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Sessions 2019 Public Policy Conference

Plenary Sessions


Morning Plenary

The Whole ChildFrom Cradle to Career: A Generational Opportunity to Lift California’s Most Impoverished Children and Families

Governor Gavin Newsom has made bold new investments in California’s children - from $1.8 billion in early childhood investments and the nation’s most comprehensive paid family leave policy, to appointing Senior Policy Advisors in early childhood and cradle to career. How can philanthropy educate, advocate and partner with government, at the state and local levels, to ensure the most effective and equitable implementation of these bold investments and policy proposals?

  • Moderator: Priska Neely, Senior Reporter, Early Childhood, KPCC, Southern California Public Radio 
  • Chris Hoene, Executive Director, California Budget & Policy Center
  • Kim Pattillo Brownson, Vice President, Policy and Strategy, First 5 LA
  • Giannina Pérez, Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom


Afternoon Plenary

The Governor's Proposed 2019-20 State Budget: Key Context and Implications for Grantmakers

What will the Governor’s proposed budget mean for crucial safety net services that are central to so much of our sector’s grantmaking? As we seek to improve outcomes for our communities and all Californians, we’ll explore the implications of the upcoming budget debate and discuss opportunities for philanthropy to support long-term policy change.

  • Moderator: Chris Hoene, Executive Director, California Budget & Policy Center
  • Antonia Hernández, President and CEO, California Community Foundation
  • Lisa Hershey, Executive Director, Housing California


Morning Breakout Sessions


A Cultural Shift in Justice Reinvestment for Young People

In his inaugural address, Governor Gavin Newsom vowed to tackle criminal justice reform with new proposals, including transferring the state’s youth prison system to the Health and Human Services Agency. At the local level, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is also seeking to transform the justice system. Earlier this year, the Supervisors approved a historic public-private partnership between the Probation Department and two of the area’s leading grantmakers. Learn how public dollars will be allocated to community foundations, which will allow for faster distribution of public funds and create access for community-based nonprofits that might otherwise lack the infrastructure to compete for county funds.

  • Moderator: Kate Anderson, Director, Center for Strategic Partnerships
  • Efrain Escobedo, Vice President, Education & Immigration, California Community Foundation
  • Julio Marcial, Director, Youth Justice, Liberty Hill Foundation
  • Sheila Mitchell, Chief Deputy, Los Angeles County Probation Department


Redrawing California: 2020 Census and Redistricting

Counting nearly 400 million people will require cooperation among federal, state and local governments, community-based organizations and philanthropy. Census data informs how political districts are drawn and how more than $76 billion for federal programs is allocated in California. It is essential to make the count as accurate as possible to ensure that Californians receive our share of resources, and that our Congressional, state, and local legislative seats are drawn fairly for equal political representation. Redistricting comes immediately after the Census and will have a high-stakes impact on public sector leadership, political power and financial resources for the decade that follows.

Join us for a robust discussion on how philanthropy can support outreach, education and technical assistance in our communities for the upcoming 2020 Census, and how those efforts will relate to the subsequent redistricting process.

  • Moderator: Tara Westman, Senior Program Manager, The California Endowment
  • John Kim, Executive Director, Advancement Project
  • Rey López-Calderón, JD, Executive Director, California Common Cause
  • Connie Malloy, Chair, California Citizens Redistricting Commission; Portfolio Director, The James Irvine Foundation


Update on Measure H: Progress and Opportunities for Funders

In March 2017, voters approved Measure H, a quarter-cent sales tax to fund supportive services, housing, outreach and prevention services for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. Over a year and a half later, the public is asking where Measure H dollars are going and how they fit into building a more comprehensive system to eradicate homelessness. Our panel will share updates on Measure H progress and how philanthropy can continue to play an important role.

  • Introduction by: Andrea Iloulian, Senior Program Officer, Domestic Programs, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • Moderator: Chris Ko, Director, Homeless Initiatives, United Way of Greater Los Angeles
  • Joshua Hall, Acting Director, Policy & Systems, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
  • Veronica Lewis, Director, Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System (HOPICS)
  • Christine Margiotta, Chair, Measure H Citizens' Oversight Advisory Board; Executive Director, Social Venture Partners Los Angeles
  • Christina Miller, Deputy Mayor of City Homelessness Initiatives, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti 
  • Cheri Todoroff, Director, Housing for Health, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services 


Where Politics Meets Philanthropy: Obstacles, Opportunities and Third-Rail Cautions

As more grantmakers dive deeply into systems change work, new opportunities may emerge that require additional partners to solidify gains and sustain the results from a grant. Some nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status are exploring the creation of a 501(c)(4) organization to engage more effectively in issue advocacy. More importantly, grantmakers can support 501(c)(4) organizations in some instances, and such partnerships could help further a funder’s mission for social change and good.

