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Olivia Calderon was the California Legislative Director of the New America Foundation. Based in Los Angeles and Sacramento, she helped California lawmakers hammer out laws to improve the welfare of California residents. In her role, she regularly testified before the California State Legislature, educates government officials, and interest groups about asset accumulation, healthcare, education, and energy policies. She also developed related policy proposals (including drafting measures, amendments, and reports), provided expert testimony on pending legislation, identified partnerships to build broad policy coalitions to advance key policies, and managed the Capitol’s first bipartisan educational Asset Policy Forum, which she launched in August 2007.
Ms. Calderon has a distinguished career shaping and advancing innovative policies to bring economic and social justice to disenfranchised and low-income communities. She has drafted over two dozen major pieces of legislation, four of which were signed into law, including bills to expand the rights of returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, protect patients from cancer causing x-rays, prevent sexual assaults on college campuses, and help working families permanently exit poverty. She currently serves on the Board of the Mission Economic Development Agency, is a founding member of Step Up California, and a member of Emerge California and Hispanas Organized for Political Equality. Previously, Ms. Calderon served in the California Legislature as a consultant to the Assembly Transportation Committee, as a senior legislative assistant to the late California State Senator Jenny Oropeza, and as a Jesse Unruh Assembly Fellow. Ms. Calderon is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of University of California, Los Angeles. She also studied at the American University in Cairo as a National Security Education Program scholar.