Ken Smith is the Project Manager for SIEDI, (Salinas Inclusive Economic Develop Initiative), a James Irvine Foundation funded initiative in partnership with the Community Foundation for Monterey County. SIEDI is composed of 9 community based organizations, all of whom have deep roots and connections in the Salinas Valley community. The purpose of SIEDI is to help the 9 cohort members increase their ability to influence economic development decisions.
Ken has had a long career supporting the efforts of communities to develop leadership and build the capacity to successfully advocate for the needs of their residents. In 2003 he led the founding of COPA (Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action) a prominent regional non-profit organization of 27 institutional members from the Monterey Bay Area whose mission is to equip leaders to engage in civic life.
Most recently, Ken has been a political advisor to State Senator Anna Caballero after serving as Campaign Manager on her successful 2018 campaign for the California State Senate.