Director of Government Affairs
APPLICABLE EXPERIENCE: AT A GLANCE
- Over 15 years of Governmental Affairs and Public Relations Experience
- Former Legislative Representative, California Special Districts Association
- Strong Policy Background in Local Government Issues
- Proven Relationship, Key Partnership, and Coalition Builder
- Demonstrated Ability in Navigating the State Budget Process
More About Alyssa:
For over 15 years, Alyssa Silhi has been advancing statewide policies for the public good, from healthcare and K-12 education to public health, public safety, and local government. She is a proven strategist with a reputation for balancing tenacity and effectiveness with strong ethics and skillful communication to get the job done. As an experienced Councilmember and special district Board member, Alyssa brings a unique understanding of the nuance of local agency operations to advocating for issues important to local government.
Alyssa was a Legislative Representative for the California Special District’s Association (CSDA). In that capacity, she was the lead advocate and strategist on policy and fiscal proposals relating to the environment – including climate adaptation and resiliency, wildfire mitigation and preparedness, CEQA, water and wastewater, energy/utilities, transportation – as well as emergency response and disaster preparedness and relief, and public works and public contracting. While there, she formed strong working relationships with key administrative appointees and staff within divisions of the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) as well as within the Department of Finance (DOF), legislative budget committees, and key legislative offices.
On behalf of special districts, Alyssa worked closely with CSDA’s federal policy liaison to create a nationwide coalition to lobby congress for access to COVID-19 relief funding. That effort led to federal language that specifically allowed states to share their funding with special districts. Alyssa used that federal authority to advocate for access to COVID-19 relief funding at the state level and spearheaded the effort that successfully obtained precedential direct state funding relief specifically for special districts impacted by COVID-19 response by securing a $100 million General Fund allocation backed by a bi-partisan and bicameral coalition of 46 legislators. Alyssa played a critical role within the local government coalition that secured $1 billion in COVID-19 funding for water and wastewater arrearages and just under $300 million in direct arrearage funding for publicly owned utilities for electric utility arrearage funding.
After special districts were overlooked in initial Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) funding, Alyssa worked with CalOES, DOF, and legislative budget leaders to secure $20 million in competitive grant funding through the Budget for special districts to better ensure consistent service delivery during a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event. Alyssa also successfully fought to protect the special district exemption in the Surplus Land Act, navigating strong legislative pressures and initial guidelines from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) that would have usurped their local authority.
Alyssa’s prior experience in governmental affairs includes working for several highly esteemed Sacramento contract lobbying and consulting firms and as policy staff for a prominent public health non-profit research and advocacy organization. In these positions, she worked on issues important to quality of life in communities, including K-12 public policy; public health policy with a direct nexus to nutrition, transportation, the built environment, and land use; public safety; and healthcare. She has wide-ranging experience advocating for policy change within the legislature, administration, and before state agencies and commissions, providing in depth analysis, navigating the budget process, leading statewide grassroots campaigns, building coalitions, interfacing with local electeds, organizing statewide lobby days and events as well as producing internal and external strategic communications for publication, and advocacy purposes.