What We Do…Win
IN A TIME when the competition has never been tougher, the audience never harder to reach, and the stakes never higher, the I Street Public Affairs team uniquely integrates capabilities in campaign management, legislative advocacy, and media. In a must-win situation, people call I Street and we deliver.
Our track record tells the story: We have managed over 160 state and local campaigns with a 85% success rate and have directed 16 successful statewide ballot measures. We also have deep ties to California’s journalistic community and long-standing trust built on decades of experience and relationships. Our team includes a former Los Angeles Times editor and executive who helped lead the newsroom staff to two Pulitzer Prizes.
The I Street Public Affairs Team
I Street Public Affairs wins with a simple, powerful approach: highly experienced professionals at the top of their game working directly with clients. No junior staff or account executives needed.
He provides strategic consultation to corporations, statewide coalitions, elected officials and trade associations, in addition to directing state and local issue and candidate campaigns.
One of California's top political experts, Mr. Townsend is called upon by Fortune 500 corporations, national and state trade associations, state and national political leaders, small businesses and individuals to provide strategic advice and communications consulting.
He has successfully managed California initiative campaigns for several years. He has an 85% winning record, managing budgets as high as $60 million.
Campaign and Public Affairs Experience
• Managed 86 issue campaigns
• Managed 18 statewide propositions
• Managed 54 candidate campaigns
• In total, an 85% winning record
• Has managed many campaigns with budgets in the tens of millions of dollars
• Currently serves as political advisor to the Senate and Assembly moderate Democrats, running the PAC and the California Issues Forum
• Was a member of Governor Brown’s strategy team in his 18% win over Whitman
• Has served as political and public affairs consultant to utilities, forest products companies, biotech companies, transportation authorities, developers, hospitals, doctor organizations, nursing homes, and health plans
Bringing state-of-the-audience perspectives and a fully integrated management approach, Kelly focuses on helping clients see around corners with difference-making game plans, stay ahead of curves with high-touch service, and win the most competitive campaigns with high-velocity creative and optimally-efficient media.
Kelly has the unique experience working as the political director for some of the most influential business and labor groups in California—Pacific Gas and Electric, the Personal Insurance Federation of California, and the California Professional Firefighters. In these roles, he built the political infrastructure that provides a competitive advantage to these organizations in California. Kelly also worked for the California Building and Construction Trades State Council and for a member of the US House of Representatives. This over 20 years of experience allows him to fully understand the complexities his clients face as they navigate California’s political landscape.
Kelly served as campaign manager for Proposition 52 (Hospital Fees for Medi-Cal), a $60 million statewide ballot initiative which garnered 70% of the vote statewide and won in every county—a historic effort. Due in part to his decades of connections in Democratic politics, Kelly successfully spearheaded endorsements from the state Labor Federation, Democratic Party and key groups in the campaign. Kelly’s other statewide ballot initiative work includes Proposition 45 (Health Insurance. Rate Changes) and Proposition 75 (Paycheck Protection). Kelly’s managerial style has won plaudits for his ability to bring powerful and diverse stakeholders, consultants, and clients together to create winning results.
In addition to ballot measures, Kelly has worked on over 100 state and local political campaigns including local ballot measures, board of supervisors, city council, fire board, special district and independent expenditure campaigns. He is also the longtime political advisor and campaign consultant to California State Treasurer Fiona Ma.
Kelly Calkin graduated with honors in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Chris advises his business and trade association clients in developing their legislative and political engagement strategies. He also partners with a network of business-backed political committees throughout California to elect pro-business Democrats to the Assembly and State Senate.
Chris has long been active in the national center-left political network and was an early supporter of, and fundraiser for, Joe Biden for President. Chris served as a Biden appointee to the DNC’s Rules Committee in 2020.
He is also active in local government in the Sacramento region, having served in appointed positions and directed successful campaigns for school board, city council, board of supervisors, area legislative seats, and many local ballot measures.
Chris volunteers as a public policy advocate for people with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). He currently serves on the board of directors of the Northern California Chapter of JDRF and is active with other T1D advocacy organizations.
Chris graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a degree in political science. His professional education experience includes the Jesse Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program, the City of Sacramento’s City Management Academy, the Water Education Foundation’s Water Leaders Program, and advanced coursework on land use planning in California from the UC Davis Extension.
Bob has successfully represented government, corporate and nonprofit clients on a broad range of media, messaging, social media, crisis and litigation issues. He was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve as chief of communications and external affairs for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. He spent 20 years at the Los Angeles Times as a reporter, editor and executive and was a senior editor on newsroom staffs that won Pulitzer Prizes for the Los Angeles riots and Northridge Earthquake. He also was the CEO of InfoWorld Media Group.
Bob has worked closely on coverage with state, national and international media outlets; and he has worked with leading national law firms on high-profile crisis and criminal and civil litigation issues. Bob is a former Distinguished Fellow in the Future of Media at Chapman University, chair of the board of trustees of PBS SoCal, and adjunct professor of journalism at UC Berkeley. He graduated with honors in political science from UC Berkeley, and has an MA in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an MSc from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Her work is flawless, accurate and on time. Working with data vendors, she supervises correct targeting for every piece of mail in every campaign.
Her duties include managing graphic artists, printers, mailing houses, data firms and copy writing. Cool and professional under pressure, Debbie makes sure there are no mistakes and all jobs are high-quality productions. She brings more than 20 years of experience creating, coordinating and delivering information, content and graphics of the highest professional quality. Debbie works with graphic designer Lynne York to support local and statewide campaigns with direct mail pieces, brochures, and infographics.
She provides supportive service to I Street’s production department to confirm accuracy and timeliness. Nellie handles many of the logistical issues for I Street, including IT/data and calendar management.
She has been the financial officer for campaigns exceeding $50 million, as well as multiple smaller-budget campaigns. She coordinates with the campaign legal team for all reporting requirements.
Kelly is responsible for all financial matters at TCT, including invoicing, billing, payroll and accounting. She has extensive experience in financial analysis and works closely with clients, consultants and financial institutions.
As president/CEO of Wood Communications, Josh has managed high-profile public campaigns that successfully ensured the development of the Golden 1 Center for the Sacramento Kings and the Wilton Rancheria Tribe’s Casino and Resort in Elk Grove. He serves as chief executive officer of the Sacramento Region Business Association, a not-for-profit association that manages five local trade associations representing the building, restaurant, technology, manufacturing, and banking industries. Under his leadership, the organization has been called a “wrecking ball power player” for its effectiveness in developing strong, bipartisan coalitions that have successfully supported major economic development and regulatory reform.
Among other high-profile projects, Josh chaired the Sacramento City Downtown Housing initiative, the Responsible Investments for a Stronger Economy (RISE) initiative and the Minimum Wage coalition. He serves as board chair of Sonder Solutions, an editorial board member of Comstock’s Magazine, and a member of the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce board of directors. He has served on the board of Capital Public Radio and as chairman of the Sacramento County Planning Commission.
Winning Political Campaigns
From polling and strategy development to grassroots management and direct voter contact, we design and execute campaigns at every level, in California and around the nation.
- Overall Campaign Management
- Independent Expenditure Committees
- Strategic and Tactical Planning
- Political Action Committee Management
- Direct Mail Production
- Radio, TV and Print Production/Placement
- Digital Campaign Programs
- Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Public Affairs That Move The Needle
We are Democrat-oriented with insights into the Democratic Legislature and Administration that other firms don’t have and can’t match. Whether it’s working behind the scenes with decision-makers or mounting a grassroots campaign to rally the public behind your cause, the result is that you will succeed throughout the political process, not become a victim of it.
- Campaign Management And Strategy (Digital, Media, And Coalition Building)
- Risk Assessment and Situation Analysis
- Quick Access to Decision-Makers
- Government Affairs Counsel
- Public Policy Research and Analysis
- Coalition Building and Activation
- Corporate Contribution Counsel
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Digital Campaigns
Excellence In Communications
We know how the media think, and we work closely with state, national and international news outlets in print, electronic and social media to get your story out and optimize coverage. After all, we’re the only Sacramento firm with a partner who was part of two Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper staffs.
- Earned Media
- Crisis Communications
- Media Training
- Messaging, Branding, and Content Creation
- Social Media, Websites and SEO
- Integrated Public Relations
- Litigation Support
- Internal Communications
I Street Public Affairs has significant experience and knowledge in 12 specific subject areas. We provide any client needing a strategic, strong political and public affairs program a comfort level that they have chosen the best with I Street. We have managed candidate campaigns for Governor, U.S. Senate, Congress, and the State Legislature with a 90% winning record.
California can be a very difficult place to do business. For over 40 years, I Street partners have advised businesses through the difficult intricacies of governments and agencies. I Street partners have also managed ballot measures at the state and local levels to protect and advance the interests of our clients in the business community.
We have long-standing, deep relationships with clients in the energy and environment arenas. I Street partners have managed legislative efforts to protect businesses under attack and measures to make it easier to do business in this heavily regulated state. Additionally, we have successfully managed statewide ballot initiatives and local ballot measures in the energy world.
I Street Public Affairs has advised governmental agencies at all levels from local cities and counties to special districts, school districts, and state agencies. I Street partners have over 30 years of experience working in the California Legislature, and understand its complexity and paths to success. We have managed political, public affairs, and educational campaigns for all levels of government.
Our over 40 years of experience representing hospitals, health plans, and health care trade associations makes I Street Public Affairs one of the most qualified firms in California to assist clients in the high pressure and complicated world of health care policy and politics. In addition to our public affairs work in the health care sector, we have managed several successful statewide and local ballot measure campaigns for hospitals, health plans and medical groups.
I Street partners have worked with the insurance industry for over 30 years, advising on public policy, managing legislative efforts, and successfully protecting the industry by managing and defeating dangerous policies at the ballot box in statewide initiative campaigns. We have helped insurance groups organize political action committees. I Street partners have been called upon to speak before large groups of agents and employers of major companies on politics in California.
Creating successful strategies and plans to gain approval of development projects is a core competency of I Street. We have managed projects through the local government process, taken issues successfully to the voters both locally and statewide, and managed compact approvals for Native American casinos throughout the State Legislature.
I Street Public Affairs has advised labor organizations at the state and local level; often, building coalitions with business groups to solve common problems. An I Street Public Affairs professional has served as the political director for a statewide public safety union directing their fundraising and contributions efforts.
I Street Public Affairs manages research, develops expenditure plans, conducts outreach efforts, drafts ballot language, and manages the overall campaign for success in the Legislature or at the ballot. Wins include statewide initiatives like high-speed rail bonds to local sales tax campaigns to laws passed by the Legislature.
STATEWIDE AND LOCAL ISSUE CAMPAIGNS
I Street partners have managed many successful issue campaigns. We always manage the overall campaign, retain specialty consultants, and supervise the issue opposition and voter opinion research. We create and implement the strategy to a winning result.
INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES CAMPAIGNS
I Street Public Affairs manages overall campaigns including research, messaging, production of television and radio commercials, direct mail, and earned and social media. We assemble the right team of consultants to win. In our role as political advisors to the moderate Democrats in the California Legislature, we manage independent expenditure campaigns to elect more moderate candidates to the State Legislature.
I Street Public Affairs has managed candidate campaigns for Governor, U.S. Senate, Congress, and the State Legislature with a 90% winning record. I Street uses extensive research and data analysis to effectively target the voters to ensure the correct message and messenger for a winning campaign. Message, messenger, management and money are the keys to a successful campaign.
Government affairs is very often directed by trade associations representing specific industry segments. I Street Public Affairs has been called on by these associations to bolster their efforts with new strategies and relationships to further their issues and provide solutions for their unique problems.
We produce highly creative and targeted direct mail. Most political mail always looks the same. We have brought Madison Avenue quality to the political process allowing I Street to deliver impactful and powerful messages to the voters.
