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

Higher Education Conference

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


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 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.

Pat Brown Institute 34th Annual Awards Dinner

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.


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Highlights from the L.A. City Council District 14 Debate

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.