What does the creation of a 501(c)(4) affiliate of a grantee mean for you? And what are opportunities for grantmakers to be thought partners as their nonprofit partners decide to pursue this tool?

Join us for a conversation among leaders in grantmaking organizations and nonprofits for a better understanding of how 501(c)(4) organizations fit within our landscape for societal innovation and systems change.

  • Moderator: Karin Wang, Executive Director, David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law
  • Romilda Justilien, Director, Tides Foundation & Deputy Director, Tides Advocacy Fund
  • Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality
  • Nona Randois, California Director, Alliance for Justice


Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Beyond Policy and Practice: The Hidden Conditions of Transformative Systems Change

As a new wave of lawmakers descends on Sacramento and Washington, grantmakers are focused on how to impact policy to create equitable systems change in California. While many of us are trained to create structural systems change by focusing on policies and practices, transformative systems change requires working on “hidden” conditions, including relationships, power dynamics and mental models. This session will begin with an overview of six conditions that typically hold a problem in place in a system, with an emphasis on the more implicit conditions. Local leaders will share their successes and lessons learned from creating structural and transformative change in their communities. Participants will be guided through a learning exercise to think in a disciplined and holistic manner about what’s required to change their particular system and support policy change in the long term.

  • Moderator: Lauren Smith, Co-CEO, FSG
  • Gary Clark, Director of Capacity Building, Fund for Santa Barbara
  • Silvia Paz, Executive Director, Alianza Coachella Valley
  • Miki Woodard, Executive Director, Katie McGrath & JJ Abrams Family Foundation


Community Resilience in the Face of Climate Disasters: Innovation for the Long Term

As recent wildfires have demonstrated, disaster preparedness is essential to overall community resilience. Climate change is increasing the frequency of severe weather events, which disproportionately affect low-income and disadvantaged communities. In February, Governor Gavin Newsom signed fire recovery and emergency response bills that will provide some relief to Californians currently in need, but bold ideas are needed to ensure equitable recovery over the long term. In this session, we'll look at existing disaster preparedness and climate change programs and policies at local and state levels, and think through the role philanthropy can play to support long-term community resilience.

  • Moderator: Alan Kwok, Disaster Resilience Director, Northern California Grantmakers
  • Abigail L. Browning, Chief, Office of Private Sector/ Non-Governmental Organization Coordination, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
  • Ken Chawkins, Business Policy Manager, Southern California Gas Company
  • Darryl Molina Sarmiento, Executive Director, Communities for a Better Environment
  • Jeffrey Mount, Senior Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California


Looking Back to Look Ahead: Addressing California’s Racial and Gender Wealth Gap

As the racial wealth gap in California continues to grow, research indicates that individual achievement is not enough to overcome fundamental wealth inequalities. Building wealth allows families and younger generations to gain economic security and mobility. However, communities of color continue to experience the effects of historical and current barriers. This wealth divide is particularly pronounced for single women of color, whose median wealth is far less than the wealth of single white men and women. This session will explore how the racial and gender wealth gap developed, what contributes to it and what policy changes are needed to address it. Participants will hear from local leaders working on solutions to close the gap

  • Moderator: Heather McCulloch, Founder and Executive Director, Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative
  • Esi Hutchful, State Policy Fellow, California Budget & Policy Center
  • Allison “Allie” Olson, Executive Director, LIFT-Los Angeles
  • Laura Peralta, Vice President, Citi Community Development
  • Solana Rice, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Liberation in a Generation


Oops! I Did It Again: Making Opportunity Zones Work for Communities

For more than four decades, federal and state governments have attempted to use place-based tax incentives to stimulate private investments in historically underserved communities – with varying degrees of success. Despite an uneven record of success with such incentives, Congress approved the creation of Opportunity Zones as a part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

In California, the average Opportunity Zone has a median household income of $36,125, a poverty rate of 33%, and an unemployment rate of 13%. Making these zones truly successful will require ensuring that investors’ funding provides meaningful benefits for current Opportunity Zone residents without accelerating gentrification and displacement. How can grantmakers play a role in helping shape positive outcomes in low-income communities that benefit both residents and investors? And how can such investments be aligned with existing grantmaking? Join us for a conversation with regional and national leaders looking to shape and influence the role of Opportunity Zones.

  • Moderator: Tammy Halevy, Senior Advisor, Public Private Strategies
  • Lori Chatman, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.; President, Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc.
  • Greg Nelson, Head of Operations and Strategy, Parker Media / Parker Foundation
  • Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, Executive Director, Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LA LISC)