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Disaster Relief 2.0 | Legal Services Funders Network

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 -
10:30am to 12:00pm PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360 | San Francisco, CA
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What happens after phase one of disaster relief? What can we do to improve recovery efforts after the next natural disaster? What does the timeline look like for disaster recovery and where are things at now, nearly 7 months after the Northern California Wildfires were contained?

Join us as we are updated by local non-profit leaders about the effectiveness of the disaster relief efforts both locally and out of county, their plans for the current and future phases of recovery from the North Bay Fires and what we need to do now to prepare for the next disaster. Key topics we will explore include:

  • Current status of the relief funds raised and allocated
  • How “out of county” support efforts help
  • The short-term and long-term impact of community exodus and how different subpopulations are affected
  • What is to be expected in 2019, when FEMA benefits expire
  • Planning that is being undertaken to create “Post-Disaster Rebuilding Materials”, “Disaster Recovery Operations Manuals”, and an ongoing coordinated Help Center
  • Policies & legislation that are needed a local levels to help disaster victims with pressing critical issues such as housing, jobs, and school enrollment
  • Cuts to existing non-profit programs and budgets, and the need for capacity building grants

Join Us To:

  • Learn about strategies to ensure that communities affected are supported both immediately following disasters, as well as during their long road to recovery
  • Discover what networks and nonprofit organizations need before, during, and after disasters to effectively serve their communities
  • Learn how you can support your own grantees and other organizations that will be involved in response and recovery

Target Audience

This program is open to NCG members, LSFN members and non-member funders. Leadership, as well as program staff, are encouraged to attend. 


Tiela Chalmers, CEO & General Counsel, Alameda County Bar Association and Volunteer Legal Services Corporation

Tiela Chalmers is the Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of the Alameda County Bar Association and its Volunteer Legal Services Corporation.  She has been a leader in the fields of free legal services for low income communities for 20 years.  After working for years in a downtown law firm, she moved to the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Volunteer Legal Services Program, where she worked for 15 years, ultimately as its Executive Director.    She has also been involved in disaster legal services planning for a number of years, and has headed the Bay Area Resilience Collaborative for the last 3 years.

Ronit Rubinoff, Executive Director, Legal Aid of Sonoma County

Ronit Rubinoff is the Executive Director of Legal Aid of Sonoma County.  Legal Aid of Sonoma County assists low income individuals with housing crisis, guardianships and family violence issues.  Ms. Rubinoff has been a poverty law attorney for over 20 years and has worked in local, regional and state-wide legal services programs.  She has done domestic violence, child abuse, housing, and elder law cases during her career and currently focuses on program administration and fund development work. 

Karen Shimizu, Director of Operations, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa

Karen Shimizu is the Director of Operations for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa. Karen has over 20 years of community development administration experience, working for local government, non-profit agencies and for profit business. Her work has specialized in structuring public/private partnerships and developing and administering agency projects and programs.

Moderator: Claire Marx Solot, Managing Director, Bigglesworth Family Foundation

Claire Marx Solot is the Managing Director of the Bigglesworth Family Foundation, co-founder of the Legal Services Funders Network, and a member of the Legal Services Corporation Leaders Council.  Prior to entering the field of philanthropy, Claire worked as an attorney in both the public and private sectors. From these vantage points Claire witnesses the key role legal services play in ensuring that the rights of individuals are protected, regardless of income level.  Claire leads the BFF legal services focus area and works actively in the philanthropic sector to help connect funders to this issue.