Attorney General Becerra Announces State Appointments

Friday, December 22, 2017
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced the following state commission appointments:

Attorney General Becerra nominated Mayra E. Alvarez to serve on the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC), which oversees the implementation of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). The MHSOAC is also responsible for developing strategies to overcome stigma. 

Ms. Alvarez is the President of The Children’s Partnership, a nonprofit children’s advocacy organization committed to giving all children, no matter their background, the resources and opportunities they need for a bright future. Prior to this, Ms. Alvarez served in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), most recently as Director of the State Exchange Group for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She also served as the Associate Director for the HHS Office of Minority Health. Previously, Ms. Alvarez served as Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at HHS, where she coordinated with the agency offices on the implementation of the public health, prevention, and health care workforce policy provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Prior to joining the Administration, Mayra served as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a Legislative Assistant for then-Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis, and a David A. Winston Health Policy Fellow in the office of then-Senator Barack Obama. Ms. Alvarez received her graduate degree from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Attorney General Becerra nominated Tracey Whitney to the Council on Mentally Ill Offenders (COMIO). COMIO was created by the Legislature in 2001 to address growing concerns about the high number of individuals with mental illness who were incarcerated or at risk of incarceration. 

Ms. Whitney is currently a Deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. She is a founding member of the DA’s Mental Health Advisory Board and the County’s Permanent Steering Committee. Prior to her nearly two decades in the DA’s office, Ms. Whitney served as a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County. Ms. Whitney also clerked for federal court judge Honorable Kim McLane Wardlaw. She began her career in private practice. Ms. Whitney received her Juris Doctor from USC Gould School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Duke University.

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Attorney General Becerra nominated Frank Cardenas to the California Fair Political Practices Commission, a non-partisan commission charged with implementing the Political Reform Act. The Act regulates campaign financing, conflicts of interest, lobbying, and governmental ethics. 

Mr. Cardenas has more than 25 years of experience in government service and practicing law. He is currently an adjunct instructor at California State University, Los Angeles. Mr. Cardenas served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission and as Chief of Staff and Executive Officer at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He has also been a consultant on matters such as business planning, organizational assessment, and government relations. In his years in private legal practice, his work focused on the areas of business, administrative and public law. Mr. Cardenas received his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California.

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