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2018 Public Policy Conference

Monday, April 23, 2018
8:00am - 3:30pm
The California Endowment Center for Healthy Communities
1000 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
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The legislation currently being debated in Washington, DC and Sacramento could result in significant changes for the philanthropy sector and our communities.
Building on the success of last year's Conference, we are once again partnering with the California Budget & Policy Center, which engages in independent fiscal and policy analysis and public education with the goal of improving public policies affecting the economic and social well-being of low- and middle-income Californians. At this event, we will come together to take an in-depth look at the latest policy analysis and research and to prepare for and address key issues impacting our work. This year's conference will have a special focus on the 2020 Census, supporting full federal and state funding for a fair and accurate count, as well as higher education policy changes. 

We hope you can join us on April 23rd for a day of candid conversations about our sector's role in advocacy efforts that strengthen our communities. Stay tuned for more details!










Chris Hoene, Executive Director, California Budget & Policy Center

Chris Hoene became the Budget Center’s Executive Director in October 2012, bringing to the organization 15 years of leadership in state and local policy research and analysis. He leads the strategic direction of the organization, acts as primary spokesperson and works with the Board of Directors and community partners to implement our vision and mission. Prior to joining the Budget Center, he was the Director of the Center for Research and Innovation at the National League of Cities in Washington, D.C., leading efforts to analyze trends in local and state government and promote constructive policy action on issues including public finance, economic development, housing, poverty reduction, infrastructure and governance. He previously worked for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in D.C. and the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco. 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. In 2011, in recognition of his service to the state and local community, Chris was elected as a Fellow into the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).


Ruth Holton-Hodson, Senior Policy Advisor, Health and Retirement Initiatives, California State Treasurer John Chiang

Ruth Holton-Hodson has spent her 30-year career as a consumer advocate in the government, philanthropic and non-profit sectors. Currently, she leads the outreach and stakeholder engagement efforts for California Secure Choice. Prior to that, she served for 6 years as the Deputy Controller for Health and Consumer Policy. She spent almost 10 years working for The California Wellness Foundation as a Special Projects Director and then Director of Public Policy focused on increasing access to health care in low income communities and educating the philanthropic sector about public policy grantmaking. She was the advocate and then Executive Director for California Common Cause where she ran two successful statewide initiative campaigns on campaign finance and ethics reforms. She began her public policy career as a lobbyist for the California Children’s Lobby. She has a Master’s in Educational Administration from The University of Chicago.



Peter Manzo, President & CEO, United Ways of California

pete manzo 2Peter Manzo is the President and  CEO of United Ways of California, which improves health, education and financial results for low-income children and families by enhancing and coordinating the community impact and advocacy work of California’s United Ways. Previously, he was the Director of Strategic Initiatives for The Advancement Project, a civil rights “action tank” that advances equity and expands opportunity for low income and vulnerable people; Executive Director and General Counsel of the Center for Nonprofit Management, where he directed the expansion of the Center's information, training, consulting, technology and search and compensation services to nonprofits; and Directing Attorney of Community Development Programs for Public Counsel. He is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley; he also is a graduate of the London School of Economics, where he received a Master's degree in Political Sociology and the University of Notre Dame, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Government.



Joseph Tomás Mckellar, Co-Director, PICO California

Joseph Tomás Mckellar is Co-Director of PICO California, the largest faith-based community organization in the state. He has been leading efforts to grow grassroots organizing capacity for racial, economic, health and environmental equity across California. In 2017, he led PICO California’s organizing efforts to win SB 54, The California Values Act, which became the country’s strongest sanctuary legislation protecting immigrant families from deportations and opening new pathways to rehabilitation for ex-offenders. In 2016, Joseph served as Faith in the Valley’s founding Interim Director, leading efforts in the San Joaquin Valley to launch a powerful regional organization at its “Founding Convention” with 1,500 people from 6 counties and 16 labor and community partners.





The Honorable Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State

Alex Padilla was sworn in as California Secretary of State on January 5, 2015. Previously, he served in the California State Senate (2006-2014) where he chaired the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications. Padilla graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. He recently completed a five-year term as a member of the MIT Corporation (Board of Trustees). Previously, he worked for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and then-Assemblymember Tony Cardenas. In 1999, at the age of 26, he was elected to the Los Angeles City Council to represent the east San Fernando Valley community where he grew up. In 2001, his colleagues elected him to the first of three terms as Council President, becoming the youngest member and the first Latino to serve in this capacity. In 2005, Padilla was elected President of the League of California Cities. In 2006, he was elected to the California State Senate. He was reelected in 2010. Padilla previously served as President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), a non-partisan organization made up of more than 6,000 federal, state and local officials dedicated to all aspects of civic engagement.


Ashley Swearengin, President and CEO, Central Valley Community Foundation

Ashley Swearengin is the President and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation, a charitable foundation serving the six counties of Central California and providing over $110 million in funding to over 650 community benefit organizations.  Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the mayor of Fresno from 2009 through 2016. As mayor, she focused her efforts on improving distressed neighborhoods, revitalizing the downtown and urban core, promoting business and job growth, securing the city’s long-term water supply, addressing chronic homelessness and stabilizing the city’s financial position. Before becoming mayor, she led a number of community and economic development initiatives in the Central Valley, including the Governor’s Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development and the Central Valley Business Incubator. She sits on numerous boards of organizations dedicated to economic empowerment and educational attainment, including the College Futures Foundation, California Competes, California Forward, New America and FUSE Corps. She holds MBA and BS degrees from California State University, Fresno.


Dr. Timothy P. White, Chancellor, California State University (CSU)

Dr. Timothy P. White is chancellor of the California State University. As chancellor, he leads a university of 23 campuses and a global community of 479,000 students, 50,000 faculty and staff and more than 3.3 million alumni. He also leads the CSU as it embarks on an ambitious systemwide plan – Graduation Initiative 2025 – to increase graduation rates, decrease time to degree and eliminate achievement gaps for
all students by recruiting more faculty, hiring more advisors and student-support staff, providing new tools and adding thousands of more classes over the next decade. Prior to joining CSU, White held senior academic and administrative positions at the University of Michigan, Oregon State University, University of Idaho and at University of California campuses in Berkeley and Riverside. White deeply believes in and is a product of California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, having pursued his higher education from Diablo Valley Community College, Fresno State, California State University, East Bay and the University of California, Berkeley.



Presenting Sponsor


Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors


For more information on sponsorship opportunities, click here, or contact Amanda Byrd - (213) 680-8866 ext. 226 or [email protected].


Conference Partner

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SCG, NCG and SDG members can attend at no cost through our Philanthropy California partnership.
Non-Members: $250

Who May Attend
Current SCG members and grantmakers eligible for SCG membership.

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.