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California Policy Forum: Advancing Equity: Saying NO to the Status Quo

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 -
11:00am to 12:00pm PST
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A new generation of California leaders is doing things their way — and, let’s say, they’re not afraid to make waves. Stockton, once the poster child for so much that was wrong in American life, is becoming the first city in America to test a universal basic income. Everyone is watching — governments, social scientists around the world and the media. Universal basic income isn’t the only thing that has their attention. They are watching the way innovative partnerships between philanthropy and nonprofits are driving change across California — and they’re wondering what’s next for higher education in the Golden State. It’s a call to action for our sector. Join us for an open, candid discussion with three of California’s rising young change makers as they go deep on what it means to advance equity now. 


  • Welcome: Linda Beech Cutler, Chair, League of California Community Foundations and CEO, Sacramento Region Community Foundation
  • Reinvention: The Stockton Experiment: Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs in conversation with Moses Zapien, CEO, the Community Foundation of San Joaquin
  • Hope on the Horizon: Policy Change and Higher Education in California: Jessie Ryan, executive vice president, the Campaign for College Opportunity
  • Policy Update: Nancy Berlin, Policy Director, CalNonprofits
  • Update on California Complete Count and Close: Linda Beech Cutler


Michael Tubbs, Mayor, The City of Stockton

On November 8, 2016, Michael Tubbs was elected to serve as the mayor of the City of Stockton, California. Upon taking office in January 2017, Michael Tubbs became both Stockton’s youngest mayor and the city’s first African-American mayor. Michael Tubbs is also the youngest mayor in the history of the country representing a city with a population of over 100,000 residents. Included in Fortune’s 2018 Top "40 under 40," Forbes' 2018 list of the “30 Under 30” and The Root's 100, Tubbs’ leadership, paired with an ambitious agenda, has received national recognition. Mayor Michael Tubbs has secured over $20 million in philanthropic capital to launch the Stockton Scholars, a place-based scholarship that aims to triple the number of Stockton students entering and graduating from college. Mayor Tubbs also brought Advance Peace to Stockton, a data-driven program that works to reduce gun violence in communities.

Moses Zapien, CEO and President, Community Foundation of San Joaquin

Moses Zapien is the CEO and President of the Community Foundation of San Joaquin, one of the area’s largest philanthropic organizations that provides leadership, promotes a culture of giving, and cultivates resources that address the needs of our community. The son of Mexican immigrant parents who worked the farmlands along the Delta, Moses was born and raised in Stockton. He learned the value of hard work early on in life. Moses and his siblings grew up in a small, family-run denture manufacturing business his parents started and continue to operate today. He went on to become the first in his family to graduate from college, attending both the University of the Pacific, and the University of Southern California. Prior to his appointment to the Board of Supervisors, Moses served on the Stockton City Council from 2013 until 2015. During his time on the Council, he worked to help the city emerge from municipal bankruptcy.

Jessie Ryan, Executive Vice President, The Campaign for College Opportunity 

Jessie leads the organization’s advocacy and policy efforts to increase the number of California students accessing higher education and impact the rate that students succeed in reaching their educational goals. A proud product of California’s Community Colleges and California State University System, in 2010 Jessie was thrilled to shepherd historic transfer reform legislation to simplify the transfer pathway from community colleges to four-year universities. In 2015, Jessie successfully led efforts to expand enrollment funding for the CSU and UC as well as direct $60 million dollars to community colleges for reforming their remedial education practices. In December 2017, Jessie was humbled to be elected president of the Sacramento City Unified School District, Board of Education. She represents some of the poorest, most diverse neighborhoods in Sacramento and is dedicated to ensuring that all students have a pathway out of poverty through public education.

Linda Beech Cutler, CEO, Sacramento Region Community Foundation

Since joining the Foundation in March, 2013, Linda has been focused on positioning the organization for continued growth and development through strategic planning, enhanced visibility and measureable impact. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the Deputy Director of Commercial Strategy for the Sacramento County Airport System where she was responsible for the strategic development of aviation and non-aviation revenue projects as well as all marketing and external communications. She is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mercy Foundation and has also served as Vice President, Corporate Communications and Corporate Responsibility for GenCorp, parent company of Aerojet. In addition to her other duties, during her tenure at GenCorp, she also served as President of the GenCorp Foundation and Chairman of the Aerojet and GenCorp PAC, the Company's political action committee. Prior to joining GenCorp in 2002, Linda worked for what is now DST Systems in numerous marketing capacities including Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations.

The California Policy Forum is a series of webinars presented in partnership with CalNonprofits, Philanthropy California (an alliance between Northern California Grantmakers, San Diego Grantmakers and Southern California Grantmakers), and the League of California Community Foundations.

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