March 19, 2021

1st Annual Mayors’ Circle

Event Objectives:

  • NCCPC’s progress and impact to date
  • Share vision for strategy, scale, and sustainability, answer questions, and solicit input
  • Consider opportunities to get involved

1st Annual Mayors’ Circle Highlights:


Libby Schaaf
Mayor, City of Oakland

London Breed
Mayor, City & County of San Francisco

Sam Liccardo
Mayor, City of San Jose

thank you to our co-hosts

Tony Iton
Sr. VP Healthy Communities, The California Endowment

Tony Emerson-Zetina 
Sr. Program Officer, Tipping Point Foundation

Brandon Schneider
Chief Revenue Officer, Golden State Warriors
Vice President, Warriors Community Foundation

Confirmed attendees

  • 12Twenty
  • City of Alameda
  • City of Berkeley
  • City of Fremont
  • City of Hayward
  • City of Oakland
  • City of Richmond
  • City of Sacramento
  • City of San Francisco
  • City of San Jose
  • City of San Leandro
  • City of Santa Clara
  • City of Stockton
  • College Promise
  • Education Trust-West
  • Foundation for a College Education
  • Gap, Inc.
  • Making Waves Foundation
  • Public Advocates
  • Reinvent Stockton Foundation/Stockton Scholars
  • ScholarMatch
  • Silicon Valley Education Foundation
  • Students Rising Above
  • The California Endowment
  • Tipping Point
  • UC Office of the President
  • Warriors Community Foundation
  • West Sacramento Promise

Event Video

A Word From the Attendees

Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of Oakland and Circle Host

“Investing in our youth, showing them that our cities care about them, and their brilliance, and their success, is literally the best investment that we can make.”

“As a Mayor, I’ve been really excited about what happens when we come together.”

“What we can get done when we lobby together, when we look at the common problems that we face and successes that we’ve had, and turn those into policy change at the state level, we are an incredibly powerful force, together.”

“What we are experiencing through each of our college promise programs, should be California’s blueprint for success.”

“What we’re struggling with, the stupidness of the FAFSA program. How that process works, how it keeps the students that we should be trying to serve first and best, just mired in bureaucracy and forms and torturing parents. This is an area that is absolutely rife for reform. And who better to do it than us. Than the mayors who are so close to the people that we serve, and yet have a strong advocacy voice that can change policy at the state and even federal level. And I’m more hopeful than ever right now about what kind of change we can make at the federal level.”

“This coalition is amplifying our success and is actually working on policy changes that will ensure our success. I hope that each and every one of you consider stepping up to the leadership level.”

“Having centralized access to large regional employers is a great idea, and is definitely within the capacity of this coalition. But that capacity is only going to exist to the extent that we support the coalition.”

“When we band together we can leverage the power of the investments in each of our individual promise programs. We can secure essential funding from the state. We can break down barriers that are there because of policy when we work together. So this is a great way to leverage your investment in each of our promise programs, amplify and spread it and make it go a lot further.”

Mayor London Breed, City and County of San Francisco
“We have seen how when we open the doors of opportunity for our young people, they go above and beyond and are truly exceptional.”

“I’ve lost people to drugs, to violence, to poverty, to hopelessness, to the criminal justice system. And I shouldn’t be the exception. Being mayor and coming out of those circumstances. Things like this should always happen for young people in our cities and our communities.”

“We are so grateful for the work of this organization, the work that they do to help achieve this goal in the bay area. Because when we all work together and pull our resources we are able to help so many young people unlock their potential, and achieve their dream.”

“I want to thank the many foundations joining us here today, including Tipping Point Foundation, Warriors Community Foundation, and the CA Endowment just to name a few. Your investments are making a difference in the lives of our children and youth every single day.”

“I look forward to the work that each and every one of us are going to continue to do to expand the impacts of this program, and continue to make sure that we’re supporting generations to come.”

“It really does take a village and we have to also be concerned about the wellbeing of not just our own children but everyone’s children. That is how we are going to work together, because it’s important now more than ever that this collective effort supports and uplifts and encourages and brings children to the forefront so that they have a better future.”

Mayor Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose
“What’s really important is that we pull resources together collectively. Because this issue particularly around persistence is a critical one.”

“We want to do it for the leaders of the next generation, and we have a great opportunity to make a huge impact, so thanks everyone for pulling together!”

Mayor Darrell Steinberg, City of Sacramento
“As mayors, how the promise and what is embedded in the idea of a promise is central to our success as mayors. Because it’s building. It’s building an inclusive economy, it’s addressing equity, it’s focusing on the foundation of the future of the cities that we lead and love.”

Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, City of Alameda

“When we have the opportunity to do something positive like this, Libby is absolutely right. Mayors deal with problems big and small 24/7, so we when we have the chance to be part of the solution we should just go for it.”

Mayor Lily Mei, City of Fremont

“I’d love to work with all of you and your corporations and through the region ensuring that we’re able to build a pipeline. I think that’s critical for us because the definition of work and the kind of jobs that are coming out are really in flux at this time.”

Tony Iton, Sr. Vice President of Healthy Communities, The California Endowment, Circle Co-Host

“People have to see a way from where they are to where they want to be. And that’s what I love about this particular effort.”

“What we love about this particular collection of activities and groupings of people is the fact that it is a coalition. It’s about people coming together that are similarly situated to find common strategies and solutions to problems that are ultimately solvable.”

“We work all across the state so we’re in Stockton, San Jose, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Oakland, and San Francisco. So when you see these same patterns across so many different places and you recognize that if we could only bring people together to work together to leverage their shared resources, experience, and brilliance, we can solve these problems. They are solvable.”

“Anything we can do to support this great creative, collaborative work, we will stand behind.”

Tony Emerson-Zetina, Sr. Program Officer of Education, Tipping Point, Circle Co-Host

“We believe in NCCPC’s mission and in Meredith’s leadership in launching the Founders’ Circle in particular. We have every confidence that with her at the helm, this effort will only increase in size and scope.”

“We think that the focus on BIPOC-led organizations, research-backed practices, and collaboration across cities is a great recipe for equitable systemic change for postsecondary success for our students who are furthest from opportunity.”

“We hope that you will support it alongside us. Whether that’s through direct investment, joining the Advisory Council, or connecting Meredith and her partners to other potential supporters.”

Brandon Schneider, Chief Revenue Officer for Golden State Warriors & Board Member, Warriors Community Foundation, Circle Co-Host

“We believed it was critical for the Warriors Community Foundation to be a part of this initiative.”

“The Warriors Community Foundation is proud to be a supporter of NCCPC alongside great foundations like the CA Endowment and Tipping Point Foundation, and so many others. We believe in what the NCCPC stands for, and specifically how they bring the right people across the ecosystem together in pursuit of educational equity by sharing best practices and solving shared challenges to increase access to workforce opportunities our BIPOC students deserve and need to thrive.”

“We’re excited about NCCPC’s ability and opportunity to engage youth-serving nonprofits, many of which are Warriors Community Foundation grantees, and educators across all 9 Bay Area counties and across the state.”

Sandra Williams-Hamp, Executive Director, Outreach and Educational Partnerships, UC Office of the President, NCCPC Advisory Council Member

“Our President Dr. Michael Drake and The University of California is so proud to be a part of this partnership and coalition.”

“This work is so critical to the work that needs to happen on behalf of our students, now more than ever our ability to collectively come together to increase opportunities for our state and the nation are critical. This partnership really enables UCOP to partner with key stakeholders to support the work to expand access for students, and this is the work that must be done.”

“We know that when students have more access to opportunity and we’re able to eliminate barriers, that we can change students’ trajectories and communities.”

David O’Brien, Vice Chancellor of Government Relations, CA Community College Chancellor’s Office, NCCPC Advisory Council Member

“This is an issue that’s very near and dear to Chancellor Oakley’s heart.”

“We’re so pleased to work with the Coalition, with all of you as regional and local leaders, not just on legislative and policy efforts, but also efforts to empower our students so that they believe they can attend, succeed and thrive in college.”

“When we talk about creating a college going culture, that means helping students believe in themselves, providing supports so that they can believe in themselves and that they’re empowered.”

Lorna Contreras-Townsend, Sr. Manager, Workforce Diversity, Gap, Inc., NCCPC Workforce Partner

“I would consider myself a product of all of the hard work that these programs have put in during the last 20 years.”

“We are super excited to officially announce that we’ll be launching a Retail Career Fair with NCCPC this fall to make sure that our students have access to 0pportunities with Gap Inc and other retailers within the space that we play.”

Martha Kanter, CEO, College Promise

“I want to thank Mayor Schaaf for bringing the network together. Because I think this network is going to bring people to the table, the funders who actually have dollars to invest. What better investment than in the partnership across business, education, government, and philanthropy to get people in our colleges and universities and K-12 schools to work together in a much more effective way than we ever have.”