Housing Elements – experiences and lessons learned from around the state

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April 7, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

$20 – 40
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Hear from advocacy organizations that are further along in the process on their experiences advocating for policies and programs that will make it easier to build new affordable homes and protect current residents from displacement.

This Housing Element panel is intended to be an informal conversation between the panelists and the audience. This will give the audience a chance to ask the panelists questions about their experiences advocating for their communities’ needs through the housing element process, so they can learn lessons from jurisdictions that are further along in the process and to spark conversations/inspire coordination with fellow advocates in their own jurisdictions.

Since this Brown Bag is designed for more interactive and engaging conversation between the speakers and attendees, this meeting will be capped at 50 participants.

Moderator: Evelyn Stivers, Executive Director, HLC


  • Cesar Covarrubias, Executive Director, The Kennedy Commission of Orange County
  • Jose Ayala, Housing Policy Specialist, HCD
  • Kendra Noel Lewis, Executive Director, Sacramento Housing Alliance

When: Thursday, April 7 | 12pm – 2pm PT

Where: Zoom Meeting

Scroll down to learn more about the panel.


Evelyn Stivers

Executive Director, HLC

Cesar headshot

Cesar Covarrubias

Executive Director, The Kennedy Commission of Orange County


Jose Ayala

Housing Policy Specialist, HCD


Kendra Noel Lewis

Executive Director, Sacramento Housing Alliance

Speaker information

Evelyn Stivers: Evelyn “Evvy” Stivers comes to Housing Leadership Council with 20 years of organizing and advocacy experience. Prior to joining HLC, Evvy was the Development Director for Urban Habitat. From 2004 through 2013 Evvy worked for the Non-Profit Housing Association on regional initiatives including the Housing Element and Inclusionary Housing campaigns. Earlier in her career she directed the Western States Field Office for the US Public Interest Research Group and served as the Livable Communities Associate Director for Greenbelt Alliance. She has served on the boards of TransForm, the League of Conservation Voters for the East Bay, East Bay Housing Organizations, and Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County.

Cesar Covarrubias: Cesar Covarrubias is the Executive Director of The Kennedy Commission – a collaborative of community members and organizations that advocates for the production of affordable homes for Orange County’s low income families.

Through his dedication and experience in the field, Cesar has become a leader and expert in affordable housing and land-use policy. Under his leadership, the Commission has initiated affordable housing advocacy campaigns that have developed housing policies to promote the development of affordable housing in Orange County. The Commission strives to develop solutions to housing needs and unite communities across Orange County to improve neighborhoods and strengthen public participation of residents.

Prior to joining the Commission, Cesar worked at the Fair Housing Council of Orange County, advocating for the rights of tenants and addressing housing disparities in Orange County.

Cesar holds a law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish Literature from California State University, Fullerton. He is part of various local and state housing policy working groups and volunteers on various non-profit boards.

Jose Ayala: Jose Ayala is a Housing and Community Development Specialist within the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Housing Policy Development Division. Jose coordinates with local jurisdictions to ensure compliance with state housing law and planning priorities. Amongst Jose’s responsibilities at HCD is the review of Housing Elements, Accessory Dwelling Unit law, Housing Accountability Act law, grant programs such as SB 2, Local Early Action Planning Grants, and Regional Early Action Planning Grants, and other grant and incentive work. Jose studied Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and is pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration at Sacramento State University.

Kendra Noel Lewis: Kendra Noel Lewis (nee Walker) a 4th generation, San Francisco native grew up in the neighborhood and community of Bayview Hunters point. It was the culture of Bayview – Hunter Point where the predominately Black community were the migrants of the Jim Crow south settled and built a strong community. Bayview was the model for where Kendra’s love of community and desire to work to empower and uplift the community. Kendra was the first member of her immediate family to graduate from college. Now calling the Sacramento region her home, she has been active in the greater Sacramento community and has served in various leadership roles in organizations such as the Sacramento YWCA, Traveler’s Aid, the San Francisco Community Land Trust, and Sacramento Urban Debate League.

Register Today!

Registration deadline: Tuesday, April 5 at 5pm PT


If cost is an issue, please email NPH Program and Events Associate Morgan@nonprofithousing.org. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.


This event will be hosted virtually. Do you need an ASL Interpreter or Closed Captioning? Please reach out to Morgan@nonprofithousing.org at least two weeks before the training, if you need further assistance.

Cancellation/Refund Deadline: Wednesday, April 6 at 5pm PT
Registrants canceling their registration on or before Wednesday, April 6 at 5pm PT will receive a full refund. NPH may consider refunds for extenuating circumstances. Refund requests submitted after the deadline are not guaranteed and will be reviewed on an individual basis. To submit a refund request, please email morgan@nonprofithousing.org.


April 7, 2022
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
$20 – $40
Event Category: