Workshop #3

Betty Yee speaking to the 2017 CAUSE Political Institute

Pasadena, CA – CAUSE held the third CAUSE Political Institute workshop on April 22, 2017 at the Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute.


The day started off with a crash course on political ethics with Jessica Levinson, President of the Los Angeles Ethics Commissions and Clinical Professor of Law at Loyola Law School. Levinson shared some important advice regarding campaign finance and ethics and clarified questions about the impact of legal ethics on a campaign.

After a discussion on political guidelines, Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute, discussed civic engagement in Los Angeles County and the impact political incorporation has on the empowerment of the Asian Pacific American community. He also spoke about the recent Pat Brown Institute poll on Asian American millennials and discussed some of the key political differences among different demographics.


Lunch was held with California State Controller Betty Yee. She spoke about her political journey and how she rose through the ranks of Sacramento to get to her state-wide office today. Many of our fellows were moved by her narrative and connected with her insight on life as a politician.

The last portion of the day revolved around environmental and energy policy. George Minter, Regional VP of External Affairs and Environmental Strategy at SoCalGas first spoke with our fellows about the work of gas utilities. He shared the impact of renewable gas sources on de-carbonizing the pipeline, especially with regards to freight transportation. His discussion was followed by Christopher Thompson, VP of Local Public Affairs at Southern California Edison. Christopher spoke on his personal journey to public service, his time in DC, and Southern California Edison’s focus on the energy grid of the future and transportation electrification.

The cohort ended the day by beginning work on their final project: a mock personal platform pitch to campaign supporters and donors. Each fellow will utilize the lessons he or she has gained throughout the course for a final stump speech at the last workshop.

We want to thank all those who helped make this day a big success! With only two more workshops left, please stay tuned next month for more updates!