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Livability Summit 2022 Panelists & Speakers

The Livability Poll: A Wellness Check of the Sacramento Region

by Evan Schmidt, CEO of Valley Vision

Valley Vision fields a quality of life poll that tracks residents’ experiences with issues such as affordability of necessities, access to services, job and career satisfaction, safety and belonging, as well as residents’ perspectives of the Sacramento Region. Evan presents some of the more notable findings from The Livability Poll fielded in the summer of 2022.

You can read the full poll report here.

View a video of the presentation below and download the Powerpoint to follow along here.

Evan Schmidt is the CEO of Valley Vision, a nonprofit organization that leads regional and statewide initiatives to advance livability by supporting social equity, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability. She oversees the organization’s six impact areas of Workforce Development, Clean Economy, Food & Agriculture, Broadband & Digital Equity, Healthy Communities and Leadership & Civic Engagement. She is committed to building communities that are vibrant and sustainable and where every person has the opportunity to meet their potential. Under her leadership, Valley Vision creates the foundation for collaboration, research, and vision that enables us to meet those goals.


Keynote: Building An Equitable Future

Alicia John-Baptiste, CEO of SPUR

View a video of the presentation below and download the Powerpoint to follow along here.

Alicia John-Baptiste is president and CEO of SPUR, the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association. Alicia has over 20 years of experience reimagining systems to create better outcomes for people. Her optimistic vision and practical approach inform SPUR’s efforts to build a Bay Area where all people can thrive. Alicia has a deep commitment to the collective good while serving in leadership roles for the City and County of San Francisco, and as Chief of Staff at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Locally and nationally recognized for her public policy expertise, inspirational perspective and creative approach to systems change. Alicia talks about how we build an equitable future in a way that plans for cities and regions that work for everyone.


Livable Housing Solutions – Presented by SACOG

Kacey Lizon, Rick Jennings, Bonnie Gore, Roshaun Davis

Housing availability and affordability remain a critical topic among leaders in the Sacramento region. SACOG presents a progress report on how well the six-county region is doing towards meeting its Blueprint housing goals. Learn how transportation, smart policy, and investments can help meet housing needs and contribute to a vibrant and thriving region.

View a video of the panel below and download the Powerpoint to follow along here.

Kacey Lizon (Moderator) oversees SACOG’s planning, funding, and technical assistance programs. She has played an instrumental role in regional planning and smart growth
planning and has led initiatives in land use,
housing, transportation, transit-oriented
development, and environmental and
rural planning. Kacey serves as a board
member of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association and is a member of the California Planning Roundtable.

Rick Jennings (Panelist) has served District 7 on the Sacramento City Council since 2014, representing Greenhaven, Pocket, Little Pocket, Land Park, South Lake Park, Curtis Park, and Z’Berg Park. He represents the City’s interests on the Budget and Audit, Personnel & Public Employees, and Racial Equity Committees. Since 1997, he has served, with distinction, as the CEO of the Center for Fathers and Families, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families and building communities in Sacramento. Jennings has served on numerous boards and councils representing youth, neighborhoods, libraries, education. He is the current Chair of the SACOG Board of Directors.

Bonnie Gore (Panelist) was elected to the Placer County Board of Supervisors in June 2018 and served on the Roseville City Council from 2012. Her focus is economic development, fiscal sustainability, public safety, and positive collaboration between local jurisdictions. She serves on the Placer Wastewater Authority JPA, Western Placer Waste Management Authority, California State Association of Counties, and the Greater Sacramento Economic Council. She also served as Chair for SACOG in 2021.

Roshaun Davis (Panelist) partners with community-centric organizations, early stage entrepreneurs, corporate companies, and governmental agencies. His talent for community development, strategic focus and program implementation bridges the gap between the built environment and the community that lives within it. Roshaun is a speaker with a dynamic and engaging style. He has a TEDx talk entitled, “How Do You Show Love To Your City.” He is also a well known musical artist performing in places like South by Southwest, Los Angeles, and New York City, where he found his passion for representing the underrepresented. He has been named Top 100 Business Leaders, 40 under 40, Top 25 Changemakers in Sacramento and received the Local Vision Award from the American Planning Association.


Housing the Unhoused: An Action Plan for Change

Jeneba Lahai, Dianna Pogetto, Dr. Jonathan Porteus, Rosario Rodriguez, Angela Upshaw

Introduced by Lisa Bates & Moderated by Evan Schmidt

Livability Poll respondents cited homelessness and affordable housing as the two top issues of concern in our region and among the most pressing challenges to livability that our region faces. Recognizing and taking action to address these issues is critical to support livability in communities across our region. Learn what solutions community leaders and advocates are advancing to address this humanitarian, public health and safety, and business issue.

View a video of the panel below and download the Powerpoint to follow along here.

Lisa Bates (Introducer) is CEO of Sacramento Steps Forward, a leading voice in building a homeless response system and manager of the Sacramento Homeless Continuum of Care. She has led housing policy initiatives including adoption of a statewide housing plan, advancing racial equity strategies, and overseeing deployment of community development funding to communities and affordable housing developers.

Jeneba Lahai (Panelist) is Executive Director of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance, a non-profit that provides wrap-around and direct services to families in need as well as the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Yolo County. She has developed inter-agency collaboration programs to meet the needs of the community. Jeneba serves as board chair of Yolo County’s Homeless and Poverty Action Coalition, member of the Yolo County Health Council, member of the Yolo County’s Head-start policy council and a board member of the West Sacramento Housing Development Corporation.

Dianna Poggetto (Panelist) is Executive Director of the American River Parkway Foundation, ensuring the 23-mile, 4,800- acre parkland and river that runs through the urban core is protected for generations to come. She has been involved with non-profit organizations and public policy in Washington D.C., working with the National Council on Independent Living Centers to help craft the Americans with Disabilities Act and has been actively involved in shaping public policy for homeless initiatives and child welfare.

Dr. Jonathan Porteus (Panelist) is CEO WellSpace Health, a regional community health system. He leads a team of 1,000 healthcare professionals who provide medical, dental, and behavioral health care to approximately 1,400 people per day, all of whom live in poverty or are from underserved communities, including thousands of people are experiencing homelessness.

Rosario Rodriguez (Panelist) is the Vice Mayor for the City of Folsom, elected to office in November 2020 with an intent on making a difference on the issue of homelessness. She is the owner of Sutter Street Taqueria, a restaurant in Historic Folsom. She lived in Folsom with her 16-year-old grandson Antonio, and her 4-year-old German Shepherd, Cody.

Angela Upshaw (Panelist) is the Director of Programs at Berkeley Food & Housing Project where she oversees programs that support people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. Programs include Military Veteran-specific programs: Supportive Services for Veteran Families, Grant and Per Diem, and the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program across seven Northern California Counties. Angela currently serves as the Vice Chair for the Sacramento Continuum of Care (CoC), Co-Chair of Sacramento CoC’s Racial Equity Committee, and Board member of the East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO).


A Livable Future: Livability in the Eyes of the Next Generation

Tate Chatfield, Skyler Harris, Ariana Thakur, Grace Hadani

Amidst a global pandemic, in a society and economy undergoing unprecedented change, our youth are finding ways to forge their own path and make a positive impact in the world. Hear from the students and members of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ (SACOG) Youth Leadership Academy who share their unique perspectives on what livability means to them and the future that they envision for our region.