In a matter of weeks, California’s years of record-breaking economic growth were wiped out, and the state now faces a historic recession. Confronting a $54 billion budget deficit, the Governor and Legislature are making hard choices considering cuts to education, healthcare, and other critical safety net programs – deeper cuts may be forthcoming if no federal aid is received. At a time when Californians are experiencing a surge in the COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s unemployment rate is nearing 25 percent, is austerity inevitable? Or does California’s commitment to justice and equity call on us to chart a new path?
In response to the state’s economic crisis, an unprecedented coalition of philanthropic, labor, community organizing, faith-based, policy, research, and academic leaders have come together to develop a new vision for California – one centered on economic inclusion, racial equity, and compassionate humanity.
Join our speakers to learn about:
- The state of California’s budget and what we can expect in the coming months
- Groundbreaking efforts to push back austerity and towards a just recovery
- The important role that philanthropy can play as we strive to live into our California values
Judith brings extensive experience in strategic planning and policy development, with a focus on economic and social equity to the Foundation. Previous to joining the Foundation, Judith was the President of PolicyLink where she had been since its inception, becoming President in 2004. Her leadership helped ignite a new national narrative around access and opportunity for all people with a focus on improving health and infrastructure, including increasing access to healthy foods.
Chris Hoene became the Budget Center’s executive director in October 2012, bringing to the organization 15 years of leadership in state and local policy research and analysis. He leads the strategic direction of the organization, acts as primary spokesperson, and works with the board of directors and community partners to implement our vision and mission. Prior to joining the Budget Center, Chris was director of the Center for Research and Innovation at the National League of Cities in Washington, DC, leading efforts to analyze trends in local and state government and promote constructive policy action on issues including public finance, economic development, housing, poverty reduction, infrastructure, and governance. Chris also previously worked for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, DC, 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 of the College of Idaho. In 2011, in recognition of his service to the state and local community, Chris was elected as a Fellow into the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).
John Kim is the Executive Director of Advancement Project California. He has a long track record as a coalition-builder and facilitator of multi-stakeholder collaborations and has established a wide range of partnerships with community-based organizations, elected officials, governmental agencies, academic researchers, and foundations across the state. John most recently oversaw the strategic direction and development of RACE COUNTS, a first of its kind initiative that examines racial disparity, performance, and population impact in each of California’s 58 counties.
Christina Livingston is the Executive Director of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE). She began her organizing career in 2004 when she was hired as a field organizer for Los Angeles ACORN. In 2010 Christina helped form ACCE where she worked for 2 years as Statewide Deputy Director before becoming Executive Director in 2012.
In her organizing career Christina has worked on campaigns that addressed equitable infrastructure investment, progressive revenue solutions, housing equity, access to high quality and well-funded public services, corporate accountability, good government, representative voter engagement, and criminal justice. She centers her work at the intersection of racial and economic impacts and is passionate about increasing the voices of people of color, poor folks, and women.
Christina currently serves as the Chair of Board for the Action Center on Race and the Economy as well as the Center of Popular Democracy Action Board of Directors.
Christina graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004 with a B.A. in Sociology. In 2008 she received her M.A. in Sociology from California State University, Los Angeles.
Jennifer Martinez is the Chief Strategy Officer for PICO California, the largest faith-based community organizing network in California. PICO CA supports the development and action of grassroots leadership to advocate for systemic change that will lead to racial and economic justice. Since 2001, Jennifer has been organizing and advocating for housing justice, immigrant rights, criminal justice reform and quality education. Before joining PICO California, Jennifer was the Executive Director of a local PICO chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jennifer has a BA from Stanford University and a PhD from the University of Nottingham, England.
This program is open to members of NCG, SCG, and SDG.