@alissa_brie @CalBudgetCenter Alissa Anderson, Senior Policy Analyst, first joined the California Budget & Policy Center in 2005 and served the organization for nearly eight years analyzing trends in California’s labor market. After a year hiatus, she rejoined the organization in 2014, focusing on state strategies for reducing poverty. Prior to joining the Budget Center, Alissa worked for several years as a researcher in the Education Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, and conducted research for various organizations including the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Bryn Mawr College.
Ana J. Matosantos is cabinet secretary in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. Previously, she was a budget and policy consultant, focusing primarily on issues relating to the state budget, education finance, health care, income inequality, and local government. In 2016, she was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Board, which is working to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt, as well as to help Puerto Rico’s government achieve structural budget balance. Previously, Ana served as director of the California Department of Finance in both the Brown and Schwarzenegger administrations, helping the state to address the budgetary impact of the Great Recession. Prior to this, she served as deputy legislative secretary for Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs, where her work included developing a comprehensive health care reform proposal. She also worked as a consultant to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and for the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review. Prior to her appointment to Governor Newsom’s cabinet, Ana served as a member of the California Budget & Policy Center’s board of directors from 2015 to 2018, including as the board’s Finance Chair. Ana holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University.
@angeloawilliams @yourcbhn Dr. Angelo Williams serves as Deputy Director of the California Black Health Network (CBHN), a nonprofit focused on achieving black health equity and creating the conditions for #HealthyBlackPeople. CBHN's cycle of practice includes annual town hall meetings in seven cities statewide, advocacy for policy change at the California State Legislature, and a biennial Black Health Agenda convening. Angelo has served in a number of executive leadership capacities including his tenure as a gubernatorial appointee and assistant vice chancellor at the California Community College Chancellor's Office and as an education and family economic security program officer at the WK Kellogg Foundation. Angelo is active in his community where he serves as a professor of sociology, African American/African Studies, and public policy at the University of California, Davis, California State University, Sacramento, and Sacramento City and Sierra Community Colleges. He is a Senior Fellow with the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program and serves as an Executive Board Member with the Los Rios College Federation of Teachers. Angelo is honored to have received the Distinguished Alumni Award from California State University, Sacramento; Champions of Change Award from the California State University, Sacramento Education Department; and MBA Magazine's Diverse Executive Leader's Award.
@anyalawler @Western_Center Anya Lawler is a Policy Advocate at the Western Center on Law & Poverty. She has spent nearly two decades working in land use and housing policy at the state level. Anya has extensive expertise with housing element law, the regional housing needs allocation process, density bonus law, inclusionary housing policy, and anti-displacement policy, among others. Prior to joining the Western Center on Law & Poverty, she worked for a decade as a committee consultant in the state Assembly and served as the deputy director for policy at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. She is committed to advancing just, equitable, inclusive development policies that ensure that Californians with the lowest incomes have access to safe, stable, affordable homes in every community throughout the state.
@BuffyWicks Assemblymember Buffy Wicks represents District 15 and brings to the Assembly her local-, state- and federal-level experience as a community organizer, an advocate for kids, and a grassroots activist. She was born in a small town in rural California and grew up in a trailer, raised by working class parents who pushed her to work hard and think big. She attended public school, then enrolled at her local community college before transferring to and graduating from a four-year university. Assemblymember Wicks got her start in community organizing where she organized against the Iraq War in the Bay Area. She’s been an organizer ever since. She became a grassroots organizer for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, then joined the United Food and Commercial Workers and led the campaign to fight Wal-Mart for better wages and healthcare for its employees. She is proud to have been an architect of President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. She is credited with innovating Obama’s grassroots organizing model – in Oakland. In addition to playing a critical role in his momentous electoral victories, she served alongside him in the White House. In her leadership role at the Office of Public Engagement, she brought stakeholders and advocates from across the country together to support and eventually pass the Affordable Care Act, which has provided more than 20 million Americans with healthcare, including 5 million here in California. Assemblymember Wicks’s passion is fighting for equity, equal opportunity, and economic security, with a particular focus on policies affecting women and children. She served at the Center for American Progress as a senior fellow, where she launched a national policy initiative, with Planned Parenthood and SEIU, fighting for economic security for women and families. She hopes to continue advocating for California’s parents and kids as an Assemblywoman in Sacramento, where only 22% of our state legislators are women and just a handful are mothers to young children. She lives in Oakland with her husband Peter and her daughter.
@RobBontaCA Assemblymember Rob Bonta was elected to the California State Assembly's 18th District in 2012, where he represents the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. He was the first Filipino American legislator in California's then 165-year history. His passion for justice and equality was instilled in him at a very young age by his parents, who taught him to understand injustice and the importance of joining the struggle to empower vulnerable communities. His father was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, and stood with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Deep South ─ marching for equality and justice in Selma. His mother was and continues to be a long-time leader in the Filipino social justice movement. Growing up in a trailer just a few hundred yards from César Chávez’s home, he watched closely as his parents organized Filipino and Mexican American farm workers, infusing his formative years with first-hand experience of one of the greatest peaceful social, racial, and economic justice movements of all time and inspiring his life’s commitment to helping people. Believing that legal training was one of the most powerful ways to effect positive and profound change in the lives of those who needed it most, Assemblymember Bonta worked his way through college cleaning laundry rooms and, with the help of financial aid, was able to achieve his dream of attending some of the best universities in the world, obtaining his J.D. from Yale Law School after attending Yale College and Oxford University in England. He also paved the way for the advancement of students of color as a mentor and volunteered in support of local children struggling with poverty. His legal career included work as a deputy city attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, where he represented the City and County and its employees, and as a private attorney, where he fought to protect Californians from exploitation and racial profiling. Prior to being elected to the Alameda City Council, he served as the chair of the City of Alameda’s Economic Development Commission, where he focused on business attraction and retention efforts, and as board president for the Social Service Human Relations Board, where he fought to protect safety net services for the most vulnerable members of the community. As vice mayor of the City of Alameda, he strongly supported public safety, fostered economic development, and exercised fiscal responsibility. Assemblymember Bonta currently serves as the Assistant Majority Leader. He serves on the Appropriations, Communications and Conveyance, Governmental Organization, Revenue & Taxation, and Health Committees. He and his wife Mialisa live in Alameda with their three children.
Ben Chida is the Senior Policy Advisor for Cradle to Career, for the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. Ben most recently advised non-profit organizations and tech companies on data privacy at an international law firm. Previously, Ben served as attorney-advisor in the executive office of Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, leading priorities in education, juvenile justice, foster youth, and children’s data. He also served as a judicial law clerk to federal judges in California and on the DC Circuit, and managed the development and launch of the first humanities MOOC on edX. Ben was also a third grade teacher at P.S. 325 in New York City, and worked as a roofer while attending a continuation high school and community college for five years. He attended Orange Coast College and received a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkeley, a teaching certificate in childhood education from Pace University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
@bmesfin @ChangeCo_ With 15-plus years of experience in media and communications, Bilen Mesfin Packwood is the Founder and Principal of Change Consulting, a social change communications agency based in Oakland, California. She has established a reputation as a trusted advisor to leading changemakers. Since 2008, Change Consulting has worked exclusively with nonprofits, foundations and other mission-driven organizations to raise awareness and visibility, change hearts and minds, and inspire action. Change Consulting's services include branding, messaging and communications strategy; content development and marketing; digital and social media; and media relations. Prior to founding Change Consulting, Bilen advanced communications efforts for then San Francisco District Attorney Kamala D. Harris. While there, she created and implemented strategies to roll out the District Attorney’s key initiatives, such as truancy and reentry; led outreach to local, statewide and national multicultural media; helped manage crisis communications issues as they arose; and served as the Office’s day-to-day print and on-camera spokesperson. As a journalist, Bilen has written for the Associated Press, the Nashville Tennessean, Edutopia, and Art & Antiques, among other publications. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2015, she co-founded the Change Media Scholarship Fund, a partnership with Youth Impact Hub that awards scholarships to youth of color to produce media for social impact.
@kingcarlise @ecedata Carlise King is the Executive Director of the Early Childhood Data Collaborative at Child Trends, which promotes policies and practices that support the development and use of coordinated early childhood data across departments of education, social services, and public health to guide policy. Carlise regularly convenes experts from states and national and technical assistance groups to communicate effective strategies for data integration and use of data to support policy. She brings years of experience analyzing early childhood services to improve policies and coordinate services for vulnerable young children. Carlise has over 18 years of experience conducting state and national research on early childhood issues and examining the impact of state and federal policies on parents’ access to child care services, licensed child care supply, child care costs, and the child care workforce.
@ChrisWHoene @CalBudgetCenter Chris Hoene, Executive Director, joined the California Budget & Policy Center in 2012, bringing to the organization 20 years of strategic leadership in state and local policy research and advocacy. Prior to coming to the Budget Center, he served as director of the Center for Research & Innovation at the National League of Cities in Washington, DC, leading efforts to analyze trends in local and state government and promote constructive policy action on issues including public finance, economic development, governance, housing, sustainability, and infrastructure. Chris previously worked for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Public Policy Institute of California. In 2010, he was inducted as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration for his service and expertise in the areas of public policy and government. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of Idaho.
@ChristopherMBr7 Christopher M. Brown leads policy efforts pertaining to banking, financial inclusion, and is the head of local government engagement under the All-In Cities initiative as Director at PolicyLink. Previously overseeing federal policy and government affairs at PolicyLink, he now focuses on local, state, and nationwide strategies that enhance economic mobility, and was the co-founder of the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility ─ a national coalition focused on equitable tax reform. Chris possesses expertise in a range of policy areas and political engagement strategy, and has led policy efforts at the state, federal, and international levels since his time on Capitol Hill and in the private sector. Chris focuses on strategic partnership opportunities between the private, public, and non-profit sectors that advance better outcomes for all, and draws on previous experience in Congress where he served as counsel to the US House Committee on Education and Labor under Chairman, Rep. George Miller (CA), and as legislative director on the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce under Sub-Committee Chairman, Rep. Bobby Rush (IL). Just prior to joining PolicyLink, Chris represented a US development firm in Central America, where he directed foreign expansion efforts and government relations. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, and a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. He lives in San Francisco, but can also be found roaming the corridors of Washington, DC.
@chrisnellum @EdTrustWest Dr. Christopher Nellum is the Senior Director of Higher Education Research and Policy at The Education Trust─West, a civil rights and education equity research and advocacy organization working on educational justice and to close attainment and opportunity gaps. In addition, Chris is a gubernatorial appointee to the Student Centered Funding Formula (SCFF) Oversight Committee charged with reviewing and evaluating the implementation of the community college system’s new funding formula. He began his career on college campuses in student affairs and has been a higher education researcher and advocate for nearly a decade. Chris defied the odds after experiencing rural poverty to become a first-generation college student and graduate. An alumnus of three public universities, he is committed to guaranteeing that the doors to an affordable, quality public education are wide open for the next generations of Californians, especially low-income students of color.
@CristineDeBerry Cristine Soto DeBerry is Chief of Staff for San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. She has assisted the District Attorney with his efforts to increase public safety without increasing the jail population. To achieve this goal, the office has created DA STAT, Neighborhood Courts, Sentencing Planners and Young Adult Court. DA Gascon was also instrumental in the crafting and passage of Propositions 36 and 47 in California which reformed the three strikes law and reduced punishments for drug possession and low level theft offenses. Cristine has also been involved in efforts to reform policing and the system response to officer misconduct. In response to discovering racist text messages shared among San Francisco Police Department officers, she created the Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability and Fairness in Law Enforcement, comprised of three retired judges and eleven national law firms, tasked with conducting a top to bottom review of the department and identifying reforms. This work resulted in the creation of the Independent Investigations Bureau (IIB), a unit within the District Attorney’s Office charged solely with leading criminal investigations into police excessive use of force and conviction review. Prior to joining the District Attorney’s Office, Cristine served San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom as his deputy chief of staff. She managed the Mayor’s entire policy portfolio and helped oversee a $6 billion dollar budget and a city staff of over 26,000. As the Mayor’s point person on policy she assisted in the development of numerous policy innovations around criminal justice, environment, health, and economic opportunity. Prior to this position, Cristine served five years in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Law and her bachelor’s degree in political science and Chicana/o Studies from University of California, Los Angeles. Cristine currently serves on the board of directors for the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO). She was a founding member of the Association of Latino Marin Attorneys (ALMA), and is a recipient of the Public Service Award from San Francisco La Raza Lawyers.
@Dan_Rinzler @CHPCnews Dan Rinzler joined the California Housing Partnership Corporation (CHPC) in 2016. As Senior Policy Analyst, Dan is responsible for policy and research initiatives which aim to expand the resources for affordable housing preservation and development in California, as well as increase their efficiency and social impact. Prior to joining CHPC, Dan worked at the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), where he managed a variety of strategic initiatives ─ such as around impact assessment, and the intersection of health care and housing ─ and contributed to program development and policy leadership. Prior to LIIF, he helped design and manage low-income housing programs at the state and local level, and worked as an urban planning consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dan earned a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013, and a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Columbia University in 2007.
@DavidinSacto @castudentaid David O'Brien has served as Director of Government Affairs at the California Student Aid Commission since October 2016. In this role, he is responsible for state and federal legislative, budget, and policy issues concerning California's state financial aid programs, which total nearly $2.5 billion in grant aid to more than 400,000 undergraduate college students. Over the past year, David has overseen the Commission’s efforts to reform and expand the Cal Grant program, including reducing barriers to eligibility and expanding grants to cover more of the total cost of attending college. David also oversees the Commission’s Research team, including its ongoing reestablishment of the Student Expenses and Resources Survey (SEARS), a comprehensive statewide survey of students at every segment of higher education, which has received national attention not just for its breadth and scope, but for its implications for state and nationwide discussions surrounding college affordability.
@eputnamhornstein @CDN_USC Emily Putnam-Hornstein is an Associate Professor of at the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and Director of the Children’s Data Network, a university-agency collaborative focused on the linkage and analysis of administrative records. She also maintains a research appointment at the University of California, Berkeley California Child Welfare Indicators Project and is serving as a researcher-in-residence at California’s Health and Human Services Agency, helping steward several state data initiatives. A leading researcher in the field of child maltreatment and child welfare systems, Emily is additionally recognized for her expertise in the integration of cross-sector data to inform children’s policies and programs. Her current research focuses on the use of predictive risk modeling to provide insight into where scarce public resources may be most efficiently targeted for the greatest impact. Emily graduated from Yale with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, received her master’s in social work from Columbia University, and earned her Ph.D. in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to returning to graduate school, she worked as a child welfare caseworker in New York City.
@esi_hutchful @CalBudgetCenter Esi Hutchful joined the Budget Center in August 2017 as a State Policy Fellow working on budget and tax policy as well as supports for low-income individuals and families. She has previously worked in the nonprofit sector on public interest publishing, reproductive rights, and girls’ afterschool enrichment programs. Esi recently received her master’s degree in public policy from the Gerald R. Ford School at the University of Michigan, where her graduate work focused on poverty, child and family policy, and public finance. She earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from Yale University.
