25th Annual Travers Conference on Ethics & Accountability in Government


Travers Conference

Can California Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century?

     Friday,  April 21, 2023
          Location: Bancroft Hotel- Great Hall

      Time: 9:30 am – 3:00 pm

             Registration is FREE!
          Register: HERE

California confronts a set of interlocking policy challenges that threaten its future vitality. The state has long been a magnet to people across the U.S. and the world seeking economic opportunity and a high quality of life. But as the price of housing has spiraled out of control and as climate change has multiplied the risks posed by drought and wildfires to communities, the state must develop new strategies that safeguard its future. This conference will bring together academic experts, policymakers, and advocates for a discussion of both the underlying problems facing the state and potential solutions. 

Panel Information:

9:30- 9:40 am: Introductary Remarks: 

Panel 1: 
9:40-10:50 am

"Safeguarding California’s Communities in the Face of Climate Change," focuses on the risks posed by extreme weather, including drought, wildfires, and flooding, to the viability of California communities, along with potential policy responses.


Senator Nancy Skinner, 9th District, California
Ellen Hanak, VP and Director of the Water Policy Center, Public Policy Institute of California
Matto Mildenberg, Assistant Professor of Political Science, UC Santa Barbara

David Vogel, Solomon Lee Distinguished Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley

Panel 2: 
11:00-12:10 pm

"California as Energy Leader," asks what role California can play in building reliable, renewable energy systems that can be a model for the U.S. and beyond. 

Senator Henry Stern, 27th district, California
Sharon Jacobs, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley
Daniel M. Kammen, James and Katherine Lau Distinguished Professor of Sustainability, UC Berkeley 

Lunch will be served at 12:15 pm
(Lunch provided for conference participants and attendees)

Keynote Address on California’s Governing Challenges
Speaker: Bette Yee, State Controller, 2015-23


Panel 3: Addressing California’s Housing Crisis
1:40- 3:00 pm

"Addressing the State's Housing Crisis," asks how the state can leverage its resources to improve the supply of housing, while managing relationships between local governments and other stakeholders.

Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, 14th District, California
Ben Metcalf, Managing Director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, UC Berkeley
Moira Kathleen O'Neill, Associate Professor, University of Virginia
Darrell Owens, Data and Policy Analyst, California YIMBY


 Presented by the Charles & Louise Travers Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley in cooperation with the Institute of Governmental Studies and the Commonwealth Club of California.