6th Annual State of the Region

Creating Economic, Social and Environmental Resilience

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Virtual Event

We have an action-packed line-up in store, covering a range of topics relevant to our region, from getting an effective COVID-19 vaccine to wildfire mitigation, to investing locally in our economic recovery, and more.  Don’t miss this event, and enjoy it from the comfort of your home or office!  We will explore some bold ideas about how we can rebound from our multiple current crises to create a more inclusive and vibrant economy for all.  Join us!


9:00-9:30 am:

9:30-9:55 am:

9:55-10:10 am: 

10:10-10:35 am:

10:35-10:40 am:

10:40-10:55 am:

10:55-11:10 am:

11:10-11:30 am:

11:30-11:40 am:

11:40-11:45 am:

11:45-12:10 pm:

12:10-12:25 pm:

12:25-12:30 pm:

12:30-12:40 pm:

12:40-1:00 pm:

Arrival and virtual networking

Welcome, Kate Roberts, President and CEO, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership 

Bruce Katz, Founding Director, Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University

The New Localism and Pandemics: How the COVID-19 crisis has simultaneously
heightened the need for the national, and revealed the power of the local

Tom Steyer, Co-Chair for Governor Newsom’s Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force
Introduced by Micah Weinberg, CEO CA Fwd

How California is Building an Equitable, Resilient Economic Recovery

Local Area Video Tour

Dr. Rebecca Dubois, Associate Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at UC Santa Cruz 

Getting to a COVID-19 Vaccine and Beyond

Martha Guzman Aceves, CPUC Commissioner

Broadband Access for All

Fireside Chat with Anna Caballero, California State Senator

Housing: Where Do We Go from Here?

Break & Virtual Networking

MBEP Student Ambassador Success Video

Jessica Morse, Deputy Secretary for Forest Resources Management, California Natural Resources Agency

Creating Forest Resilience 

Susan True, CEO, Community Foundation Santa Cruz County

Local Investing to Spur Economic Recovery, “Main Street vs. Wall Street”

Community Impact Award

Thank You and Closing With a Surprise Guest

Virtual Networking  



Ana Caballero, California State Senator

The voters of Senate District 12 elected Anna M. Caballero in November 2018 to the California Senate, which includes all of Merced and San Benito Counties, the Salinas Valley, and portions of Fresno, Madera, and Stanislaus Counties.

Senator Caballero began her career by providing legal services to farmworkers and founded a non-profit to reduce gang violence. She served as a City Councilmember and Mayor of Salinas, and as a State Assemblymember. She was the first woman to be Mayor of Salinas. In 2011, she joined Governor Brown’s cabinet as Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. Senator Caballero focuses her policy goals on water, economic development, poverty, and housing. She tirelessly fights for rural California, pursuing policies to improve the lives of families, farmers, workers, seniors, and children.

Dr. Rebecca DuBois, Associate Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at UC Santa Cruz 

Dr. Rebecca DuBois is an Associate Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. Her lab uses protein engineering to investigate human viruses and to develop new vaccines. Before joining UC Santa Cruz, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France and at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at UC San Diego and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Martha Guzman, Commissioner at the CPUC

Martha Guzman Aceves was appointed Commissioner at the CPUC by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on Dec. 28, 2016. She has focused on issues related to fuel switching, broadband access, water affordability, access to distributed solar and various other energy and telecommunications issues. Guzman Aceves earned a Master of Science degree in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Davis, and a Bachelor of Science in International Economics from Georgetown University.

Bruce Katz, Founding Director, Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University

Bruce Katz is the Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University in Philadelphia and is the co-author of The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism. Previously he served as inaugural Centennial Scholar at Brookings Institution and as vice president and director of Brooking’s Metropolitan Policy Program for 20 years. He is a member of the RSA City Growth Commission in the United Kingdom and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. Katz previously served as chief of staff to the secretary of Housing and Urban Development and staff director of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs. Katz co-led the Obama administration’s housing and urban transition team. He is co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution and The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism, editor or co-editor of several books on urban and metropolitan issues, and a frequent media commentator.

