Elizabeth Espinosa is among the state’s premier county public safety advocates with broad experience in administration of justice matters, including 2011 Realignment, juvenile justice, and court-related issues. Since launching Hurst Brooks Espinosa (HBE)—a majority women-owned, Sacramento-based advocacy and consulting firm—in 2015, Elizabeth has lent her expertise to local government clients, foundations, and various coalitions seeking to benefit from her extensive budget and policy expertise. She provides clients with strategic advice in seeking grant funding opportunities, developing strategies to engage with government officials, and assessing the feasibility of pursuing specific policy objectives. HBE’s practice is exclusively focused on the public and non-profit sectors.
Elizabeth served as the lead public safety advocate for all 58 counties from 2004 to 2014 and the subject-matter analyst at the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) for the five years prior. She was the primary author of the Probation Services Task Force report, a comprehensive review and assessment of county probation in California published in 2003. In 2007, she served as the county representative in negotiations with the state related to a shift to county responsibility for nearly the entire juvenile justice population (SB 81), and she has extensive background in assisting counties with the implementation of various trial court funding reforms.
Elizabeth also was the lead on county issues for all aspects of implementation of AB 109, a 2011 measure that shifted significant criminal justice system responsibilities from the state prison and parole systems to counties. These efforts required extensive interaction and outreach with counties – supervisors, county executive and administrative officers, sheriffs, probation chiefs, and county fiscal analysts. She continues to be called upon for her deep technical understanding of and expertise in the programmatic and funding details behind the 2011 realignment of various law enforcement programs.
Elizabeth’s interest and involvement in statewide administration of justice policy issues began in 1995 when she joined the Judicial Council as a court management analyst. There she honed her analytical and quantitative skills, gained important understanding of state trial and appellate court operations, and established relationships within the judiciary and the state courts’ policy making body that endure to this day. During her time at CSAC, Elizabeth represented counties’ interests in a broad array of direct negotiations with the courts on policy issues of significance, including the detailed and often complex court facility transfer process, renewing the statutory structure for the provision of court security services in a post-Realignment environment, and development of consensus-based resolutions regarding several court-county financial transactions following a division of local judicial and executive branch functions and operations in the late 1990s. Elizabeth is one of a small number of policy advocates in the state with in-depth expertise in court and county issues, informed by more than 25 years of experience spanning her employment with the Judicial Council and the statewide association of counties.
Prior to beginning her career in public policy, Elizabeth managed multi-lingual translation projects in Paris and San Francisco. Ms. Espinosa is a fourth generation San Diegan. She earned a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Frenchat UC Irvine, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Ms. Espinosa went on to complete an M.A. in French at Middlebury College; she lived and worked in Paris for four years as a young adult.
Elizabeth has served as a mentor in the Capitol Network, a membership organization supporting women in the Sacramento Capitol community. From 2014 to 2018, she also served as a volunteer member of the Yolo County Juvenile Review Board, whose goal is to divert youth from the juvenile justice system by making available to them and their families an array of community-based alternatives. She lives in Sacramento with her husband and son.