The 2020 UnTapped Cohort consists of nine elected officials from throughout the state. This year, Fellows have traveled to different watersheds in California to learn about regional water challenges and best practices, as well as develop the leadership and interpersonal skills to make a lasting impact on California water policy.
January 17-19, 2020: The opening retreat of UnTapped 2020 took place in Los Angeles, which included an exploration and survey of the LA River, team-building exercises such as Speed Interviews and Circle to Square, and an introduction to leadership development tools. Fellows interviewed and heard from the following guest speakers: Senator Elena Maria Durazo, California’s 24th State Senate District; Ed Reyes, Executive Director of RiverLA; and Liliana Griego, Senior Manager of Policy, Advocacy, and Engagement at Friends of the LA River.
February 7-8, 2020: UnTapped Fellows traveled to Orange County to tour the Orange County Water District (OCWD). While there, they interviewed OCWD’s Legislative Liaison Alicia Dunkin, OCWD Board President Victor Sarmiento, and OCWD Board Member Kelly Rowe. Later, they interviewed Santa Ana City Councilmember Jose Solorio. On Saturday, UnTapped WELLos dove deep into Public Narrative, a public speaking strategy to help WELLos achieve their legislative goals.
March 6-7, 2020: Fellows will the Coachella Valley to explore a myriad issues facing the Salton Sea, Polanco Parks, and the Colorado River.
April 10-11, 2020: The National Chavez Center will host UnTapped in Keene, CA, where Fellows learned about the Human Right to Water and groundwater management.
May 1-2, 2020: UnTapped Fellows spent two days in Fresno learning about water rights and agriculture.
June 3-4, 2020: The UnTapped 2020 cohort will meet with their State Legislators in Sacramento to discuss their leadership projects.
The day started with Fellows engaging with State legislators with all the tools gained from previous sessions.
Speakers included Jonas Minton from the Planning and Conservation League, who work on issues surrounding water use and water policy and is the former Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources; Delta expert Curt Schmutte, who assists with legislative and policy strategies, planning emergency actions to protect Delta and advancing new conceptual water conveyance alternatives; and Supervising Naturalist, Michael Moran, who specializes in marine and aquatic science.
To end, the Fellows graduated as the UnTapped Class of 2019.