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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Posts About Recent and Upcoming Events

35th Annual Dinner

Join us on Thursday, April 22, 2016

At the The Millennium Biltmore Hotel

506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071


Review our 34th Annual Dinner


Download our 2016 PBI Annual Dinner Sponsor Form

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (November 13, 2015)

Links In  A Chain

22nd Annual Policy Conference

 In Partnership With


Download the Ports Conference Program

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.




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






Follow the event with our event hashtags

#PBIPortsCon2015 #PatBrownInstitute on Facebook and Twitter

Conference Sponsors

      polb_h_4c       WellsFargoCal Wellness Logo_horiz_tag




SCE-logo               socalgas



Tesoro                                           WLC_Logo JPG

Distinguished Lecturer Professor Kevin Starr (October 14, 2015)

Professor Kevin Starr: “Postmodern California: A Pat Brown Perspective.”

Professor Kevin Starr gave a tailored lecture titled, “Postmodern California: A Pat Brown Perspective,” to a captivated audience in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles, on October 14. In attendance was Kathleen Brown, daughter of former Governor Pat Brown, and former treasurer of the State of CA,  who introduced Kevin Starr, the President of Cal State LA, students and many life-long fans of Starr’s work.

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


Kevin Starr holds a B.A. from the University of San Francisco, an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, and a Master of Library Science from UC Berkeley. From 1994 to 2004 he was state librarian of California. He is currently university professor and professor of history at the University of Southern California. His many articles and books, including his Americans and the California Dream series, have earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, membership in the Society of American Historians, the Presidential Medallion from USC, the Centennial Medal from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, and the Humanities Medal from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

“Kevin Starr is one of California’s greatest historians.” Maria Shriver, First Lady of California

“There is no more knowledgeable or insightful historian of the California dream than Kevin Starr.” Richard Rodríguez

“Kevin Starr is not only the Golden State’s greatest living chronicler, he is also one of its greatest treasures.” Gregory Rodríguez, senior fellow, New America Foundation, and contributing editor, Los Angeles Times

Follow the event with our event hashtags
#PBIKevinStarr #PatBrownInstitute on Facebook and Twitter.
Tom Bradley Documentary: Bridging the Divide (Aug. 10th, 2015)

“BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: TOM BRADLEY AND THE POLITICS OF RACE” had its first public screening on Monday, August 10th at 7:00 p.m the Luckman Theater, located on the Cal State L.A. campus. Following the movie, a panel discussed Bradley’s career and his impact on today’s politics. Warren Olney, host of 89.9 FM KCRW’s Which Way, L.A.? moderated the panel, which included Lorraine Bradley, the eldest daughter of Tom Bradley; U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park); Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas; former county supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, and María Elena Durazo Vice President for Immigration, Civil Rights and Diversity at UNITE HERE!.

View the evening’s program for “Bridging the Divide” and panel discussion.

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

You can watch a trailer for the film here.

“BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: TOM BRADLEY AND THE POLITICS OF RACE,” tells the little known story of Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, the first African American mayor of a major American city without a black majority. His extraordinary multi-racial coalition redefined Los Angeles, transformed the national dialogue on race, and encouraged election of minority candidates nationwide, including our nation’s first black president. The film brings into sharp focus issues of police brutality in minority communities and the challenges of police reform. BRIDGING THE DIVIDE is the story of the pressures which face our cities, the paradox of race, and the complexities of coalitions in a changing America.”

Thomas “Tom” Bradley (December 29, 1917 – September 29, 1998) was the five-term Mayor of Los Angeles, California, serving in office from 1973 to 1993. The son of sharecroppers and grandson of slaves, Bradley was born in rural Texas and moved to Los Angeles with his family at 7 years old. Raised by a single mother, Tom Bradley attended UCLA and became a record-breaking track star and team captain, as part of one of a small group of athletes that broke the color barrier in college sports. He served as a Los Angeles Police officer for 21 years, reaching the rank of Lieutenant – the highest position an African American could achieve at that time. He later attended Southwestern Law School at night, passed the bar the first time, and became an attorney. With his law degree in hand, he resigned from the LAPD. As a police officer, Bradley was active in the Democratic Minority Conference and the California Democratic Council. In 1963, he was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in the biracial 10th District. As a two-term City Councilman Tom Bradley challenged Sam Yorty in 1969 for Mayor of Los Angeles, but was unsuccessful. Four years later, in 1973, Bradley defeated Yorty in the Los Angeles Mayoral election becoming the first African American mayor of a major American city without a black majority.