TV and Digital
Most political commercials look the same—talking heads looking straight into the camera, mouthing the same rhetoric, campaign after campaign; or commercials screaming at the voter and turn them off. At I Street Public Affairs, in cooperation with our media producer Brainchild Creative, we create commercials that visually capture the voter’s attention and hold them through our messaging. Creative, impactful, and targeted to the right demographic groups, we produce TV and digital that wins campaigns.
The new media world is changing literally week to week. I Street Public Affairs professionals have the experience and contacts in the news media to get your stories placed and read. Our prize-winning team knows how to shape and write a story that gets your message out. I Street’s quick response means that your point of view is reflected in every story. The professionals in the news business know and respect our team, and trust that we will give them solid, truthful information. I Street professionals are sought out by members of the press on an almost daily basis. Those relationships help our clients get their message to the public.
Wilton Rancheria Struggles for Self-Sufficiency; Tribe Secures Gaming Compact with the State
Classic Chair Maker Takes on Restoration Hardware…And Wins
Charges Dropped Against Tech Billionaire
Single Payer Health Care
SacBee.com– Single-payer health care shows that Democrats can be extreme, too
Past and Present
American Medical Response, Inc.
Foundation Health Corporation
Loma Linda University Medical Center
Molina Medical Centers
Sutter California Healthcare Systems
Californians Allied for Patient Protection
Californians for Health Care
Coalition for a Healthy California
California Association of Health Facilities
California Association of Health Plans
California Association of Nurse Anesthetists
California Association of Physician Groups
California Biomedical Foundation
California Dental Association
California Hospital Association
California Northstate University
California Optometric Association
California Psychiatric Association
Granite Rock Company
Greyhound Lines, Inc.
KXTV Channel 10
McCaw Communications/Cellular One
Sacramento Commercial Bank
Somers Building Maintenance, Inc.
The Boeing Company
Travelers Express Company, Inc.
California Manufacturers Association
California Mortgage Bankers Association
Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group
Sonoma County Manufacturers Group
Thoroughbred Owners of California
Californians Against Higher Property Taxes
Moderate Democratic Caucus
The Accountants Coalition of California (Big 6 Accounting Firms)
Development /Land use
Grove Investment Co.
PG&E Properties, Inc.
Southern Pacific Real Estate Enterprises
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
US National Leasing, LLC
Wilton Rancheria and Casino
North Fork Casino
American River Parkway Coalition
California Department of Consumer Affairs
California Department of Social Services
California Public Employees’ Retirement System
City of Citrus Heights
City of Elk Grove
City of Folsom
City of Merced
City of San Rafael
Community Services Planning Council (Sacramento)
County of Marin, Community Development Agency
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Grant Unified School District
Kern Council of Governments
Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau
Sacramento County Council of Governments
Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency
Sacramento Public Policy Foundation
Sacramento Water Forum
University of California, Merced
California Professional Firefighters
Peace Officers Research Association of California
State Building and Construction Trades
Service Employees International Union
California Correctional Peace Officers Association
United Food and Commercial Workers
California Alliance for Jobs
Alameda County Transportation Authority
California High-Speed Rail Authority
Kern Transportation Foundation
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Orange County Transportation Authority
Regional Public Transportation Authority (Arizona)
Sacramento Regional Transit
Sacramento Transportation Authority
Utah Transit Authority
Ventura County Transportation Commission
Californians for High-Speed Trains
Californians for Safe Highways and Bridges
Cortina Integrated Waste Management, Inc.
