2017 Yosemite Policymakers Conference

yosemite policymakers conference

Learn more about the 2018 Yosemite Policymakers Conference!

California mayors, city council members, county supervisors, city managers and other high level department heads will all come together in the middle of the breathtaking beauty of Yosemite National Park at the 26th Annual Yosemite Policymakers Conference in March 2017.
This popular conference always features a timely and inspirational agenda designed to assist California’s policymakers in finding the tools and support they need to implement innovative solutions to address society’s most pressing challenges. This year’s conference will be no different with its focus on Sustaining our Progress and Protecting the American Dream.
Theme

The Road Ahead: Sustaining Our Progress, Protecting the American Dream

Yosemite Policymakers Conference Participants The American Dream has been getting harder for the average person to achieve… and November’s national election results have raised serious questions about the potential effects of changes in legislative and budgetary support for social services and environmental action. With the status of new EPA leadership, the Paris Agreement, the Clean Power Plan, the Clean Water Act and a slew of social protections in question, California’s role as a beacon for progress, innovation and environmental leadership is ever more critical. The 2017 Yosemite Conference will focus on protecting and advancing critical elements of the American Dream, ranging from affordable housing and reliable transportation options to sustainable natural resources (including clean air and water) and equitable opportunities for our diverse communities.

Housing

The average price tag to own or rent a home in California is more than double the national mark. To keep pace with nationwide housing costs, California would have needed to build millions more new homes over the last three decades. Our panelists will explore potential decisions by the new federal administration, and discuss state and local strategies to increase housing supply and affordability.

Transportation

Transportation is the second-largest expense for most households, with those in auto-dependent regions spending 25% of their income. Cities with good transit systems can also save riders up to $10,230 annually if they switch from owning a car to taking transit. Unfortunately, the state is struggling with a big infrastructure-funding shortfall, much less finding new dollars to increase transit. If there is a silver lining, cities and counties have increasingly realized that they can’t depend on state and federal government to meet their needs, and have been putting measures on the ballot to fund their own regional transportation priorities. The voters concurred, approving 75% of local transportation measures on the November ballot – proving once again that Americans want better transportation options. Our panelists will explore potential consequences for transportation under the new federal administration (including privatization of infrastructure), discuss the local advantages of emerging advancements in autonomous vehicles, and share local strategies to increase transportation funding.

Sustainable Natural Resources

The president-elect has worried smart-growth practitioners with his campaign-season denouncement of climate-change– threatening to eliminate the EPA and the Clean Power Plan and pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreements. Those early fears have been heightened by the recent appointment of climate contrarian Myron Ebell to lead the EPA transition. That said, climate-change leadership and innovative responses continue to been driven at the state and local level – from the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2005 to California’s landmark AB 32 (signed by a Republican governor). Governor Brown signed a first-of-its-kind agreement, the “Under 2 MOU,” with international leaders from 11 other states and provinces, collectively representing more than $25.7 trillion in GDP and over a billion people, to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius. Our panelists will explore the new climate for climate-change initiatives within the new federal administration, and share how state and local governments can continue momentum to increase clean energy and fight climate change.

Equitable Opportunities

Underlying everything we do to improve housing and transportation and protect our environment is the imperative to continue to defend each other’s rights (particularly the rights of the poor, people of color, immigrants, women and LGBTQ). As public servants, we have a professional responsibility and a moral obligation to ensure that the decisions we make today uphold – and are grounded in – the expressed needs of our most vulnerable residents. In doing so, we can also help make the whole of our communities stronger and more resilient. Americans are resilient, and we’re accustomed to triumphing under adversity. Our nation needs bold, steadfast leadership from states like California now more than ever to maintain and extend hard-won social and environmental protections. We’re all in this together, rich or poor, north or south, red or blue. Together, we have a responsibility to protect our communities, natural resources and the industries that energize our Golden State.

