Barbara founded MCS in 1996, after serving as Director of Budget and Finance for L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina. Often called on for her quantitative skills, knowledge of government budgets, municipal finance, and public policy, she has established herself as the “go to guru” among organized labor and affiliated political campaigns in Los Angeles. In addition, Barbara’s expertise in crisis management and media relations has been a cornerstone of her work in advising elected officials and some of the largest and most prominent progressive campaigns in California. She has a keen ability to translate complex policy jargon into easy to digest, politically persuasive - and when called for, agitational – media sound bites. Barbara understands the pressures and interests that guide people in positions of power, and uses that knowledge to create and promote winnable campaigns. She is the Executive Director of the LA-based Horizon Institute (horizon-institute.com), a new progressive economic think tank, and Vice President of the Miguel Contreras Foundation.
Barbara also directed the 48-day Bakersfield-to-Sacramento “March for California’s Future” in the spring of 2010, which was led by the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) and other unions and leaders in labor, faith, education and business circles. The march drew broad attention across the state to the need for our Legislature to support and restore public services vital to maintaining residents’ quality of life: our schools, parks, libraries, safety net services, infrastructure and more – and for a fair and democratic “majority” budget vote.
Sarab Khalsa graduated from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs with a Masters of Public Policy. He has professional experience working with government agencies, private companies, and non-profit organizations. Sarab spent time in the Los Angeles City Mayor’s Office, working with the Budget and Financial Policy team. He also worked as a Program Director for multiple years and excels at project management.
Sarab has strong qualitative research and quantitative analytical skills and incorporates statistical and economic analysis tools in his research. He is trained to use multiple statistical computer programs, including STATA, SAS and ArcGIS. Sarab specializes in municipal studies, specifically relating to labor contracts and budgets. Sarab has received numerous awards for his academic research including the top GIS award for his work on Alternative Financial Services in Los Angeles from the UCLA Lewis Center.
Elaine is responsible for the management of all finances at MCS, and works closely with MCS vendors to coordinate invoicing, and payments. She also serves as a bookkeeper for a number of clients with which MCS is affiliated. Elaine also ensures that MCS operates smoothly and helps to coordinate office staffing. Elaine is a proud member of OPEIU Local 537.
Marina Martinez, Digital Engagement Associate
Marina Martinez is a seasoned social media professional who cut her teeth in as a community organizer in Southern California, graduated to the fast-paced world of social venture start-ups, and went on to make her mark as the voice of digital engagement for The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
Marina was AFTRA’s social media team-lead in the multi-award winning campaign for merger with The Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) in 2012. Since then, she has established herself as a service provider for non-profits and social ventures across America and Canada, using the digital medium in order to maximize their engagement online and in person. Marina is a proud member of The Freelancers Union.
New Media Team
MCS works closely with a number of experts in new social media to produce tailor-made videos, viral marketing, and web-based advocacy campaigns for clients.
Health and Safety Win for LA County Firefighters
Los Angeles County supervisors approve a downsized network of radio towers in response to health and aesthetic concerns raised by firefighters and homeowners.
Los Angeles, CA - The LA County Board of supervisors has agreed to downsize the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System, or LA-RICS, after a health and safety campaign brought public attention to the plan to build approximately 177 high-powered communications towers on fire stations, lifeguard stations, and other community buildings in neighborhoods throughout LA County.
LA port truck drivers agree to “cooling off” period
Los Angeles, CA – After an historic five-day unfair labor practice strike that dramatically impacted three of the ports’ leading drayage firms, clogged truck traffic, and delayed cargo at terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, striking port truck drivers voted unanimously to agree to a “cooling off” period requested by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. The port drivers agreed to the “cooling off” period after the trucking companies agreed to accept all drivers back to work without retaliation and without being forced to sign away all future rights in new truck leases. Drivers will return to work on their regular shifts.
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