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

UC Irvine Dean Erwin Chemerinsky Comes to Cal State LA

“Presidential Power In An Age Of Uncertainty: A Conversation with Erwin Chemerinsky”

Presented by Cal State LA’s Vice Provost for Diversity and Engaged Learning Octavio Villalpando and the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State LA.

Join the Institute’s Executive Director, Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, as he moderates the conversation with UC Irvine Dean and distinguished Professor Erwin Chemerinsky

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

11:30 am – 1 pm

Golden Eagle Ballroom 1 & 2

The event is free and open to the campus and community. No RSVP required. If you are interested in joining us, and are coming from outside the campus, see the link below for parking information.

Cal State LA Parking Information

This event is part of Cal State LA’s Democracy in Action series. Democracy in Action is a faculty-led series of presentations and discussions designed to help the campus community better understand how recent and forthcoming presidential executive orders will impact our students and others. 

Dean Erwin Chemerinsky

Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at University of California, Irvine School of Law, with a joint appointment in Political Science.

Prior to assuming this position in 2008, he was the Alston and Bird Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University from 2004-2008, and before that was a professor at the University of Southern California Law School from 1983-2004, including as the Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science. He also has taught at DePaul College of Law and UCLA Law School.

He is the author of ten books, including The Case Against the Supreme Court, published by Viking in 2014, and two books to be published by Yale University Press in 2017, Closing the Courthouse Doors: How Your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable and Free Speech on Campus (with Howard Gillman). He also is the author of more than 200 law review articles. He writes a weekly column for the Orange County Register, monthly columns for the ABA Journal and the Daily Journal, and frequent op-eds in newspapers across the country. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court. In January 2017, National Jurist magazine again named Dean Chemerinsky as the most influential person in legal education in the United States.

Chemerinsky holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.


2017 Annual Dinner

California: A Force for Change

Marking 30 Years at 

Cal State LA

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel

506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90071

5:30 p.m. Reception

7 p.m. Program

Purchase Individual Tickets and Sponsorships

Annual Dinner Invitation

Annual Dinner Sponsorship Form

Annual Dinner Save the Date Flyer

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.

2017 Annual Dinner Honorees 


Public Service Award

Dr. Drew Altman, President and CEO

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation


Drew Altman is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. He is an innovator in the world of foundations and a leading expert on national health policy who publishes and speaks widely on health issues.

Dr. Altman founded the current-day Kaiser Family Foundation in the early 1990’s, directing a complete overhaul of the Foundation’s mission, staff, and operating style. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Altman was Commissioner of the Department of Human Services for the state of New Jersey under Governor Tom Kean. As Commissioner, he developed nationally recognized initiatives in welfare reform, school-based youth services, programs for the homeless, and Medicaid managed care. Dr. Altman was Director of the Health and Human Services at the Pew Charitable Trusts; Vice President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where he led the development of the Foundation’s programs in HIV/AIDS, health services for the homeless, and health care financing; and he served in the Health Care Financing Administration in the Carter administration.

Dr. Altman received his BA from Brandeis University and his Masters in political science from Brown University. He earned his PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, did his post-doctoral work at the Harvard School of Public Health, and taught public policy at MIT before moving on to public service. He holds an honorary doctorate from the Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Altman is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Institute of Medicine.

Kaiser Family Foundation’s leading work in Healthcare Policy 

March 01, 2017 |  Cynthia Cox, Gary Claxton, and Larry Levitt
Washington Post – Opinions
February 9, 2017 | Dr. Drew Altman

Public Servant of The Year 

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon

California State Assembly


Speaker Anthony Rendon is the 70th Speaker of the California State Assembly, and represents the 63rd Assembly District encompassing the cities of Bell, Cudahy, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount and South Gate. Prior to serving in the Assembly in 2012, Rendon was an educator, non-profit executive director, and environmental activist. He led Plaza de la Raza Child Development Services, Inc. as Executive Director, and served as Interim Executive Director of the California League of Conservation Voters from 2008-2009. Rendon attended Cerritos Community College before earning his Bachelors and Masters of Arts Degrees from California State University, Fullerton. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside and completed post-doctoral work at Boston University. Rendon served as adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at California State University, Fullerton from 2001 – 2008.

Highlights of Speaker Rendon’s work

Los Angeles Times
January 9, 2016 | Melanie Mason
Los Angeles Times
August 24, 2016 | Chris Megerian, Melanie Mason and Liam Dillon
University Times
September 16, 2016 | Marcela Valdivia


See highlights from the Pat Brown Institute’s 35th Annual Dinner:

“California Shows The Way: Leadership and Innovation in the Face of Climate Change”

The Pat Brown Institute’s 35th Annual Dinner, “California Shows The Way: Leadership and Innovation in the Face of Climate Change,” took place on April 21st, 2016 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles. This year, 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.


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


PBI Assists the United Way of Greater Los Angeles in their Successful 2017 Candidate Forum Series

The first of three United Way of Greater Los Angeles LAUSD candidate forums was held at Cal State LA on February 10, 2017. The event drew over 200 people and was preceded by a resource fair for undocumented students and families, and voter registration. The three District 2 candidates were grilled by LAUSD high school students from the district. The Institute was happy to have helped and commends United Way of Greater LA and LAYouthVotes for their hard work on creating greater civic engagement.

Video provided by the United Way of Greater LA

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


District 2 Candidate Forum at Cal State LA

Video via United Way of Great Los Angeles Facebook Livestream

District 4 Candidate Forum at Los Angeles City College

Video via United Way of Great Los Angeles Facebook Livestream

Audience Questions

Video via United Way of Great Los Angeles Facebook Livestream

Media Coverage

LA Times
Steve Lopez wanted to talk to 18 students with $1 million to spend on an election. Then his invite was yanked
Steve Lopez | February 22, 2017

LA School Report
Students’ hot topics for District 4 candidates: school police, charters, college readiness and the undocumented
Sarah Favot | February 16, 2017

KPCC 89.3
In LA school board race, candidates try to move beyond the issue that pays: charter schools
Kyle Stokes | February 13, 2017