Jessica Morse, Deputy Secretary for Forest Resources Management, California Natural Resources Agency

Jessica Morse is the Deputy Secretary for Forest Resources Management at the California Natural Resources Agency. In her role, she is working to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration and emergency fuel breaks throughout California.

Prior to joining the Newsom administration, Jessica spent nearly ten years in National Security working for the Defense Department, State Department, and the US Agency for International Development. Her assignments included a year and a half in Baghdad, Iraq, as well as India, Myanmar, and US Pacific Command in Hawaii.

Throughout her career, she designed and executed innovative strategies across agencies and governments, including a strategy using renewable energy technology transfer as the catalyst for improving US defense engagement with India.

Jessica is a 5th generation Northern Californian. She and her family still own their original homestead forestland near Tahoe. Her Sierra roots translated into a deep love of the outdoors. Jessica can be found backpacking, skiing, and fishing throughout the Sierra. She even hiked 500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Ms. Morse holds a Masters of Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Principia College.

In 2018, Morse ran for Congress against Tom McClintock in California’s 4th
Congressional District.

Tom Steyer, Co-Chair for Governor Newsom’s Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force

Tom Steyer left his successful investing business to give his own money, time, and energy to fighting for progressive causes. He soon became one of the country’s leading forces in registering more young voters and voters of color, fighting climate change, working for racial justice, and helping secure better lives for all Americans. From founding voter mobilization organization NextGen America, to spearheading impeachment with Need to Impeach, Tom has led a number of people-first, grassroots campaigns that have repeatedly defeated powerful special interests. Tom has mobilized grassroots efforts to beat big oil to win clean air laws, force big tobacco to pay its share of healthcare costs, and close a billion-dollar corporate tax loophole to fund public schools. Most recently, Tom was a former Democratic presidential candidate and now serves as co-chair for Governor Newsom’s Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force. He Co-chaired Vice President Biden’s Climate Engagement Advisory Council to help mobilize climate voters.

Susan True, CEO, Community Foundation Santa Cruz County

CEO since October 2017, Susan feels grateful each and every day for the opportunity to lead Community Foundation Santa Cruz County. She oversees the stewardship of $140 million in assets and mobilizes people, ideas, and resources to make Santa Cruz County a place where all people will have the opportunity to grow and thrive.

Susan has served as Executive Director of CASA and First 5 of Santa Cruz County. She earned a BA in Community Studies at U.C. Santa Cruz and a Master’s degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She was elected to the Cabrillo Board of Trustees in 2008 and served until 2013 when she left to lead the Rainin Foundation’s education investments in Oakland. She is the proud mom of an adult son who teaches 6th grade in Monterey and loves to hike and bike in our beautiful county and to bake for family and friends.

Dr. Micah Weinberg, Chief Executive Officer, CA Fwd

Dr. Weinberg is Chief Executive Officer for CA Fwd. This cross-sector civic leadership group is committed to producing prosperity for all Californians in all of the state’s regions and to improving government performance and accountability.

Prior to joining CA Fwd, Dr. Weinberg was President of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, the leading think tank focused on the most critical economic and policy issues facing the Silicon Valley/San Francisco region, and was a Senior Research Fellow at New America.

Dr. Weinberg’s writing has appeared in diverse outlets from the New York Times to Policy Studies Journal, and he has appeared on Fox News and NPR.

Dr. Weinberg’s work focuses on increasing the dynamism, resilience, and inclusiveness of communities in California and throughout the nation and world. This requires all people to have access to the building blocks of the California Dream including economic opportunity, health and wellbeing, affordable transportation, housing and lifelong education, and a healthy environment.

He holds a doctoral degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with honors from Princeton University with a degree in Politics. He serves on the Board of the American Cancer Society for the Greater Bay Redwood Region and the Advisory Boards of the Insure the Uninsured Project, Hamilton Families, Rise Together Bay Area, and Covered California for Small Business. He lives in lovely Oakland California with his wife and son.

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