Council for A Green Environment
County of Sacramento (Recycling)
Norcal Waste Services of Sacramento
Sierra Pacific Industries
United States Pollution Control, Inc. (subsidiary of Union Pacific)
Vallejo Garbage Service
American Forest & Paper Association
California Forestry Association
Californians Against Another Risky Energy Proposition
Californians for Affordable and Reliable Electric Service
Envirotest Systems Corp.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Alliance for Climate Resistant California
Farmers Insurance Group
State Farm Insurance Company
Californians for Affordable Insurance Rates
Californians for Fair Liability Laws
Consumers Against Fraud and Higher Insurance Costs
Association for California Tort Reform
Association of California Insurance Companies
Personal Insurance Federation of California
Mechoopda Indian Tribe
Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians
North Fork Tribe
Association of Regional Center Agencies
Automotive Repair Coalition
Californians Against A Beer Monopoly
California Association of Joint Powers Authorities
California Automatic Vendors Council
California Cable Television Association
California Issues Forum
California Public Library Association
California Restaurant Association
California Special Districts Association
Californians for Compensation Reform
Californians for Consumer Choice on the Internet
Californians for Quality Affordable Housing
Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association
League of California Cities
New Technology Network
Portable Power Equipment Manufacturers Association
Western States Petroleum Association
Yes on Proposition 52: Healthcare for Children and Seniors
No on Proposition 45: Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs
Yes on Proposition 86: Tobacco Tax
No on Proposition 41: Health & Welfare
No on Measure F: Hospital Costs, City of Palo Alto
No on Measure U: Hospital Costs, City of Livermore
Yes on Measure A: Sale of Redbud Community Hospital, Lake County
Yes on Proposition 162: Pension Protection
No on Measure E: Gravel Depletion Tax, San Benito County
No on Measure D: Business Tax Increase, San Benito County
No on Measure Q: Cardroom Initiative, City of Stockton
Yes on Measure C: Los Padres Dam, Monterey County
No on Measure A: Cardroom Initiative, City of Colton
No on Proposition 99: Tobacco Tax Increase
Yes on Proposition 16: Taxpayers Right to Vote Act
No on Proposition 7: Californians Against Another Risky Energy Proposition
No on Proposition 9: Electric Utility Deregulation
No on Measure H: Utility District Annexation, Yolo County
No on Measure I: Utility District Annexation, Yolo County
No on Measure L: Utility District Annexation, Sacramento County
No on Measure T: Utility User Tax Reduction, City of Sacramento
No on Measure A: Municipalize Electrical Utility, Calaveras County
Yes on Measure O: Deer Creek Hills Senior Housing Development, Sacramento County
No on Measure E: Mobile Home Rent Control, City of Concord
No on Measure U: Mobile Home Rent Control, City of Folsom
No on Measure A: Mobile Home Rent Control, City of Napa
No on Measure N: Mobile Home Rent Control, City of Sunnyvale
No on Measure P: Mobile Home Rent Control, County of Sacramento
Yes on Measure L: City of Cypress
Yes on Measures A, B & C: City of Glendale
Yes on Measure A: Pebble Beach Company Development Plan for Del Monte Forest, Monterey County
Yes on Measure D: Sun Microsystems, Inc.’s Redevelopment of Agnews West Developmental Center, City of Santa Clara
No on Measure K: Slow Growth Measure, City of Roseville
Yes on Proposition 26: School Bonds
Yes on Proposition 1: School Bonds
Yes on Measure A: School Bond, Los Rios Community College District
Yes on Measure C: School Bond, Folsom
Yes on Measure E: Los Rios Community College District
Yes on Measure M: Banning Unified School District
Yes on Measure DD: Bonsall Unified School District
Yes on Measure EE: Cajon Valley Union School District
Yes on Measure C: Central Unified School District
Yes on Measure Z: East Side Union High School District
Yes on Measure V: Fillmore Unified School District
Yes on Measure K: Kern High School District
Yes on Measure HH: National School District
Yes on Measure P: Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District
