Policy Nerd Nights

Policy Nerd Nights are a monthly series of panels and discussions where we We bring in experts to share their knowledge and explore the most pressing policies and ideas of the moment.

Twitter and Instagram: @policynerds
For inquiries, collaborations, and more, email us at: policynerdnights@gmail.com.

Disclaimer: Level Up California is a non-partisan organization, and invites speakers from various backgrounds to join us for solutions-oriented discussions without partisan bias. Unless otherwise stated, the appearance of guests in PNN events is NOT considered an endorsement of their campaign(s) or beliefs. Moreover, guests are NOT assumed to endorse us nor other speakers in events they appear in.

Past Panels


Amidst rising rental rates, home prices, homelessness, and a growing shortage of housing, California's housing crisis is among the most severe nationwide. In this panel, our guests discuss how to address this critical issue.


  • Shervin Aazami - Congressional Candidate (CA-32)

  • Brittni Kiick - Livermore City Councilmember

  • Muhammad Alameldin - Policy Associate @ Terner Center for Housing Innovation

(Recorded January 19th, 2022)

"Sentencing Reform"

California has reduced its prison population by 30% since 2006. In this panel, we've invited legal experts to discuss this progress and how to develop a more just sentencing system.


  • Nazgol Ghandnoosh - Ph.D., senior research analyst at The Sentencing Project

  • Tim O'Hair - Sacramento Deputy Attorney General

  • Jennifer Perkins - San Joaquin Public Defender

(Recorded August 27th, 2021)

"Prison Reform"

Today, over 2.3 million people are incarcerated in the U.S. prison system. On Wednesday, July 28th, speakers from the Delancey Street Foundation and Abolish Slavery National, each with first-hand experience with incarceration, discussed ways to improve the U.S. prison system.


(Recorded July 28th, 2021)

"Carbon Pricing"

Level Up California is proud to have endorsed the Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA). Learn about the EICDA, also known as HR 2307, in this panel discussion.


  • Max Ghenis - Founder of UBI Center

  • Stuart Collins - California State Leader, Citizens' Climate Lobby

(Recorded June 23rd, 2021)

"The For The People Act"

This event was made in collaboration with RepresentUS.


  • Daniel Schnur - Professor at UC Berkeley and USC

  • Cindy Black - President of Fix Democracy First

  • Trevor Potter - Founder and President of Campaign Legal Center

  • Mark Gaber - Director of Litigation at Campaign Legal Center

(Recorded May 1st, 2021)

"How to Humanize Healthcare"

A panel discussion about how we can make the changes necessary to bring Humanity First thinking to healthcare.


  • Dr. Atheendar Venkaratamani - physician and healthcare economist

  • David Kim - Immigration attorney, CA ADEM Delegate, and former congressional candidate (CA-34)

  • Liam O’Mara - Historian and former congressional candidate

  • Sarah Christopherson - Policy Advocacy Director at National Women’s Health Network

(Recorded March 21st, 2021)

"Talking About UBI"

Learn how to connect with people of all stripes through discussing policies that bring us together.


  • Hannah Won - Advocate and co-founder of Testify for UBI

  • Matt Austin - Experienced activist and canvasser

  • Boyce (moderator) - Mindful Skeptics

(Recorded February 26th, 2021)

"Demystifying UBI"

This discussion provides an overview of the state of universal basic income and its common misconceptions, as well as how it would change society.


  • Stacey Rutland - Founder of Income Movement

  • Max Ghenis - Founder of UBI Center

  • Tom Leung (moderator) - Nerds for Humanity

(Recorded February 15th, 2021)