’s top rated newstalk radio station AM 1530 KFBK.

McGinness holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Public Administration and a Master of Science Degree in Emergency Services Administration from the California State University, Long Beach, and is a graduate of the prestigious West Point Leadership Institute.

With a statewide reputation for outstanding leadership, he was appointed to the California POST Commission by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2007.

Kerry Shearer, Media & Communications
With a background in radio and television broadcasting at Sacramento’s NewsTalk 1530, KFBK, and KVIE-TV 6, Kerry Shearer headed the Communications office at the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District where he managed media relations and the Spare The Air regional education and outreach program. Most recently, he served as Communication & Media Officer for Sacramento County Public Health, where he implemented the latest social media tools and techniques to communicate critical health information during the H1N1 Flu pandemic. Kerry’s social media efforts have attracted nationwide attention in the public health field. He regularly makes presentations as an independent communications consultant to federal, state and local agencies on how to get started using social media techniques for both routine and emergency public information response. His communications experience in emergency preparedness and response and his expertise in web video production are a great fit to assist with Citizen Voice’s outreach efforts, which include protecting the vulnerable in disasters through the Safely Out project.