Pictured L–R: [Top] (Top Row) Senior Government Affairs Strategist Jamie Zamora; Policy Analyst Andrew Olenick; Local Policy Strategist John Bamberg; Executive Director Kim Belshé; Community Relations Officer Bill Gould; Early Care & Education Senior Program Officer Ofelia Medina; Director, Early Care & Education Becca Patton; Government Affairs Strategist Anais Duran; Strategic Partnerships Manager Alba Bautista; Director of Health Systems Tara Ficek; Community Relations Manager Leanne Drogin (Middle Row) Early Care & Education Senior Program Officer Marcy Manker; IT Business Applications Support Amado Ulloa; Evaluation & Learning Manager Kim Hall; Strategic Partnerships Specialist Kim Milliken Hayden; Commissioner Romalis J. Taylor; Communities Program Officer Alyssa Gutierrez; Policy Analyst Taylor Ferguson; Communications Manager Violet Gonzalez (Bottom Row) Vice President of Programs Christina Altmayer; Commissioner Sylvia S. Swilley; Early Care & Education Program Officer Avery Seretan; Communications Manager Marlene Fitzsimmons [Bottom] Jamie Zamora; Alyssa Gutierrez; California State Senator Lena A. Gonzalez; Kim Milliken Hayden; Kim Pattillo Brownson.

Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow: First 5 LA, in partnership with First 5 Orange County, hosted the 2019 Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow Summit held at the Long Beach Marriott. The first of its kind, the full-day summit brought together over 300 people including school board members, superintendents, elected officials, parents and community-based organizations from across California. In addition to hosting, First 5 LA leadership led discussions throughout the day. Our Vice President of Policy & Strategy Kim Pattillo Brownson sat down with the Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood in the Office of the Governor, Giannina Perez, to discuss the early childhood ecosystem in California; and our Vice President of Programs, Christina Altmayer, facilitated a panel discussion with Costa Mesa City Councilmember Arlis Reynolds, First 5 California Deputy Director of External and Government Affairs Erin Gabel and Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education Vice President Rigo Rodriguez on EDI data and early childhood investments. Several staff members from across the organization supported the event. Commissioners Romalis Taylor and Sylvia S. Swilley also attended and had great things to say.

After the summit was a reception for business leaders, advocates and community leaders from the Long Beach area that was hosted by First 5 LA’s Strategic Partnerships department and Ready Nation, a national organization whom we have partnered with consistently to help engage the business community and make a case for investing in early childhood. State Senator Lena A. Gonzalez spoke at the event, which welcomed close to 100 business leaders, sharing her belief that public or private companies need to come together and take a stand to provide critical family-friendly policies so that employees feel supported.

Click here to read our article covering the event.


Pictured L–R: (Top Row) Communications Manager Diana Rubio; Communications Manager Violet Gonzalez; Writer/Editor Anastasia Howard; Writer/Editor Jeff Schnaufer; Communications Manager Marlene Fitzsimmons; Graphic Artist Gustavo Muniz (Bottom Row) Communications Department Temporary Administrative Assistant Samantha Estrella; Communications Specialist Katie Kurutz-Ulloa; Director of Communications Gabriel Sanchez.


Playground Visit: The Communications department visited the newly First 5 LA-branded Play Park at the L.A. Zoo. The Play Park branding is part of a recently launched three-year partnership with the L.A. Zoo, which includes regular child-focused activity programming, social media promotions and more. Last year the zoo attracted over 1.8 million visitors, 600,000 of whom were infant to kindergarten- or grade school-age children. The Play Park receives over 850,000 visits each year. First 5 LA’s Graphic Designer Gustavo Muniz designed the branded elements of the Play Park, and Communications Manager Violet Gonzales brokered the partnership.


Pictured L–R: [Top] Senior Government Affairs Strategist Jamie Zamora; CCRC Tulsa Center Director Tereza Yedoyan; Early Care and Education Director Becca Patton; Child 360 Public Policy Specialist Ashley Portillo; Child Care Alliance of LA Public Policy Associate Jessica Guerra; Vice President of Policy & Strategy Kim Pattillo Brownson; Assemblymember Christy Smith (AD-38); CCRC President and & CEO Michael Olenick; CCRC Head Start Early Learning Manager Krischa Esquivel; CCRC Early Head Start Center Director Monique Young; CCRC Government Affairs Manager Patrick MacFarlane; Government Affairs Strategist Anais Duran [L] Assemblymember Christy Smith reading to children.


Granada Hills Visit: First 5 LA, in collaboration with the Child Care Resource Center, Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles and Child 360, hosted an early learning site visit for Assemblymember Christy Smith (AD-38) at the Tulsa Elementary Head Start Center in Granada Hills. During the visit Assemblymember Smith read to the students and heard from advocates on the importance of continued state investment in early childhood settings that give children the best start possible. In her first year, Smith was a member of the Assembly Education Committee and the Assembly Select Committee on Early Childhood Development.

