State of the Region Speakers

2008 State of the Region Speakers


Carl Anthony

Founder, Earth House Center

Carl Anthony is founder of the Earth House Leadership Center (EHLC) in Oakland, CA. The mission of EHLC is to promote multiracial and multiclass leadership for sustainable metropolitan regions nationwide. Prior to his current position he was Acting Director of the Community and Resource Development Unit at the Ford Foundation, where he directed the Foundation’s Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative and the Regional Equity Demonstration. Carl funded the national Conversation on Regional Equity (CORE), a dialogue of national policy analysts and advocates for new metropolitan racial justice strategies. His work at Ford is documented in a new book Breakthrough Communities: Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis, edited by Paloma Pavel, Ph.D. to be published by MIT Press in spring 2009. Prior to joining the Foundation he was Co-Chair of the Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Communities (BAASC). BAASC is a multi stake holder collaborative bringing together business leadership, environmental groups, social advocacy groups, labor, faith based organizations, elected and other public officials to build a consensus on how the region of 6.5 million, and over 100 jurisdictions, should grow. He was Founder and was, for 12 years, Executive Director of the Urban Habitat Program. With a colleague, Luke Cole at the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, he founded and published the Race, Poverty and the Environment Journal, the only environmental justice periodical in the United States.

From 1991 through 1997, Anthony was President of Earth Island Institute, an international environmental organization to protect and conserve the global biosphere. Congressman Ron Dellums appointed Carl Anthony Chair and Principal Administrative Officer of the East Bay Conversion and Reinvestment Commission in 1993. The Commission was charged with overseeing a National Pilot Project to guide the closure of 500 military bases in the US, to re-envision the role of the National Laboratories, and to implement the conversion of 5 military bases in Alameda County. He has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, and the University of California Colleges of Environmental Design and Natural Resources. He has been an Advisor to the Stanford University Law School on issues of environmental justice. Anthony has a professional degree in architecture from Columbia University. In 1996, he was appointed Fellow at the Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard University.

Judith Bell

President, PolicyLink

At PolicyLink, Judith Bell oversees policy development, strategic planning, program implementation, and policy campaign strategy and leads projects focused on equitable development, such as the fair distribution of affordable housing, equity in public investment, and community strategies to improve health. Bell is a regular speaker, trainer, and consultant on advocacy strategy. Her work at PolicyLink includes access to healthy foods, transportation, and infrastructure investment. In addition, Bell leads PolicyLink work with the Healthy Eating Active Living Convergence Partnership, a multi-foundation initiative to support equity-focused efforts to advance policy and environmental changes for healthy people and healthy places. Previously, Bell directed the West Coast office of Consumers Union, where she engaged in efforts to improve the quality of life for all consumers, particularly in access to health care.

Keith Carson
Supervisor Keith Carson
Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 5

Keith Carson was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1992, on a platform dedicated to inclusive and accessible government. He represents the 5th District which includes: Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont and large portions of Oakland, namely West Oakland, North Oakland (Rockridge and Montclair), and portions of the Fruitvale/ Dimond Districts. Supervisor Carson works to bring together people who have a wealth of talent and creative resources to address our shared problems within the numerous areas including access to health care, ending poverty, homelessness, crime, improving business retention, and addressing the scarcity of jobs in our communities.

Supervisor Carson is Chair of the Alameda County East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA) and is a member of the Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (ACERA). Supervisor Carson serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Counties (NACo), and the California State Association of counties (CSAC) – a 58 county statewide supervisors organization; he is also a member of the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA), and a member of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority. Keith serves as Chair of the Finance Committee for the Bay Area World Trade Center (BAWTC) and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Council Institute.

