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15th Annual Spring Symposium

May 26 @ 11:45 am - 1:30 pm

Join us on Wednesday, May 26 for our 15th Annual Spring Symposium!

With the theme of Building Momentum, this year’s program will showcase the growing movement for more equitable, affordable, and inclusive housing across the Bay Area and beyond. From ending exclusionary zoning to legalizing more multifamily housing, we’ll hear from the elected leaders and housing experts who are accelerating change.

Reserve your complimentary ticket today to join our conversations with:

Richard Cho, Senior Advisor for Housing and Services, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

San Francisco Mayor London Breed

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf

San José Mayor Sam Liccardo

VOX Politics and Policy Fellow Jerusalem Demsas

Los Angeles Times Housing Reporter Liam Dillon

KQED Housing Reporter Molly Solomon

Program Lineup

Building Back Better: How Can the Federal Government Help Transform Housing? 

Richard Cho, ‎Senior Advisor for Housing and Services · ‎U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Richard Cho, Ph.D., serves as Senior Advisor for Housing and Services in the Office of the Secretary. In this role, Richard advises Secretary Marcia Fudge on HUD’s efforts to end homelessness, protect HUD-assisted households from COVID-19, advance the community integration of people with disabilities, connect housing with health care, and create housing options for returning citizens. Richard brings to this role two decades of experience at the community, state, and federal levels building collaboration between the housing, health care, social services, and criminal justice sectors to address the housing and services needs of vulnerable Americans.

Committing to Missing Middle Housing

Michael Matthews, Facebook State Policy Director
Michael joined Facebook from his firm, KMM Strategies. KMM Strategies provided an array of grassroots organizing capabilities, keen political strategic advice and results oriented project management. KMM Strategies clients include high tech companies, unions and nonprofit organizations.

Michael has more than 30 years of campaign, political and grassroots organizing experience. He served as Political Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for the 2002 election cycle and the 2000 Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign. From 1997 to 2001 Matthews directed the national political training program for the AFL -CIO.
Michael was a senior staff member on several presidential campaigns and served as a consultant to numerous campaigns and organizations including: NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Education Association, Project New America, Catalyst, the Building & Construction Trades Department (BCTD), National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Democratic National Committee.

In 1986 he managed former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy’ s first congressional campaign. In that historic election Mr. Espy became the first African American elected to Congress from Mississippi since Reconstruction. As the general consultant for Harvey Johnson Jr. in 1997, Michael played a key part in another historical election when Mr. Johnson became Jackson, Mississippi’s first African American mayor. 

Michael is a former partner with a national political and field organizing consulting firm whose clients included Obama for America and numerous campaigns and organizations including the AFL-CIO and many of its affiliated unions.

Michael Covarrubias, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Michael Covarrubias joined TMG Partners in 1988 and has directed the company since 1995, overseeing all of the company’s operations.  Michael began his career with 17 years at Union Bank. His roles included managing commercial and real estate lending, administrative management, and in his last position before joining TMG, serving as Senior Vice President
and Manager of Union Bank’s Silicon Valley Regional Real Estate Center. As CEO, Michael has fostered an entrepreneurial culture of talented, committed professionals resulting in the entitlement, development, acquisition and management of a diversified portfolio of 30 million square feet, valued at $5.5 billion.
Beyond the firm’s distinguished reputation as a leader in Bay Area real estate, Michael is highly respected for his leadership in the business community, highlights of which are chairing the Bay Area Council, and leading a critical effort with the Metropolitan Transportation Committee on regional solutions for transportation, housing, and economic vitality. He has
also served in multiple leadership roles for the Urban Land Institute. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Francisco Business Times in 2019.