@codeforamerica Evonne Silva is the Senior Program Director of Criminal Justice and Workforce Development at Code for America where she leads a team that develops civic technology aimed at transforming the criminal justice and workforce development systems. Most recently, Evonne held leadership positions with the ACLU of Northern California, as a legal advisor, building and leading teams, driving process improvement and systems changes, and managing complex, collaborative projects. She has successfully designed and led policy advocacy campaigns across a range of issues with cross-sector stakeholders at several nonprofit advocacy and legal organizations. Evonne is a licensed attorney who holds a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in politics and economics from Saint Mary’s College of California. She also serves as board member of CORO of Northern California and teaches legal ethics at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
@fmecca @CWDA_CA Frank Mecca has served as Executive Director of the County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) for 25 years. Under his direction, CWDA has established itself a leading advocacy and policy organization in the field of public human services. The association has been instrumental in the development of major human services programs and policies, including helping shape the CalWORKs program, creating the Adult Protective Services program, and advocating for child welfare reform. Prior to joining CWDA, Frank served as a fiscal and policy analyst for the Legislative Analyst’s Office, where he had oversight responsibility for most child welfare programs, including Child Welfare Services, Foster Care, and Adoptions. Frank currently serves as Vice Chair of the California Budget & Policy Center’s board of directors and has served on the board since 2013. He is also a member of the California Child Welfare Council and former president of the National Association of County Human Services Administrators. Frank holds a master’s degree in public affairs, with a concentration in social welfare policy, from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He earned his bachelor’s degree in government and economics from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
@LAO_CA Gabriel Petek was appointed to the position of the Legislative Analyst in February 2019, as the sixth person to serve in that capacity since the office was founded in 1941. As the Legislative Analyst, Gabriel serves as the nonpartisan fiscal advisor to both houses of the California Legislature and oversees the preparation of fiscal and policy analyses of the state’s budget and programs. His office is also responsible for preparing impartial analyses of all initiatives and constitutional measures qualifying for the state’s ballot. Before joining the office, Gabriel worked for two decades at S&P Global Ratings. Gabriel held several positions at S&P before he was ultimately named the managing director and sector leader in the US States Group of the US Public Finance Division in San Francisco. Gabriel was S&P’s primary analyst for the states of California and Illinois. Gabriel graduated with a master in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, during which time he interned at the City of Boston’s Office of Management and Budget. In addition, he earned his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in political science from Loyola Marymount University, with a portion of his undergraduate coursework completed through his participation in the Hansard Scholars Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Gabriel holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and has served as an advisor to the Government Finance Officer’s Association’s Committee on Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy.
@SavvyLatina @CRLONLINE Graciela Aponte-Diaz is the Director of California Policy at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). She works with stakeholders in California to develop and implement strategies for advancing CRL’s goals for strong consumer protection and responsible lending policies in the state. Graciela first joined CRL in 2012, where she pioneered some of the most successful strategies in engaging the voices of payday borrowers in advocacy for stronger protections at the state and federal level. In 2015, Graciela served on the executive staff of Self-Help Federal Credit Union, CRL’s sister organization. She worked on the development of a small dollar loan designed to help low-income immigrants apply for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Before joining CRL, Graciela was the senior legislative analyst for the Wealth-Building Policy Project at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). While at NCLR, she helped successfully restore federal funds for housing counseling; fought for improvements to President Obama’s foreclosure prevention program; testified before Congress on housing policy; and fought for a strong financial reform bill which resulted in the creation of a new federal agency tasked with protecting consumers. Graciela began her career working directly with community members as a housing counselor and as a community liaison to a Congressional Representative in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Graciela received her bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland.
@womenswealthgap Heather McCulloch is the Founder and Director of the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative, a national network of more than 250 national, state and local leaders working to advance policies and strategies that build wealth for low-income women, especially women of color. Heather is also Founder and Principal of Asset Building Strategies, a consulting firm that advances policies and strategies to support low-wealth individuals and families to build financial assets. Heather earned a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
@EBCLCNews Jael Myrick has been Program Coordinator for the Clean Slate Practice at the East Bay Community Law Center since 2017. In addition to providing direct services to clients, Jael led efforts this past year on behalf of EBCLC and a broad coalition of over a dozen organizations to pass AB 2138, which allows individuals with criminal records the opportunity to access Occupational Licenses under the Department of Consumer Affairs. Jael continues to lead the efforts of EBCLC with the Occupational Licensing Coalition to expand these opportunities further, focusing on EMT licenses (critical for Fire Fighters) and the Department of Social Services. In addition to his position with EBCLC, Jael serves on the Richmond City Council, where he was appointed in 2013, and first elected in his own right in 2014. Since joining the Richmond City Council, Jael has been integral in establishing programs like the Richmond Promise which guarantees money for College to Richmond youth when they graduate High School and has played a key role in moving forward policies like Fair Chance Housing for people with criminal records. Jael’s previous positions include working as a Field Representative for (then) Assemblymember (now Senator) Nancy Skinner, during which time he helped lead the initiative to bring the Clean Slate program to Contra Costa County, and working on behalf of our environment with the California League of Conservation Voters as a fundraiser, which culminated in organizing Membership Action Campaigns. At age 21 Jael founded Standing To Represent Our Next Generation (STRONG) to strengthen our young leaders’ civic participation and investment in our community. Since its inception, STRONG has supported countless progressive campaigns and sponsored an annual political leadership institute for young people between the ages of 16 and 24. Jael attended Kennedy High School, Chabot College, and La Sierra University.
@DrJeffReynoso @lchc_ca Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso is the Executive Director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC), the State’s leading policy organization advocating for the health of the Latino community. For over a decade, Jeff has worked in health equity and social justice issues spanning academia, government, and nonprofit sectors at multiple levels including local/regional, state, and national. Most recently, he worked at Kaiser Permanente as a doctoral fellow designing innovative programs to address food insecurity among Southern California members. Jeff is the first Latino to receive a Doctorate in Public Health (Dr.P.H.) from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as part of the inaugural Centennial Fellows and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy. He completed his master’s in public health at University of California Berkeley School of Public Health and bachelor’s degree at UCLA. Jeff is Board Member of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) and Advisory Board Member to the California Future Health Workforce Commission, Health Equity Network of the Americas (HENA), Hispanic Latino Coordinating Center (HLCC), California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) and RIGHTS Study at the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research, and California Program on Access to Care (CPAC) at University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. Jeff is a son of immigrants from Mexico and grew up in California’s Central Valley and North San Diego County. He currently resides in Sacramento, California.
