Tuesday, April 5 – 9:00 – 10:15 AM
Housing and Homelessness Solutions Today for a Better Tomorrow —
Meet our State Leaders
Velasquez was a senior director at the Urban Institute, a renowned national research organization working to provide data analysis and insights to policymakers and practitioners in ways both relevant and actionable. Velasquez served for nearly three years as assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He served on behalf of the president as the strategic lead of the fair housing and inclusive community agenda for the Obama administration. During his tenure, HUD achieved groundbreaking enforcement victories in fair lending and in major housing discrimination cases. Velasquez led efforts to promulgate the landmark Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, a key tool for cities, states, and other HUD funding recipients to reduce inequality and disparities in access to opportunity.
Deputy Secretary of Housing Sasha Wisotsky Kergan, California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency
Sasha (Wisotsky) Kergan was appointed Deputy Secretary of Housing at the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency (BCSH) by Governor Gavin Newsom in October 2021.
As Deputy Secretary of Housing, Sasha is responsible for advising on state housing policy and leading the coordination of housing investments, programs, and activities to preserve and expand affordable housing. She works closely with BCSH departments that oversee all aspects of housing, including the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), the California Housing Finance Agency, and the Department of Real Estate. She also represents BCSH on several inter-agency efforts to further equity, housing, climate, community development, and opportunity goals.
Prior to her appointment, Sasha held several roles at HCD, where she last served as the Housing Policy Division Data and Innovation Chief. She integrated data and innovation into critical HCD priorities, led HCD’s role in shaping the Governor’s Executive Order on state-owned property for affordable housing, and actively participated as one of the leaders of Homekey, a program that led to more than 6,000 units of permanent and interim housing across the state.
Before joining HCD, Sasha worked in asset management at the Oakland Housing Authority and at Resources for Community Development. In those roles, Sasha bridged communication between the development, property management, and resident services teams, led portfolio-wide energy conservation initiatives, and focused on the long-term financial and physical sustainability of affordable homes throughout the Bay Area.
Sasha holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA and a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Community Development from UC Berkeley.
Executive Director Tiena Johnson Hall, CalHFA
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Johnson Hall served on the CalHFA Board of Directors from 2014 and was the Senior Vice President and Manager of Community Development Finance for BBVA now a member of PNC Bank. She held various leadership positions for financial, banking and housing organizations such as Vice President and Community Development Manager, Bank of the West (2014); Senior VP and Relationship Manager, U.S. Bank (2005-2013); Director of Housing, Major Projects Division of the Los Angeles Housing and Investment Department (2004-2005); Senior VP and Regional Manager, Bank of America Community Lending (1997-2003); Finance Development Officer, Major Projects Division of the Los Angeles Housing and Investment Department (1995-1997); Project Manager, Abode Communities (1991-1994). She also served on various housing and financial boards and councils.
Ms. Johnson Hall received her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Howard University and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Redlands.
Tuesday, April 5 – 2:00 – 3:15 PM
Roadmap to a Better Tomorrow —
Meet Leaders Making it Happen at the Local Level!
Brought to you by Union Bank
Creating big, structural change requires innovation, bold and courageous leadership, strong messages, and people power. During this engaging discussion you will hear from leaders who have taken big risks at the local level, even in the face of opposition, to ensure safe, stable, affordable housing for all. You will leave this plenary inspired and ready to go home to create lasting change in your local community.
Oakland City Councilmember Carroll Fife represents the residents of District 3, in Downtown and West Oakland and serves as the chair of the Public Safety Committee. Her priorities include providing low-income housing for Oakland residents and finding permanent solutions to address the homeless crisis, reallocating police resources to invest in community services, supporting essential workers and preserving Oakland’s historical and cultural spaces for Black and Brown communities.
Carroll Fife is a community leader, a mother and a fearless freedom fighter. As former director of ACCE Oakland, she helped found Moms for Housing and passed legislation at the state and local level to build collective power for tenants. She has fought back against police terrorism and helped to build a network of Black organizations and individuals working together for community self-determination. She has been involved in Oakland electoral politics for over a decade. She is an elected member of the Oakland NAACP’s Executive Committee and serves as the housing chair of the organization. Since 2014, she has managed several campaigns, including Oakland’s first ever slate of all Black women candidates for City Council and the OUSD Board. She was a 2016 and 2020 Platform Committee delegate for Senator Bernie Sanders and drafted an amendment for the 2020 Democratic National Convention Platform to make housing a human right.
Carroll’s legislative and electoral accomplishments include the grassroots organizing energy behind Oakland’s Department of Race and Equity, pushing for the Cannabis Equity Permit program, protecting the Coliseum area from gentrification, passing Oakland’s emergency eviction moratoria and pandemic eviction ban, and most recently, pressuring the City Council to reopen the City budget in order to divest from Oakland’s police department to invest in community services. Carroll facilitates many grassroots coalitions, mentors youth organizations and candidates running for elected office and is a trusted advocate and servant of marginalized people everywhere.
Wednesday, April 6 – 1:00 – 1:45 PM
Advancing a Bold Vision for Preventing and Ending Homelessness
Over 160,000 Californians experience homelessness on any given night. Yet, many jurisdictions and states around the country have made progress in recent years in reducing homelessness. During our closing plenary you will have the opportunity to hear from Jeff Olivet, the newly appointed Executive Director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, who will engage in a lively dialogue with Nan Roman, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance to End Homelessness to share his bold vision for preventing and ending homelessness at a national scale, how we can approach this work through a racial equity lens and the role each of us can play in helping to prevent and end homelessness.
Moderator: Nan Roman, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance to End Homelessness
Nan Roman is President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a public education, advocacy and capacity-building organization. She is a leading national voice on the issue of homelessness. Under her guidance, the Alliance has successfully identified and promoted innovative strategies for ending homelessness that have been adopted by communities across the country. In her role, Ms. Roman works closely with members of Congress and the Administration, as well as with officials and advocates at the state and local levels. She collaborates with Alliance partners to educate the public about the real nature of homelessness and effective solutions. She has researched and written on the issue of homelessness, regularly speaks at events around the country and frequently serves as an expert on the issue for the media. Her perspective on homelessness and its solutions comes from more than 20 years of local and national experience in the areas of poverty and community-based organizations.