Pictured L–R: [Top] Family Supports Program Officer Christine Tran; Family Supports Senior Program Officer Anna Potere; Director of Family Supports Barbara Andrade Dubransky; Family Supports Senior Program Officer Leticia Sanchez; Communities Program Officer Roberto Roque; Director of Strategic Partnerships Jennifer Pippard; Family Supports Program Associate Karlo Herrera. [Bottom] Barbara Andrade Dubransky; Christine Tran; Pritzker Fellow Melissa Franklin; Family Supports Program Officer Brandi Sims


Family Engagement: Colleagues from across the organization participated in “Families at the Center: A Multi-Sector Summit to Build Family Engagement Capacity in L.A. County,” an event designed to create a greater sense of collective purpose around family engagement. Held at the California Endowment, the event was organized by the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment and sponsored by First 5 LA. Colleagues Alba Bautista, Christine Tran and Leticia Sanchez served on the event-planning committee and played a role in organizing and developing the program/agenda for the day. The event kicked off with a motivating parent panel, moderated by KPCC’s Engagement Reporter Stephanie Ritoper, that created a space for parent leaders to speak about their own experience and make recommendations for family engagement. During the morning breakout sessions, Family Supports Program Officer Brandi Sims served as a moderator for the health systems conversation associated with birth disparities work and First 5 LA Pritzker Fellow Melissa Franklin was on the panel. In the afternoon, Communities Program Officer Roberto Roque served on the panel “Role of Philanthropy: Guiding Principles and Strategies in Funding Family Engagement.” For more about the event, follow #FamiliesAtTheCenterLA on Twitter, review the agenda here, or contact a member of the planning committee.

Pictured L–R: [Top] Senior Government Affairs Strategist Jamie Zamora; Community Relations Manager Leanne Drogin; former Congressmember Yvonne Brathwaite Burke; Strategic Partnerships Specialist Kim Milliken Hayden; Strategic Partnerships Manager Alba Bautista. [Bottom] Government Affairs Strategist Anais Duran; Kim Milliken Hayden

Business Networking: The Strategic Partnerships and Government Affairs departments teamed up these past couple of weeks to network with the business community and share the important economic impact of investing in early childhood. Below is a list of the events:

  • National Association of Women Business Owners – Los Angeles 33rd Annual Leadership Summit & Legacy Awards: This event brought together over 400 business and municipal leaders from throughout the region to highlight both small businesses and large corporations. Executives from Bank of America, SoCalGas, AEG and Northrup Grumman presented panel discussions on leadership and economic growth. Southern California Edison was recognized for their community investments. Attended by Strategic Partnerships Specialist Kim Milliken Hayden and Government Affairs Strategist Anais Duran, First 5 LA’s participation and sponsorship helped connect local leaders to early childhood issues and further advance our policy work and business-sector engagement strategy.
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce 2nd Annual BizCon SoCal: This day-long business development and networking conference was organized by the Chamber and held on June 19. First 5 LA helped organize the panel discussion, Attracting and Retaining Talent Through Employee-Centered Strategies, highlighting work-life harmony policies from three leading L.A. corporations: Ralphs, Kaiser Permanente and AT&T. AT&T is the Chamber’s 2019 recipient of their 3rd annual Excellence in Work-Life Harmony Award, which spotlights employers who implement extraordinary family-friendly policies and practices.

  • Early Childhood Is Everyone’s Business – Business Leader Reception: First 5 LA staff from Strategic Partnerships, Policy & Government Affairs and Community Relations attended a reception hosted by Assemblymember Autumn Burke and organized by ReadyNation at Los Angeles Southwest College. Burke was delayed from attending due to a house vote, but her mother, former Congressmember Yvonne Burke, stepped in to share the work of her anti-poverty task force. Strategic Partnerships Specialist Kim Milliken Hayden presented at the reception, connecting the importance of early childhood investments to economic impact and urging business leaders to become actively engaged.

Pictured: Communities Director Antoinette Andrews-Bush sharing about the importance of the built environment for children


Park Equity Summit: Communities Department Director Antoinette Andrews-Bush presented on a panel at the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust’s “2019 Park Equity Summit, Strengthening Communities Through Equitable Development.” Held at the Roy A. Anderson Recreation Center, the event highlighted new and innovative approaches by allies, colleagues and partners both locally and nationally, who are advancing equitable housing and greenspace development in support of transformative community change in low-income communities and communities of color. The event featured Los Angeles City Councilmember Nury Martinez, as well as representative from the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and Public Counsel. As a panelist, Antoinette highlighted the First 5 LA’s newly released Built Environment Policy Advocacy Fund (BEPAF) as an innovative way the agency is funding community advocacy around built environment issues. First 5 LA sponsored the event.

