Budget Matters 2015 Summit

Thank you to all who attended our 2015 summit and made it such a big success! Click here for summit highlights and videos to keep the conversation going.



In 2016, many policies that will determine the economic future of Washington state are poised to be up for debate. The Budget & Policy Center is proud to be a key voice in shaping the conversation around the policies that affect our state’s vitality. 

Budget Matters 2015 will focus on how progress as a society requires racial equity in policymaking, budget decisions, and the political process. It will feature influential speakers who will contribute to the dialogue about how to ensure all Washingtonians can shape the policy decisions that affect our state – in 2016 and beyond.

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Meet Our Keynote Speaker
Read About Our Panel
Event Details, Tickets, and Registration
Our Event Sponsors


The Keynote Speaker: 


As a co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter and founder of Dignity and Power Now, Patrisse Cullors promotes law enforcement accountability and racial justice in Los Angeles and throughout the United States. She recently completed a fellowship at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, where she prepared and led a think tank on state and vigilante violence for the 2014 Without Borders Conference. She is a recipient of the 2007 Mario Savio Activist of the Year award. Cullors is an important voice on the national stage calling for an end to anti-Black racism and to racist economic and social policies.

The Panel

The Budget Matters panel will feature the following influential leaders talking about how we can take steps to advance racial equity in policymaking: 

Mauricio Ayon, political director, Washington Community Action Network  

Mauricio leads the political direction of the state’s largest grassroots community organization, which works to achieve racial, social, and economic justice. In this work and through his role on the Communities of Color for Climate Justice steering committee, he builds communities that enhance multi-racial unity.

Senait Brown, Black Out WA, Ending the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC) Seattle  

Through her work with Black Out, a Black political advocacy group, and the community activist group EPIC Seattle, Senait tirelessly mobilizes grassroots support around issues impacting communities of color. She also plays a key role in a range of coalitions including People of Color Vote and the Racial Equity Team. 

Michael Itti, executive director, Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs 

Michael advises the Governor and state policymakers on issues related to health, education, and economic opportunity and how they impact Asian Pacific American communities. His background includes promoting equity-in-education policies as well as advocating for the Seattle Chinatown International District.

Becky Kelley, president, Washington Environmental Council 

In her role with WEC and as co-chair of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy steering committee, Becky is helping ensure that leadership of efforts to fight climate change is shared with communities of color. She also promotes climate-related policy solutions that center on equity and address racial disparities.

Paola Maranan, executive director, Children's Alliance 

Paola has long brought attention to the racial disparities that diminish opportunity for all kids. She proudly leads a Children’s Alliance team that fights for public policies that close racial equity gaps harming children and families of color. During her career, she has also worked in support of voting rights and prison reform.

Panel moderated by: Lori Pfingst, research and policy director, Washington State Budget & Policy Center

Lori played a key role in ensuring that the Budget & Policy Center infuses an equity lens into its research, advocacy, and outreach. She is a leading voice highlighting the inability of data to tell the full story of the people it represents, and she advocates for working with communities of color to advance equity in policymaking.

The Details:

Date: Wednesday, December 9
Time: 8:30 a.m. -12:15 p.m.


  • Registration, light breakfast, and networking from 7:45 - 8:30 a.m.
  • Opening remarks by Budget & Policy Center Executive Director Misha Werschkul  
  • Panel 
  • Audience Q&A with panel
  • Keynote presentation by Patrisse Cullors of #BlackLivesMatter
  • Audience Q&A with keynote
  • Closing

Location: Benaroya Hall; Seattle, WA

Who Attends: 

The annual Budget Matters event draws more than 300 policymakers, community leaders, advocates, students, and more from across the state. The summit is inclusive to anyone who wants to attend. It is intended to be a forum for people from a wide range of communities to have their voices heard.

Who We Are:

The Washington State Budget & Policy Center is a policy organization that works to create a just and prosperous Washington state through sound research. We seek to advance the well-being of communities, improve the economic security and social opportunity of all, and support the essential role of government in promoting a prosperous society.

The Sponsors:

Thank you to our generous sponsors, without whom the Budget Matters Summit 2015 would not be possible. (And if your company is interested in sponsoring our event, please click here for sponsorship information.) 

 Summit sponsors 11-25
Questions about the summit? Contact Precious Butiu at preciousb(at)budgetandpolicy.org  or 206.262.0973, ext. 224.

Image of keynote courtesy of patrissecullors.com.

Document Actions

Thank you for attending Budget Matters

Our Budget Matters 2018 policy conference took place on November 13 at Seattle Center. john a. powell from the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and Gov. Jay Inslee were the keynotes. Watch their presentations and other presentations from the conference on TVW.  

Our policy priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance.

Testimonies in Olympia

Misha TVW
Watch our 2018 legislative session testimonies on TVW: