California has been meticulously growing a community schools policy strategy and agenda. Top leaders will discuss their emerging plan and share tactics for getting policymakers in your state on board.
Mark James DeSaulnier is an American politician and a Democratic member of the California Legislature representing California's 7th State Senate district since December 2008. From 2006 to 2008, DeSaulnier represented California's 11th State Assembly district. Previously, he served as a Contra Costa County supervisor (district 4, 1994â€“2006) and on the Concord City Council (1991â€“1994).
Loni Hancock is currently serving in her first term as the representative of California State Senate District 9. The 9th Senate District currently includes Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Dublin, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Livermore, Oakland, Piedmont, Richmond, and San Pablo. She previously served as a member of the California State Assembly, representing the 14th Assembly District from 2002 to 2008, and as the mayor of Berkeley, California from 1986 to 1994. Hancock is a member of the Democratic Party.
Anthony B. Iton, M.D., J.D., MPH, as Senior Vice President of Healthy Communities, joined The Endowment in October 2009.
Prior to his appointment at The Endowment, Iton served since 2003 as both the director and County Health Officer for the Alameda County Public Health Department. In that role, he oversaw the creation of an innovative public health practice designed to eliminate health disparities by tackling the root causes of poor health that limit quality of life and lifespan in many of California's low-income communities.
Iton also served for three years as director of Health and Human Services and School Medical Advisor for the City of Stamford, Connecticut. Concurrent to that, he also served as a physician in internal medicine for Stamford Hospital's HIV Clinic. In addition, Iton served for five years as a primary care physician for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Iton's varied career also includes past service as a staff attorney and Health Policy analyst for the West Coast regional office of Consumer's Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.
Iton, who has been published in numerous public health and medical publications, is a regular public health lecturer and keynote speaker at conferences across the nation. He earned his B.S. in Neurophysiology, with honors, from McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec, his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law, and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Michael Kirst has been a professor of education and business administration at Stanford University since 1969. He is a faculty affiliate with the department of political science, and has a courtesy appointment with the Graduate School of Business.
Before that, he held several positions with the federal government, including staff director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment, and Poverty, and director of program planning and evaluation for the Bureau of Elementary and Secondary Education in the U.S. Office of Education. Kirst was a member of the California State Board of Education (1975-1982), and its president from 1977 to 1981. A prolific writer, he is the author of 10 books, including The Political Dynamics of American Education (2005). He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Dartmouth College, an MPA in government and economics from Harvard University, and a PhD in political economy and government from Harvard.
Jennifer Peck was a founding staff member of the Partnership in 2001 and became its executive director in 2003. Since that time, she has developed and implemented initiatives to finance and build after-school and summer-learning programs, and increase access to school meals and nutrition education programs in the Bay Areaâ€™s lowest-income communities. Under her leadership, the Partnership has brought more than $70 million in public funding to schools and their community partners, enabling thousands of low-income children to participate in these programs.
Tom Torlakson was elected to a four-year term as California’s 27th State Superintendent of Public Instruction on November 2, 2010. As chief of California’s public school system and leader of the California Department of Education, Superintendent Torlakson applies his experience as a science teacher, high school coach, and state policymaker to fight for our students and improve our state’s public education system.
Torlakson’s journey has led him from the classrooms of Contra Costa County’s Mount Diablo Unified School District (where he remains a teacher-on-leave), to the Antioch City Council, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, and the California State Senate and State Assembly.
During his tenure in the California State Legislature, Torlakson acted to protect education funding, improve student nutrition and physical education, and ensure school safety. He also championed legislation to increase funding for textbooks, computers, and other instructional materials and efforts to close the digital divide, eliminate the achievement gap, and reduce the dropout rate.
In 1998 Torlakson authored legislation leading to the development of the largest system of after school programs in the nation. In 2006, he authored the bill that led to a 300 percent expansion in these programs—so they now reach 4,000 schools around the state. Torlakson authored the Quality Education Improvement Act (SB 1133) in 2006, which dedicates nearly $3 billion to our lowest performing schools. He also played a key role negotiating and authoring the $9 billion Proposition 1A bond measure in 1998—which has led to public votes supporting over $36 billion to build new schools and improve existing school buildings.
As the chair and founder of the California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness, Torlakson has been a leader on banning junk food from our schools, providing healthier school meals, promoting student health and fitness, and combating diabetes and obesity among our children.
Born in San Francisco, Torlakson served as a fireman in the United States Merchant Marine, earning the Vietnam Service Medal. He earned a B.A. in History, a Life Secondary Teaching Credential, and an M.A. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley. Tom lives in Pittsburg with his wife, Mae Cendaña Torlakson, a member of the Ambrose Recreation and Park District Board of Directors.