As California and the world are changing, this symposium brings together California state legislators to share their visions of the future of California and the policies to achieve that future. California's large and diverse population needs education, health, housing, and secure jobs in a changing economy. California is a leader in protecting this beautiful planet that we call home, but we still have work to do in protecting the environment and planning our housing and transportation to meet the local, state, national, and global needs. While California exerts power in the national and global arenas, power is unevenly distributed, and we have to work for a more equitable future.
David Chiu, Assembly Member, California State Legislature
As a member of the California State Legislature, Assembly member David Chiu represents a half-million constituents in the 17th Assembly District, which encompasses eastern San Francisco. During his first six years in the Legislature, David has authored 64 new laws addressing a wide spectrum of issues, including housing, homelessness, transportation, education, environment, clean energy, health, public safety, and civil rights. He is currently Chair of the Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee and the immediate past Chair of the California API Legislative Caucus. He sits on the following legislative committees: Budget; Business and Professions; Judiciary; Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media.
Before joining the State Assembly, David Chiu served as President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for six years. With a reputation as a consensus maker, Chiu was the first Board President in San Francisco history elected by fellow Supervisors to three consecutive terms, and the first Asian American to hold the post. The son of immigrant parents, David Chiu grew up in Boston and received his undergraduate, law and master’s in public policy degrees from Harvard University.
Steven Bradford, Senator, 35th Senate District of California
Elected to the state Senate November 2016, Steven Bradford represents the 35th senatorial district of California, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts/Willowbrook, and Wilmington. Bradford previously served 12 years as a council member and four years as Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Gardena. He currently chairs the California Legislative Black Caucus, the Senate Committee on Public Safety, and the Senate Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color. He formerly served as chair of the CA Senate Banking and Financial Institution and CA State Assembly.
Senator Bradford is a proud life-long public servant and activist who spent his career focused on one objective: to represent the communities, neighborhoods, and constituents he was elected to serve. In his role as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color, Senator Bradford works tirelessly to correct the many institutional injustices that plague young Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander males. Senator Bradford earned a B.A. in Political Science at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and San Diego State University.
Anna Caballero, Senator, 12th Senate District of California
Anna M. Caballero was elected in November 2018 to the California State Senate to represent the 12th Senate District, which includes the Salinas Valley, San Benito County, Merced County, and portions of Stanislaus, Madera, and Fresno Counties. Anna has a 30 year legacy of public service in her community. She received her undergraduate degree from UC San Diego and her law degree from UCLA. After graduating from law school, she moved to Salinas to provide affordable legal services to farmworkers.
Anna then served on the Salinas City Council and became the first female Mayor of Salinas. Anna was elected to the State Assembly in 2006, where her accomplishments included more farmworker housing, clean drinking water, and an innovative partnership to reduce gang violence. From 2010 to 2016, Anna joined Governor Edmund G. Brown’s cabinet as Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. Under Anna’s leadership, 65 million dollars were allocated to build housing and provide services for homeless veterans and rural communities, while providing struggling families access to home refinancing assistance. Senator Caballero has been a tireless advocate for families, farmers, veterans, workers, the disabled, seniors, and teachers.
Michael Drake, M.D, President, University of California
Michael V. Drake, M.D., is President of the University of California. The world-renowned university system includes 10 campuses, five medical centers, three nationally affiliated labs, more than 280,000 students and 230,000 faculty and staff. Dr. Drake previously served as president of The Ohio State University (OSU) from 2014 through June 2020. Prior to his six years at OSU, his entire academic career has been at UC, including as chancellor of UC Irvine for nine years from 2005 to 2014 and as the systemwide vice president for health affairs from 2000 to 2005.
Drake received his A.B. from Stanford University and his residency, M.D., and fellowship in ophthalmology from UCSF. He subsequently spent more than two decades on the faculty of the UCSF School of Medicine, including as the Steven P. Shearing Professor of Ophthalmology.
Marisa Lagos, Correspondent, KQED California Politics and Government Desk
Marisa Lagos is a correspondent for KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk and co-hosts a weekly show and podcast, Political Breakdown. At KQED, Lagos conducts reporting, analysis and investigations into state, local, and national politics for radio, TV, and online. Every week, she and co-host Scott Shafer sit down with political insiders on Political Breakdown, where they offer a peek into the lives and personalities of those driving politics in California and beyond. Previously, she worked at the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner and Los Angeles Times.
Lagos was nominated for a Peabody and won several other awards for her work investigating the 2017 wildfires. In 2011, she won a special award from Evident Change for extensive and excellent work in covering California justice issues. A UC Santa Barbara graduate, she lives in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood with her two sons and husband.
James Ramos, Assembly Member, California State Legislature
Assembly member James C. Ramos, a lifelong resident of the San Manuel Indian Reservation, is the first California Native American elected to the Legislature. He represents most of San Bernardino County. Ramos, a member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe, lived with his family in a mobile home in one of the most poverty-stricken areas of the country. Recognizing the importance of education, he went on to receive an associate degree in business, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and a master of business administration degree. Ramos is the first Native American named to the California State Board of Education, the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees, and the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.
His legislative priorities include advocating for mental health resources, assisting small businesses, public safety, and fostering Native American opportunity, culture, and civic participation. He is currently a member of the Assembly Budget Committee and its health and human services budget subcommittee, Governmental Organization, Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, Local Government, Rules, and Veterans Committees. He chairs two select committees: Native American Affairs and Youth Homelessness in San Bernardino County. Assemblymember Ramos serves on the State Board of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission.
Nancy Skinner, Senator, 9th Senate District of California
California State Senator Nancy Skinner is the chair of the Senate Budget Committee and vice-chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. First elected to the Senate in 2016, she represents California’s 9th District, which includes the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond. A social justice advocate, energy and climate change trailblazer, and a champion of criminal justice reform, Senator Skinner also served three terms in the state Assembly.
In the Senate, she authored a landmark criminal justice reform law, SB 1421, which opened up police misconduct records for the first time in 40 years in California. And she authored SB 206, the Fair Pay to Play Act, which made California the first state to allow college athletes to get paid for their talent and hard work. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a BS and an MA, Senator Skinner began her public service in 1984 as the first and only student to be elected to the Berkeley City Council.