For Immediate Release: September 8, 2015
Media Contact: Amber Pasricha Beck - 916-654-4989


Clean Energy Jobs Act Citizens Oversight Board Elects Chair and Vice Chair

SACRAMENTO - Hosted by the California Energy Commission, the Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) Citizens Oversight Board today elected Kate Gordon as board chair and James Ray as vice chair. The six board members in attendance were joined by the two ex-officio members, Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller and California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker.

Approved by voters in 2012, Proposition 39 adjusted the corporate income tax code, allocating projected revenues to California's General Fund and the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund for five fiscal years, beginning with fiscal year 2013-14. In addition to the Energy Commission, the California Conservation Corps, California Workforce Development Board, and the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office each administer stand-alone but complementary programs funded by Proposition 39's Clean Energy Job Creation Fund.

The Energy Commission is primarily responsible for administering the Proposition 39 kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) program. As of Aug. 31, the Energy Commission has approved 536 energy expenditure plans, totaling $367 million and including nearly 6,600 individual measures at 1,779 school sites.

The Citizens Oversight Board, established by enabling legislation (Assembly Bill 2227, Quirk, Chapter 683, Statutes of 2014), will review expenditures, audit the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund, and safeguard transparency and accountability of the fund.

Members of the Citizens Oversight Board are appointed by the California Treasurer, Attorney General and Controller with two ex-officio members from the Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. The members are:

Appointed by former state Treasurer Bill Lockyer:

  • Steven Sakurai, chief financial officer of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and adjunct professor at Sacramento State University, where he teaches a graduate course on sustainable development and green building.
  • James "Walkie" Ray, an engineer and partner at Sanderson J. Ray Development and a member of the boards of directors of the One World One Ocean Foundation, the M.I.N.D. Research Institute and the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center.
  • Kate Gordon, vice chair for climate and sustainable urbanization at The Paulson Institute. Gordon previously served as vice president and director of the Energy and Climate Program for Next Generation and as vice president of the Energy Environment at the Center for American Progress. Appointed by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris:
  • Arno Harris, former chief executive officer of Recurrent Energy, one of North America's largest solar project developers. Harris earned his bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Randall Martinez, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Cordoba Corporation, a consulting firm that specializes in infrastructure development by providing civil engineering, project and construction management services. Martinez earned his bachelor's degree in business administration and finance from the University of Southern California and is licensed in California as a general engineering contractor.
  • Chelina Odbert, co-founder and executive director of Kounkuey Design Initiative, a partnership specializing in architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning to create open spaces that link physical upgrading to community development. Odbert earned her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Claremont McKenna College and completed her Master of Urban Planning at Harvard University.

Appointed by former State Controller John Chiang:

  • Dana Cuff, professor of architecture and urban design at the University of California, Los Angeles. Cuff has dedicated her teaching, research and writing to the creation of a more livable, sustainable environment and has experience in architecture, sustainable design, community design, and urban planning. Cuff earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in design at the University of California, Santa Cruz and her Ph.D. in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Gary Kremen, clean technology engineer, entrepreneur and inventor. Kremen is also the president of the Purissima Hills Water District. Kremen received a Bachelor of Science in both electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern University, and his Masters of Business Administration from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
  • Erik Emblem, executive administrator and chief operating officer of the Western States Council-Sheet Metal Workers in Sacramento. Emblem has been involved in the energy efficiency industry since 1981, when the National Energy Management Institute (NEMI) was founded in California to train technicians to perform energy analysis and conduct technical audits of school facilities in California, and later, the rest of the country.

Visit the Citizens Oversight Board meetings page to view the full agenda.

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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation and preparing for energy emergencies.

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