Back to top

Urban, Green Infrastructure Under the New Administration

Friday, February 19, 2021
10:30am - 12:00pm PST
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $100.00
Add to Calendar

This funder convening takes place within the first 100 days of the next presidential administration and will explore its impact on the urban environment in Southern California. With cabinet level positions mostly in place, we’ll explore potential impacts healthy, equitable and sustainable urban regions. Specifically, we’ll explore prospective funding, policies and regulations that will spur investments in sustainable transportation, equitable urban infill housing, parks and open space and green infrastructure investments, all of which could generate multiple benefits both for the environment and people.

We’ll learn from national and statewide leaders working in the space of sustainable and equitable urban development with an eye towards climate and racial justice, and explore how Southern California could play a leadership role in implementing green solutions. You’ll learn about strategies to protect the environment, especially in communities that are disproportionally affected by environmental injustices. You’ll also have an opportunity to connect and engage in conversation with other concerned funders, exploring how philanthropy can help make a difference. This convening is part of a series of quarterly conversations hosted by the Southern California Grantmakers Environmental Funders Group.

The convening will continue lifting up themes from previous SCG Environmental Funder Peer Group convenings, including our 2020 election debrief, building an anti-racist environmental movement, accelerating a just transition framework, cultivating Environmental Leadership and Power Building, Leadership and Civic Engagement.



Cecilia V. Estolano

CEO and Founder, Estolano Advisors

Cecilia has worked directly with public, private, institutional and non-profit clients to plan, finance, design, implement, and operate policy-driven programs and projects that promote sustainable solutions tailored for each community.

Known for her progressive thought leadership, Cecilia has helped to envision, plan, entitle and structure real estate transactions in support of mixed-use, urban infill redevelopment projects that advance green urbanism and environmental stewardship. As an advisor to the Goldhirsh Foundation, Surdna Foundation and Open Society Foundation, she has helped design programs and grant-making strategies that promote inclusive and sustainable economic development.

Cecilia believes that public education is pivotal to building thriving communities. She is currently a Regent of the University of California and has served as President of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. She has taught courses on equitable urban development and law and the quality of urban life at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design.

Cecilia sits on the boards of Urban Manufacturing Alliance and the National Employment Law Project. She previously served on the California Coastal Commission and on the boards of Manufacturing Renaissance, the California League of Conservation Voters, Lambda Legal, and California YMCA Youth and Government.

Prior to founding Estolano Advisors in 2011, Cecilia served as Chief Executive Officer of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA); practiced land use and environmental law while Of Counsel at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; and served as Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the Clinton Administration, and as Environmental Policy Advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.

Cecilia received an A.B. with honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law.

Calvin Gladney

President and CEO, Smart Growth America

Calvin Gladney, LEED AP, is President and CEO of Smart Growth America and is a nationally recognized thought leader on the equitable and sustainable revitalization of communities. Prior to being named President and CEO of Smart Growth America in April of 2018, Mr. Gladney was Managing Partner of Mosaic Urban Partners, a real estate development and advisory services firm that advised non-profits, cities, and elected officials on how to sustainably and equitably regenerate their communities. In 2017, Mr. Gladney was also the Urban Land Institute’s Senior Visiting Fellow for Equity.

Over the past ten years, Mr. Gladney has worked on community revitalization projects in more than 25 cities and has served as a strategic advisor on projects with estimated development costs of over $1B and totaling more than 5M square feet of planned development. He has worked on community revitalization projects throughout the United States including projects in Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Boston, Denver, Detroit, the District of Columbia, Grand Rapids, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Louisville, Memphis, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Prince George’s County, MD. Mr. Gladney through Mosaic was also part of the team that developed a new 31-unit apartment building and a separate two-story restaurant in Washington, DC.

Prior to founding Mosaic, Mr. Gladney served as Vice President of the Anacostia Waterfront Corp. (AWC), a DC quasi-public real estate corporation where he assisted the CEO with the management of the Corporation and was the project manager for a master-planned, mixed-use redevelopment of 67 acres of city land. Mr. Gladney also previously served as the General Counsel and Transactions Manager at BRIDGE Housing Corporation, a private developer in San Francisco, CA. At BRIDGE Mr. Gladney was the lead businessperson in the investment of $60 million of CalPERS equity in multiple real estate development deals. He also provided strategic advice on the development and management of more than 2,700 apartments throughout California.