@PERE_USC Jennifer Ito is the Research Director at University of Southern California’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), where she conducts research on regional inclusion and social movement building. Before joining PERE, she worked at Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), a grassroots organizing and movement-building organization in South Los Angeles. In 2009, she was appointed by the Speaker of the California Assembly to serve on the California Commission on the 21st Century Economy. In 2015, she served on the California State Controller’s Council of Economic Advisors. Jennifer holds a master’s in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. Jennifer joined the California Budget & Policy Center’s board of directors in 2012. She also serves on the boards of the Economic Roundtable and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network Action.
@jhumpa_b @InsightCCED Jhumpa Bhattacharya is the Vice President of Programs and Strategy at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. In this role, Jhumpa is a key contributor to the thought leadership of the Insight Center, provides cross-program content support and strategic guidance, and oversees the racial and economic equity portfolio. She directly leads work identifying policy and narrative solutions to racial and gender wealth inequities. Grounded with a deep equity lens, Jhumpa has provided her leadership, racial justice analysis, and thinking on various national and local research and capacity building projects focused on creating systems that address and meet the needs of communities of color, low-income communities, and immigrants. Her expertise includes developing equity-based policies, practices, tools, and frameworks; conducting best practice research; technical assistance and capacity building; incorporating community and student voice into policy and programming; and facilitating complex dialogues on race, culture, and immigration. A former director at California Tomorrow, Jhumpa has roots in youth organizing and youth development, and brings over 18 years of experience advocating for and creating policy and system changes towards racial and economic equity. She is a board member of the Pacifica Family Fund, which works to provide quality prenatal and birth midwifery care to low-income families, families of color, teenagers, trans and non-gender conforming people.
@flowing_chi @AP_California John Kim is the Executive Director of Advancement Project’s California Office. Since joining Advancement Project in 2002, John has been lifting up the voice and needs of low-income communities of color to transform systems and expand opportunity for all. Through coalition building and by utilizing innovative tools and strategies, he has helped redirect hundreds of millions of public and private dollars to the most underserved communities. John most recently oversaw the strategic direction and development of RACE COUNTS, a first of its kind initiative that examines racial disparity, performance, and population impact in each of California’s 58 counties. John serves on the California Budget & Policy Center’s board of directors.
@ByJudyLin Judy Lin is a staff reporter for CALmatters, covering education, pensions and finance. Her piece on “The Price of Education” revealed how fragile school funding is in California, particularly as teacher retirement costs rise amid economic uncertainty. She’s interested in what’s happening in classrooms and following the flow of public funds. A veteran of the Sacramento press corps, she joined CALmatters in late 2015 from the Associated Press, where she worked for eight years covering California state policy issues, including budget and health care. Before that, she was with The Sacramento Bee and The Detroit News. Judy has been recognized for her reporting on government accountability and investigative stories. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Judy is a longtime active member of the Asian American Journalists Association.
@kaylakitson @CalBudgetCenter Kayla Kitson joined the Budget Center in October 2018 to focus primarily on tax policy issues. She most recently worked at Americans for Tax Fairness on federal tax policy and has also spent time at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, DC. She also previously held positions at organizations focusing on affordable housing and homelessness in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Kayla received a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.
@First5LA Kim Pattillo Brownson, Vice President of Policy and Strategy, is responsible for strengthening First 5 LA’s profile and influence on local and statewide early childhood public policy, legislative, and advocacy efforts. In addition to oversight of First 5 LA’s relationships with local, state and federal policymakers, Kim also ensures First 5 LA’s external strategic partnerships, public policy and government affairs, and communications and marketing efforts are integrated to drive better outcomes for the highest number of children and families in Los Angeles County. Kim previously served as the managing director of policy and advocacy at the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization engaged in policy and systems change to foster upward mobility in communities most impacted by economic and racial injustice. In this capacity, she led the Advancement Project’s policy and advocacy staff across Sacramento, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area and provided strategic direction to their work on early education, school funding, and school facilities, public budgeting transparency, governmental relations, and state and local campaign advocacy. In addition to spearheading statewide coalition work on the early childhood budget, her local coalition work at the Los Angeles Unified School District resulted in over $1 billion in increased investment in the highest-need neighborhoods for K-12 and early learning students, and expanded early learning programs for almost 8,000 young children. Prior to joining the Advancement Project, Kim was an education attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, where she focused on educational equity issues in California schools. Previously, she worked in private sector litigation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Kim began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Dolores Sloviter on the Third Circuit Court of Appeal, and the Honorable Louis H. Pollak in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Prior to law school, Kim worked at the Boston Consulting Group, where she provided financial and strategic planning services to Fortune 500 companies. Kim earned a law degree from Yale Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor of arts in social studies.
