Past LLWs‎ > ‎2011 Participants‎ > ‎

Olivia Calderon

Olivia 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.

Ms. Calderon is currently the California Legislative Director of the New America Foundation.  Based in Sacramento and Los Angeles, she helps California lawmakers hammer out laws that improve the financial security and well-being of California residents.  She regularly testifies before the California State Legislature and educates government officials and interest groups about policy initiatives aimed at giving all people – particularly low-income individuals – access to the financial tools and incentives they need to build and protect their personal savings and assets.

Building on the momentum behind the recently-created California Select Committee on Financial Empowerment - the first state-level legislative body of its kind in the nation, Ms. Calderon consults with its members to champion “assets” in all policies – health, education, banking, and taxation.  She also identifies synergistic partnerships to build broader policy coalitions and manages the Capitol’s first bipartisan educational Asset Policy Forum, which she launched in August 2007.

She serves on the Boards of the Mission Economic Development Agency,
JERICHO, and the Women’s Intercultural Network.  She 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 consultant to the late California State Senator Jenny Oropeza, and as a Jesse Unruh Assembly Fellow.  Ms. Calderon is a Marshall Memorial Fellow and 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.