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Catherine Hazelton

Catherine Hazelton

As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is engaged in grantmaking related to governance reform, including redistricting and elections, and public media coverage of governance issues. View full bio »

Nomination Deadline Extended to April 9

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
User is currently offline
| Apr 04, 2014

You’ve asked and we are pleased to oblige – Irvine is extending the deadline for the Leadership Award nominations. Originally set for today, the new deadline is Wednesday, April 9. So take the weekend, but then please do submit your nominations by Wednesday!

The $125,000 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award advances the work of individuals and pairs who are implementing innovative and effective solutions to significant state issues. Nominees may be working in any field - such as education, health, public safety, economic development or the environment - and in the public, private or nonprofit sector. We seek nominees who have demonstrated inclusiveness and leadership in their fields and whose work is ready to be shared with policymakers and other practitioners The nomination process is easy. We’ll ask you to provide a few details about the nominator and nominee as well as a short narrative about the nominee’s work. For the narrative, please include the following elements:

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Spotlight on 2014 Leadership Award Recipients

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
User is currently offline
| Mar 28, 2014

The 2014 Leadership Award recipients are making headlines. In the month since the awards were announced, media outlets across the state have been highlighting the work of these extraordinary individuals and pairs advancing innovative solutions to some of California’s biggest challenges.

The Los Angeles Daily News featured an op-ed by Susan Burton describing how A New Way of Life Reentry Project has helped hundreds of formerly incarcerated women rebuild their lives in Los Angeles.

Recipients Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Suzy Loftus of Center for Youth Wellness were the focus of a San Francisco Chronicle article for developing effective responses for children affected by significant adverse childhood experiences.

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Report from the White House on Release of Voting Recs

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
User is currently offline
| Jan 30, 2014

One year ago, during the 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama announced the creation of a bipartisan commission to identify policy fixes to make voting easier for all Americans. His call resonated with those of us supporting and participating in the Future of California Elections (FOCE), a coalition of election administrators, civil rights groups and election reform advocates. We immediately connected with the White House and sought opportunities to inform the Commission’s efforts. In August, FOCE held a “listening session” for the Commission, at which FOCE members highlighted best practices and provided detailed research and recommendations specific to the needs of California voters.

Last week, after hearing from administrators, researchers, voters and others across the country, the President’s Commission on Election Administration presented him and Vice President Joe Biden with the Commission’s recommendations for improving voting in America. Immediately after, the Commission met at the White House with about 30 stakeholders, including FOCE Director Doug Chapin and myself.

In a refreshing example of bipartisanship, the Commission, co-chaired by the campaign counsel for the Obama and Mitt Romney 2012 Presidential campaigns, unanimously endorsed a wide range of reforms, including online voter registration, increased accessibility for those with disabilities and those who speak languages other than English, expanded voting options like early voting, and modern voting technology.

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President’s Commission Recommends Voting Fixes

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
User is currently offline
| Jan 22, 2014

When President Barack Obama's Commission on Election Administration released its final report today, making recommendations to improve the voter experience, we were thrilled to see that the Commission acknowledged the Future of California Elections (FOCE) and adopted many recommendations made by its member organizations. Likewise, Doug Chapin and I are honored to represent FOCE's work at the White House today for a meeting about the report’s release.

In his January 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama established the bipartisan Commission in an attempt to ease barriers to voting, such as by finding ways to reduce long lines on Election Day. The Commission, co-chaired by the lead counsel for the Obama and Mitt Romney 2012 Presidential campaigns, held public hearings in four battleground states and conducted "listening sessions" with other groups around the country.

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California Voters and the Media: A Matter of Trust

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
User is currently offline
| Aug 12, 2013 1

California voters have many opportunities, in fact, responsibilities, to participate in our democracy — from choosing candidates and considering ballot measures to sharing views with policymakers and holding them accountable. To do so effectively requires access to trustworthy, educational and culturally relevant information about public policy and civic issues. Yet, vast changes to the media landscape threaten to undermine access to the information voters need to make effective decisions. Further, the often negative, hyper-partisan tone of political discourse raises concerns about maintaining voter interest in policy issues.



In commissioning a survey of 3,500 California voters, the James Irvine Foundation set out to learn how, in the current media landscape, voters are learning about government and politics, as well as the extent of their interest in these topics. The study, conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates (FM3), and its accompanying infographic, provide useful insights into the consumption of public policy news by California voters, especially among our state’s diverse communities of color.

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Protecting and Improving the Right to Vote

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
User is currently offline
| Jul 03, 2013
As we celebrate our democracy this Fourth of July, it seems especially appropriate to recognize the many Californians protecting and improving one of our most cherished traditions: the right to vote. For the past two years, Irvine has been supporting about two dozen inspiring leaders working together to expand voter participation and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of California’s election systems.

