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Public Policy

Public Policy

Southern California Grantmakers is at an exciting time in our history. We are expanding upon our more than 40-year legacy of building relationships between the private and public sectors while enhancing the impact of individual and collaborative projects for the public good. To that end, the SCG Public Policy Advisory Committee supports our members working in the policy realm. The Committee will work to frame the philanthropy public policy conversation on a local, state and federal level by:

  • Educating SCG members on political and legislative issues affecting philanthropy and the issue areas philanthropy supports.
  • Fostering engagement and collaborations with policymakers and the philanthropic sector to advance the work of philanthropy and build strong communities.

The work of the Committee will help SCG members influence the legislative process and take action on emerging public policy issues that advance the work of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. If you are interested in receiving updates on SCG's public policy work, please edit your profile and indicate your interest in Public Policy & Advocacy under "Professional Development Interests”. Please check back often for the latest news, resources, and events.

For more information, please contact Seyron Foo, Director, Public Policy & Government Relations, at [email protected]


SCG’s Public Policy Team organizes grantmakers to develop and strengthen philanthropy's voice in public policy. We envision a collaborative philanthropic sector that catalyzes and shapes public policy for an equitable and vibrant Southern California. We achieve this vision through public-private partnerships, strategic cross-sector convenings, evaluation of public services, and policy advocacy.

Our policy work includes heightened coordination with our statewide initiative, Philanthropy California, to study, dialogue, demonstrate and advocate for policies that advance economic justice, humane treatment of all persons, and racial justice. 

We equip grantmakers to learn about and focus on the following: 

  • Child Welfare
  • Economic Inclusion
  • Environment
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Immigrant Communities
  • Issues Affecting Philanthropy and Nonprofits
  • Justice Reinvestments
  • Social Safety Net
  • Veterans Affairs 

The SCG Public Policy Committee will consider adding agenda items as appropriate and relevant.

  • Child Welfare: We advocate using philanthropy’s convening role to advance public policy that supports the healthy development of children. We bring together different governmental agencies and nonprofit partners to identify opportunities for effective systems change while enabling grantmakers with less policy background to participate in this process. 
  • Justice Reinvestments: We support justice reinvestment efforts that advance sentencing reform; promote alternatives to incarceration; invest in prevention; and increase successful civic, economic, and social reentry.
  • Economic Inclusion: We support an inclusive market economy that ensures anyone, regardless of their race, gender, age or other circumstance, over which they have no control, has full and fair access to economic opportunity, including economic, workforce, and financial development. 
  • Environment: We believe that the environmental health of our communities is a key component for a vibrant society. We primarily focus on climate change resiliency and air and water quality in our region.
  • Housing and Homelessness: Affordable housing is essential for our communities. We support public investments in permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing homelessness, tax policies that support affordable housing and community development, and streamlining of approvals for the construction of affordable housing. 
  • Immigrant Communities: We believe civic, economic, and social immigrant inclusion contributes to a thriving California. We stand for federal immigration policies and practices that provide fair and humane treatment, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; ensuring that immigrants can safely access vital social services; and guaranteeing immigrants are counted in the 2020 Census. Furthermore, we support inclusive comprehensive immigration reform efforts that safely enable people to become citizens.  
  • Social Safety Net: We recognize that the cross-cutting social safety net plays an essential role in ensuring that Californians have access to social services that offer a greater quality of life, including, but not limited to health care, food security, and housing. While government is primarily responsible for public programs, we also recognize philanthropy’s ability to re-imagine government through collective impact and partnerships. These partnerships can lead and have led to innovative pilot programs that make government more responsive. We equip grantmakers to become involved in this process while adamantly opposing changes that unsustainably shift the responsibility to philanthropy and nonprofits.
  • Veterans Affairs: We support systems change efforts that ensure veterans and their families safely reintegrate into their communities and that veterans reliably receive the benefits and supports which their service guarantees. 
  • Issues Affecting Philanthropy and Nonprofits: We believe in advancing public policy that nurtures our nation’s philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to strengthen and grow our civil society. We do so by protecting nonprofit nonpartisanship and fair tax policy that promotes charitable giving.

James Alva
Citi Community Development


Ken Chawkins
Southern California Gas Company


Efrain Escobedo
California Community Foundation


Shirley Fredricks
The Lawrence Welk Family Foundation


Wendy Garen
The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation


Shane Goldsmith
Liberty Hill Foundation


Shawn Landres
Doran Fund


Deidre Lind
Pfaffinger Foundation


Connie Malloy
The James Irvine Foundation


Steven Nissen
NBCUniversal - Legal Division


Tara Roth
Goldhirsh Foundation


Beatriz Solis
The California Endowment


Paul Vandeventer
Community Partners

SCG Policy Updates

Monday, June 24, 2019
June marks the conclusion of budget season in the State Capitol!

Monday, June 24, 2019
The California State Legislature passed a $214.8 billion budget that makes “one-time” investments in key priority areas, such as homelessness, ongoing commitments to health access and early childhood, and contributions to “rainy day” funds that pr

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority unveiled that in 2019, the homeless population increased by an average of 3

Public Policy Resources

Monday, May 13, 2019
Governor Newsom's May Revision to his proposed 2019-20 state budget continues to call for bold investments in creating economic security and opportunities for Californians, while also fostering the state’s fiscal health.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley has released a primer on the “targeted universalism” framework, which allows for new, creative policy remedies to achieve goals of universal access and inclusion.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Thank you to everyone who attended our 2019 Public Policy Conference!

Monday, April 8, 2019
As California embarks on a new era of leadership in state government, philanthropy has a civic opportunity to help pave the roads ahead for our state.

Monday, March 25, 2019
In this Issue Spotlight on Legislation: Donor Advised Funds  

Signature Programs

Thursday, July 18, 2019
10:00am - 12:00pm
Registration for this program has closed.... more

Public Policy News

Thursday, March 28, 2019
Dear Colleagues:

Thursday, February 14, 2019
Los Angeles District Attorney Moves Toward Systems-Change:  New Mental Health Division and Philanthropic Support  

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Dear Colleagues:

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Voter Engagement and Racial Equity Spotlight on Seattle’s Democracy Vouchers and Philanthropy’s Role in Getting out the Vote   By Eric Schroer, Public Policy Intern

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Dear Colleagues: