PCL’s 2018 California Environmental Assembly
New Strategies for Chaotic Times

Saturday, February 24, 2018

8:30 am to 4:00 pm with a reception to follow

Main Hall Street Address: 3227 Fifth Ave., Sacramento, CA 95817

You can register online or tickets will be available at the door… 

Each year PCL focuses on policy topics that are relevant and current in California’s environmental policy. We are planning to do so again this year with several important policy sessions as well as legal environmental issues and current court cases to watch.

Given the strong interest from last year’s assembly on diversity and the shared values, we all work so hard to protect and promote across California, we will be adding a topic track devoted entirely to the intersectionality of our shared values and organizational collaboration and co-advocacy strategies.

Additionally, we will add a job and internship fair for youth and new activists to learn about policy work, as well as encourage them to build a career in the field and develop the job skills to do so.  Empowering the younger generations to continue the work ahead is critical to all of us. We are offering full scholarships for students – click here to download the application (pdf).

Join the Planning and Conservation League on February 24, 2018, at McGeorge School of Law for the annual California Environmental Assembly. Tickets are on sale now – click here to purchase yours.

What:  Planning and Conservation League’s 2018 California Environmental Assembly

When:  Saturday, February 24, 2018, registration and breakfast starts at 7:30 am

Where:  McGeorge School 3200 5th Ave, Sacramento, CA 95817

Who:  Leading local and state elected officials, agency representatives, nonprofit and community leaders, attorneys, planners, and business representatives

Get on the list: Email Us

Download the Assembly Flyer

 2018 Assembly Schedule, Sessions, and Panelists


Professor John Kirlin, McGeorge Law School, Founding Director of the Program in Public Policy
Graham Brownstein, Chair of the Board, Planning and Conservation League
Howard Penn, Executive Director, Planning and Conservation League

Opening Plenary Session

What Matters: Cross-Interest Challenges in 2017

California is leading the way in many issues many that cut across interests of health equity and environmental sustainability, but how can we do better? This plenary session will set the stage for the day’s discussions.  We will analyze what strategies worked well this past legislative session to advance our shared values together and what we can do in 2018 to move these objectives forward.  Our focus will be on cases covering 2017 legislation on the housing package, cap and trade, and the transportation funding bill, SB1.  What worked and what didn’t in our cross-interest efforts?

Session Moderator – Julie Snyder, Equity Advocates

Jared Sanchez, California Bicycle Coalition
Marie Liu, Office of The Assembly Speaker
Anya Lawler, Western Center on Law & Poverty

Breakout Sessions

Shared Values Track

Track Moderator – Phoebe Seaton, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

Morning |What Now? Opportunities for Cross-Interest Collaboration in 2018
The “shared values” conversation for the 2018 Assembly is meant to be an update and action-oriented follow-up to the outcomes of PCL’s 2017 Assembly, where two broad objectives were identified: one, to back-stop California law against weakening of protections we now rely on in federal law; and two, a need to better coordinate across interests and private and public sectors in our shared goals. This morning shared-values session will focus on the first of those objectives.  Following the look-back of the opening plenary, this break-out session discussion will seek to identify what the key opportunities are in 2018 for coordination across environmental and social justice, civil and human rights, as well as other cross-sector interests, and cooperation across government, non-government and private sectors.

Dan Woo, California Department of Public Health
Tyrone Buckley, Housing California
Bryn Lindblad, Climate Resolve
Rev. Amanda Ford, Take Care Institute for Equity and Justice

Afternoon |Working Better Together: How Do Our Partnerships Need to Evolve to Win?
The afternoon “shared values” conversation will emphasize full participation from all in attendance, focusing on the second of the objectives identified in the 2017 assembly: the need to work better together across interests and public and private sectors. Building upon the opportunities identified in the morning shared-values session, the discussion will seek to identify specific strategies for better coordination in 2018 to achieve those shared goals. This discussion will also seek to identify sometimes unresolvable conflicts—when interest diverge, how can we continue to work effectively without fracturing partnerships and broader collaborative efforts?

