Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress (moderator)
Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
Esperanza Tervalon-Daumont, Oakland Rising
Anthony Thigpenn, California Calls
County Supervisor, Santa Clara County
Cindy Chavez has been a driving force in Silicon Valley politics and labor issues for more than two decades. As a two-term member of the San José City Council, she developed cutting-edge community-based programs to address crime, education, small business development and neighborhood revitalization. Elected to the City Council in 1998 and in 2002, Chavez served two years as vice mayor. As the executive officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council and executive director of Working Partnerships USA, her work was highlighted by her ability to build new collaborations to create innovative policy that improve the lives of working families throughout Silicon Valley. Chavez was named by the Silicon Valley Business Journal in its surveys of “Influential Women in Business” and served on the Board of the Silicon Valley Women’s Alliance. She was a recipient of the California Assembly’s Housing Leadership Award and the Blue Cross of California’s Community Service Award. Cindy Chavez was voted “Legislator of the Year” by the Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club and 2012 Woman of the Year by the California State Assembly.
Neera Tanden is the President of the Center for American Progress and Counselor to the Center for American Progress Action Fund. She has served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, as well as presidential campaigns and think tanks. Most recently, she served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Center, where she oversaw strategic planning, operations, and fundraising.
Executive Director, Oakland Rising
Esperanza Tervalon-Daumont has led Oakland Rising, a multiracial, multilingual collaborative that educates and mobilizes voters in Oakland's flatland neighborhoods to move progressive policies in our city and state. During this period, she has grown the scope of its programs by 1400 percent with the last campaign having reached 25,000 voters in just 5 weeks. During this time, Esperanza mentored dozens of staff from core partner organizations and community members to conduct voter outreach and field programs. Oakland Rising is considered a statewide leader in running strong and effective volunteer precinct walks and GOTV programs. She has nearly a decade of labor, community, political and electoral organizing experience. Before serving as Oakland Rising’s executive director, she served as the political director for Congresswoman Barbara Lee, regional field director for Northern California for Barack Obama during the CA primary, as a community organizer in post-Katrina Louisiana, and a labor organizer with SEIU. Esperanza currently serves on the board of People's Grocery and FairVote. She graduated from Mills College with a Bachelors of Art in English Literature.
President, California Calls
Anthony Thigpenn, a Los Angeles-based community organizer for more than 30 years, heads California Calls, a powerful alliance of 31 organizations in 12 counties around the state. The centerpiece of California Calls is to achieve progressive, long-term tax and fiscal policy reform by engaging underrepresented, low-income voters in state public policy decision making. Mr. Thigpenn is widely recognized as a leading expert in grassroots, civic engagement technology, and programs. He ran successful field campaigns for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congresswoman Karen Bass, State Senator Kevin de León, and former City Councilmember Martin Ludlow, among others. Mr. Thigpenn is also the founder and president of Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education (SCOPE), a grassroots organization formed in South Los Angeles shortly after the 1992 uprising in the city. He is credited with developing a “Power Analysis” analytical tool in the 1990s, a process to be used by hundreds of social justice organizations to build a strategy to win a campaign.