Juliet Ellis
Executive Director, Urban Habitat

Juliet Ellis is Executive Director of Urban Habitat, a regional environmental justice organization. Urban Habitat works in partnership with low-income communities and communities of color to advance social, economic, and environmental justice in the Bay Area region. Through advocacy and the promotion of equitable policies, leadership development, research, and participation in strategic coalitions, Urban Habitat helps to build a democratic society in which all communities have the power to influence and benefit from the decisions impacting their neighborhoods. Prior to becoming Director for UH, Juliet was the Associate Program Officer for Neighborhood and Community Development at The San Francisco Foundation. She was responsible for all aspects of grantmaking in the areas of workforce development, housing, homelessness, economic development, community development, and neighborhood planning.

Juliet has served on numerous regional and local boards and committees, including the Oakland Homeless and Low-Income Taskforce, the San Francisco Asset Building Initiative, the Alameda Continuum of Care Council, and the Alameda County Public Health Disparities Taskforce. She currently serves on the Board and Steering Committee of the Transportation and Land Use Coalition, the David Brower Center, The San Francisco School of Volunteers and the Partnership for Working Families. Juliet was also recently appointed to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), a department of the City and County of San Francisco that provides water, wastewater, and municipal power services to San Francisco and supplies water to 1.6 million additional customers within three Bay Area counties.

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins
Executive Director, Working Partnerships USA
Executive Officer, South Bay Labor Council

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is Executive Director of Working Partnerships USA, a nationally recognized regional public policy institute. As the leading policy innovator in Silicon Valley's high-tech economy, Ms. Ellis-Lamkins has been named by San Jose Magazine as one of the 100 most powerful people in Silicon Valley and among the "40 to watch under 40" by the San Jose Business Journal, as well as being recognized by City Flight Magazine as one of the ten most influential African-Americans in the Bay Area.
Under Ms. Ellis-Lamkins’ leadership, the nation’s first county-based universal children’s health insurance program has expanded coverage to over 144,000 children and been replicated in 34 counties across the state. As a founder of Team San José, Ms. Ellis-Lamkins pioneered a new model for public/private management of convention center and cultural venues. She led the fight to create the nation's first comprehensive city-level Community Benefits Policy. Ms. Ellis-Lamkins is a founder and chair of the Partnership for Working Families, a national coalition to bring the principles of good jobs and community benefits to local economic development. Ms. Ellis-Lamkins also serves as the executive officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, representing more than 110,000 working families in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties.

Ericka Erickson
Associate Director, Grassroots Leadership Network of Marin

Ericka Omena Erickson, MPA, the Associate Director of Grassroots Leadership Network of Marin, facilitates underrepresented communities political empowerment through civic engagement and leadership development programs, such as the Grassroots Leadership Academy. Her professional background includes more than 15 years of national and international experience in the areas of social marketing, adult education, and organizational development. A native of Brazil, Ericka enjoys being a catalyst for inspiring, educational, and powerful intercultural interactions.

Connie Galambos Malloy
Bay Area Social Equity Caucus, Urban Habitat

Connie Galambos Malloy oversees the work of the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus at Urban Habitat. Prior to her current role, Connie coordinated the Regional Sustainability Initiative at Redefining Progress. Through a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Connie has worked with a variety of California organizations on urban planning issues, including the Earned Asset Resource Network (EARN), Unity Council, and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE). She has also worked as a planner and funding liaison for United Way of the Inland Valleys in Riverside, CA and as a Peace Corps volunteer leading sustainable tourism development projects in Bolivia’s Amazon Basin.

Connie is founding board member of AFAAD: Adopted & Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora and directs the Summer Camp Children’s Program for families adopting and fostering across color lines at Pact, An Adoption Alliance. She previously served on the board of the California Planning Foundation, and is currently serving as Diversity Director on the California Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Northern Section board. Connie earned her M.C.P. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelors Degree in Communications & Spanish from La Sierra University.

Angela Johnson Meszaros

Director of Policy and General Counsel, California Environmental Rights Alliance
Special Advisor to South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board Member Joseph K. Lyou, Ph.D.

