Midterm elections are quickly approaching, and California’s new redistricting lines are already having an effect on the voting landscape. How the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors can help voters understand the implications of these changes before they head to the polls, is one of many issues to consider. Grassroots organizations have also been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to try to protect access to safe and secure elections while also helping voters navigate campaign misinformation and disinformation.
Join the California Policy Forum to learn from organizations on the ground about the opportunities and challenges of the new electoral maps and how the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors can support the crucial work of ensuring representation that serves the best interests of our communities.
The California Policy Forum – a collaboration of Philanthropy California, Cal Nonprofits, and the League of California Community Foundations – helps educate and support organizations in leveraging their experiences working across sectors to strengthen democracy at all levels. We work to elevate communities of color and the nonprofit sector, make meaningful connections between local and national elections, and harness the deep relationships with California’s grassroots power builders.
Raul Macias, Program Director, Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
Raúl joined the Haas, Jr. Fund in early 2021. Over the past decade, he has helped lead democracy reform efforts for the Brennan Center for Justice and the Voting Rights Project of the ACLU of California. In these positions, he played a leadership role in advancing legislation, litigation and advocacy on issues from ensuring broader, easier access to voter registration to the successful implementation of the Voters Choice Act reforms enacted by the state in 2016. A native Californian, Macías started his career as an advocate for long-term care for residents and a consumer health advocate. He subsequently served as a researcher with the California Budget & Policy Center, with a focus on state policy and how it affects working families. He received his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.
Jonathan Mehta Stein, Executive Director, California Common Cause
A civil rights attorney and long-time democracy reform advocate, Jonathan became the Executive Director of California Common Cause on May 1, 2020, after 10 years on the California Common Cause Board of Directors and four years as Board Chair. Jonathan previously spent four years as the head of the Voting Rights & Census Program at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, where he worked to increase access to California’s democracy for historically disenfranchised communities, including immigrant and limited-English speaking voters, communities of color, low-income communities, and people with disabilities. His work at AAAJ-ALC included California’s passage of the strongest state-level law in the nation ensuring language access in voting, multiple appellate litigation wins that expanded access to democracy for communities of color, five poll monitoring programs including the nation’s largest in November 2016, and several community organizing campaigns that won better election systems at the local level for historically disenfranchised communities. Jonathan previously worked as a voting rights staff attorney for the ACLU of California, served as a commissioner and chair of the City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission, and hosted a web video series, produced by UC Berkeley, called “In the Arena.” While receiving his MPP and JD from UC Berkeley, Jonathan served as the Student Regent on the University of California’s Board of Regents, where he fought for access, diversity, and affordability and advocated for the interests of the 230,000 students of the UC system. Prior to graduate school, Jonathan spent four years at Mother Jones magazine as a researcher, assistant editor, blogger, and campaign correspondent during the 2008 presidential elections.
Tavae Samuelu, Executive Director, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
Tavae Samuelu is the daughter of a pastor from Leulumoega and a nurse from Saleimoa in Sāmoa. As the Executive Director of Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), she’s a passionate advocate for Pacific Islanders and is committed to liberation for all. Tavae was born and raised on Tongva Territory, and credits her time on unceded Ohlone land for her political consciousness. Before joining EPIC, Tavae served as the Development Director for the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond and has since become a member of RYSE’s Board of Directors. In addition to that she serves as the Vice President of the AAPI Equity Alliance board, a member of the NCAPA Executive Committee, and most recently joined the CA 100 as a commissioner. During the pandemic she has learned that her most important title is Aunty Vae.
Presented in Partnership with: