CRC has recognized community leaders and organizations across California that have made a positive impact in their local communities with service awards for more than two decades. This year, we will recognize three stellar leaders—an advocate for quality affordable housing in the Central Valley, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and The People’s Attorney.
Learn more about the honorees below:
Alan Fisher Economic Justice Award: Carol J. Ornelas
Carol J. Ornelas, CEO of Visionary Home Builders, is a forward-thinking and innovative advocate providing quality affordable housing to families throughout the Central Valley. For the past 40 years, Ms. Ornelas has served as President/Chief Executive Officer for Visionary Home Builders of California, Inc; a non-profit development organization, provider of social services and an advocate for housing-related issues. Ms. Ornelas takes great pride in bringing the community together to build communities that assist those who are underserved.
Equitable Future Award: Rohit Chopra (honoree and keynote speaker)
Rohit Chopra is the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB is a unit of the Federal Reserve System charged with protecting families and honest businesses from illegal practices by financial institutions, and ensuring that markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive. As Director, Chopra is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
In 2018, Chopra was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a Commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission, where he served until assuming office as CFPB Director. During his tenure at the FTC, he successfully worked to strengthen sanctions against repeat offenders, to reverse the agency’s reliance on no-money, no-fault settlements in fraud cases, and to halt abuses of small businesses. He also led efforts to revitalize dormant authorities, such as those to protect the Made in USA label and to promote competition.
The Director previously served at the CFPB from 2010 to 2015. In 2011, the Secretary of the Treasury designated him as the agency’s student loan ombudsman, where he led the Bureau’s efforts on student lending issues. Prior to his government service, Chopra worked at McKinsey & Company, the global management consultancy, where he worked in the financial services, health care, and consumer technology sectors.
Chopra holds a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Office of the California Attorney General, Rob Bonta
The Attorney General is the state’s top lawyer and law enforcement official, protecting and serving the people and interests of California through a broad range of duties. The Attorney General’s responsibilities include safeguarding Californians from harm and promoting community safety, preserving California’s spectacular natural resources, enforcing civil rights laws, and helping victims of identity theft, mortgage-related fraud, illegal business practices, and other consumer crimes.
Overseeing more than 5,000 lawyers, investigators, sworn peace officers, and other employees. As the 34th Attorney General of the State of California, Rob Bonta is the first person of Filipino descent and the second Asian-American to occupy the position.
Attorney General Bonta’s passion for justice and fairness was instilled in him by his parents, who served on the frontlines of some of America’s most important social justice movements. Instilling in him the lessons they learned from the United Farm Workers and the civil rights movement, Attorney General Bonta’s parents lit a fire inside him to fight against injustice — to stand up for those who are taken advantage of or harmed. It’s why he decided to become a lawyer — to help right historic wrongs and fight for people who have been harmed. He worked his way through college and graduated with honors from Yale University and attended Yale Law School.
In the State Assembly, Attorney General Bonta enacted nation-leading reforms to inject more justice and fairness into government and institutions. As the People’s Attorney, he sees seeking accountability from those who abuse their power and harm others as one of the most important functions of the job. In elected office, he has taken on powerful interests and advanced systemic change — pursuing corporate accountability, standing up for workers, punishing big polluters, and fighting racial injustice. He has been a national leader in the fight to transform the criminal justice system, banning private prisons and detention facilities in California, as well as pushing to eliminate cash bail in the state. He has led statewide fights for racial, economic, and environmental justice and worked to further the rights of immigrant families, renters, and working Californians.
Prior to serving in the Assembly, Attorney General Bonta worked as a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, where he represented the City and County and its employees, and fought to protect Californians from exploitation and racial profiling.