Yes on Measure I: Palm Springs Unified School District
Yes on Measure M: Paso Robles Joint Unified School District
Yes on Measure L: Placer Union High School District
Yes on Measure P: Pomona Unified School District
Yes on Measure N: San Ardo Union Elementary School District
Yes on Measure D-16: San Miguel Joint Union School District
Yes on Measure K 2016: Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District
Yes on Measure K-16: Shandon Joint Unified School District
Yes on Measure R: Ventura Unified School District
Yes on Measure K: Waterford Unified School District
Yes on Measure Q: Yuba Community College District
Yes on Proposition 1A: Californians for High-Speed Trains
Yes on Proposition 192: Seismic Retrofit Bonds
Yes on Measure B: Transportation Sales Tax, Sacramento County
Yes on Measure A: Transportation Sales Tax Extension, Sacramento County
Yes on I: Transportation Sales Tax Extension, San Bernardino County
Yes on Proposition A: Transportation Sales Tax Extension, San Diego County
Yes on Measure AA: Earthquake Safety Improvement Bonds, BART/Bay Area
Yes on Measure A: Transportation Sales Tax, Riverside County
Yes on Measure A: Transportation Sales Tax Extension, Santa Clara County
Yes on Measures B and C: Transportation Sales Tax, Sonoma County
Yes on Measures A and B: Transportation Sales Tax, Marin County
Yes on Measures A and B: Transportation Sales Tax, Santa Clara County
Yes on Proposition 400: Sales Tax Increase, Maricopa County, Arizona
Yes on Measure F: Sales Tax Increase, Fresno County
Yes on Measure A: Sales Tax Increase, Salt Lake County, Utah
Yes on Measure A: Sales Tax Extension, Santa Clara County
Yes on Revised Measure M: Sales Tax Increase, Orange County
Yes on Measure I: Sales Tax Increase, San Bernardino County
Yes on Measure B: Sales Tax Increase, Monterey County
Yes on Measure A: Sales Tax Increase, Riverside County
Yes on Proposition A: Sales Tax Increase, San Diego County
Yes on Measure C: Sales Tax Increase, Contra Costa County
Yes on Measure A: Sales Tax Increase, Santa Clara County
No on Propositions 30 and 31: Insurance Lawsuits and Insurance Amendments
Yes on Proposition 14: Top-Two Open Primary Act
Yes on Proposition 112: Legislative Ethics
Yes on Proposition 46: Local General Obligation Bonds, Statewide
Yes on Measure X: Parcel Tax for Libraries, Sacramento County
Yes on Measure P: Library Tax, City of Sacramento
Yes on Measure R: Citrus Heights Incorporation
Yes on Measure S: Sacramento City/County Merger, Sacramento City/County
Yes on Measure L: Library Tax, El Dorado County
Vice President Walter Mondale for President
Governor Jerry Brown
Mayor Tom Bradley for Governor
Secretary of State March Fong Eu
Tom Calderon for Insurance Commissioner
Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Sacramento, CA
Congressman Dennis Cardoza, Merced, CA
Congressman Vic Fazio
Congressman Doug Bosco
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Sheriff Glen Craig, Sacramento County
Sheriff Lou Blanas, Sacramento County
Sheriff John McGinness, Sacramento County
Dan Whitehurst for U.S. Senate
Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza
Assemblyman Doug Bosco
Assemblyman Norm Waters
Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin
Senator Art Torres
Senator Henry Mello
Senator Robert Presley
Senator George Zenovich
Senator Ruben Ayala
Senator Byron Sher
Mayor Tom Bradley, Los Angeles
Mayor George Moscone, San Francisco
Mayor Anne Rudin, Sacramento
Mayor Karen Humphrey, Fresno
Mayor Joe Serna, Sacramento
Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento
Senator Art Torres for Los Angeles County Supervisor
Supervisor Dave Cox, Sacramento County
Supervisor Roger Niello, Sacramento County
Supervisor Jimmy Yee, Sacramento County
Supervisor Dianne McKenna, Santa Clara County
Supervisor Rod Diridon, Santa Clara County
Jim Cooper, AD 9
Tim Grayson, AD 14
Anna Caballero, AD 30/SD 12
Raul Bocanegra AD 39
Matt Dababneh, AD 45
Cheryl Brown, AD 47
Sylvia Rubio, AD 57
Sabrina Cervantes, AD 60
Susan Eggman, SD 5
Susan Rubio, SD 22
Scott Weiner, SD 11
Jose Solorio, SD 34
Barbara Bry, Mayor, City of San Diego
Stephanie Nguyen, City Council, City of Elk Grove
Lisa Murawski, Sacramento City Unified School Board