Mr. Gladney graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, received his BS from Cornell University and is a LEED Accredited Professional. He is a trustee of the Urban Land Institute and a board member of the Center for Community Progress. He is also a member of ULI’s national Public/Private Partnership Council (Blue Flight). Mr. Gladney also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Masters in Real Estate Program where he teaches real estate entrepreneurship and a real estate market analysis class. In his spare time Mr. Gladney…Mr. Gladney doesn’t have any spare time. But he will make time for you. You can connect with him on Twitter and Instagram @SmartGrowthCEO. 

Alfredo Gonzalez 

Director, Southern California, Resources Legacy Fund 

Alfredo leads efforts to broaden and diversify the constituency for environmental conservation with a specific focus on engaging communities of color and younger Californians. Prior to working at RLF, Alfredo served as director of the South Coast and Deserts Region for The Nature Conservancy, where he managed various programs including a Los Angeles-based urban conservation project and oversaw large scale land protection and habitat restoration projects across the region. Alfredo previously served in senior government affairs positions for the Southern California Association of Governments and the County of Santa Clara, and was a policy analyst for Latino Issues Forum in San Francisco. Alfredo received a BA in Communications from UC Berkeley and an MA in Public Administration from California State University, Los Angeles.

Kate Gordon 

Director, State of California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

Kate Gordon has spent the past two decades working at the intersection of climate change, energy policy, and economic development. Gordon was appointed Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and Senior Advisor to the Governor on Climate by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 7, 2019. Trained as a community organizer, and later in law and regional economic development, her focus has long been on bringing diverse groups together to work toward a more sustainable, inclusive economy. Prior to being appointed OPR Director, Gordon was the founding director of the Risky Business Project, which focused on quantifying the economic impacts of climate change on U.S. energy demand, crop yields, and coastal infrastructure as well as on human health and mortality. As part of this work, Gordon consulted numerous investors and corporations on strategies to reduce climate risks across investments and assets, and also served as a co-author on the Fourth National Climate Assessment's chapter on “Reducing Risks Through Adaptation Actions.”

Prior to her work on Risky Business, Gordon served in senior leadership positions at several nonpartisan think tanks including the Henry M. Paulson Institute, the Center for the Next Generation, the Center for American Progress, and as a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. Gordon got her start on energy and climate issues working to craft progressive policies at the intersection of labor, business, community, and environmental interests at the national Apollo Alliance, where she ultimately served as co-Executive Director until the merger with the Blue-Green Alliance in 2011. Under her leadership, the Apollo Alliance drafted key parts of the American Recovery And Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) including the Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit and a competitive grant program for green jobs training, and also partnered with the AFL-CIO to draft the "just transition" portions of the proposed American Clean Energy and Security Act (aka the "Waxman-Markey bill").

Gordon earned a J.D. and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California-Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University. Along with her role in state government, Gordon regularly co-teaches a course at Stanford Law School entitled "Climate: Politics, Finance, and Infrastructure."

About 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 and foster collaboration, and 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. This program is part of SCG's 2021 recurring programs. To register for all upcoming dates, please click the "Register for Recurring Dates" button. This feature is only open to members; please contact us if you are a non-member and wish to register for the series at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866.

Quarterly Dates

Wednesday, May 21 | 10:00am - 12:00pm Learn more >>>

Friday, August 20 | 10:30am - 12:00pm Learn more >>>

Friday, November 19 | 10:30am - 12:00pm   Learn more >>>


Presented in partnership with 



Envirnmental Grantmakers Association_1.jpg


Members of SCG, Smart Growth CA, and EGA: $0
Non-Members: $100

Who May Attend
Current SCG, Smart Growth CA, and EGA members and eligible non-members.

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
Smart Growth CA and EGA members: email Jacqueline Carillo at [email protected]
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account Jacqueline Carillo at [email protected]
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions