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2020 Election Debrief: What is Next for the Environment in Southern California?

Friday, November 20, 2020
10:30am - 12:00pm PST
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $100.00
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This funder convening will take place two and a half weeks after what many believe is one of the most consequential elections in this nation’s history. While the election impacts all aspects of life in Southern California, this convening will bring together environmental leaders to reflect on what the results mean for our region on issues related to climate change, environmental justice, urban sustainability, watershed health, open space and ecosystem protection and air quality.

This session will explore what policies and laws might be on the horizon, as well as whether there might be key funding streams or cuts impacting a broad section of programs. It will also explore the role of philanthropy in this moment, both what would be helpful and what wouldn’t be.

The convening will continue lifting up themes from previous SCG Environmental Funder Peer Group convenings, including building an anti-racist environmental movement, accelerating a just transition framework, cultivating Environmental Leadership and Power Building, Leadership and Civic Engagement).

Please note that SCG has a no solicitation policy in order to allow candid peer discussions among philanthropic professionals. SCG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nonpartisan organization. Attendees may hear comments from speakers — or from peers in the room — which reflect personal opinions and do not represent the opinions of SCG or webinar co-hosts. We endeavor to create spaces for civic discourse and request that you frame questions and perspectives in a way that is respectful to all participants.
SCG and webinar co-hosts are 501(c)(3) organizations and do not support or oppose candidates. This funder-only webinar is intended as a learning opportunity. Click here for more information on c3 permissible activities.

About the SCG Environmental Funders Group

The SCG Environmental Funders Group meets quarterly to educate prospective and current environmental funders about environmental challenges and opportunities in Southern California as well as fostering collaboration and to share successes and challenges. Please contact Katy Pelissier at [email protected] for more information or visit the group’s page on the Southern California Grantmakers’ website.



Roger Perez

Program Officer, The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation

As Program Officer, Roger leverages his deep commitment to the social sector as he works with organizations and initiatives centered on Affordable Housing Preservation, Criminal Justice Reform, Environmental Justice. Roger is responsible for helping guide the Foundation’s programmatic strategy and portfolio theory. He is also playing a role in the organization’s emerging Impact Investing and deepening relationships in the field of philanthropy. Prior to joining RPDFF, Roger was a strategic financial advisor with Nonprofit Finance Fund – a national nonprofit and community development financial institution that serves nonprofit organizations and foundations. He led projects focused on business model analyses, growth scenarios, and organizational assessments with social sector organizations seeking to understand their full costs of service provision and improve societal outcomes. Throughout his career, Roger has worked with both nonprofit and for-profit clients as a consultant, project manager, and researcher in the United States and abroad. He currently serves on the board of California ChangeLawyers, Steering Committee of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, and is an active member of the Switzer Environmental Leadership and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer networks. Roger received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina, Asheville, a Master of Arts in International Development and a Master of Business Administration from Brandeis University.


Sam Ricketts

Co-founder and Senior Policy Advisor, Evergreen

Twitter: @EvergreenAction

Sam Ricketts is a co-founder and senior policy advisor for Evergreen. Sam also works as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Previously, he led climate policy and strategy as climate director for Governor Jay Inslee’s presidential campaign. In prior roles Ricketts was the first executive director of the Congressional Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition (SEEC), and worked in the Washington State Governor’s Office, Democratic Governors Association, Working Families Party, and in several federal and state campaigns. Ricketts is a graduate of Syracuse University and a native of Seattle, Washington. He currently resides in Washington, DC with his wife and toddler-aged son.

Cara Horowitz

Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA School of Law

Twitter: @carahorowitz, @uclalawemmett

Cara Horowitz is the Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. The Emmett Institute was founded as the first law school center in the nation focused on climate law and policy. Cara teaches at the law school and directs the work of the Emmett Center to advance innovative research, public policy debate, and legislative reform to address climate change and its effects.

Cara’s areas of focus include California and federal climate policy and local sustainability. She has testified to the California legislature on climate policy and has been quoted in the Washington Post, the Daily Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and other media. She serves on the governing boards of local and national environmental organizations, including the Climate Law Institute, Climate Resolve, and the Green LA Coalition.

Prior to joining UCLA, Cara worked in the non-profit sector as a staff attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, where she litigated high-profile cases and advocated domestically and internationally to preserve and protect oceans and wildlife. She has also worked at Caldwell, Leslie and Proctor, a litigation boutique, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Horowitz is a 2001 graduate of the UCLA School of Law, where she was an articles editor of the UCLA Law Review and finished first in her class.

Katie Valenzuela

Sacramento City Council Member, District 4

Twitter: @Katie4Council@CRPE_EJ; @greenlining

Katie Valenzuela was elected in March 2020 to serve on the Sacramento City Council for District 4. For her day job, Katie is a state-level advocate for environmental justice, where she works to elevate the voices of frontline community members at the State Capitol and with the Newsom Administration. Katie has over 10 years of experience in public policy and environmental justice. Katie was a founding member of the Sacramento Community Land Trust and the Sacramento Urban Agriculture Coalition, and served as co-chair of the state's Environmental Justice Advisory Committee before serving as the first consultant for the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies. Katie was born and raised in Oildale, California, and holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in community development from U.C. Davis.

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Members: $0
Non-Members: $100

Who May Attend
Current SCG, Smarth Growth California, EGA members and eligible non-members.

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

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