Kendra Harris

Kendra Harris


Kendra Harris has spent more than 15 years in government service as a lobbyist, public policy expert and adviser. Her work spans both governmental and non-profit sectors but has always had equity and justice at the heart.

Over the course of her career she has managed public policy and advocacy efforts and spearheaded communications and community relations activities for a range of social justice organizations including the Equality California, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Child Action, and the California Federation of Teachers. 

 She began in the Capitol as a Senate Fellow and served as a legislative consultant to Senator Gloria Romero and Assemblymembers Marty Block and Carol Liu. Kendra spearheaded efforts to reinstate funding for domestic violence shelters after Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed funding in 2009. Her campaign resulted in the restoration of $16.3 million for domestic violence shelters in California. Additionally, in 2010, she contributed to the full reinstatement of $20.4 million to shelters through ongoing budget strategy, advocacy and negotiations.

Kendra is dedicated to affecting policy, systems change, and programmatic efforts designed to promote equity and access in education, health and human services, the welfare of women and girls, and the LGBTQ community. She is a strong supporter of the movement toward social justice in America, and is proud to work in California, which leads the nation in progressive values.

As the Executive Director of the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, Kendra manages all staff, operations and advisory efforts. Currently, the Commission has taken on the role of administrator for the privately funded effort to ensure that all college students have full access to reproductive health care options on campuses across the state.

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Emily Sunahara


Emily Sunahara joined the Commission as Fiscal and Operations Director in August of 2016. Emily comes to the Commission from 7 years with the Department of General Services where she worked in state procurement.

Emily holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from CSU, Sacramento and is LEAN process improvement certified.

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Darcy Totten


Darcy joined the Commission in 2019 as the Communications Director. Prior to joining she worked as the Communications Liaison for Equity, Federal Advocacy and Governmental Relations at the Association of California School Administrators. She is also a founding partner and principal of Activism Articulated, a crisis communications firm located in Sacramento, CA.

Darcy holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Mills College in Photography and Visual Communication and a Master’s Degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Journalism.  

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Meryl Press


Meryl joined the Commission in 2019 after serving as an Assembly Fellow in the Capital Fellows Program. She is a passionate advocate for Pay Equity and gender justice everywhere.

Meryl holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Literature/Writing from the University of California, San Diego.

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Christina Bangoy


Christina joined in the Commission in 2018 as the Administrative Assistant. Prior to the Commission she worked for the California Department of Health Care Services. 

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