@LMetCap @CalCommunityColleges Laura N. Metune joined the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office in December 2016 as Vice Chancellor of External Relations. In this role, Laura oversees a division that represents the Chancellor's Office before the legislative and executive branches of the state and federal governments. The division is also responsible for formulating and advancing the legislative agenda of the California Community Colleges. Laura has an extensive background with state government. She previously served as chief consultant for the Assembly Committee on Higher Education. As the California Assembly's lead higher education policy staffer, she helped write and win passage of landmark legislation related to student consumer protections, financial aid, and other postsecondary issues. In 2012, Laura was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as the bureau chief for the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. She also served as Committee Consultant for the Assembly Committee on Higher Education and as legislative director for the former chairs of the Senate Labor Committee and the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. Laura was the legislative consultant for Senate Subcommittee on International Trade Policy and State Legislation, a committee founded by former Senator Tom Hayden to examine the intersection of international trade agreements and state environmental and labor laws. She was the first permanent Senate staff member to the California Legislative Women's Caucus. In 2016, Laura was appointed to serve as a member of the Local Control Accountability Plan Parent Advisory Committee of the Sacramento City Unified School District. In 2016-17, she was selected as a fellow for the California Education Policy Fellowship Program, a professional development initiative that aims to strengthen education policymaking in California. Laura is a first-generation college graduate and a product of the California Community College and California State University systems.
Lee leads SEARAC’s policy advocacy and strategy to address health disparities within the Southeast Asian American (SEAA) community. Lee expands the policy advocacy capacity of SEAA-serving organizations and individuals by coordinating advocacy campaigns, building coalitions, and developing advocacy trainings. Her passion is grounded in reducing health disparities for SEAA and other underserved communities through improved access, quality care, culturally and linguistically competent services, and data equity. Lee graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Arts in political science: public service and a Bachelor of Science in community and regional development with a minor in education. Lee first began working in the SEAA community as a youth advisory member to Hmong Women’s Heritage Association’s youth program, leading community events to address issues facing Hmong youth in Sacramento. In 2009, Lee served on the Sacramento County Mental Health Services Act – For Youth by Youth Community Educational Forum and contributed to the development of Sacramento County’s Prevention and Early Intervention Department. Lee has dedicated the last 10 years to organizing systematic change for underrepresented and underserved communities through programmatic implementation and administrative and policy advocacy.
@ListenLindaCA @CPEHN Linda Tenerowicz is a Policy Advocate for the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN). Prior to joining CPEHN, Linda worked as a legislative aide, advising on health policy, public safety, and the state budget. She is also an alumnus of the Capitol Fellows program where she worked as a consultant for the Senate Committee on Public Safety where she studied disparities within the criminal justice system. Linda is originally from South San Francisco and graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with her bachelor’s degree in political science. Coming from a multiethnic background of Filipino and European heritage, Linda is passionate about celebrating cultural diversity and ensuring that communities of color are met with culturally competent and dignified health care. She hopes to bring her years of experience working in both houses of the Legislature to promote policies to achieve that goal as a health consumer advocate.
@MaggieWhiteCA @calstate Maggie White serves as a Legislative Advocate for the California State University’s Office of Advocacy and State Relations, focusing on legislation related to financial aid, basic needs, health, and several other areas that affect students’ wellbeing. She previously served as a legislative policy analyst for the Cal State Student Association, of which she was the president from 2017-18. Prior to that position, she served as a student trustee on the California State University Board of Trustees and attended California State University, Stanislaus, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a master’s in public administration.
Marcy Lauck is the Senior Director of Data Governance for the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) and is a Co-Founder and Director of the Silicon Valley Regional Data Trust (SVRDT). Marcy brings over 25 years of experience in data governance, education data warehousing, and guiding strategic institutional change and data-based quality management processes. She supports the identification, prioritization, and scoping of education data strategies to inform the SVRDT and SCCOE’s strategic direction, including facilitating the collaboration of experts from a broad range of sectors.
@michaeldtubbs In November 2016, Michael Tubbs was elected to serve as the Mayor of the City of Stockton, California, becoming both Stockton’s youngest mayor and the city’s first African-American mayor, as well as the youngest mayor in the history of the country representing a city with a population of over 100,000 residents. Mayor Tubbs has been named as one of Politico’s Top 50, Fortune’s 2018 top "40 under 40," and Forbes' 2018 list of the “30 Under 30,” in recognition of his leadership paired with an ambitious progressive agenda. In his first year, Mayor Tubbs secured $20,000,000 to launch the Stockton Scholars, a place-based scholarship that aims to triple the number of Stockton students entering and graduating from college. He also brought Advance Peace to Stockton, a data-driven program that works to reduce gun violence in communities. With an innovative public-private partnership supported by a $1,000,000 grant, Mayor Tubbs launched the nation’s first ever municipal-level basic income pilot. Before becoming mayor, he served as Stockton's District 6 city councilmember, elected at age 22 as one of the youngest city councilmembers in the country. As a councilmember, he created the Reinvent South Stockton Coalition, championed the creation of the City’s Office of Violence Prevention, and was part of the council that led the city out of bankruptcy as chair of the Audit and Legislative Committee. Mayor Tubbs graduated in 2012 from Stanford University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree with honors. He is focused on poverty reduction, public safety, workforce development, community engagement and organizing, and collective impact strategies.
Melissa Jones is the Executive Director of Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII). She is passionate about creating the conditions that increase quality of life and make life more fair for more people, focusing on the intersection of social determinants of health, social inequity, and well-being. Her experience includes work in municipal government and non-profits, in the San Francisco Bay Area’s large and small cities. Melissa is an active community member in Oakland and also serves on the Association of Bay Area Government’s Regional Planning Committee, which advises on regional planning issues. Before joining BARHII, Melissa served as senior program officer at Boston Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), where she launched and ran Boston LISC’s Resilient Communities Resilient Families (RCRF) Initiative, which works to ensure that residents of Boston’s Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan neighborhoods benefit from the rising tide of transit and other public investments. She was awarded the LISC’s President’s award in 2014 for her work on comprehensive community development. Melissa has also served in youth empowerment organizations, as a program specialist for the City of Alameda, and as a program analyst for the City of Oakland’s Oakland Fund for Children and Youth. Early in her career, she served as director of professional development for Partners in School Innovation where she trained staff to support school reform efforts in San Francisco Unified, San Jose Unified, and Oak Grove Unified school districts. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from California State University East Bay.
