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.

On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, the Institute’s Executive Director, Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, moderated a conversation with UC Irvine Dean and distinguished Professor Erwin Chemerinsky

This event was 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

On Thursday, April 27, 2017, The Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs (PBI) at Cal State LA held its 2017 Annual Dinner, California: A Force For Change, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. The Institute honored Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon as its 2017 Public Servant of the Year, and Dr. Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation with its 2017 Public Service award.

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

Press Release

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] 


Sascha Rice Screening of “A Pat Brown Documentary”

Sascha Rice, a board of adviser of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs and granddaughter of former Governor Pat Brown, hosted a screening of her film California State of Mind at Roosevelt High School this past month. Over 50 students participated in the screening along with Roosevelt High School teachers Mr. Alvarez and Mr. Castillo. A Q&A was held after the screening. Students asked questions about Ms. Rice’s experience with filmmaking, her storytelling technique and the editing process. Many of the students in the audience were part of the Youth Enrichment Policy Project program at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights. They joined Ms. Rice for a Q&A after the screening about filmmaking and politics.

Sascha Rice is an award-winning filmmaker, public speaker, teacher, and the granddaughter of California’s former Governor Pat Brown. Ms. Rice’s documentary California State of Mind recently garnered a Grand Jury Prize for Cinematic Vision and her celebrated feature romantic comedy Mango Kiss enjoyed national and international broadcast, screened internationally at over 80 venues, and received numerous honors including the “Director’s Choice Award: Gold Medal for Excellence” at the Park City Film & Music Festival. Ms. Rice is President and Co-Founder of Fire of Life Films. She serves on the Board of Advisors of the Pat Brown Institute (a non-partisan public policy Institute based at Cal State LA.) Additionally, Ms. Rice is the program director and a mentor for the Young Writers Workshop at Ivanhoe Elementary, a Los Angeles public school. Ms. Rice has appeared on television, radio programs, and her writing has been published online.

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