Program

yosemite2016-speaker1 The conference often sells out because attendees say the format is uniquely structured to address today’s most pressing problems and showcase fresh ideas with hands-on discussion of how to implement them. The main conference program began at 7:30pm on Thursday, March 16, and continued through noon on Sunday. We encouraged attendees to bring their family, attend the opening session on Thursday evening, and use the session breaks to ski, hike, skate or just enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Yosemite in the winter. All conference sessions were held at the Yosemite Lodge.

Presentations
Thursday, March 16
Kick Off Plenary – Driving Growth, Innovation and Equity Within California’s Economy
Friday, March 17
Addressing the Gap: Housing Supply and Affordability in California
Protecting and Advancing California’s Climate Leadership and the American Dream for ALL Californians
Saturday, March 18
The Future of Water in California
California’s Transportation System in a New Political Eras
Driving Forward: Society, Economy and Our Transportation System in the Era of Autonomous Vehicles
Sunday, March 19
Fighting Food Waste – Innovative Food Recovery Programs
Finding the Inspiration We Need
Resources
Speakers

2017 Conference Speakers

Kevin de León, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Honorable Kevin de León President pro Tempore & Representative of the Twenty Fourth Senate District, State of California

David Hochschild, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

David Hochschild Commissioner, California Energy Commission

Ken Alex, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Ken Alex Director, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

Carl Guardino, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Carl Guardino CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Leticia Perez, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Leticia Perez Supervisor, Kern County

Hasan Ikhrata, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Hasan Ikhrata Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments

Micah Weinberg, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Micah Weinberg President, Bay Area Council Economic Institute

Richard Corey, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Richard Corey Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board

Louis Stewart, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Louis Stewart Deputy Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

Ryan Snyder, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Ryan Snyder Principal, Transpo Group

Eric Mar, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Eric Mar Supervisor, City and County of San Francisco

Chris Ganson, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Chris Ganson Senior Planner, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

Komal Ahmad, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Komal Ahmad Founder & CEO, COPIA

Paul Davis, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Paul Davis Transportation Partnerships Manager, Lyft

Colin Bailey, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Colin Bailey Executive Director, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water

Shamus Roller, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Shamus Roller Executive Director, National Housing Law Project

Shannon Peloquin, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Shannon Peloquin Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company

Mindy Romero, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Mindy Romero Founder and Director, UC Davis California Civic Engagement Project

James Workman, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

James Workman Co-Founder, AquaShares

Trish Kelly, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Trish Kelly Senior Vice President, Valley Vision

Jeff Bellisario, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Jeff Bellisario Vice President, Bay Area Council Economic Institute

Chris Ward, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Chris Ward Councilmember, City of San Diego

Keith Bergthold, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Keith Bergthold Executive Director, Fresno Metro Ministry

Alf Brandt, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Alf Brandt Senior Counsel, CA State Assembly Speaker Rendon

Jennifer Harder, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Jennifer Harder Professor of Water Resources Law, McGeorge School of Law

Kome Ajise, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Kome Ajise Chief Deputy Director, Caltrans

Ben Metcalf, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Ben Metcalf Director, California Department of Housing and Community Development

Curt Johansen, speaker at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Curt Johansen President, Council of Infill Builders

Sponsors

Thank you to our 2017 Conference Sponsors!

Contributors

Bay Area Air Quality Management District, sponsor of the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.Metropolitan Transportation Commission, sponsor of the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, sponsor of the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Benefactors

Sutter Health, sponsor of the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.TerraVerde Renewable Partners, sponsor of the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.

Scholarship Funders

Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, sponsor of the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.Merced County, sponsor of the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.Lewis Group of Companies, sponsor of the Yosemite Policymakers Conference.Townsend Public Affairs, sponsor of the Yosemite Policymakers Conference. Wesley Chesbro Jake and Barbara Mackenzie

Thank you to our 2017 Conference Promotional Partners!

The conference’s promotional partners play a vital role in the overall success of this event. Through their non-monetary support, agencies, organizations and associations get the word out about this conference to policymakers throughout the state.

Download a Conference-Flyer!

The Yosemite Policymakers Conference is presented by the Local Government Commission.

Local Government Commission

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