Kristen Wraith, Local Government Commission
Victoria Rome, NRDC & Green California Steering Committee
Ingrid Brostrom, Assistant Director, Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment
Erica Rincon, Senior Associate, Policylink
Jessie Feller Hahn, Executive Director, Meeting of the Minds

Land Use & Transportation Track

Track Moderator – Chanell Fletcher, Climate Plan

Morning | Finding The Gaps: The Disconnect Between our Climate Policies and Our Land Use Decisions
California is making progress, but our housing, transportation, and land use policies are still fully not integrated or complementary.  We see an opportunity to close those policy gaps with strategies such as reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT). VMT reduction has become the proxy metric, not only for land use related GHG reduction but also for the co-benefits to natural resource conservation, public health, and equity that improved land use can provide.  The CA Air Resources Board has identified the need for an additional 15% reduction in VMT to meet the State goals for 2050 GHG reduction, and yet our land use and transportation decisions continue to not be aligned with these goals. This multi-angled discussion will focus on the challenges inherent in making this shift from the policies that have led to current inequities and the car-oriented California of today.

Kurt Kaperos, California Air Resources Board
Kara Heckert, American Farmland Trust
Meea Kang, Council of Infill Builders
Jesus Hernandez, UC Davis Sociology Department

Afternoon | Closing the Gaps: Strategies to Achieve our Goals for Environment and Equity
To meet California’s GHG reduction targets, and environmental sustainability and social equity goals, a significant shift is needed for how we plan where we live and how we transport ourselves. After diving into the challenges inherent in shifting California’s growth patterns in the morning break-out, this discussion will explore the many opportunities there are for closing the VMT gap through land use, housing, transportation and climate policy.

Chris Ganson, Office of Planning and Research
Katie Valenzuela Garcia, Principal Consultant to the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate
Denny Grossman, Strategic Growth Council
Brian Annis, California State Transportation Agency

Legal Track

Morning | California v. The Feds: Major Federal Legal Concerns for California (MCLE Credit Pending)
The morning legal tract discussion will provide (credited) analysis of legal questions regarding recent and potential federal policy and judicial actions as it concerns California.

Richard Marcantonio, Public Advocates
Arsenio Mataka, Office of Attorney General Xavier Becerra
Layla Razavi, California Immigration Policy Center
Nick Bryner, University of California, Los Angeles

Afternoon | The People v. California: Setting the State Straight (MCLE Credit Pending)
The afternoon Legal tract breakout will provide in-depth discussions of current legal questions regarding recent California legislation, and regulatory judicial precedents.

Kip Lipper, Chief Policy Adviser on Energy and Environment, Office of Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León
Winter King, Shute Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP
Ethan Elkind, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Doug Carstens, Chatten-Brown & Carstens, LLP

Closing Plenary Session

Discussion of Specific Actions for 2018

Download our 2018 PCL Assembly Sponsorship Packet to learn how you can join in supporting the future of California!



Read the summary & report from the 2017 Assembly here


Thank you to our Sponsors & Co-Hosts of the 2018 Assembly

Youth & Access Scholarship Sponsors
Chatten-Brown Carstens, LLP
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Phyllis Faber

Gold Sponsors
Chatten-Brown Carstens, LLP
Phyllis Faber
Sage Sweetwood

Silver Sponsors
David Hirsch
East Bay Municipal Utility District
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
National Wildlife Federation

Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP

Bronze Sponsors
California Endowment
Holland and Knight
Keith G Wagner APC

Kevin Johnson
Law Offices of Graham Brownstein
Law Offices of Stuart M. Flashman
Lozeau Drury, LLP

Mogavero Architects
M. R. Wolfe & Associates, P.C.
Ralph Perry

Rossmann & Moore, LLP

Emerging Sponsors
Center for Biological Diversity

Corey Briggs/Briggs Law Corporation
Law Offices of Thomas N. Lippe, APC
TELACU Industries, Inc.

Contributing Sponsors
Andy Sawyer & Carol Bingham
Byron Sher
California Climate Investments

Environmental Defense Center
Friends, Artists and Neighbors of Elkhorn Slough
Friends of Harbors, Beaches 
and Parks
Jennifer McGraw
Public Good PR

Remy, Moose & Manley, LLP
Valley Land Alliance
West Yost Associates

Please consider joining our sponsors to support the California Environmental Assembly. To learn more download our 2018 PCL Assembly Sponsorship Packet. Thank you!

Event or assembly questions – please contact us.