@nataliefoster @EconomicSecProj Natalie Foster is Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Economic Security Project and is an expert on the future of work. In 2013, Natalie co-founded and launched Peers.org to support people who work in the sharing and on-demand economy. Prior to Peers, she was the CEO and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for people-driven economic change, with Van Jones. Previously, Natalie served as digital director for President Obama’s Organizing for America (OFA) and the Democratic National Committee. Natalie built the first digital department at the Sierra Club and served as the deputy organizing director for MoveOn.org. She’s been awarded fellowships at Institute for the Future, Rockwood Leadership Institute, and New America California.
@farrellERA @EqualRightsAdv Noreen Farrell is the Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), one of the nation’s leading legal non-profits advocating for women and girls at work and school. She is a nationally recognized leader on a variety of gender justice issues. She chairs the Equal Pay Today! Campaign, a national campaign led by ERA and 20 other organizational partners closing the gender wage gap in states across the country. She also founded and now chairs A Stronger California Advocates Network, a collaboration of 30 organizations advancing a comprehensive women’s economic security policy agenda. A key victory of the Stronger California Campaign in 2015 was passage of the California Fair Pay Act, a bill co-sponsored by ERA that is the strongest equal pay law in the country. Noreen also leads national impact efforts to address gender discrimination in schools, sexual harassment, workplace leave and accommodation, and the protection of caregivers from discrimination at work. Noreen’s entire legal career has been dedicated to the pursuit of social justice. She has been named one of the 2012 Top Women Leaders in Law by The Recorder, one of the 2013 Top 100 Women Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal, and one of the Top Legal Innovators of 2014 by The Recorder. Noreen is a graduate of Yale University and the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where she was Editor-In-Chief of the Hastings Women’s Law Journal.
@priskaneely @KPCC @LAist Priska Neely covers issues facing children 0-5 and those who care for them, and the policies and research that shape early childhood. She co-reported Broke: Why more California families are becoming homeless, which won the award for best radio documentary from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California. She joined the station in 2015, as KPCC’s arts education reporter. Prior to that, Priska was at NPR for “Weekend All Things Considered” and “Talk of the Nation.” Priska was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she spent her first five years in her mom’s home day care. She studied journalism at New York University.
@skimberCA @CalBudgetCenter Sara Kimberlin is a Senior Policy Analyst with the California Budget & Policy Center. She joined the organization in January 2017, bringing with her more than 15 years of experience in California in the fields of policy analysis, social science research, human services, and housing. Sara came to the Budget Center from the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, where she continues to be an Affiliate. At the Center on Poverty and Inequality, she conducted research and analysis of poverty trends, safety-net programs, and policy proposals intended to improve outcomes for low-income families and individuals. Sara has also worked as a research fellow for the John Burton Foundation, focusing on child welfare policy; as development director for Shelter Network (now LifeMoves), a homeless services nonprofit; and as an independent consultant to nonprofits, foundations, and cross-sector partnerships, specializing in workforce development, housing, and safety-net supports. She holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.
@SenToniAtkins Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins was born and raised in southwestern Virginia, the daughter of a miner and a seamstress, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia. She moved to San Diego in 1985, and before becoming involved in public service, she worked as director of clinic services at Womancare Health Center. Senator Atkins served as an aide to San Diego City Councilmember and LGBT trailblazer Christine Kehoe, and, in 2000, was elected to replace Kehoe as the council’s District 3 representative. During her eight-year tenure, Atkins provided steady leadership as interim Mayor of San Diego amid a challenging and tumultuous time at City Hall. Elected by voters to the state Assembly in 2010, Atkins served there for six years. In 2014, her colleagues selected her to be the Speaker of the Assembly, the first San Diegan and the first lesbian to hold the position. She counts a major $7.5-billion water bond and creation of the state’s first Earned Income Tax Credit among her proudest accomplishments as Speaker. In 2016, Senator Atkins was elected to represent the 39th District in the state Senate and was appointed to the prestigious Rules Committee, in addition to the committees on Transportation and Housing, Health, Labor and Industrial Relations, and Natural Resources and Water. Among the bills she got passed and signed was SB 2, which created a permanent source of funding for affordable housing, a signature piece of legislation she had worked on for seven years. In 2018, after just one year in the Senate, she was elected by her colleagues to be the next Senate President pro Tempore, becoming the first woman and the first openly LGBTQ person to lead the Legislature’s upper house.
@HollyJMitchell Senator Holly J. Mitchell has served in California’s Legislature since 2011. She was elected in 2014 to represent the 30th Senate District, which stretches from Century City to South Los Angeles. Senator Mitchell chairs the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, and serves on the Senate’s Health, Insurance, Labor and Employment, and Public Safety Committees and on the Joint Committee on Rules. She also founded the Senate Select Committee on Women and Inequality, and belongs to both the Black Caucus and Women’s Caucus. During her six years in the Legislature, Senator Mitchell has obtained passage into law of more than 50 bills focused on improving human services, expanding access to health care, securing women’s reproductive rights, protecting the environment, ending the trafficking of minors, defending the civil rights of minorities and the undocumented and, above all, reducing the numbers of children growing up in poverty. Prior to becoming a legislator, Senator Mitchell headed California’s largest child and family development organization, Crystal Stairs, and worked for the Western Center on Law and Poverty. She has been recognized as the 2017 Lois DeBerry Scholar by Women in Government Leadership and has been designated Legislator of the Year by the Courage Campaign, University of California, Los Angeles Labor Center, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project, the Sierra Club, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the Black Business Association, Community Coalition, Aging Services of California, the Miracle Mile and Culver City Democratic Clubs, the California Welfare Directors Association, Easter Seals, and United Cerebral Palsy.