Mayors Roundtable: Local Leadership and Regional Collaboration

Mayor London Breed
Mayor London Breed is a native San Franciscan, raised by her grandmother in Plaza East Public Housing in the Western Addition neighborhood. In June 2018, Mayor Breed was elected to be the first African American woman and second woman in San Francisco history to serve as Mayor. She was re-elected for her first full four-year term in November 2019.
She is leading San Francisco’s ongoing response to COVID-19, with a focus on equity and supporting the City’s economic recovery. Under her leadership, the City launched a comprehensive COVID-19 testing strategy, provided millions of dollars in local relief for residents, small businesses, and communities most impacted by the pandemic, and developed a network of vaccination sites with the capacity to vaccinate at least 20,000 people per day. 
Mayor Breed is focused on helping the City’s homeless population into care and shelter; adding more housing for residents of all income levels; helping those suffering from mental health and substance use disorder on San Francisco’s streets; ensuring that all San Franciscans have access to a thriving economy; making San Francisco a cleaner and safer city; and furthering San Francisco’s leadership in combating climate change. In 2020, Mayor Breed announced her vision to fundamentally change the nature of policing in San Francisco and issued a set of policies to address structural inequities, including reinvesting in the city’s African American community. 
Prior to public service, Mayor Breed served as Executive Director of the African American Art & Culture Complex in the Western Addition for over a decade. She also served as a San Francisco Redevelopment Agency Commissioner and in 2010 was appointed by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom to be a San Francisco Fire Commissioner, where she served until her election to the Board of Supervisors.
In 2013, Mayor Breed was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, representing District 5 for six years, including three years as President of the Board.
Mayor Sam Liccardo 
Mayor Sam Liccardo serves in his second term as Mayor of the 10th largest city in the United States, having recently won re-election with 76% of the vote. During his tenure as Mayor, Sam launched a Smart City Vision, aiming to make San Jose America’s most innovative city, in part by bridging the digital divide. He launched the nation’s first Digital Inclusion Fund to provide broadband access, devices and skills to low-income families, and by 2020, the City’s efforts with community partners have connected more than 100,000 low-income San Jose residents with free broadband. He has also led efforts to fund the construction of thousands of units of affordable housing, launch the nation’s largest community choice clean energy utility, provide jobs to more than 4,000 teens living in gang-impacted neighborhoods, launch multi-billion-dollar investments in new transit, and preserve thousands of acres of open space and hillsides from development. He currently serves as the Chair of the Big City Mayors, a coalition of mayors from California’s 13 largest cities, advocating for innovative solutions to combat homelessness and improve COVID-19 response. Prior to his service in elected office, Sam served as a criminal prosecutor at the federal and local level, prosecuting cases of sexual assault and child exploitation.

Mayor Libby Schaaf
Mayor Libby Schaaf was born and raised in Oakland, which she proudly describes as, “The most unapologetic Sanctuary City in America.” During her tenure, Oakland has undergone an economic revitalization and building boom, as well as cut gun violence in half.
Her “17K/17K Housing Plan” has helped increase Oakland’s affordable housing production, stabilize rents, and decrease evictions. Her innovative public-private partnerships Keep Oakland Housed and Cabin Communities are credited with preventing 1,800 families a year from losing their housing, while resolving some of Oakland’s most unsafe street encampments. In 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Mayor Schaaf to California’s first Council of Regional Homeless Advisors.
She created Oakland’s first Department of Transportation, whose equity-based paving plan is the first of its kind in the nation and will make previously underserved neighborhoods safer, while addressing the city’s decades-old infrastructure backlog.
Mayor Schaaf is most proud of launching the Oakland Promise, a bold cradle-to-career initiative to send more low-income Oakland kids to preschool and college. The Oakland Promise has sent more than 1,400 Oakland students (and counting) to college with scholarships and mentors, and will give every baby born into poverty a $500 college savings account at birth.

Media Roundable: Innovations Across California and Beyond

Jerusalem Demsas
Jerusalem Demsas works at Vox.com reporting on politics and policy with a particular interest and focus on housing and the economics of poverty. She has previously written on energy and environment issues for the Center for American Progress and is a graduate of the College of William and Mary where she received a degree in Economics & Government.


Liam Dillon
Liam Dillon covers the issues of housing affordability and neighborhood change across California for the Los Angeles Times. He joined the Times in 2016 and prior to this assignment, Dillon covered state politics and policy for The Times’ Sacramento Bureau. He’s a graduate of Georgetown University and grew up outside Philadelphia. Before coming to the Times, Dillon covered local politics in Southwest Florida and San Diego.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon reports on housing at KQED, focusing on homelessness, evictions, and the affordability crisis. Before that, she was the Southwest Washington Bureau Chief for Oregon Public Broadcasting and a general assignment reporter at Hawaii Public Radio. Her stories have aired on NPR’s Morning EditionAll Things ConsideredHere & NowScience Friday and Marketplace. Molly has won three national Edward R. Murrow awards and her work has been honored by the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Asian American Journalists Association. Molly graduated from UC Santa Cruz. As a Bay Area native, she is hella excited to return home.

Kim-Mai Cutler (Moderator) 
Kim-Mai Cutler is a partner at an early-stage venture firm called Initialized Capital that has backed companies including Coinbase and Cruise. She also serves on the board of SPUR, a Bay Area regional think tank promoting good governance, housing and transportation policies and San Francisco’s Local Homeless Coordinating Board, which oversees federal spending on homelessness in SF.

Sponsor the 15th Annual Spring Symposium Event!

 Sponsorship Benefits

 Register To Attend The Online Event

Thanks To Our Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors


Lubin Olson  


562 Mission Street LLC


Bronze Sponsors

Cahill Contractors

Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco 

Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

UC Hastings College of Law

Equity Community Builders, LLC

Shoe Box Ventures



May 26
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Event Categories:
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San Francisco, CA United States

Our Calendar Policy
* Meetings and events not sponsored or organized by SFHAC are marked with an asterisk. We regularly post events that are of interest to our members and related to our mission. However, it does not mean we are endorsing a particular policy or group.