Kiana Valentine has more than 15 years of policy experience in transportation, housing, land use, and local government issues. With a deep understanding of transportation policy and funding, she has played a role in the passage and implementation of all major state transportation policy and funding decisions over the last decade including Proposition 1B (the 2006, $19.9 billion transportation bond), the 2010 transportation fuel tax swap, and most recently the successful passage of SB 1 – the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 and the defeat of Proposition 6 on the November 2018 ballot.
Prior to serving as Executive Director for Transportation California, Kiana spent 12 years in service to counties at the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) as their Senior Legislative Representative on housing, land use, transportation, and tribal gaming issues. Kiana provided legislative advocacy, worked on numerous state budgets, developed organizational strategy, and built and lead coalitions on a variety of subjects on CSAC’s behalf. She also has extensive association management experience. During her tenure at CSAC, she developed a robust network of relationships within California’s 58 counties, elected officials and key staff in the Legislature, and within the Administration and Executive Branch. She has a reputation as a skillful and effective advocate, advisor, strategic thinker, relationship builder.
Kiana holds her Master of Public Policy and Administration from CSU, Sacramento and attended CSU, Chico to earn her undergraduate degree in Political Science and International Relations. Kiana resides in Sacramento with her husband, son, and goldendoodle.
Mark Watts is a partner at Smith, Watts & Hartmann, an advocacy and consulting firm that specializes in transportation project funding and implementation. Mr. Watts has served in a variety of capacities in state government and the private sector as a lobbyist as well.
In 1996, Mr. Watts was selected to spearhead the management of the California State Assembly as the Chief of Staff for Assembly Speaker Curt Pringle. Previously, Mr. Watts was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to serve as Undersecretary for Transportation for the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency in May 1994 with oversight responsibility for Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol and the California Transportation Commission.
From 1988 to 1990 he served as staff director for the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means and as lead staff for the Budget Subcommittee on Transportation.
Other experience includes: Various staff positions at Caltrans from 1975 through 1985; Principal Consultant for the Assembly Ways and Means Committee; an associate at a leading legislative advocacy firm from 1990 through 1994; and for a brief six-month period in 1995, Mr. Watts was recruited to serve as Co-Chief Administrative Officer of the Assembly Rules Committee during the historic power-sharing arrangement between Republican Leader Jim Brulte and Speaker Willie Brown.
In 1973, Mr. Watts graduated from University of California Santa Barbara and he currently resides in Auburn, California with his wife and two children.