As part of its Public Policy Education Program, the Institute sponsors high profile events about issues of concern to the diverse communities of Los Angeles.

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The three most recent posts about PBI Events are below. To see a greater breadth of our event offerings, please follow this link.

Posts About Recent and Upcoming Events

2016 Pat Brown Institute’s 35th Annual Dinner

California Shows The Way:

Leadership and Innovation in the Face of Climate Change

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles

The Institute is delighted to have honored CA Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, and David Gelber and Joel Bach, co-creators and Executive Producers of the National Geographic docu-series Years of Living Dangerously, for their efforts to respond to the crisis caused by climate change.

Videos by Art Simon
(626) 388 – 0880 Email:

1. Reception at Millennium Biltmore Hotel LA 

2. Introduction by Michelle Tuzee, ABC Co-Anchor

3. Cal State LA President William A. Covino

4. Pat Brown Institute “Living the Legacy” Video

5. Dr. Raphael J. Sonenshein, Executive Director, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs

6. Tribute to Governor Jerry Brown (clips courtesy of ABC)

7. Acknowledgements of Elected Officials

8. Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León interview at COP 21

9. Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León introduced by George Pla

10. Docu-Series “Years of Living Dangerously” Clip

11. Maria Wilhelm introduced by Sarah Pillsbury

12. David Gelber and Joel Bach, Co-Creators and Executive Producers of ‘Years of Living Dangerously,” Acceptance Video

13. Former Governor Pat Brown Birthday Celebration 


Photos by David Ng
(626) 288 – 0833 
Email:  [email protected] 

Our Institute’s motto is “Unleashing the Power of Participation.” Engaging people in the civic enterprise is not just about making voting easier. While better voting procedures certainly help, it is also about inspiration, about demonstrating and celebrating the times when community attention and public leadership join to make change. It is inspiration – making the impossible into a practical reality – that will bring young people on board.

This year, the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State LA celebrated the cutting edge role that California has played in generating new and creative public policies world wide as we fight to save our planet. When world leaders gathered in Paris in 2015 and signed an historic agreement to address the long term crisis of climate change, Californians took pride in our state’s role in making it happen. Through the efforts of elected and appointed public officials, non-profit organizations, innovative business and labor leaders, journalists and the entertainment world, the context of debate was changed, new policies were implemented, links were built across state and national boundaries, and new models were demonstrated.

President pro Tempore Kevin de Leόn Headshot

Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), serves as President pro Tempore of the California State Senate. He is the first Latino elected to the position in more than 130 years.

Senator De Leon is focused on building a more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable economy for the Golden State. He is working to make college more accessible and affordable, combat climate change while building a clean-energy economy, improve retirement security for low-income workers, and support California’s growing diverse communities.

Last year, Senator De León authored SB 350, which gives the state the most ambitious renewable energy goals in the nation. In 2012, he passed SB 1234, a first-of-its-kind retirement-savings program for low-income workers and SB 535, which requires a quarter of all cap-and-trade revenue be spent in disadvantage communities.  He also co-chaired the campaign for Proposition 39, which closed a corporate-tax loophole and steered billions of dollars to improve energy efficiency in California’s public schools.  Senator De León was instrumental in negotiating the new film and TV tax credit program that is now bringing film-production jobs back to California.  He also has an extensive legislative record on public safety and expanding rights for women, workers, and immigrants.

Senator De León served four years in the Assembly before being elected to the Senate in 2010. Before the Legislature, he taught citizenship courses to immigrants and led opposition to 1994’s anti-immigrant Proposition 187.  Senator De León credits his immigrant mother as his inspiration to help build a brighter future for generations to come.


Gelber HeadshotDavid Gelber, Co-Creator and Executive Producer of Years of Living Dangerously

Gelber, who resides in Garrison, N.Y., has been managing director at Roaring Fork Films since 2011. During the nineties, Gelber was executive producer of Peter Jennings Reporting at ABC News®, where he won Emmy and DuPont Awards for his coverage of the war in Bosnia, spending two winters in Sarajevo producing documentaries on the Bosnian Conflict.  He returned to CBS News® in 1996 to head the Ed Bradley Unit at 60 Minutes, where he produced award-winning stories on prison camps in China, sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, and AIDS in Africa.  A story he did with Scott Pelley on medical charlatans who peddle bogus stem cell therapy to patients dying of ALS won the Emmy for Best Investigative Story of 2010 by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  Gelber earned a B.A. in history from Swarthmore and has served on the Board since 2004. He is married to Kyoko Inouye Gelber. They have two daughters, Maya and Clara.

