National Employment Law Project
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Cecilia V. Estolano is an expert in sustainable economic development and urban revitalization. The many projects she has directed as co-founder of ELP Advisors include advising local governments, non-profits and foundations on redevelopment dissolution and economic revitalization; overseeing research on green infrastructure and job creation in Philadelphia; and managing complex multi-stakeholder processes, including the creation of economic development implementation plans and the LA 2050 visioning project for the Goldhirsh Foundation.
Prior to co-founding ELP Advisors, Ms. Estolano was Chief Strategist of State and Local Initiatives for Green For All, a national organization that advocates for broad access and opportunity in the clean-energy economy. Ms. Estolano oversaw Green For All’s State and Local Initiatives and the Capital Access Program and was charged with spearheading the organization’s effort to scale public-private partnerships as a means to grow family-supporting jobs in energy efficiency, water and transportation infrastructure, green manufacturing and other green sectors, particularly in under-served communities.
Ms. Estolano previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). Under Ms. Estolano’s tenure, CRA/LA was the largest redevelopment agency in California, with an annual budget of over $726 million and a work program covering 32 project areas. Ms. Estolano redefined the role of CRA/LA, developing and implementing the CRA/LA five-year Strategic Plan. She rebuilt the organization’s housing department, shepherded CRA/LA’s adoption of a landmark policy on local hiring in construction jobs, directed the adoption of a Healthy Neighborhoods policy, and created a $42 million Land Acquisition Fund to jumpstart development in underserved markets like South Los Angeles.
Prior to joining CRA/LA, Ms. Estolano was Of Counsel in the Los Angeles office of the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She represented developer, private equity fund and lender clients in land use, zoning, redevelopment, environmental, real estate, energy and telecommunications matters.
Ms. Estolano was the Deputy Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency Review Team, Energy and Environment Group for the Obama Presidential Transition Team and is currently a member of Senator Barbara Boxer’s Judicial Advisory Committee. Her career includes service as a Special Assistant Los Angeles City Attorney, as a Senior Policy Advisor with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as Environmental Policy Advisor to former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. She also served on the California Coastal Commission.
Ms. Estolano is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law and holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA. She received her undergraduate degree in Social Studies with honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges. Ms. Estolano is a former Regents Lecturer at UCLA where she taught courses in Urban Planning. She served as the Theodore B. and Doris Shoong Lee Chair in Real Estate Law and Urban Planning at the School of Law and College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley.