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Meet the Team

Executive Director

Deb Fastino, a born and raised Fall River native started out at CSJ as a volunteer, she made phone calls and knocked doors nearly 14 years ago. She met Dan Gilbarg, one of the founders of CSJ, as his student. From there she became a loyal volunteer- invested in progressive issues and locals campaigns. She's a mother of 1. She's a trailblazer, and today serves as executive director for CSJ. In 2014 she was co chair to the Raise Up MA campaign that won Earned Sick Time and a minimum wage increase for MA workers. Fun Fact: Her favorite month is May.

  • Deb can be reached at: 508-982-3108



New Bedford/Falmouth

Marlene Pollock is one of the founding members of CSJ. She wanted to express her outrage at the Republican take-over of Congress in 1994's elections, and Newt Gingrich's election as Speaker of the House. She feared their "Contract On America" and wanted a vehicle to work against it. She serves on the CSJ Steering Committee and is the Treasurer of the organization. She has been involved in the movement for social justice since 1971. She's also a volunteer organizer and takes responsibility for New Bedford and Falmouth. As a result of her work on improving New Bedford schools, she ran for and was elected twice as a School Committee member. She is in the last year of her second term. Her passion is school improvement and fighting with the 99% against the 1% on a multitude of issues - there's never a shortage unfortunately. She is the proud mother of 2 sons and 4 grandchildren. Fun Fact: Marlene love teaching history at Bristol Community College, and watching her favorite prerecorded tv shows with her husband, Dan.


  • Marlene can be reached at: 508-982-8751


Rachel is an alumnus of Bristol Community College and Bridgewater State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology. She attended college part-time while raising two girls as a single mother and working. Rachel began volunteering with CSJ in 2011 because Marlene thought she ought to, but stayed to become a community organizer in New Bedford and Fall River because she found herself personally affected by so many of the issues CSJ prioritizes. Rachel’s main priority is on anti-poverty campaigns such as protecting Emergency Assistance - welfare, housing assistance, and homeless shelter provisions - within the State Budget. She has a dual focus working on issues of environmental justice throughout Southeastern Massachusetts. Fun Fact: Rachel keeps a fortune from a fortune cookie in a frame on her desk (It reads, “Be worthy of the faith others have in you.”).


  • Rachel can be reached at: 508-718-9845


Maria Fortes is the newest organizer on our team. She's a mother of one- and a creole native who specializes in multi lingual communication. She speaks Creole and Portuguese and loves door to door/phone calls. She started with CSJ as a volunteer because she knew that she could use her skills in helping her community. She serves as organizer in New Bedford. Fun Fact: She keeps a journal on everything that she does.


  • Maria can be reached at: 508-415-8385



Dan Gilbarg was a co-founder of the Coalition for Social Justice. He is married, a father of 2 and a grandfather. He has been a progressive activist for 45 years. He is the CSJ Board President and takes responsibility for CSJ organizing in Brockton and CSJ fundraising. He has particular interest in issues of poverty and race, which were also his areas of specialization as a now retired Sociology Professor at Bristol Community College. Fun Facts: He loves sports, his favorite TV shows, and sharing life’s adventures with his wife Marlene.


  • Dan can be reached at 508-982-8157


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