Tuesday, July 14 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)

Join us for a presentation on Kotkin and Toplanksky’s research brief titled, California Fuedalism: A Strategy to Restore California’s Middle Class discussing inequality in California and how a change in state policy could restore our state’s dream.

“Demographics is destiny” has become a somewhat overused phrase, but that does not reduce the critical importance of population trends to virtually every aspect of economic, social and political life. Concern over demographic trends has been heightened in recent years by several international trends — notably rapid aging, reduced fertility, and before large scale migration across borders. On the national level, shifts in attitude, generation and ethnicity have proven decisive in both the political realm and in the economic fortunes of regions and states.

Kotkin and Toplansky will be joined by distinguished panelists for commentary and Q & A.  The event will be moderated by Lisa Sparks Dean of the School of Communication at Chapman University.

Sponsored by the Orange County’s Credit Union and hosted by Tom Piechota, Ph.D. PE, Vice President of Research, Chapman University


Lisa Sparks, Ph.D., Dean, School of Communication, Chapman University


Joel Kotkin, Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures, R. Hobbs Professorship in Urban Studies, School of Communication, Chapman University

Marshall Toplansky, MBA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Management Science at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics, and Research Fellow at the C. Larry Hoag Center for Real Estate, Chapman University


Lucy Dunn is president and CEO of Orange County Business Council, where she leads a dynamic organization of business members, working with academia and government, to ensure the region’s economic prosperity and high quality of life. She has a record of public service as California’s Director of Housing and Community Development, and currently as a member of the California Transportation Commission. Lucy is also an attorney, founder and/or director of numerous organizations including Homeful Foundation, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, Orange Catholic Foundation and Pacific Symphony.  Lucy will share thoughts on how to keep businesses and middle-class jobs in California, and promote upward mobility through changes in public policy.

Jennifer Hernandez has practiced land use and environmental law for more than 30 years and leads Holland & Knight’s West Coast Land Use and Environmental Group and divides her time between the firm’s San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. Ms. Hernandez is the only California lawyer ranked by her clients and peers in Chambers USA in the top tier of both land use/zoning and environmental lawyers. In addition, she was recognized as the top environmental litigator of the year in the San Francisco Bay Area by Best Lawyers, and received a California Lawyer of the Year award from the State Bar of California for her work on California’s largest and most innovative land use and conservation agreement between her private landowner client and five major environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council. She also has received numerous civil rights awards for her work on overcoming environmentalist opposition to housing and other projects needed and supported by minority communities.

Steve PonTell is the chief executive officer and president of National CORE, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable and senior housing. National CORE owns, operates, and/or manages nearly 9,000 units serving more than 27,000 residents in California, Florida, and Texas. Under his leadership, National CORE has earned wide acclaim for their proven and effective approach to building and preserving affordable housing that positively impacts communities. He has become a passionate advocate for the residents and communities we serve and today is one of the leading voices and public speakers on the topic of housing affordability and community transformation. He has led several regional and national symposiums on our nation’s housing crisis, and he is a nationally recognized authority on community development and creating forward-thinking organizations to maximize evolving market environments. In addition, Steve has addressed the California Assembly on the challenges facing the affordable housing industry.