Who We Are
California Advisors, LLC is one of the premier lobbying firms in Sacramento. Our extensive legislative, regulatory, and budget expertise in the areas of tech, energy, transportation, local government, air quality and the environment uniquely qualifies us to represent your interests.
Founding partners, Delaney Hunter and Will Gonzalez, understood that by combining their more than 40 years of collective experience in the State Capitol and related arenas that they would create a firm that was greater than the sum of its parts. And it is. California Advisors, LLC, has become one of the most successful minority and woman-owned firms in the state. Today, we are honored to represent clients that span from Fortune 500 companies to start ups, local governments to trade associations and a wide variety of interests in between.
Will Gonzalez is a 20-year veteran of California politics and a leading expert on issue framing and legislative strategy. His ability to translate these skills into tangible legislative and regulatory victories for his clients has made him one of the most sought after lobbyists in California. As a founding partner of California Advisors, Will has helped assemble a team in Sacramento unsurpassed in its breadth of experience and winning track record.
Will Gonzalez has been on the forefront of California’s most cutting edge policy debates around issues of technology, energy and local government. To date he has secured over $5 billion for incentives that sparked a thriving solar industry in California and won another $3.5 billion for development of zero and near-zero emission trucks in California’s most polluted regions. Will has also secured millions in funding for local governments seeking state housing and transportation funding.
Will successfully negotiated the legislation that legalized Uber’s operation in California, including establishing liability standards, insurance requirements and regulatory oversight of the ridesharing platform. He has successfully blocked legislative efforts to impose burdensome regulations on internet companies such as Amazon and Facebook, and most recently helped clear the way for cloud storage provider Dropbox to do business with local governments throughout California. Few lobbyists in Sacramento can match Mr. Gonzalez’s knowledge or winning track record on behalf of technology companies.
Prior to starting his lobbying practice, Will managed state and local government affairs for Ford Motor Company in the Western United States. He is credited with securing tax incentives and direct grants for electric and alternative fuel vehicles in five states, including California. He also provided political counsel to Ford in response to the Explorer-Firestone crises, the costliest vehicle recall in company history.
Mr. Gonzalez was born and raised in Southeast Los Angeles. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and attended the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. He holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Economics from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Mr. Gonzalez is married and the father to two young daughters. He is fluent in Spanish and in his spare time enjoys racing his daughters on mountain bikes and cross-country skis.
A veteran of lobbying and managing the state’s legislative and regulatory landscape, Delaney Hunter’s background includes more than 20 years of experience in political and governmental work in the state. Ms. Hunter is a leading expert in the energy arena with extensive experience working not only in the Legislature but also with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Resources Board (CARB) and in the transit and transportation arena as well.
She began her political career in 1993 in the office of Senator Bill Leonard, staffing the Senator on energy and transportation related issues. She served as the sole Senate Republican staff to the historic conference committee on AB 1890 (Brulte) which restructured California’s energy industry and worked in concert with district staff on the completion of State Route 30 (now 210) and the completion of the Caltran’s District 8 headquarters in San Bernardino.
After five years with Leonard – spanning his time in the Senate and as Assembly Republican Leader – Ms. Hunter served as Legislative Director for the lobbying firm of Smith & Kempton/Smith, Kempton & Watts/Smith, Watts & Company (now known as Smith, Watts & Martinez, LLC). During her six year tenure with the firm she focused on energy, air quality, local government, transit and transportation related issues, working with over 20 different private sector and public agency clients and she assisted the firm’s clients with countless pieces of legislation ranging from transportation and transit funding to the fallout from California’s energy crisis.
In March 2005, she was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as the Director, Office of Governmental Affairs for the California Public Utilities Commission. In this capacity she was responsible for managing the Commission’s legislative agenda and political negotiations on key policies relative to energy, telecommunications, water, rail safety and other transportation related issues. Here she gained strong knowledge of investor owned utility issues both on energy as well as water. She oversaw the confirmation process for four of the Commissioners and played a key role in budget negotiations for the agency during her tenure.