@SenMariaEDurazo Senator María Elena Durazo was born the seventh child in a family of eleven children to migrant worker parents. Growing up, María Elena traveled with her family, following the crops throughout California and Oregon, and experiencing the exploitative conditions and hardships that migrant laborers suffer. In spite of these obstacles, María Elena attended St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, and graduated in 1975. In college she became involved in the Chicano Movement at the urging of her older brother. Then she entered the labor movement as an organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (later called UNITE, the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees). While working as a union organizer, she pursued an education in law at the People’s College of Law and earned her degree in 1985. By 1987, María Elena was ready to lead a drive by the rank and file of HERE Local 11 to make the union more responsive to its majority-Latino membership. The organizing drive successfully instituted a shop steward system that educated the rank and file on their rights, workers were now able to participate in negotiating their union contracts and all meetings and publications were from then on bilingual. In 2004, she became the Executive Vice President of UNITE-HERE International, the organization made up of the UNITE and HERE unions which had merged. In 2008, María Elena served as the Vice Chair of the Democratic National Convention Committee and as National Co-Chair of the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign. From 2006 through 2014, she was the first woman Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, the second largest labor council in the country and served on the National AFL-CIO Executive Council. Besides her union work, María Elena has served on many civic commissions and boards. Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley appointed her to the Los Angeles Commission on Airports, Mayor Richard Riordan appointed her to the Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Committee and she has also served on the California State Coastal Commission.
@Senator_Hurtado Senator Melissa Hurtado represents the 14th Senate District, which includes cities in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties. She grew up in the Central Valley. As the daughter of immigrant parents and the first in her family to graduate from college, she knows firsthand what it means to achieve the American dream. That is why she is serving in the State Senate – to advocate for access to healthcare, quality schools, good paying jobs, and the opportunity for a better life. After getting her bachelor’s degree at California State University, Sacramento, Senator Hurtado returned home to the valley to serve her community and build a better life for valley families. She served on the Sanger city council from 2016 until her election to the Senate in November 2018. On the Sanger City Council she helped create high-wage jobs, balanced the budget, and built a reserve, all without raising taxes. Before she served on the city council, Senator Hurtado worked as a community organizer for public employees, where she helped lead the fight for good wages, health care coverage and retirement security. In the Senate, she will work across the aisle to improve the quality of life in the Valley and ensure Valley voices are heard at all levels of government. Senator Hurtado is a proud resident of Sanger.
@surinakhan @womensfoundca Surina Khan is CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California where she leads the Foundation’s work to advance gender, racial, and economic justice. The Foundation’s program strategy is focused on building community-based power through investing in non-profit organizations, training community leaders in policy advocacy, connecting key partners, and mobilizing significant financial resources. For more than two decades, Surina has been a leader in the philanthropic and non-profit social justice sector starting with local community-based publishing in New England and then shifting to national and global work on an array of social justice issues including gender justice, LGBT rights, human rights, and democratic and civic participation. She served the social justice and philanthropic sector in a variety of ways including previous positions at the Ford Foundation, OutRight Action International, and Political Research Associates. She is Co-Chair of the Board of Funders for Reproductive Equity and serves on several other boards including Voices for Progress, Alliance for Justice, La Cocina, and the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative. Her previous board service has included Funders for LGBTQ Issues and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. She is a recognized expert on gender, racial, and economic justice issues and is a frequent commentator on the power of women’s philanthropy.
@TylerAguilar_CA @UCAdvocacy Tyler Aguilar is the Legislative Director of Academic and Student Affairs for the University of California, Office of the President. Tyler serves as one of University of California’s primary representatives to state elected officials and state agencies in Sacramento, and represents the University’s positions on legislative and policy matters. Prior to this, Tyler served as a California Senate Fellow in State Senator Richard Pan’s office, where he primarily worked on K-12 and higher education policy. Tyler was born and raised in Sacramento County. He now lives in the heart of downtown Sacramento and serves on the city’s local parks commission as a volunteer. Tyler is a graduate of San Diego State University.
@veronicalucha @CAcalls Veronica Carrizales is the Policy and Campaign Development Director of California Calls, a powerful alliance of 31 grassroots community-based organizations in 12 counties around the state. The centerpiece of California Calls work is to achieve progressive, long-term tax and fiscal policy reform by engaging underrepresented, low-income voters in state public policy decision-making. Veronica spearheads and coordinates policy analysis and coalition-building for California Calls, including the current campaign to significantly increase funding for public schools, community colleges, and local services by reforming Proposition 13’s commercial property system. She leads expansion into new regions of the state, shapes policy analysis, and maintains partnerships with key statewide allies. Veronica is a first-generation Chicana who was raised in the Coachella Valley with nine siblings in a farmworker family. She is passionate about advancing the cause of social and economic justice. Veronica currently serves on the board of directors for the California Budget & Policy Center and Human Impact Partners.