The board of directors and staff of the California Budget Project (CBP) express heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues, and friends of Lark Galloway-Gilliam, who passed away earlier this month. Lark dedicated herself to working for social and economic justice in her native Los Angeles, on the state level, and nationally. Although Lark had numerous leadership roles during her career, she is probably best known as the founder and executive director of Community Health Councils, Inc.
Since joining the CBP board of directors in 2001, Lark had been a guiding voice in our efforts to advance public policy outcomes that reduce poverty and inequality and create opportunity for low- and middle-income Californians. Anybody who worked closely with Lark was impressed and inspired by her intelligence and commitment. As a way of honoring Lark, I wanted to share a few reflections from CBP leaders — past and present — on her immeasurable impact.
“Lark made immense contributions to the California Budget Project as a longtime board member. Her insights and efforts helped build the Budget Project into an important voice for how the California budget can be a vehicle to promote economic justice and social equality. Her commitment to serving her community infused and gave value to her contributions as a board member. She will be sorely missed.” — Paul Rosenstiel, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, CBP board chair
“Lark was a dedicated force for change who understood that health equity could only be achieved within a broader framework of fiscal and economic justice. Her participation on the CBP’s board reflected that understanding. I valued her wise counsel, which was informed by a deep understanding of the communities she worked within. My thoughts are with her family, staff, and friends.” — Jean Ross, Ford Foundation, former CBP executive director
“Lark was an incredibly effective advocate and institution-builder who took a comprehensive approach to improving health outcomes in South Los Angeles and other underserved communities. As part of that, she valued and understood the importance of CBP’s research and analysis. I always valued the insights that she brought from years of experience and a deep commitment to California’s most vulnerable communities.” — Jennifer Ito, USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, CBP board member
The California Budget Project family will greatly miss Lark, a visionary and remarkable leader. We will remember her deep commitment to independent analysis and informed debate, and her passion for improving conditions for California’s families and communities. We honor and celebrate her many contributions, which will live on in our future work.