Prior to co-founding GQHC, Ms. Hunter also served as a Principal with the Dewey Square Group for three years, launching their California lobbying practice and helping to expand the energy practice.
Ms. Hunter currently serves as a member of the advisory board to the Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and also on the board of California Women in Energy, a non-profit organization focused on providing career development, networking and educational opportunities for women professionals in energy.
Laura Bennett has nearly 20 years of professional experience in public policy. Laura’s experience spans a broad range of issues, with a special focus on technology, communications and privacy. She has worked with numerous state agencies including California Public Utilities Commission, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Prior to joining California Advisors Laura served as Executive Director for TechNet overseeing state advocacy and political activities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah, and managing issue advocacy, government affairs, events, policy analysis, political fundraising, membership relations, and coalition building for the association. During her tenure at TechNet, Laura secured wins in policy areas related to autonomous vehicles, privacy, gig and sharing economies, education, and diversity and inclusion.
Prior to TechNet, Laura worked for 12 years at Verizon, where she was responsible for the full suite of legislative matters relating to the communications industry in California, including privacy and cybersecurity issues. She maintained first point of contact with legislators and their staff, the Governor of California’s Office, key community stakeholders, and other industries to communicate Verizon’s position, as well as negotiate amendments on legislative matters impacting Verizon business interests. Through her work with the Verizon Foundation, Laura focused on relationships with key community organizations in support of furthering education in STEM, as well as supporting organizations that provide domestic violence prevention and awareness programs.
Laura began her public policy career with a Sacramento consulting firm in 2000 which specialized in transportation and energy issues.
Laura has served as a member of the Board of Directors of My Sister’s House, a Sacramento-based domestic violence prevention and awareness organization focusing on the Asian Pacific Islander Community. She also spent a decade supporting Eppie’s Great Race, an organization which benefits therapeutic services for the disabled.
Laura was raised in the Owens Valley high desert before moving to Sacramento and receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government from California State University, Sacramento. She earned a Juris Doctorate from Lincoln Law School and is a California Bar Certified Attorney. She enjoys reading, traveling, and hiking as well as the occasional amateur weightlifting competition.
Matt Klopfenstein is a partner at CalAdvisors, representing clients in legislative and regulatory arenas. Matt specializes in technology, energy, environmental, water, transportation, and local government policymaking, covering a wide breadth of high-profile issues. He has been involved in numerous noteworthy policy fights, both sponsoring priority legislation for clients, as well as working to prevent problematic proposals. Additionally, Matt works with a variety of the firm’s clients on further the deployment of distributed generation, clean vehicle rebate programs and increasing funding for electric vehicles (EV) and EV infrastructure.
Most recently, Matt secured regulatory changes at the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to dramatically alter the status quo and allow services to be performed outside of brick and mortar establishments. This effort on behalf of a client involved actively lobbying the Board and the Legislature and challenging an existing, entrenched industry.
Before joining CalAdvisors, Matt worked as a law clerk representing local government agencies. He also managed the successful campaign of a candidate running in El Dorado County. He formerly interned for a Superior Court Judge in Solano County and is active in Sacramento’s legal community. Matt is also on the Board of the Sacramento Chapter of Young Professionals in Energy, helping bring together those interested in the energy sector for professional development, networking, and community engagement.
Matt obtained his J.D. degree and the Capitol Certificate in Public Law & Policy from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, where he graduated Order of the Coif with Great Distinction. He received his B.A. degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara where he majored in English.
Ross Buckley has nearly a decade of experience working in various facets of state government, policy, and politics. Prior to joining the California Advisors, LLC team, Ross served as a legislative advocate for the Personal Insurance Federation of California (PIFC) and also spent several years working as a staffer in the California State Legislature.