Pictured L-R: First 5 LA Vice President of Programs Kim Pattillo Brownson; LBUSD Head Start Director Claudia Sosa-Valderrama; Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Senior Policy Adviser for Early Childhood Giannina Pérez; Educare School Principal Maria Harris (directly behind Giannina); Los Angeles Area Chamber Senior Director of Education Policy and Public Affairs Sonia-Campos Rivera: Executive Director of Long Beach Day Nursery Whitney Leathers; Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund for Education (Mayor Robert Garcia) Karissa Selvester; Early Care & Education Senior Program Officer Ofelia Medina; Early Childhood Education Coordinator, Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services Alejandra Albarran-Moses: Educare Los Angeles at Long Beach Director of Public Affairs Roberto Viramontes


Visiting Educare: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Senior Policy Adviser for Early Childhood, Giannina Pérez, recently joined a small group of early childhood leaders at Educare Los Angeles at Long Beach, a First 5 LA grantee, to discuss the Educare model and how Long Beach is leading the way for early childhood systems. Educare Los Angeles at Long Beach was formed through a public-private partnership between organizations committed to ensuring all children receive high-quality care and education from the moment they are born to the day they enter kindergarten. First 5 LA Vice President of Programs Kim Pattillo Brownson and Early Care & Education Senior Program Officer Ofelia Medina also joined the small group, contributing a county and statewide lens.

Pictured [Top]: Family Supports Senior Program Officer, Home Visitation Optimization Diana Careaga; Family Supports Program Officer Marlene Cole; Family Supports Senior Program Officer Anna Potere; Family Supports Program Officers Laura Hoyos Kainsinger and Maria Aquino. [Bottom] Executive Director of LA Best Babies Network Dr. Margaret Lynn Yonekura; Executive Director Kim Belshé

Strengthening Families: Members from the Family Supports and Communications departments, First 5 LA’s Executive Director Kim Belshé and Vice President of Programs Christina Altmayer attended the LA Best Babies Annual Family Strengthening Summit this June. The Summit, affectionately referred to as “prom” by some of the home visitors, provides an opportunity for First 5 LA’s extended network of 600+ home visiting professionals to network, enjoy inspiring presentations and be treated to delicious food. Held at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, this year’s summit included welcoming remarks from Kim Belshé, Christina Altmayer and First 5 LA Commissioner and Acting Director for the Los Angeles County Division of Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health (MCAH) Linda Aragon. Long-time First 5 LA consultant and national home visitation expert Deborah Daro gave a presentation on “Crafting Child-Centered Communities: The Role of Home Visiting.” Additional speakers included Dr. Shawn Ginwright, associate professor of Africana Studies at San Francisco State University, whose research examines the ways in which youth in urban communities navigate the constraints of poverty and struggle to create equality and justice; and Nkem Ndefo, the founder of Lumos Transforms, who is known for her unique ability to connect with people of all types by holding powerful healing spaces and weaving complex concepts into accessible narratives. Learn more about the Summit in our recent article covering the event.

Pictured L–R: [Top] Community Relations Officer Alejandra Marroquin; Best Start Panorama City & Neighbors Community Leader Kathy Schreiner; Communities Senior Program Officer Reuben de Leon; Best Start Panorama City & Neighbors Community Leader Severiana Pablo; The Nonprofit Partnership Program Manager Elva Lopez; Los Angeles Walks Programs Manager Carmina R. Gomez; United Parents for Educational Justice (UPEJ) Community Leader Vicky Frias; Los Angeles Walks Advocacy and Engagement Manager Daisy Villafuerte. [Bottom] Reuben de Leon


Safe Streets: First 5 LA Built Environment grantee L.A. Walks, in partnership with members of Best Start Metro LA, Panorama City & Neighbors and Wilmington, hosted the “Safe Streets, Healthy Families Forum,” designed to engage local leaders in creating safe streets and improving pedestrian safety. Communities Senior Program Officer Reuben De Leon opened the forum with a keynote on the important role that community members can play in policy advocacy and building healthy and walkable communities for all children. Participating were representatives from community-based organizations Investing in Place, Safe Routes to School Partnership and Communities Actively Living Independent & Free, as well as city officials from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Bureau of Engineering and the offices of Councilmember Joe Buscaino and Mayor Eric Garcetti. They educated community members about key street safety topics such as safe routes to school, curb ramps for individuals with disabilities and funding for beautification projects. Over 100 people attended the event.