Ms. Angela Johnson Meszaros serves as Director of Policy and General Counsel for the California Environmental Rights Alliance. She also serves as Special Advisor to South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board Member Joseph K. Lyou, Ph.D. Angela Johnson Meszaros has nearly 15 years of experience working with communities and organizations on environmental justice issues in the Los Angeles region. During this time, Angela has used a range of tools to enhance the health, safety, and quality of life of low-income communities of color negatively impacted by environmental hazards including: litigation in federal and state court; filing regulatory challenges; lobbying state legislators; providing community legal education; providing community technical assistance in campaign development, strategic planning, fundraising, document analysis, and regulatory agency operations; testifying before relevant committees, boards and commissions; serving on agency policy workgroups; engaging in media advocacy; and mediating negotiations with a wide range of stakeholders.

Angela is currently co-chair of the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee on the Implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32); a member of the Land Use Subgroup of the California Climate Action Team; the Chair of the Board of the Economic Roundtable, a non-profit organization that conducts research and implements programs that contribute to the economic self-sufficiency of individuals and communities; and a member of the California State Bar. Angela holds both a degree in philosophy and a law degree from the University of Southern California.

Manuel Pastor
Professor of Geography and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California
Director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC’s Center for Sustainable Cities

Founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research has generally focused on issues of environmental justice, regional inclusion, and the economic and social conditions facing low-income urban communities. His most recent book, co-authored with Chris Benner and Laura Leete, is Staircases or Treadmills: Labor Market Intermediaries and Economic Opportunity in a Changing Economy (Russell Sage, 2007). Prior volumes include Searching for the Uncommon Common Ground: New Dimensions on Race in America (W.W. Norton, 2002; co-authored with Angela Glover Blackwell and Stewart Kwoh) and Regions That Work: How Cities and Suburbs Can Grow Together (University of Minnesota Press, 2000; co-authored with Peter Dreier, Eugene Grigsby, and Marta Lopez-Garza). He served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and in January 2002 was awarded a Civic Entrepreneur of the Year award from the California Center for Regional Leadership.

The Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) is a new research unit headed by Manuel Pastor and part of the Center for Sustainable Cities. PERE’s work is rooted in the new three R’s: rigor, relevance and reach. PERE conducts high-quality research in focus areas that is relevant to public policy concerns and that reaches to those directly affected communities that most need to be engaged in the discussion. In general, PERE seeks and supports direct collaborations with community-based organizations in research and other activities, forging a new model of how university and community can work together.

Steven Pitts
Labor Policy Specialist, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education

Steven Pitts came to the Labor Center in August of 2001 from Houston, Texas. Steven received his Ph.D. in economics with an emphasis on urban economics from the University of Houston in 1994. His M.A. is also from the University of Houston and he holds an B.A. from Harvard University. For the 15 years prior to his arrival at the Labor Center, Steven taught economics at the Houston Community College and, for five years, he was an adjunct lecturer in the African American Studies Program at the University of Houston. At the Labor Center, Steven focuses on alternative strategies for worker organizing, and economic development and social policy with an emphasis on labor–community alliances. Areas of expertise include African American Workers, Alternative Strategies for Worker Organizing, & Union Leadership Development.

Jim Wunderman
President & Chief Executive Officer, Bay Area Council

Jim Wunderman serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Bay Area Council, a business-backed public policy organization in the San Francisco-Oakland-Silicon Valley Bay Area. Led by its CEO members, the Bay Area Council is the strong, united voice of more than 275 of the largest Bay Area employers, representing more than 500,000 workers, or one of every six private sector employees. Since becoming CEO in 2004, Wunderman has led the 64-year-old public policy organization to become one of the most influential, effective institutions of its kind. Under Wunderman’s leadership, the Council has grown significantly in membership, revenue and profile, and has developed a global competitiveness strategy for the Bay Area that serves as a model for other regions. Some of the core elements of the global competitiveness strategy are to develop world-class infrastructure, a second-to-none education system, and to enact a smart growth plan that will stand in an era of climate change and economic pressures.