Mesa Refuge Board Member Elaine Elinson was the communications director of the ACLU of Northern California and editor of the ACLU News for more than two decades. Her book Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California (Heyday), which won a Gold Medal in the California book awards in 2010.
She is a book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Review of Books, and a researcher and writer of civil rights history for the National Park Service. She co-authored Development Debacle: The World Bank in the Philippines, which was banned by the Marcos regime. Her articles have been published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Nation, Poets and Writers, and numerous other periodicals. She is married to journalist Rene CiriaCruz and they have one son. She was a resident at the Mesa Refuge in 2007 and 2009.