Matt Gray, has more than 23 years of direct experience working in the Capitol and supervising successful advocacy efforts. As a former Deputy Chief of Staff within the California State Legislature, Matt has strong connections with lawmakers and staff. His professional accomplishments include developing green energy projects, public safety reform, educational reform, small business economic development, as well as recycling and redemption programs among other things.
In the November, 2010, General Election, Sacramento area voters elected Matt as City Councilman for the newly proposed formation of the City of Arden Arcade. While the formation of the city ultimately failed, and thus a City Council was not needed, Matt continues to be an active member in his community on issues affecting small businesses and improving Sacramento’s economic viability.
A graduate from the California State University, Sacramento, Matt’s formal education is in Organic Chemistry, Public Relations and Mass Media, as well as Political Science. Working at the State Capitol, Matt has been able to meld these specialties into a cohesive knowledge base which helps his clients achieve their goals for the Legislature.
In 1992, Matt joined the office of State Assemblyman John Vasconcellos, where he stayed with the Assemblyman through a transition into the Senate in 1996. Matt advanced through successive staff positions of leadership to become Deputy Chief of Staff, and in this expansive role he represented Senator Vasconcellos on presenting legislation to policy committees, as a member on various boards, and by staffing legislation and influencing policies affecting the state’s energy, public safety, education, transportation, environment, agriculture, and water climates.
In 2004, Matt left the Legislature to exclusively lobby full-time. Matt’s growing personal clientele list features a consortium of business interests whose focus is renewable energy, public safety, medicine, transportation, manufacturing, water, technology, education, constitutional law, and communications.
Matt is often called upon by the media for interviews on public safety matters, and in the stories juxtaposed with the Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, and Senate Pro Tempore. He has also been a repeat guest on POWER 106 in Burbank; the Bruce Maiman show, Talk 1530 AM, KFBK in Sacramento; and The John & Ken Show, 640 AM in Burbank.
Matt is particularly skilled at facilitating constructive dialogues about public policy issues, collaboratively balancing disparate interests to achieve mutually beneficial results, and establishing influential and effective support networks. As an independent thinker, Matt has maintained lasting and trusting relationships with, and sponsored legislation through, both Democrats and Republicans. He is known for his unique perspective on problem solving, and for his straightforward and reliable approach to accomplishing goals.
Throughout his career with the California Legislature and in lobbying, Matt has regularly worked with numerous state agencies to foster partnerships, coordinate events, and steward legislation. State agencies include the State Department of Education, Department of Conservation, Energy Commission, Department of Justice, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Health Services, Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Notable events and legislation include successfully preventing the Governor from removing second-year funding for high school science programs (Annual Budget Act, 2012), filing a petition which prohibited the sale of prison construction bonds through AB 900 (Solorio, 2007), defeating SB 1665 (Machado, 2008) to sell more prison bonds, defeating AB 1189 (Solorio, 2008) to sell yet more prison bonds, defeating AB 2914 (Calderon, 2008), to impose a tax upon entertainment venues and products, defeating AB 1551 (Calderon, 2007), to impose a tax upon entertainment venues and products, the 2003 School Violence Prevention Summit, SB 1667 (2001) to promote school violence prevention plans based upon an established body of research, SB 524 (2004) to protect private secondary schools offering driving instruction, SB 1399 (2004) to improve rehabilitative opportunities within California’s correctional system, and SB 1692 (2004) to improve vision screening standards for pupils in our public schools, inter alia.
Matt is also the Emeritus Editor for the Senate Daybook, a daily publication through the Senate Rules Committee which reaches every legislative office and staff member, the Office of the Governor, Department of Finance, and other selected recipients with up-to-date internal legislative news and Capitol events.
Beyond his role as Deputy Chief of Staff and as Daybook Editor, Matt is a three-time honorary panel member for the State Board of Education in hearing the annual recommendations of the California Association of Student Councils (CASC). In preparation for their presentations, CASC delegates conferred with and sought advice from Matt on numerous issues pertaining to education and public safety matters.
Outside of his life in the Capitol, Matt has been a Big Brother mentor for “Big Brothers, Big Sisters.” He places great emphasis upon the influence mentors have over youth and their becoming self-affirming, responsible and productive individuals, and believes much of what ails our society can be remedied by paying more attention to the healthy development of every child toward becoming self-affirming and autonomous individuals.
Matt has worked on numerous political campaigns as either a Campaign Manager, Political Consultant, or support staff. His current advisor assignments include Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety (TiPS), Victims Foundation, and CalSmallBiz.