100 Million Californians — Can it Happen?

Los Angeles, CA
December 7, 2023
6:30-9:30PM PDT

What do we want for Christmas? For paradise to be in reach of most Americans.

But...why is California's livability even a question? One of the most beautiful, vibrant states in America shouldn't be a struggle for people to enjoy. But here we are—folks are fleeing in search of something better. Have been for years now.

There shouldn't be something better. California is the best. And everyone who wants to live here should be able to do that. After all, where better than the Golden State to drink a cup of cheer in the bright sun?

Join Young Voices in Los Angeles as we host Nolan Gray, Ed Mendoza, and Scott Epstein for an evening of conversation, good food, and a bunch of policy proposals we can all talk about over drinks. It'll be a jolly little time.

Meet the fellas:

Nolan Gray — M. Nolan Gray is a professional city planner and an expert in urban land-use regulation. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gray previously worked on the front lines of zoning as a planner in New York City. He is a contributor to Market Urbanism and a widely published author, with work appearing in outlets such as The AtlanticBloomberg Citylab, and The Guardian.

Ed Mendoza— Ed is Policy Director at the Livable Cities Intiiative and a professional city planner based in Los Angeles. He is an active member of Santa Monica Forward and the Parking Reform Network. Mendoza received his Master’s in Planning from the USC’s Price School of Public Policy. He is a current board member for Abundant Housing Los Angeles c(3) and c(4). Previously Mendoza acted as the Board Chair for Inclusive Santa Monica, and Board Chair for the Transportation & Equity, and Elections committees for the Palms Neighborhood Council. Mendoza is also a demographer who has worked with Children’s Hospital Foundation, Lucile Packard Foundation, Haynes Foundation and whose work has been featured on publications such as Cityscape, and Slate Magazine.

Scott Epstein— Scott is public policy professional At Abundant Living LA and a seasoned community leader. Scott served on the Mid City West Neighborhood Council from 2012 to 2021 and as the board’s Chair from 2014 to 2021.  Under Scott’s leadership, the council brought millions of dollars into the community for traffic calming, revitalized public spaces, and recruited hundreds of volunteers to assist in efforts related to homelessness, transportation, urban greening, and racial justice.

Scott is also the Founder of the Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition, a nonprofit that connects people experiencing homelessness with basic needs, services, and housing.

Kayleigh Wade— Kayleigh is Heal the Bay’s Senior Manager of Outreach and is proudly from Lynwood, CA. With 10 years of organizing experience, her commitment to social justice has played out in a variety of spaces – from organizing with fellow students at Santa Monica College to prevent the privatization of general education courses, to organizing closely with youth of color on environmental justice issues in Southeast LA, to supporting girl-identified youth at the coolest rock camp of all time, Chicas Rockeras de Sur Este Los Angeles.