Meet Jennifer Ito, Budget Center Board Member


Our vision is of a California where everyone has the opportunity to participate fully in the state’s economic, social, and political life. This will require our state to make smart policy choices and the right kinds of public investments. In working to accomplish this, our team is backed by a diverse and accomplished board of directors, ranging from coalition leaders to the state’s top economists and researchers. The California Budget & Policy Center’s board members bring decades of experience, expertise, and results. In this blog series, we will introduce each of our board members and give you some insight into the leadership that supports and helps guide the Budget Center.


Jennifer Ito

Jennifer Ito joined the California Budget & Policy Center’s board of directors in 2012. She also serves on the boards of the Economic Roundtable and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network Action. Jennifer is the Research Director at University of Southern California’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), where she conducts research on regional inclusion and social movement building. Before joining PERE, she worked at Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), a grassroots organizing and movement-building organization in South Los Angeles. In 2009, she was appointed by the Speaker of the California Assembly to serve on the California Commission on the 21st Century Economy. In 2015, she served on the California State Controller’s Council of Economic Advisors. Jennifer holds a master’s in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Why were you interested in joining the board of the Budget Center?
I have been a fan and a user of the Budget Center’s analysis since I worked at SCOPE, so I was honored to be part of the organization.

If you could make one policy change in California, what would it be?
Structural tax reform so that we can put an end to the need for ballot-box budgeting.

What’s your favorite thing about living in California?
Our innovation – particularly in the leading-edge approaches to including low-income Californians in the shared prosperity of our state.

Where is your favorite place to go in California?
Camping in any our state parks.

If you could have coffee with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?
My mother who passed away before I became a mother.

What is something people don’t generally know about you?
My father is a rocket scientist, literally.

Meet the Budget Center’s board of directors.