Our board of directors reflect the people, communities, and interests of California’s vast social makeup and help guide the Budget Center’s strategic work and growth.
Vice President of Policy and External Affairs, California Calls
Veronica Carrizales is the Vice President of Policy and External Affairs for California Calls, a powerful statewide alliance of 31 grassroots community-based organizations in 12 counties. California Calls works to achieve progressive, long-term policy reforms by engaging underrepresented low-income voters of color in state public policy decision-making. Veronica is a first-generation Chicana who was raised in the Coachella Valley with nine siblings in a farmworker family. She is passionate about advancing the cause of social and economic justice.
I joined the board because I was always impressed with the policy analysis that the Budget Center did and I wanted to help them build strategic partnerships with organizations doing advocacy and working in low-income communities of color. As a Latina from the Coachella Valley, it was also important to me that the analysis incorporated a racial equity lens and covered issues that impacted rural and inland valley regions.
President and CEO, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
Cathy Cha is president and CEO of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Under her leadership, Haas, Jr. is pursuing new ways to advance equality and justice. Cathy’s approach to collaboration has helped spark wide-ranging social impact, including California’s leadership among states in adopting pro-immigrant policies. She is a frequent public speaker on civic engagement, immigration, and innovative philanthropy. Cathy was recently named one of the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business.
With the pandemic and racism challenging California in profound ways, I wanted to be part of an organization that was rebuilding the tattered safety net, thinking of our poorest neighbors in the state, and advancing equity in state budgeting and policy reform. There's no better place than the California Budget and Policy Center to change the lives of low-income Californians.
Executive Director, Western Center on Law & Poverty
Before she was Western Center’s executive director, Crystal Crawford was a program director at Cal Wellness, where she developed and led the groundbreaking Women’s Initiatives designed to advance the health and economic security of women of color. She also helmed the development of the Leading for Power and Change portfolio which was created to amplify the voices, leadership and power of people of color. Previously, Crawford was CEO of the California Black Women’s Health Project.
I've always deeply appreciated the work of the California Budget and Policy Center, so it was an honor to join the board and serve the organization.
President, Economic Security Project
Natalie Foster is the president and co-founder of the Economic Security Project, a network dedicated to advancing a guaranteed income in America and reining in the unprecedented concentration of corporate power. She's a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative, and former director at Obama's Organizing for America, MoveOn.org, and Sierra Club.
The Budget Center does such good work to balance the speed and nimbleness needed to move policy, with the thoroughness and precision needed to do it right.
Partner, Blue Sky Consulting Group
Tim is a highly regarded public servant, having spent over 24 years as a fiscal advisor with both houses of the California Legislature and as the Director of the California Department of Finance. Tim was appointed Director of Finance in 1999 after over 20 years of legislative budget experience. In this capacity, he directed a staff of 350 in the development of the state's $100 billion budget, and oversaw its progress through the legislative process. He also directed representation of the Administration on 70 state boards and commissions and negotiated several major legal settlements. In 2005, he co-founded the Blue Sky Consulting Group to help government agencies, non-profit organizations, foundations, and private sector clients tackle complex policy issues with non-partisan analytical tools and strategic insights.
To support efforts to make information and analysis about the State and Federal budgets available to improve the lives of low- and moderate-income Californians and Californians of color.
President, GRACE Inc.
Shimica Gaskins is the President & CEO of GRACE/End Child Poverty in CA. She has worked in law and public policy specializing in legislative, regulatory, and policy issues associated with criminal justice reform and children’s rights. Prior to joining GRACE, she was executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-California, where she led statewide advocacy, policy, program, and organizing efforts to ensure access to quality affordable health coverage and care for children and low-income families, reform the juvenile justice system, promote educational equity, end child poverty, and improve outcomes for children of color.
Because I believe in the work and its impact for communities and policymaking.