During his time at PIFC he represented six of the largest property and casualty insurance companies within the United States. In this position, he saw firsthand the crucial role advocacy plays in the legislative process. Decisions made by the Legislature and regulatory agencies can have an immense impact on the private sector. In a realm where outcomes have real world implications, he developed a proven track record of delivering on priority issues.
As a legislative advocate, Ross has built a reputation for being an effective and dedicated professional by working tirelessly on behalf of his clients and cultivating relationships within the Capitol Community.
Ross was also a Chief of Staff in the Legislature which laid the foundation for his career in Sacramento. During this tenure, he gained a deep understanding of the legislative process, the key issues, and the stakeholders.
Mr. Buckley was born in South Korea and grew up in Atascadero, California. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Political Science. Ross currently serves as a member on the Cal Poly Political Science Advisory Board.
Paul Woods is a legislative advocate with over a decade of experience working in California politics, legislative organizing, and government.
Prior to joining California Advisors, Paul worked for the Consumer Attorneys of California where he served as Grassroots Manager. There, Paul was an integral part of the organization’s legislative and political efforts.
A San Francisco native, Paul grew up in the Bay Area and Sacramento before enlisting in the U.S. Navy and later earning his commission as an officer. After his time in the Navy, Paul worked in the private sector selling real estate. Ultimately, his love of politics and service led Paul to join a political consulting firm, and later serve as a staffer and campaign manager for a member of the state Assembly.
Paul earned his J.D. with a concentration in Capital Lawyering from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where he graduated with Distinction. At McGeorge, Paul served as a law review editor, and he was awarded the Graduating Senior Award for Outstanding Student Service. He earned his B.A. from the University of San Diego where he majored in Political Science. In his free time, Paul enjoys spending time with his family including his three children, reading, and being outdoors.
Our clients can attest to the fact that California Advisors, LLC is strategic and innovative in its approach and that we tell our clients what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear.
We utilize a team-driven philosophy in which every lobbyist understands your needs and can utilize his or her own unique relationships and abilities to help you achieve your goals. This approach allows the members of our advocacy team to draw on their diverse, bipartisan backgrounds to achieve success for those we represent in Sacramento.
It is our view that working cooperatively with your team in the development of your key objectives will ensure that our team can exceed your expectations. Our goal is not to simply become your outside consultants; our goal is to become integral members of your team whose skillsets, combined with those of your staff, advance your mission.
As the year progresses, we interface directly on your behalf with policy and decision-makers as we monitor legislation that could impact you. Should the opportunity arise to become a negotiating stakeholder of a bill that is moving through the Legislature, we can craft bill language or provide feedback on your drafts. We will also make sure that your voice is heard and that you have a seat at the table. Finally, in addition to face-to-face meetings with key decision-makers, we will implement a range of communication techniques, including, but not limited to, printed position papers or verbal testimony to be presented before legislative bodies.
Policy making doesn’t end with the signing of a bill. An agency’s or department’s policy implementation decisions can seriously impact your bottom line. Because of our expertise in a multitude of issue areas and our decades of experience with the implementation of thousands of pieces of legislation, we are able to anticipate future regulatory issues that could arise from any given piece of legislation. And as we track regulatory proceedings, we utilize our relationships with key decision-makers, as necessary and appropriate within those proceedings, to ensure that you achieve the maximum level of success.
California Advisors, LLC can show you how best to engage politically with elected officials or candidates. We maintain a network of consultants including campaign consultants, fundraisers, direct mail houses and media specialists who can assist you with the development and implementation of the right strategy for any type of political activity.
Sometimes a strategy might be as simple as holding a few meetings with a list of key individuals. Other times a strategy could be a complex series of carefully orchestrated and timed events, one leading to the next like a row of dominos. Regardless of the complexity of the strategy, we have the experience and vision that is essential to avoid pitfalls and to seize opportunities. Our team will work with you to meticulously chart a clear path forward. The most successful organizations are those with access to the best information and the discipline to use that information to their advantage. We can help.
How to Reach Us
915 L Street, Suite 1270
Sacramento, CA 95814
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