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Coming Together for California’s Future: Mobilizing for 2020 and Beyond

Thursday, October 31, 2019 -
10:00am to 12:00pm PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360 | San Francisco, CA 94105
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2020 will be a momentous year for California.  From getting out the count for the Census to a statewide effort to enact monumental structural tax reform, funders have a critical role to play in increasing the civic and political power of our state’s diverse communities.  For many, the time to be a part of collectively creating something greater is now – to move from divisive racial and class-based rhetoric to coming together as we did in our past.  2020 presents a unique opportunity to begin building the California we want – one in that is just, fair, and inclusive.  

Join us for a conversation about the growing opportunities for funders to be part of a robust civic engagement effort in 2020, which centers people of different races and from different places.  Whether your foundation is already deeply invested or simply curious about what 2020 holds for California, our panel of experts will:

  • Share why 2020 will be a year to remember for civic engagement;  
  • Break through the jargon and explore the intersection between census, redistricting, integrated voter engagement, and state/local ballot measures;
  • Help you navigate support for civic engagement efforts while keeping your legal counsels happy; and
  • Discuss how the power of philanthropy can move us towards a better California for all.


Amy Dominguez-Arms, Consultant, Philanthropy California 

Amy Dominguez-Arms is a philanthropic consultant who supports foundations on program strategy, design and implementation, grantmaking, and assessment on a range of social issues. She currently is working with Philanthropy California on its Fair Representation Fund. Other current and past clients include: Barr Foundation, College Futures Foundation, Democracy Fund, Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation and Packard Foundation. 

Previously, Amy served as Vice President for Programs for The James Irvine Foundation, where she oversaw a $75 million grantmaking portfolio focused primarily on youth and democracy issues. Earlier she served as the foundation’s California Democracy Program Director, where she led grantmaking on the 2010 census, redistricting reform, election system reforms, immigrant integration, and voter and civic engagement. Prior to joining the foundation, Amy served as Vice President of Children Now, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization. Amy serves on the boards of the National Immigration Forum and NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). Amy earned her Master in Public Administration at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and her bachelor’s degree at Stanford University.

Amy Fitzgerald, Senior Program Officer, East Bay Community Foundation

Amy Fitzgerald recently joined the East Bay Community Foundation as a Senior Program Officer.  In this position, she supports organizations that amplify community voice and exercise grassroots power to build a Just East Bay.  A Bay Area native, Amy worked for 12 years as a community organizer and Executive Director of Oakland Community Organizations (OCO), the largest grassroots organizing network in Oakland. Through her work, Amy manifests her passion for community-led, equitable systems change, faith active in the public sphere, and powerful multicultural coalitions.

Amy received her Masters of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science from Santa Clara University.  Amy is bi-lingual and served with Jesuit Volunteers International in Managua, Nicaragua. She lives in Oakland with her wife, and can often be found cheering for the Golden State Warriors.

John Govea, Program Director, Immigrant Rights and Integration, Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund

John joined the Haas, Jr. Fund staff in 2017 after 10 years with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in New Jersey, where he managed national programs and initiatives focused on childhood obesity and health equity. Born and raised in Bakersfield, California, John is descended from Mexican immigrants who settled in the state. His father came to the United States under the bracero program during World War II to work on the Santa Fe Railroad. John started his professional career as an attorney representing farmworkers in rural California. He has worked on the staffs of the Community Foundation for Monterey Country and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and was senior program officer with the State of California’s California Service Corps, where he oversaw implementation of the state’s AmeriCorp program.

Ellen LaPointe, President & CEO, Northern California Grantmakers

As President and CEO, Ellen makes sure we know where we are going, have mapped a great (and hopefully scenic) route to get there, that our vehicle is working well and has enough gas, that people know our plans and how to join us on our journey, and that we celebrate our progress every time we pass another milestone and let our fellow travelers know when we find new and better ways to go.  She also makes sure we have good snacks.

Before coming to NCG, Ellen worked as VP of Strategic Partnerships at HopeLab, a health and technology-focused operating foundation funded by The Omidyar Group.  Prior to that, she was Executive Director of a national AIDS treatment information and advocacy organization, and practiced law at a large firm in San Francisco.

Ellen earned a BA in Community Health at Brown University and a law degree from UC Berkeley.  When not building community at work she does so with friends and family at home. Her introverted partner and adolescent son tolerate her cruise director tendencies with enormous grace.  

Sara Matlin, Senior Bilingual Counsel, Alliance for Justice

Sara Matlin is Senior Bilingual Counsel with the Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy Program in San Francisco, CA. Sara empowers Spanish- and English-speaking foundations and nonprofit organizations to become more courageous leaders in policy change movements.

Sara graduated with a B.A. from Stanford University and a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law. She is the chair of the North Peninsula Chapter of the ACLU of Northern California and a founder of the San Mateo County Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Sara began her career in policy change advocacy in 1988. She uses her training and community organizing experience, along with her Spanish/English bilingualism, to broaden the advocacy work of funders and social justice organizations in California and across the country.

Target Audience

This event is open to members and nonmembers. 

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