Acting Director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
Tracy Gordon is the acting Robert C. Pozen director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Before joining Urban, Gordon was a senior economist with the White House Council of Economic Advisers. She was also a fellow at the Brookings Institution, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, and fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. Gordon holds a PhD in public policy with a concurrent MA in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Director of Strategic Research and Policy, Center for Popular Democracy
Emily Gordon is the Director of Strategic Research and Policy at the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). Prior to joining CPD, Emily was the Research Director at the California Federation of Teachers, representing 120,000 educators in 135 local unions across California. Emily has a Bachelor’s degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and earned a Master of Science in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics and Political Science in London. She lives in Oakland, CA.
I have long been a fan of the Budget Center's work and used analysis from the Center in many campaigns and advocacy efforts I worked on. I was thrilled to be able to support the organization as a board member!
Retired health policy and consumer advocate
Ruth Holton-Hodson had a thirty year career as a health policy and consumer advocate in the non-profit, philanthropic, and government sectors. Her career has been driven by the desire to advance policies that improve the lives of Californians with low incomes.
I was one of the original founders of the Budget Center. I believe the Budget Center plays a unique and critical role in educating policymakers, media, and advocacy groups about the needs and opportunities to improve the lives of low- to moderate-income families in California.
Professor, University of California Berkeley
Hilary Hoynes is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy and holds the Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities at UC Berkeley. She studies poverty, inequality and the impact of government tax and transfer programs on low-income families. Hoynes is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Reducing Child Poverty and the California Task Force on Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty.
To learn more about California policymaking and to lend my expertise where useful.
Executive Director, Advancement Project California
John Kim is the Executive Director of Advancement Project California. He has a long track record as a coalition-builder and facilitator of multi-stakeholder collaborations. He has established a wide range of partnerships with community-based organizations, elected officials, governmental agencies, academic researchers, and foundations across the state.
The Budget Center is a great institution with phenomenal staff. I am interested in strengthening its ties and alignment with the racial justice movement in the state.
Former Executive Director, County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA)
Frank Mecca has served on the Budget Center’s Board of Directors since 2013. He is also a member of the California Child Welfare Council, former president of the National Association of County Human Services Administrators, and he served as Executive Director of the County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) for over 25 years. Under his direction, CWDA was instrumental in the development of major human services programs and policies, including reshaping CalWORKs, creating Adult Protective Services, and advocating for child welfare reform.
My professional and personal passion is advancing the well-being of vulnerable and low-income individuals and families through evidence-informed and pragmatic policy. I’m a policy wonk for social justice. How could I NOT want to be on the Budget Center Board?! My organization has partnered with the Budget Center on many endeavors over the years and I’ve always had the utmost respect for their work.
Executive Director, Service Employees International Union California
Founder, End Poverty in California & Mayors for a Guaranteed Income
Michael is Executive Director of EPIC and Executive Chairman of Mayors for Guaranteed Income. He also serves as Special Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom for Economic Mobility.
Michael was elected Mayor of Stockton in 2016 at just 26 years old. As Mayor, he was lauded for his leadership and innovation -- most notably for piloting the first mayor-led guaranteed income pilot in the country.
In 2021, Tubbs released “The Deeper the Roots: A Memoir of Hope and Home.” The book not only relates his story of growing up in poverty, but lays his vision for leadership and policy that is more empathetic and responsive to people who are struggling.
I believe deeply in the Budget Center's mission and to end poverty in California.
Executive Director, Health Access California
Anthony Wright has served as executive director for Health Access, California’s health care consumer advocacy coalition, since 2002, leading campaigns to win key patient protections, coverage expansions, and public health investments. He also worked for NJ Citizen Action, Center for Media Education, The Nation, and Vice President Gore's office in the White House. Wright was born and raised in the Bronx, graduated from Amherst magna cum laude, and lives in Davis.
I have always appreciated the Budget Center's analyses, and the advice it provides advocacy organizations on the policy and politics of the state budget and a myriad of issues impacting families with low- and moderate-income.