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Sept. 9th: Insider Tips: How to Pitch Budget Requests and Legislative Ideas

As we work to build leaders, we must also work together to push strong policy proposals that benefit our API communities and push back on proposals that do not serve us. This panel will give advocates and community leaders tips for effective messaging and methods for proposing ideas to the legislature.

Leilani Aguinaldo

Director of Governmental Relations, School Services of California

Prior to joining SSC, Leilani was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve as the Director of Policy and Legislation at the State Board of Education. Leilani helped develop the state’s groundbreaking new accountability system, which includes the California Schools Dashboard, technical assistance via the Systems of Support, the federal Every Student Succeeds Act State Plan, and continued Local Control Funding Formula implementation. As a part of the Governor’s administration, Leilani also worked on K-12 education legislation and state budget items and served as a liaison with the California Department of Education, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence. 

In addition to state service, Leilani served as a senior advisor to the Superintendent and Board of Education for the Los Angeles Unified School District where she was the Director of Government Relations. Leilani represented the state’s largest school district in matters at the federal, state, and local level. 


Rob Bonta

Assemblymember, California District 18

Assemblymember Rob Bonta was elected to the California State Assembly’s 18th District in 2012, where he represents the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. He became the first Filipino American state legislator in California’s then 160-plus-year history.

Rob’s passion for opportunity and equality was instilled in him at a very young age by his parents, who taught him to understand injustice and the importance of joining the struggle to empower vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. His father was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, and stood with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Deep South—marching for equality and justice in Selma. His mother was and continues to be a long-time leader in the Filipino social justice movement.

Growing up in a trailer a stone’s throw away from César Chávez’s home, Bonta watched closely as his parents worked for the United Farm Workers of America and organized Filipino and Mexican American farm workers, infusing his formative years with first-hand experience of one of the greatest peaceful social, racial, and economic justice movements of all time. This had a huge impact on Rob’s life choices and pursuits, inspiring his life’s commitment to helping people.

Phil Ting

Assemblymember, California District 19

Phil Ting was elected to the State Assembly in 2012, representing the 19th Assembly District, which spans the Westside of San Francisco, as well as the communities of Broadmoor, Colma, Daly City, and South San Francisco. 

As California navigates new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ting is focused on economic recovery, while also continuing with progressive policies that protect and expand opportunity for all, equal rights, and environmental preservation. Because of his experience in the financial sector and as the San Francisco Assessor-Recorder, Ting has become a leading voice on California’s finances. He now serves as Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee after having served as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation.

Randy Chinn

Chief Consultant, Senate Transportation Committee


Additional Resources

Asm. Ting’s Budget Presentation

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