Continue to follow the event with our event hashtags

#PBIBradley #BradleyEffect on Facebook and Twitter.

The sponsors of this event include:

 WellsFargo SCE-logo Cal  Wellness Logo_horiz_tag



KJLH LogoDr. Sherman Gordon


The co-hosts of this event include:

csudh_logo   UCLA Logo   PBS SoCaL LogoCalStateLAlogo

Higher Education Conference (June 29, 2015)

Our conference, “The Road Ahead for Higher Ed”, co-hosted with the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State and the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, was a great success! We are delighted that so many people attended, that they  were actively engaged in our panel discussions, and asked in-depth questions. Conversations kept going at lunch, at breaks and afterwards. Thank you all who came out, and remember this is only part 1 of a 2 part program on the state of higher ed in California.

Conference Program, Moderators, and Panelists

Pre-reading materials:

1. “Brokering The 1960 Master Plan…,“by Dr. John Douglass from the book Responsible Liberalism. 

2.  “State Policy Leadership in Higher Education,” author Dr. Nancy Shulock (on panel #2)


Also be sure to follow the conference with our event hashtags

#Road4HigherEd #PBIHigherEd on Facebook and Twitter.

The sponsors of this event include:

leagueofwomenSac State Center CA StudiesPostFamily


PBIFriday (May 29, 2015)

PBIFriday brings key leaders to Cal State LA for discussions on current events. Our events are moderated by PBI’s Executive Director, Raphael Sonenshein, with audience members having the opportunity to ask questions.

Our most recent PBIFriday featured a conversation with Rusty Hicks, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, followed by a lively Q & A with the audience. At the time of his visit, Mr. Hicks was deeply involved in the debate over a minimum wage increase for the City of Los Angeles.

About Rusty Hicks:

On November 17, 2014, Rusty Hicks, 35, was unanimously elected to the position of Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. His election to the post makes him one of its youngest leaders and the first post-9/11 war veteran to lead one of the nation’s largest labor federations. Raised by a single mother in Fort Worth, Texas, Rusty saw first-hand the challenges of attaining the American Dream. His mother was a bookkeeper, his grandfather a grocery clerk and his grandmother a teacher’s aide. Their hard work inspired Rusty to a life of service to ensure that the voices of working people are heard on the job, in their communities, and at the ballot box.

Since 2006, Rusty served as the Federation’s Political Director where he led the day-to-day operations of the storied progressive political powerhouse. In addition to his role with the Federation, Rusty holds the rank of Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve where he serves as an Intelligence Officer. In 2013, Rusty completed a one-year deployment to Afghanistan where he supported the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan. Rusty resides in Pasadena with his wife, Sandra Sanchez, and their dog Ilsa.

SR-710 North – Extend or Not? (March 30, 2015)

On behalf of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State L.A. and the League of Women Voters of Pasadena, I want to thank you for your interest in our March 30, 2015 #SR710NForum. As you know, the debate over the SR710 has been going on for over 50 years. We were pleased with the impact our event had in making the public aware of the five alternatives under review in the Caltrans/Metro EIR/EIS.


 This Pasadena Star-News article provides a thorough report about the #SR710NForum

You can also view recorded footage of the forum on the LA36’s website. You can find photos of #SR710NForum at

We always want to make sure we are doing the best job possible in providing a forum that is both informative and accessible. We would like to thank those attendees who completed and returned our evaluation that night.  If, you didn’t get the chance, please fill out the short evaluation online at .

We look forward to seeing you at our future events. Please join us for the Institute’s 34th Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel: . Be sure to “Like” us on Facebook and “Follow” us on

The sponsors of this event include:


Pat Brown Institute 34th Annual Awards Dinner (April 23, 2015)

For its 2015 Annual Awards Dinner, the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State L.A. 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.


Also be sure to check our Facebook Page as well as our Twitter Account for all updates.

Highlights from the L.A. City Council District 14 Debate (Feb. 18, 2015)

In late February 2015, the Pat Brown Institute, along with the League of Women Voters Los Angeles and ABC7, presented the Los Angeles City Council District 14 debate.

Here is what California State University, Los Angeles’s student journalists think about the ‪#‎LACD14Debate‬.

Click here to view photos from the debate.

Empower LA Civic University

The Civic University builds on Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s successful City Government 101 program. The program gives citizens the tools they need to understand, engage, and influence City Hall and become advocates for their neighborhoods and interests.

Click here to view Session 1 photos and here for Session 2 photos  from the most recent Civic University event.