Pictured L–R: Esperanza Community Housing Executive Director Nancy Halpern Ibrahim; Family Supports Program Officer Maria Aquino; Para los Niños Director of Community Transformation Brenda Aguilera; Community Relations Officer Alejandra Marroquin; Staff Accountant Tony Luu.


Under the Stars: First 5 LA colleagues attended Esperanza Community Housing’s Dancing Under the Stars, a gala to celebrate the organization’s 30 years of implementing a comprehensive approach to community development. The work of Esperanza has achieved sustainable neighborhood transformations in South Central Los Angeles and improved the lives of young children and their families. Held at the California African American Museum, gala honorees included U.S. Congressmember Karen Bass, the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition and Director of Healthy Communities, South Region at The California Endowment Beatriz Solis. First 5 LA sponsored the event.

Pictured L–R: Vice President of Policy & Strategy Kim Pattillo Brownson; Commissioner Marlene Zepeda; Vickie Ramos Harris from the Advancement Project.


Equity in ECE: Last week, Vice President of Policy & Strategy Kim Pattillo Brownson served as a featured speaker for the Ed Trust–West’s Education Equity Forum 2019, a day-long conference held at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach that focused on the movement for educational justice. The event included its first-ever early learning track, hosting early learning-focused workshops throughout the day. Kim’s workshop,“Equity From the Start: Advocating for California’s Youngest Students,” included a discussion about ways that advocates can utilize tools and advocacy guides to work for increasing access and investments in early childhood learning locally. First 5 LA Commissioner Marlene Zepeda and Vickie Ramos Harris from the Advancement Project also served as forum panelists, leading the workshop “Ensuring Equity in Early Childhood: Focusing on Dual-Language Learners,” which included an engaging discussion around advancing DLL-specific policy and practice.


Pictured L–R: Vice President of Programs Christina Altmayer; Strategic Partnerships Manager Sharon Murphy; Strategic Partnerships Director Jennifer Pippard; Executive Director Kim Belshé; Strategic Partnerships Specialist Kim Milliken-Hayden; Communities Program Officer Alyssa Gutierrez; County Systems Fellow Reid Meadows.


Futurism and Philanthropy: Colleagues from across the organization attended Southern California Grantmakers’ 2019 Annual Conference, Foresight Philanthropy. Held at the InterContinental Hotel Downtown, the conference convened funders from across Southern California to foster a common understanding of our work, build professional skills and provide a platform to join with other funders to multiply the impact of our investments. This year’s theme examined how philanthropy can prepare and adapt to the coming societal and environmental transformations.


Among the speakers was disability rights lawyer Haben Girma, the first deaf/blind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, who asked attendees to consider how we can create a barrier-free future with inclusive design. Dr. Bryant Marks, who led First 5 LA’s implicit bias training, explained why characterizing America as a nation of immigrants overlooks the Native American and African American experience, and he also encouraged attendees to address our implicit biases in order to move philanthropy toward a more equitable future. Additionally, First 5 LA Commissioner and President and CEO of the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Wendy Garen presented the Heart of Philanthropy Award and our own Vice President of Programs Christina Altmayer served on a panel called “Redefining Education Philanthropy: Trends and Implications for Future Learners.”


Pictured L–R: Senior Government Affairs Strategist Jamie Zamora; Congresswoman Norma Torres; Family Supports Senior Program Officer Leticia Sanchez.


Census 2020: Continuing First 5 LA’s support of Census 2020 outreach, Senior Government Affairs Strategist Jamie Zamora and Family Supports Senior Program Officer Leticia Sanchez recently attended Congresswoman Norma Torres’ census town hall in the City of Ontario. This was the second town hall the congresswoman has hosted about the importance of a complete and accurate Census count. The event included presentations from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Census Bureau Recruitment Team, the County of Los Angeles and the NALEO Educational Fund.


Pictured: Senior Government Affairs Strategist Jamie Zamora and Government Affairs Strategist Anais Duran stand with Assemblymember Christy Smith (AD-38) and members of the BizFed leadership.

Roundtable Discussion: Senior Government Affairs Strategist Jamie Zamora and Government Affairs Strategist Anais Duran recently attended the L.A. County Business Federation (BizFed) Leadership Roundtable Discussion with Assemblymember Christy Smith. Smith provided a legislative update emphasizing that, in order to have a strong economy, we need to invest in early childhood education. The recently elected assemblymember currently sits on the Education Committee. She is a lifelong education advocate who served at the U.S. Department of Education in the Clinton Administration and also served on the Newhall School Board. In the fall the Public Policy & Government Affairs department is co-hosting an early learning site visit for Smith with the Child Care Resource Center. Smith represents the communities of Agua Dulce, Castaic, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and the northern San Fernando Valley.




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