Joel Bach Jan 2016Joel Bach,  Co-Creator and Exective Producer of Years of Living Dangerously

Managing Director & Executive Producer

Joel Bach is the co-creator of YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, which won the 2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction TV Series. He is primarily responsible for the visual design and narrative look of the show. Bach is the recipient of three other Emmy Awards, two of which he won while producing stories at 60 MINUTES. There he worked alongside Scott Pelley, Steve Kroft, Lesley Stahl and the late Ed Bradley. Prior to his tenure at CBS, Bach worked at ABC and NBC; freelance directed music videos, short films and PSAs; and produced national commercials in Los Angeles and San Francisco.



This year we celebrated former California Governor Pat Brown’s birthday, which falls on April 21st.


The Institute Thanks Its Event Sponsors



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Bronze Sponsor

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Rebooting Civic Education

Highlights from the 2015 34th Annual Dinner

For its 2015 Annual Awards Dinner, the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA celebrated 34 years of public service, and acknowledged the efforts and dedication of all who work to promote civic engagement, and thereby contribute so much to the strength and vibrancy of our communities and our democracy.


Photos by David Ng
(626) 288-0833  
Email:  [email protected]


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2016 Making Sense of DWP Reform

On Tuesday, March 29, 2016, the Institute held a discussion about DWP Reform with over 250 attendees at the Ronald F. Deaton Civic Auditorium, LAPD Headquarters.

Download Our DWP Reform Report

Video by LA CityView, Channel 35

Photos by David Ng
(626) 288-0833  
Email:  [email protected]

Introductions By:

Cal State LA Provost Lynn Mahoney

Opening Remarks By:

Panelist Discussion With:

Marcie Edwards is the General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. She is the first woman to lead this municipal utility. She is a 3rd generation DWPer and first worked at the utility 24 years ago as a clerk typist. She gained experience in several Power System positions and then moved up as the energy control center manager and assistant general manager for the marketing and customer service business units. Currently, she leads the nation’s largest municipal utility and oversees a $5.5 billion budget, 8,800 employees and provides water and power to 4 million residents of Los Angeles.

George Kieffer led the first full revision of the Los Angeles City Charter in 75 years, chairing the City of Los Angeles Appointed Commission. The revision was adopted in 1999. He is the Chair of the Los Angeles Civic Alliance. Kieffer is also a Partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and has been named one of the “Top 100” attorneys in California by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals. He is the co-founder of FuturePorts and also serves on the Board of Regents of the University of California. Kieffer is a former chair of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Tony Wilkinson heads the committee that oversees the formal information sharing and transparency agreement between the city’s Neighborhood Councils and the Department of Water and Power. He is a member of both the Panorama City and the North Hills East Neighborhood Councils. He is also active in the First 5 LA tobacco tax money for kids program and in police and gang issues work is his community. Tony retired from a business career that included experience as a business economist, marketing services manager, and information technology manager for a national land title insurance company. 


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2015 Annual Policy Conference

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach: 

Links In  A Chain

2016 22nd Annual Policy Conference

 In Partnership With


Download the Ports Conference Report

Ports Conference Biographies

Follow the event with our event hashtags

#PBIPortsCon2015 on Facebook and Twitter

The Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA held its 22nd Annual Policy Conference, “The Ports of LA and Long Beach: Links In A Chain,” on Friday, November 13th at The LA Hotel Downtown. Conference partners included the Los Angeles County Economic Corporations and the World Trade Center Los Angeles.

Cal State LA Provost Lynn Mahoney introduced Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti who spoke to a morning audience of elected officials, industry experts, community members, and students, including members of Cal State LA’s Honors College. PBI brought 35 students from Roosevelt High School associated with the Institute’s Youth Enrichment Policy Project. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia addressed the audience during the afternoon session.

Spurring dialogue and debate, the conference examined an industry that remains largely unknown to the general public and drove home the fact that without the ports and other parts of the supply chain we would not enjoy the quality of life we do now. And yet, all this growth has real world consequences in neighborhoods, including the environment, a point highlighted by Mary D. Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board. There are still tough choices to be made.

Photos by David Ng
(626) 288-0833  
Email:  [email protected]


Download presentations from the conference:


Dr. Thomas O’Brien

Executive Director of the Center for International Trade and Transportation












Dr. Robert Kleinhenz

Chief Economist at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation

LAEDC Recent and Future Trends in the Ports


Conference Sponsors

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We look forward to seeing you at our future events. Please join us for the Institute’s 35th Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. Be sure to “Like” us on Facebook and “Follow” us on [email protected]