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News & Press: Spotlight

Session 1 Wraps in Sacramento and Kicks Off 2019 CIT

Wednesday, March 20, 2019  
Posted by: Leadership California

The first session of the 2019 California Issues and Trends (CIT) program may be over but the lessons learned, insight gained, and connections made run deep and will no doubt stay with the members of this year’s class as they look forward to the upcoming sessions. 

The first session took place in the political heart of California, Sacramento, and centered around the political landscape and California’s dynamic government. The session opened with a fantastic overview of the program and insight from alumna about their experiences, providing the 2019 class members with a glimpse of the fantastic experienced in store. 

The class was lucky enough to hear from political veterans Steve and Susie Swatt, (alumna Class of 2000) about their new book, “Paving the Way: Women’s Struggle for Political Equality in California.” The stories they shared of women’s history and the hard-fought battles taken up by women to build California over 100year were truly eye-opening and inspiring.  

The next two days were jam-packed with speakers who shared their knowledge and experiences from all around the political landscape. Dr. Raphael Sonenshein talked about the state of California in respect to its role in the larger political sphere and what we might expect in the coming elections. Superior Court Judge Bunmi Awoniyi shared background on the judicial branch and her own leadership journey. Class members also heard from representatives of the administration and legislative branches, delving into “how work gets done” under the Capitol dome. 

The session also included a special visit to the Senate and Assembly floors, tour of the Leland Stanford Mansion and a luncheon keynote by Consul General of Mexico Liliana Ferrer and a behind the scenes look at the California Independent Systems Operator. 

Finally, the session concluded with a moving panel on homelessness and mental health. Local Sacramento homelessness advocates shared their perspectives on the issue, what needs to change, and how CIT class members can help raise awareness on the issue in their own communities. 

The first session not only provided a fantastic opportunity to explore the political landscape of California and set the stage for the year long program, but just as importantly, it brought together a new class of women leaders who are eager and ready to learn about California and how they can make a difference.

View photos on our Facebook page!

Leadership California thanks the 2019 Local Planning Committee and its sponsors.


2019 CIT Session 1 Local Planning Committee

Yinka Ajede (’18)
Diane Boyer-Vine (LC to DC ’13 & EAC) 
Debbie Manning (’02 & EAC) Sue Parker (’16)
Katrina Rodriguez (’16)
Ezilda Samoville (’08)
Shannon Shellenberg (’14)
Maggie Stern (’18)
Dr. Janice Thompson, Ed.D. (‘97)
Nicole Townsend (’18)
Jeanice Warden-Washington (’18)
Camille Wagner (’13)
Linda White (’16)
Karen Zamarripa (’95)

CIT – Session 1 Sponsors

Strategic Partner


Session I Sponsor


Session I Partner
 Independent Systems Operator (ISO)

Official Airline of Leadership California