Earlier this year, the groups participating in this initiative, known as The Future of California Elections (FOCE), published a list of priority goals for 2013. And just last month, the Irvine Board of Directors authorized nine grants totaling more than $3 million over two years to support FOCE Steering Committee members as they seek to achieve these ambitious goals. Irvine expects to make additional FOCE-related grants later this year.

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Leadership Awards Nomination Deadline Extended to April 10

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
User is currently offline
| Apr 05, 2013
Hot off the heels of Irvine’s 2013 Leadership Awards announcement, nominations are pouring in for the class of 2014. We can’t wait for the review process to start. Year after year we are wowed by the innovative nominees and how well they are addressing important challenges in their communities.

But it looks like we’ll have to wait just a few more days as we have extended the nominations deadline to April 10. If you haven’t yet nominated that terrifically effective leader who wows you, now is the time.

The $125,000 Leadership Award advances the work of individuals and small teams who are implementing innovative and effective solutions to significant state issues. Nominees may be working in any field - such as education, health, public safety, economic development or the environment - and in the public, private or nonprofit sector. We seek nominees who have demonstrated inclusiveness and leadership in their fields and whose work is ready to be shared with policymakers and other practitioners.

We have simplified the application to make it easier to nominate someone for a James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. The application has two parts:

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Conference on Future of California Elections

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
User is currently offline
| Jan 15, 2013 1

Next week I’ll be joining policymakers, elections officials and voter advocates in Sacramento for the first-ever Future of California Elections conference. The event, organized by California Common Cause, will spotlight the collaborative efforts of election administrators, civil rights groups and reform advocates over the last year and a half to expand voter participation and improve the effectiveness of elections in the Golden State.

Working together in 2012, the members of the Future of California Elections successfully advanced same-day voter registration, strengthened the National Voter Registration Act, helped implement online voter registration and improved the state voter guide. Originally brought together by Irvine, the group recently became an independent project to support ongoing collaboration in coming years.

At the January 23 conference, the group will discuss with policymakers and the public opportunities to further improve California elections. Learn more about the conference here, including the full agenda and details about how to register.

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Nominations Open for 2014 Leadership Awards

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
User is currently offline
| Jan 08, 2013

Today we kick off an exciting month for the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards. We are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2014 Leadership Awards. And in just a few short weeks, we’ll announce the recipients of the 2013 Leadership Awards. It’s going to be a celebratory, inspiring month!

Each year the Leadership Awards recognize four to six leaders who are tackling big issues in California and offering breakthrough solutions that can contribute to a better future for our state. We welcome nominations of leaders from all corners of the state and from any field – such as education, health, public safety, economic development or the environment – in the public, private or nonprofit sector.

Past recipients have worked on issues as diverse as providing mental health care for returning veterans, building vibrant communities for seniors, reducing youth recidivism and installing solar panels in low-income communities. What these leaders have in common is that they are advancing innovative, effective solutions to significant issues in California.

Please take a moment to tell us about someone who is improving California and nominate him or her for a 2014 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. The deadline for nominations is April 5, 2013.

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Progress Report on the Future of California Elections

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
User is currently offline
| Aug 02, 2012 2

Sunny San Diego provided a beautiful backdrop last month for the summer meeting of the California Association of County Clerks and Elections Officials (CACEO), at which members of the Irvine-sponsored Future of California Elections (FoCE) project presented their work to date. The group, comprised of county registrars, civil rights leaders and advocates for effective government, has been collaborating since late 2011 to improve the effectiveness of California elections and increase voter participation. Together FoCE participants established several goals they seek to accomplish in 2012, and the conference provided an opportunity to check in mid-course on their progress.

The results of FoCE participants’ hard work is already quite notable and indicates the exciting potential of this group. For example, based on focus groups FoCE participants conducted with voters and additional research and analysis, FoCE recommended 10 changes to the state voter guide. The Secretary of State welcomed all 10 recommendations and expects to adopt them for the November 2012 guide. FoCE members have also contributed to implementation of the state’s new online voter registration system, resulting in the state’s three major public assistance programs (CalWORKS, CalFresh and Medi-Cal) and two dozen colleges and universities – and counting— agreeing to integrate voter registration into their online applications and websites. More details about the group’s accomplishments to date and plans for the remainder of 2012 are listed below.

One of the highlights of the CACEO conference was hearing FoCE participants describe this unusual partnership. During a panel presentation, Cathy Darling Allen, incoming CACEO President and Clerk/Registrar of Shasta County, light-heartedly shared her initial trepidation of working with FoCE members from the American Civil Liberties Union, Verified Voting, Common Cause and the California Voter Foundation: “For a registrar, these are a bunch of scary women!” Everyone on the panel noted similar initial concerns about working with past adversaries, and expressed pride that just nine months later, they are all working together as close colleagues, advancing shared goals.

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