SoCal Policy Forum Live

In addition to our regular online and print features, we also convene regular in-person forums across Southern California, with expert opinion that is grounded in evidence and experience. We held our first forum in Pasadena on October 17, 2019, focusing on housing and homelessness. The Pasadena Star News covered the event; more information and photos provided below.

Thursday, October 17, 2019
Westerbeck Hall, Pasadena City College
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm 

Co-sponsored by the City of Pasadena and Pasadena City College

Welcoming Remarks

 Mayor Terry Tornek, City of Pasadena

Alex Boekelheide, Pasadena City College


 Kome Ajise, Executive Director, Southern CA Association of Governments
William Huang, Director of Housing, City of Pasadena,
Gary Painter, Professor, University of Southern California
Michelle White, Pasadena Tenants Union
Karthick Ramakrishnan, Professor, UC Riverside (moderator)

 Samantha Gowen and Susan Shelley, Southern California News Group


Forum on Poverty

We held our second forum in Orange County on January 30, 2020, focusing on poverty and economic equity.

Thursday, January 30, 2020
Westerbeck Hall, Pasadena City College
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm 

Co-sponsored by OC Grantmakers

Welcoming remarks by OC Grantmakers 

Taryn Palumbo, Executive Director and
Jason Lacsamana, Advisory Board Chair
Moderated Panel 
(Moderator) Todd Harmonson, Senior Editor
Orange County Register
Lucy Dunn, President & CEO
Orange County Business Council
Mary Anne Foo, Executive Director
Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA)
Shelley Hoss, President & CEO
Orange County Community Foundation
Joel Kotkin, Presidential Fellow
Urban Futures at Chapman University

Advancing Racial Equity in Government: What's Next?

We held this event on Thursday, August 20th, via Zoom. This event focused on advancing racial equity in local governments across Southern California.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Zoom Webinar

10:00 am  – 11:30 am 

Speakers & Moderators:

Rex Richardson, President, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

Kome Ajise, Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

Megan Beaman Jacinto, SCAG Board Member and Councilmember, City of Coachella

Frank Pine, Executive Editor, Southern California News Group

Deepa Bharat, Reporter, Southern California News Group

Samantha Dunn, Editor, Southern California News Group

Pastor Samuel Casey, Executive Director, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement

Vonya Quarles, Executive Director, Starting Over, Inc.

Karthick Ramakrishnan, Founding Director, Center for Social Innovation, UCR

Climate Change: Navigating the Challenges of a Perpetual Fire Season

We held our third forum on April 8, 2021, focusing on climate change and its effects on California’s fire season.

Thursday, April 8, 2021
Zoom Webinar
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Watch Here!

Welcoming Remarks & Moderators 
Karthick Ramakrishnan, Director
Center for Social Innovation

Frank Pine, Executive Editor
Southern California News Group

Keynote Speaker
Wade Crowfoot, Secretary
California Natural Resource Agency

Moderated Panel
Dr. Michael J. Gollner, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
UC Berkeley

Senator Anthony Portantino
California Senate District #25

Tracy Hernandez, CEO
Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed)

Clean Energy Future for Southern California

With climate change as a major concern and with the policy priorities of both federal & state government, Southern California is poised to chart a different economic future with clean energy and transportation as the driving force.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Zoom Webinar

2 pm – 3:30 pm (PDT)

Watch Here!


Sarah White, Senior Advisor for Jobs & the Economy, CA Governor’s Office of Planning & Research

Danny Kennedy, Chief Energy Officer, New Energy Nexus

Mayte Sanchez, Director of Energy, LA Cleantech Incubator

Devin Rauss, Senior Manager, Southern California Edison

Jawaad Malik, Strategy & Sustainability Chief Environmental Officer, SoCal Gas


Frank Pine, Executive Editor, Southern California News Group

Karthick Ramakrishnan, Founding Director, Center for Social Innovation, UCR