2023 CivicWell Policymakers Conference at Asilomar - CivicWell

2023 CivicWell Policymakers Conference

March 16-19, 2023


Yosemite goes to the beach!

Due to staffing constraints in the Park, Yosemite National Park will not be hosting events in 2023. So, CivicWell’s 31st annual Policymakers Conference will take place in lovely Pacific Grove at the Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds.

This intimate gathering brings together over 100 mayors, city council members, county supervisors, and other senior executives in an inspiring and collaborative environment.

The event is designed to support local elected officials with tools and partnership opportunities to implement innovative solutions to our most pressing community challenges.

Registration is now closed.

Meet the Speakers

Eddie Ahn

Executive Director

Brightline Defense

Wendy Root Askew


County of Monterey

Stacy Atkins-Salazar

Council Member

City of Arcata

Alberto Ayala

Executive Director

Sacramento Metro Air Quality Management District

Catherine Blakespear

California State Senator

Alexander Casey


Housing Affordability Data Lab at the Terner Center

Cindy Chavez


County of Santa Clara

Roger Dickinson

Roger Dickinson

Policy Director, CivicWell

Former State Assemblymember

Carl Guardino

VP of Global Government Affairs

Tarana Wireless

Siva Gunda

Vice Chair

California Energy Commission

Bill Hayward

Executive Chairman / Chief Sustainability Officer


Arne Jacobson


Schatz Energy Research Center

Julia Kingsley

Senior Consultant

California State Assembly Transportation Committee

John Laird

California State Senator

Anu Natarajan

Anu Natarajan


Meta Housing Initiative

Pam O'Connor

Vice Chair

Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission

Jan Pepper


Peninsula Clean Energy

Heidi Sanborn

Board President


Genevieve Shiroma


California Public Utilities Commission

Darcy Totten

Director of Communications

California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls

Mitch Weiss

Executive Director

California Transportation Commission

Das Williams

Das Williams


County of Santa Barbara

Mike Wilson


County of Humboldt

Garrett Wong

Climate Program Manager, Santa Barbara County

Board Member, LGSEC


Creating Sustainable Solutions

This past year has seen both increasingly extreme climate events and an escalating governmental response to support resilience and adaptation. Local governments will have opportunities to use federal and state funding for impactful community solutions.

Our state’s most urgent imperatives—affordable and accessible housing, racial equity, reducing emissions, wildfire and drought resilience, and more—require courageous and innovative responses. Time and again, we see local governments at the forefront of these actions. Local and community leaders encourage and implement solutions, and where our peers have succeeded, we learn and adopt.

Given the momentous challenges we face, from climate resilience and housing to transitioning our energy and mobility sectors, now is the time for local leaders to come together to share ideas and best practices, and advance forward-thinking solutions. The right choices today can help create the resilient, healthy, and equitable communities of tomorrow.


Download the conference agenda.

The conference will take place from Thursday evening, March 16th to Sunday morning, March 19th. The below agenda is tentative and subject to change at any time. Topics and speakers will be added as they are confirmed.

Thursday, March 16

4:30 – 6:00 pm

6:00 – 7:30 pm
Welcome Reception with heavy appetizers

7:30 – 8:00 pm
Opening Remarks

8:00 – 9:15 pm
How to Build More Housing in Your Town

Friday, March 17

7:30 – 9:00 am

9:00 – 10:15 am
Effectively Influencing State Climate Policy from a Local Level

10:15 – 10:30 am
Coffee Break

10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Building Decarbonization: What Local Governments Can Do

12:00 – 1:00 pm
Lunch / Networking

1:00 – 2:30 pm
The Challenges and Promises of Offshore Wind

Participants are free for the remainder of the day


Saturday, March 18

7:30 – 8:30 am

8:30 – 9:15 am
Keynote Address from CA State Senator John Laird

9:15 – 10:30 am
Solar, Battery Storage, and Grid Reliability

10:30 – 10:45 am
Coffee Break

10:45 am – 12:00 pm
The Remote Workforce: Environmental and Equity Implications

  • Alberto Ayala, Executive Director, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
  • Darcy Totten, Director of Communications, California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls
  • Mitch Weiss, Executive Director, California Transportation Commission
  • Moderator: Carl Guardino, Vice President for Global Government Affairs, Tarana Wireless

12:00 – 1:00 pm

1:00 – 5:30 pm
Group activities (optional)

5:30 – 6:30 pm

6:30 – 7:30 pm
CivicWell Remarks

7:30 – 9:00 pm
Firepit Chat Reception sponsored by SMUD


Sunday, March 19

7:30 – 9:00 am



This conference is for elected officials only. If you are not an elected official but would like to attend, we invite you to explore our sponsorship opportunities below.

This year the registration fee INCLUDES lodging for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at the beautiful Asilomar Hotel; most meals*, a welcome reception, and a firepit reception; and all conference materials, panels, keynotes, and breakout sessions. Meal tickets will be provided to all participants during onsite check-in for meals included in the program. You will not need to book lodging separately from your registration. This is due to Asilomar’s registration policy.

Local attendees may select the offsite option, which does not include lodging but does include meals and a daily facility fee. This is due to Asilomar’s registration policy.

Special Note About Member Discount

Become a CivicWell member today! First year memberships are $125 for individuals, but if you add on a membership below you automatically get the member registration rate for the conference. Because the member registration rate is $100 less than the non-member rate, the additional total for a year of membership is only $25!

*If a meal is not included, it will be noted on the agenda.

Cancellation Policy

Registrations may be cancelled up until February 23, 2023. The cancellation fee is 50% of the total registration.
In lieu of cancellation, registration may be transferred to another elected official at any time before March 10, 2023 free of charge. After March 10th, no refunds will be offered.




We are looking for Conference Sponsors – agencies, organizations, foundations, and companies – who are leading the way in innovative resilience solutions and smart growth strategies.

Our flagship event is an excellent opportunity for sponsors to build meaningful relationships with local policymakers, highlight and deepen your commitment to sustainable communities, and raise your profile in the smart growth arena. 

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, view the Sponsorship Brochure or contact Kathy Chow at kchow@civicwell.org for information.

Download the Sponsorship Brochure

For More Information

For questions about conference registration and logistics, please contact:
Heather Killion
Operations Coordinator
(916) 448-1198  x303


For questions about conference sponsorship and program, please contact:
Haley Ausserer-Zelaya
Communications Manager

Thank you to our Conference Sponsors:

ENGIE North America

Interactive Resources, Inc.

Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District

Peninsula Clean Energy

Redwood Coast Energy Authority

Thank you to our Business Partners: