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Women Build a Better World Webinar Series

We are excited to announce our 2020 Women Build a Better World Webinar series! We invite you to unpack and explore issues, ideas, stories, and experiences that reflect the resilience and leadership found within each of us as we work together to combat the housing crisis.

Missed one of our Women Build a Better World webinars? Here you can find recordings from webinars past.

Week One – Assemblymember Laura Friedman

Laura Friedman was elected to the California State Assembly in 2016 as the representative for the 43rd Assembly District (Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake).

Last year, AB 587, a bill she introduced, passed with bipartisan support. This legislation gives organizations like SGV Habitat the opportunity to sell deed-restricted land to eligible low-income homeowners in the form of ADUs (accessory dwelling units).

“Affordable housing organizations have been instrumental in opening the door to homeownership for low-income Californians,” said Assemblymember Friedman. “AB 587 gives these organizations and local communities an innovative option that has the potential to double their impact.”

Week Two – Baldwin Park Councilmember Monica Garcia

Councilmember Monica Garcia was first elected to the Baldwin Park City Council in November 2007 and re-elected in 2011 and 2015. She’s honored to represent the City of Baldwin Park – her home for more than 40 years.

As Councilmember, Monica introduced the Domestic Advocate Program which provides assistance to victims of domestic violence by offering legal information, emotional support, and critical resources such as food, basic necessities, and shelter.

Monica earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Minor in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, upon completing her general education at Mt. San Antonio College. She also holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Cal State Long Beach.

Week Three – Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio

Assemblywoman Blanca E. Rubio was elected in November 2016 to represent California’s 48th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, City of Industry, Covina, Duarte, El Monte, Glendora, Irwindale, Monrovia, West Covina, and the San Gabriel Valley unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, including Bassett, Charter Oak, Citrus, East Arcadia, Ramona, Valinda, and West La Puente.

Blanca has worked tirelessly in the Capitol, placing advocacy for children, women, families, students, and immigrants at the forefront of her work. Since her election in 2016, Blanca has authored bills that support victims of domestic violence, create opportunities for children within the foster care system, ensure our youngest students are given proper support to succeed in school and support for immigrant communities.

Through her work as Chairwoman of the Human Service Committee, Blanca has raised awareness of women’s rights by authoring resolutions that declare August Breast Feeding Awareness Month and October Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Week Four – Congresswoman Judy Chu

Judy Chu was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2009. She represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley of southern California.

Rep. Chu currently serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over legislation pertaining to taxes, revenues, Social Security, and Medicare. In that Committee, Rep. Chu is a member of the Subcommittees on Health, giving her oversight over healthcare reform and crucial safety net programs, Worker and Family Support, and Oversight.

She also serves on the House Small Business Committee, which has oversight of the Small Business Administration and is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations.

Chu was first elected to the Board of Education for Garvey School District in 1985. From there, she was elected to the Monterey Park City Council, where she served as Mayor three times. She then was elected to the State Assembly and then California’s elected tax board, known as the State Board of Equalization. In 2009, she became the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress in history.

Week Five – Anne Miskey – CEO, Union Station Homeless Services

Anne Miskey serves as Chief Executive Officer of Union Station Homeless Services. She brings extensive knowledge of the issues involved in addressing homelessness, along with the exceptional leadership ability and management skills to guide the organization in the coming years. She has a unique perspective on the role non-profits, governments, and communities can together play in tackling major social problems. But just as important Anne has a deep passion for the organization’s mission: helping people end their homelessness and rebuild their lives.

Prior to this, Anne was the former CEO of the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) and first-ever Executive Director of Funders Together to End Homelessness. Anne is a nationally recognized expert on strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to ending homelessness. She is a passionate proponent of the most vulnerable in society and of creating long term, positive change, and strong systems that support those experiencing poverty, violence, racism, and homelessness.

Anne has been invited on numerous occasions to speak at the White House in support of different topics including women and youth homelessness and worked on former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces Campaign to help veterans. She has worked closely with the federal departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Labor to champion support for vulnerable families and individuals in the areas of housing, health, and employment.

Week Six – Velma de la Rosa- Interim Executive Director, La Casa de San Gabriel Community Center


Velma de la Rosa is the currently the Interim Executive Director of La Casa de San Gabriel Community Center, a public nonprofit dedicated to serving the multi-cultural community of San Gabriel and its surrounding areas.
Velma is a skilled executive with over 20 years of corporate, public and non-profit sector experience developing partnerships, implementing strategic initiatives and innovative programs to address the needs of targeted communities and populations at local, national and global levels. Velma’s unique experience has provided her many opportunities to collaborate across various sectors for the greater good, a greater impact and making communities better. She has built a successful and progressive career through her employment with major utilities such as the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, global corporations such as Citigroup and the TELACU Education Foundation, a national non profit organization.

Velma is active with organizations promoting greater access to education, the advancement of women and families and leadership development. She served on the board of Comisión Femenil de Los Angeles, an organization geared towards the political and economic empowerment of Hispanic women, and the National Latina Business Women Association of Los Angeles, an organization that supports Latinas to develop their business and professional acumens to achieve their career goals. She has also served on the USC Stan Ross Minority Real Estate Finance and Development Program Advisory Council, a program dedicated to preparing members of minority groups in emerging communities to establish a foundation toward becoming leaders in real estate finance and development, and the Hearthstone Housing Foundation Board, a national non-profit dedicated to providing service enriched affordable housing. She has served on the White Memorial Charitable Foundation Board, the Cleft Palate Program Auxiliary Committee and their Gala Host Committee.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Management from Pepperdine University and completed the Stan Ross Minority Real Estate Finance and Development Program with the Lusk Center for Real Estate at USC. Velma is currently a fellow in the Latina Global Executive Leadership Institute at USC.

Velma is a life-long Californian. She is a mother of four young men and a grandmother of two. She lives with her family in Whittier. In her leisure time, she enjoys entertaining family and friends at home, reading and traveling.

Week Seven – Tunua Thrash-Ntuk – Executive DIrector of LISC-LA

A native Angeleno, Tunua Thrash-Ntuk is the Executive Director of Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LA LISC). She is a seasoned community and economic development practitioner of more than 15-years with both non-profit and private sector experiences. Her strengths range from community advocacy to asset and real estate development around neighborhood revitalization. She has already led a number of important urban initiatives in Los Angeles focused on affordable housing and commercial development as well as transit-oriented projects. Prior to joining LISC, Tunua served as Executive Director of West Angeles Community Development Corporation, during her tenure she was responsible for the asset management and oversight of the WACDC real estate portfolio valued at $150 million. Tunua led the growth of WACDC’s real estate portfolio, in part by brokering a breakthrough in the development, construction and opening of West Angeles Plaza, a 24,000 square foot commercial office project.

Tunua serves as a board member or advisory board member to many entities, including Federal Home Loan Bank San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Council, Housing California, City of LA Measure HHH Citizens Oversight Commission, Southern California Edison’s Consumer Advisory Panel, Greenlining Institute, Union Bank’s Community Advisory Board, Frontier Communications Community Advisory Board and the Los Angeles Development Fund, which is the City of Los Angeles’ New Market Tax Credit implementation group. Tunua is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she earned her Master’s in City Planning as well as an alumna of UC Berkeley where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.



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