With more than 30 new state legislators taking office in Sacramento, a $25 billion budget shortfall projected by the Governor, and the looming threat of recession, 2023 presents significant changes and challenges for those of us in the charitable sector working to support vulnerable Californians throughout the state.
Get your bearings for the year to come! Join the Policy Forum and a slate of in-the-know speakers for an overview of the changing political and economic landscape in our state.
Elena Chávez Quezada, Senior Advisor for Social Innovation, Governor Gavin Newsom's Office
Elena Chávez Quezada, 43, of San Francisco, has been appointed Senior Advisor on Social Innovation for the Office of the Governor. Chávez Quezada has been Chief Impact Officer of End Poverty in California (EPIC) since 2021. She was Vice President of Programs for the San Francisco Foundation from 2020 to 2021, where she was Senior Director for People Pathway from 2018 to 2020. She was Senior Program Officer for Economic Security at the Walter & Elise Haas Fund from 2015 to 2018, Senior Program Officer of Tipping Point Community from 2011 to 2015 and Program Director of Single Stop USA from 2008 to 2011.
Chávez Quezada was Senior Associate for Financial Security Program at the Aspen Institute from 2005 to 2008, Program Assistant for Public Policy and Training at Community Development Venture Capital Alliance from 2004 to 2005 and a Legislative Correspondent for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman from 2001 to 2002. She is a member of the Centro Legal de la Raza Board, Tech Equity Collaborative Action Network Board, Legal Link Advisory Board and Immigrants Rising Leadership Council, as well as Head of Investments for the Chávez Family Foundation. Chávez Quezada earned a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University.
Chris Hoene, Executive Director, California Budget & Policy Center
Chris Hoene, Executive Director, leads the strategic direction of the organization, acts as primary spokesperson, and works with the board of directors and community partners to advance the organization’s values, policy directions, and development. Chris is a dynamic leader who strives to build relationships and a collective vision with a range of partners and people, including the Budget Center team, policymakers, advocates, organizers, the media, and funders to improve the lives of Californians, particularly those who have been barred from sharing in California’s prosperity.
Before joining the Budget Center in 2012, Chris worked as the director of the Center for Research and Innovation at the National League of Cities in Washington, D.C. He also worked as an analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. and the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco. Chris 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, Chris was elected as a fellow into the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) in recognition of his service to the state and local community.
Chris is married to Darrene Hackler and, in their free time, they can be found hiking, playing tennis, paddleboarding, traveling, cooking, and seeking out good wine — not necessarily in that order, but ideally in the same day
Jennifer Fearing, CalNonprofits’ Sacramento Advocate and CEO, Fearless Advocacy
Jennifer Fearing opened Fearless Advocacy -- a Sacramento-based advocacy firm specializing in advancing the policy agendas of mission-based and cause-oriented organizations -- in November 2014, after serving for six years as the lead state advocate for a major national nonprofit advocacy organization. Jennifer has helped pursue more than one hundred positive state and local legislative and regulatory outcomes and has led - with creativity and tenacity - many high-profile successes. She maintains deep relationships and broad networks with key decisionmakers in the legislature, the executive branch and with key stakeholders. Jennifer has led efforts to recruit and activate citizen advocates, developed a new legislative caucus, prepared multiple voter scorecards, produced myriad lobby days, and helped with the formation of a new Assembly select committee on the nonprofit sector.
Recognized by many as the “go-to” lobbyist for nonprofits, Jennifer authored a chapter on nonprofit lobbying is included in a new textbook published by Kendall-Hunt entitled A Practitioner’s Guide to Lobbying and Advocacy in California. She also has penned numerous opinion editorials published by many California newspapers and frequently engages local, state and national media (earned and editorial). Jennifer has been named multiple times by Capitol Weekly as one of the 100 most powerful people in the California capitol community. In 2019, she was honored with a Golden Bear Legislative Award for “Public Interest Lobbyist of the Year.”
Jennifer serves on the board of Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, a leading environmental justice organization based in the San Joaquin and Eastern Coachella Valleys. Jennifer has degrees from UC Davis and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She is a regular guest speaker at several leading universities.
This program is open to everyone.