Pictured L–R: [Top] Senior Policy Strategist Charna Martin; Vice President of Programs Christina Altmayer; Director of Family Systems Barbara Dubransky. [Bottom] Charna Martin; Barbara Dubransky; Christina Altmayer


First 5 LA in D.C.: First 5 LA’s Vice President of Programs Christina Altmayer and Director of Family Supports Barbara Andrade Dubransky were recently in Washington, D.C. for the launch event of The Future of Children, a journal published by Princeton and Brookings that includes a chapter authored by Barbara and Christina. In addition to the event, Senior Policy Strategist Charna Martin organized a full slate of visits for Barbara and Christina, including meetings with the offices of Rep. Katie Hill, Rep. Karen Bass and Rep. Bobby Scott, as well as with Karen Howard, vice president of early childhood policy at First Focus, and Catherine White, director of child care and early learning at the National Women’s Law Center.

Pictured L–R: [Top] Community Relations Officer Alejandra Marroquin; Kim Pattillo Brownson; Community Relations Director Rafael González; Community Relations Officer Bill Gould; Communications Director Gabriel Sanchez. [Bottom L] Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti; Kim Pattillo Brownson; Youth Policy Institute Executive Vice President Iris Zuniga


Fireside Chat: First 5 LA’s Vice President of Policy and Strategy Kim Pattillo Brownson joined Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for a “fireside chat” about the effects of early childhood education and ways in which mayors of cities large and small can help boost the success of young children. The event was part of an annual gathering of L.A. County mayors hosted by Garcetti, which this year focused on early childhood education. In his opening remarks, Garcetti said he is committed to wiping out the school readiness gap by 2025, which disproportionately places low-income children of color at a disadvantage, and he urged the other 40+ mayors in attendance to do the same. The event was held in El Monte. Read more about the mayor’s fireside chat in our recent article covering the event.


Pictured L-R: Early Care and Education Program Officers Jamie Kalenik; Gina Rodriguez; Early Care and Education Senior Program Officer Debra Coleman; Community Relations Officer Alejandra Marroquin; Director of Strategic Partnerships Jennifer Pippard; CLASP Policy Analyst Rebecca Ullrich


Learning Institute: Colleagues from the Early Care and Education (ECE), Strategic Partnerships and Community Relations Departments attended the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s 2019 Professional Learning Institute at the Long Beach Convention Center. The yearly event brings together thought leaders, educators and other early childhood professionals to explore the latest trends and research in the profession. Director of Strategic Partnerships Jennifer Pippard and Community Relations Officer Alejandra Marroquin, in partnership with a policy analyst from CLASP, Rebecca Ullrich, led a workshop focused on how immigration policy changes may be affecting young children, immigrant families and early childhood programs. They also shared strategies to help promote the well-being of children in immigrant families through federal, state and local policy changes in programmatic protocols and direct practice.

Pictured L–R: [Top] Carsyn Jones, daughter of Yolanda Rogers-Jones; Program Manager II at Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Black Infant Health Program Yolanda Rogers-Jones; March of Dimes Maternal and Child Health Director-Greater Los Angeles Mashariki Kudumu; Department of Health Services Analyst Adjoa Jones; Heaven Franklin, daughter of Melissa Franklin; Founding Director of iDREAM for Racial Health Equity Wenonah Valentine; California State Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove; Pritzker Fellow Melissa Franklin; Hannah Franklin, daughter of Melissa Franklin; Shields for Families/Welcome Baby Parent Coach Ashley Thompson. [Bottom] Panel discussion


Women’s Health Expo: The Los Angeles County African American Infant and Maternal Mortality Steering Committee (AAIMM), led by First 5 LA Pritzker Fellow Melissa Franklin, hosted a booth and a breakout panel discussion at the KJLH Women’s Health Expo held at the Long Beach Convention Center. Steering Committee members, California State Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove and Shields for Families/Welcome Baby Parent Coach Ashley Thompson sat on a breakout panel facilitated by Franklin. The panel, titled “400 Years Is Enough – Fighting Black Infant and Maternal Deaths in L.A. County,” emphasized that the stress of racism in our society and across generations is at the heart of the problem of infant and maternal mortality for African-American mothers. Panelists also highlighted how First 5 LA and the L.A. County Departments of Public Health, Mental Health and Health Services are working alongside community organizations, mental and health care providers, funders and community members to stop this injustice. Additionally, maternal mental health expert Dr. Meridith Merchant brought awareness to our work by sitting in on the live KJLH broadcast panel.




Pride Month 2023: All Out with Pride

Pride Month 2023: All Out with Pride

June 2023 All Out With Pride! Words and sentiments to celebrate in 2023, as Los Angeles County lifts-up this year’s Pride Month theme in recognition of the contributions made, culture celebrated, challenges faced, voices shared, those lost, and the activism of allies...

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