The City of Los Angeles is experiencing a crisis in governance that is failing to adequately address quality of life issues from housing affordability to public safety. Recent controversies have exposed deficiencies in the City Charter, the city’s governing document. This session will feature experts who will discuss what elements should be included in charter reform and the principles such as accountability and transparency that should guide deliberation and proposed changes. Panelists will also propose strategies for ensuring public participation and input.

Workshop Participants

Marissa Roy, moderator
Marissa Roy, moderatorStaff Attorney, Public Rights Project
Ms. Roy got her start as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles, where she helped bring one of the Office’s first large-scale workers’ rights lawsuits to hold accountable port trucking companies that were classifying truck drivers as independent contractors rather than employees and deducting thousands of dollars from their wages. Ms. Roy went on to work with the County of Los Angeles on several lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s hostile immigration agenda. Most recently, she represented eight cities in Florida challenging Governor Ron DeSantis for blocking their ability to engage in police reform and successfully prevailed against the Governor’s motion to dismiss.
Rev. Eddie Anderson, panelist
Rev. Eddie Anderson, panelistPastor, McCarty Memorial Christian Church
Rev. Eddie Anderson is a graduate of Morehouse College and Claremont School of Theology.
He currently serves as the Senior Pastor at the historic McCarty Memorial Christian Church in Los Angeles where his primary task has been calling forth a new moral imagination by working for the dignity, justice and love for those with their backs against the wall of oppression through lending his voice and body to the movement for Black Lives and various other activist efforts in Los Angeles. He is the Co-Founder of Partnership for Growth Los Angeles CDC, a CD10 appointee to the City of Los Angeles’ Redistricting Commission, and a Beerman Fellow. Rev.Anderson is a published author and is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and husband to Clare Anderson-Fox.
Vincent Harris, panelist
Vincent Harris, panelistSenior Policy Advisor
Currently retired, Mr. Harris brings decades of political, campaign, voter empowerment and public policy experience across a broad spectrum of issues at various levels of government. He served as chief of staff and policy advisor for the Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas while in the State Assembly, State Senate and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors a well as the late Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald. As Deputy Chief of Staff for former California Governor Gray Davis and Undersecretary for Cabinet Affairs, he was liaison to various agencies and departments within the administration. Harris was Deputy State Director and Political Director for Barack Obama’s 2008 Democratic Presidential primary campaign in California.
Mary Lee, panelist
Mary Lee, panelistPolicy Consultant
Ms. Lee consults with community-based organizations, public officials, government agencies and philanthropy to dismantle racially biased systems and structures and build just and equitable neighborhoods. She is a former Deputy Director of PolicyLink, where she provided research, strategic planning, technical assistance and training to public and private agencies collaborating to build healthy communities. She has co-authored reports and journal articles on access to healthy food, the built environment, and the impact of place and race on health. A practicing attorney for over 30 years, Ms. Lee has experience using civil rights, land use and economic development strategies to revitalize neighborhoods and enhance public participation in the policy arena.
Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, panelist
Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, panelistExecutive Director, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA
Dr. Raphael J. Sonenshein is the Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA. Previously, he was Chair of the Division of Politics, Administration, and Justice at CSU Fullerton. He received his B.A. from Princeton, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale. He is the author of three books on Los Angeles politics and government. Dr. Sonenshein served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles (Appointed) Charter Reform Commission. He served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Review Commission. He was Best Educator and Distinguished College Faculty Member at CSUF. He received a Wang Family Excellence Award. He was the first winner of the campus-wide Carol Barnes Award for Teaching Excellence and one of two co-winners of the Haynes Foundation Research Impact award. He was the fall 2008 Fulbright Tocqueville Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Paris.