About the California Explorations Project

With California Endowment and James Irvine Foundation funding, the Project regularly convenes California Progressive leaders to align, adopt, or endorse new policy concepts, and explore action research and new narratives to advance related public advocacy efforts. 

In these connections, the Project examines opportunities to advance a broad-based, next generation Common Agenda of policy reform priorities enabling far more generous, strategic, and long-term public and private investments in human and community capital formation over the coming decades. 

To inform and advance this change in conceptualization, policy and practice, the Project has supported a series of private consultations with leading California policy and social investment leaders, including among others: California State Senator John Laird, Chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education and a member of the Senate Rules Committee; Yana Garcia, California Secretary of Environmental Protection; Elena Chávez Quezada, Senior Advisor on Social Innovation to Gov. Gavin Newsom; and California Endowment President Dr. Robert K. Ross.

California Explorations Project Advisory Group Members

* Daniel ‘Nane’ Alejandrez, Executive Director, Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos, Santa Cruz

* Claudia Armann, Executive Director, McCune Foundation, Ventura/Santa Barbara

* Chione Flegal, Executive Director, Housing California, Oakland

* Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO of GRACE/End Child Poverty, Los Angeles

* Chris Hoene, Executive Director, California Budget & Policy Center, Sacramento

* Chris Iglesias, Executive Director, Unity Council, Oakland 

* Marisol Franco, Director of Programs, Women's Foundation of California & The Dr. Beatriz María Solís Policy Institute, Sacramento

* Angie Kim, President & CEO, Center for Cultural Innovation, Los Angeles and San Francisco

* Rob McKay, Social Investment Leader and Former Chair, Democracy Alliance, San Diego

* Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Los Angeles

*Victor Sanchez, Executive Director, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, Los Angeles

* Gabriela Sandoval, Executive Director, Excessive Wealth Disorder Institute, Washington, DC and Los Angeles

* C M Samala, Head of Community & Culture, Unshackled Ventures, San Francisco

* Calvin Williams, Senior Advisor, Social Impact Advocacy, Think Common Enterprises, Oakland

California Explorations Project Staff and Consultants

Henry A. J. Ramos, Senior Fellow & Project Director

Robb Smith, Ph.D, JD, Senior Project Consultant

Elle Baez & Alana Colvin, Research Assistants

Spoke Consulting, Communications Advisors
Erin Fogg, Founder and Principal
Cord Bynum, Senior Project Associate
McKenna Hunt, Project Associate
Kelsey Prater, Senior Design Associate

Recent News

Opinion: How Anti-Immigrant Bigotry Hugely Misunderstands Our Economy

In this recent Los Angeles Times opinion, members of the California Explorations Project advisory board argue that the current anti-immigrant grandstanding fundamentally misunderstands the important role immigrants play in our communities and economy. Read more >>