Get in the Fast Lane: Electrify climate action in your community

Do you have a need for speed? Join us for a supercharged conversation with government industry experts to explore how you can strategize and drive climate action opportunities in your community.

Expect to take away valuable insights — understand the Inflation Reduction Act, Justice 40 initiative, and competitive grant opportunities, real-life examples of climate action initiatives and strategies from government leaders, how to foster regional partnerships to accelerate opportunity in your communities and deploy actionable strategies to access the Inflation Reduction Act and other funding opportunities.

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Mayor Rex Richardson

Mayor of Long Beach, CA

Aja Brown

Strategic Impact Partner at FORWARD and former Mayor of Compton

Kwame Reed

Acting City Manager at the City of Antioch, CA

Stephen Goldsmith

Derek Bok Professor of the Practice of Urban Policy and the Director of the Innovations in American Government Program

Marcus Mason

Senior Partner at The Madison Group, LLC (TMG)


Want to be first in line to learn tips and tricks to supercharge Inflation Reduction Act opportunities for your community? Check out our resource hub to find the latest information and funding opportunities.


Mayor Rex Richardson

Rex Richardson is a husband, father, and the 29 th  Mayor of Long Beach. Mayor Richardson’s history in Long Beach is grounded in empowering communities to have a seat at the table.

Mayor Richardson has a distinguished record of public service. Richardson’s electoral history includes serving as a Long Beach City Councilmember from 2014 – 2022, representing the Ninth District. He served two terms as Vice Mayor and is known as both the youngest Councilmember and Vice Mayor in the city’s history.

On the national level, Mayor Richardson serves on the Advisory Board of the United States Conference of Mayors. Regionally, Richardson is Vice Chair of the Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency and has previously served as past President of the Southern California Association of Governments.

Mayor Richardson and his wife, Dr. Nina Richardson, are proudly raising their two young daughters, Alina and Mila, in the North Long Beach community.

Aja Brown

Aja Brown is a leader of Impact at FORWARD, where she provides strategic guidance in the areas of strategic expansion, partner engagement, and designing marketplace solutions.

With a nationally and internationally recognized 20-year track record in developing new approaches to community and economic development, Aja’s leadership has had a transformative impact, notably during her tenure as Mayor of Compton, CA from 2013 to 2021. During her time as Mayor, she designed and led the implementation of a groundbreaking 12-point Vision for Compton Strategic Plan that resulted in unprecedented economic growth, job creation, crime reduction, and community development. 

As a champion of people-centered transformation, Aja continues to focus on investing in the well-being of youth and families. She led the design and formation of one of the nation’s largest Guaranteed Basic Income pilots through the Compton Community Development Corporation, which she co-founded. Her track record exemplifies her ability to navigate complex landscapes while remaining dedicated to the principles of progress, equity, and social impact. Aja earned her B.S. and M.PL from USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy and Development, with an emphasis in Economic Development.  Learn more about Aja’s commitment to equity and impact at

Kwame Reed

Kwame Reed has over 25 years of experience in government roles and is known for being a dynamic professional adept at handling high-stakes assignments. Throughout his career, he has excelled in economic development, crafting innovative programs, and overseeing growth in various sectors.

Kwame’s notable achievements include creating the highly successful “Reinvest Antioch” program, which has significantly impacted the local community. Additionally, he has managed and executed impactful projects such as the Downtown Streetscape Revitalization, transforming the city’s downtown area into a vibrant hub for businesses and residents alike.

In the realm of affordable housing, Kwame led the City of Brentwood’s Inclusionary Zoning Program, collaborating closely with top home builders to create affordable units and innovative agreements. He is passionate about utilizing his expertise to drive positive change, foster economic growth, and improve communities’ overall quality of life. As a highly motivated and results-driven professional, he thrives in challenging environments and constantly seeks opportunities to learn and grow.

Born and raised in the East Bay area, Kwame has deep-rooted connections to the community. This connection fuels his passion for positively impacting the lives of those around him. Beyond his professional accomplishments, he takes great pride in his personal life and has been happily married for 26 years and is the proud father of three wonderful children.

Stephen Goldsmith

Stephen Goldsmith is the Derek Bok Professor of the Practice of Urban Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Bloomberg Center on Cities where he directs Data-Smart City Solutions, a project to highlight local government efforts to use new technologies that connect breakthroughs in the use of big data analytics with community input to reshape the relationship between government and citizens.

He also directs the Project on Municipal Innovation, a platform for cities; mayoral senior staff to share and adapt best practices and innovative policy ideas that increase efficiency and improve the lives of citizens, as well as other projects, including the Civic Analytics and Chief Equity Officers Networks. He previously served as Deputy Mayor of New York and Mayor of Indianapolis, where he earned a reputation as one of the country’s leaders in public-private partnerships, competition, and privatization.

Stephen was also the chief domestic policy adviser to the George W. Bush campaign in 2000, the Chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the district attorney for Marion County, Indiana from 1979 to 1990. He is a recognized international expert on governmental reform and infrastructure finance, speaking frequently at conferences around the world. A leading authority on local government and applied technology He writes regularly for Government Technology and Governing Magazines and has frequently appeared in national publications including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe and New York Times. In addition to his Harvard work Stephen advises cities and technology companies on how to improve services through well structured technology relationships.

Marcus Mason

From Washington, DC to Los Angeles, Marcus Sebastian Mason is often called on to help unlock the doors to the corridors of power. He advises heads of state, C-level executives, and policymakers at the highest level. Marcus’s exceptional accomplishments and relationships have earned him a stellar reputation as one of Washington DC’s most influential and effective lobbyists. 

As the Senior Partner of the prestigious Madison Group, Marcus has spearheaded groundbreaking initiatives, shaped policies, and facilitated unparalleled connections with policymakers, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s capital. His early triumphs in congressional campaigns marked the beginning of a journey that would lead him to become a trusted advisor and confidant to California elected officials in Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, and Sacramento, as well as the California Congressional Delegation and throughout the country. 

Having served as an advisor to both campaigns of President Barack Obama, as well as a trusted advisor to the Obama-Biden White House, Marcus possesses a unique insight into the highest echelons of power. His experience as a member of the Democratic National Committee and as a Super Delegate further solidifies his role as a key player in shaping national policies and priorities. Recently, President Biden appointed Marcus to serve on the Democratic National Committee, a testament to his enduring impact in the political landscape.

As a current member of the board of directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) and past service as Treasurer and chair of its Budget and Investment Committee, he actively contributes to advancing crucial issues within African American communities. Additionally, he currently serves on the board of directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee (CBCPAC), further amplifying voices and interests that demand attention.

Beyond his illustrious career, Marcus finds strength in his family. He is married to Christina Mary and takes immense pride in being the loving father of three children: Taelor Chanel, Romelo, and Grace Anne.


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