Sandra has over 25 years experience in local, state and federal government relations and public affairs. Her career started in Washington, D.C. where she served as Director of Constituent Services and Committee Clerk to the Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for the Washington, D.C. City Council. She lobbied Congress and developed energy, environmental and health care policy on behalf of the National League of Cities and the American Nurses Association.
In Los Angeles, Sandra was instrumental in the projects that spurred the revitalization of Downtown into new housing units – and economic development initiatives aimed at revitalizing the Civic Center, the Figueroa Corridor and the Historic Core.
As a public affairs strategist, Sandra organizes broad-based coalitions in support of commercial and residential real estate projects in Hollywood, the Miracle Mile, and West Los Angeles. She provides strategic counsel to Fortune 200 companies, national retail, energy, technology and telecommunications companies in the Los Angeles region. In 2011, Sandra and her business partner, Tanya Gilbert, launched Morris and Swanson, a strategic public affairs company. The firm specializes in community and grassroots advocacy, serving clients throughout the state of California.
She is a founder of the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership, a non-profit established to address the visibly low numbers of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders serving in the public sector. For the past 15 years, Sandra has served on the board of directors for the Little Tokyo Service Center, a non-profit, social service and community economic development organization in Downtown Los Angeles. She was a mayoral appointee to Civilian Compliant Review Panel in Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
As the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Central City Association of Los Angeles, she advocated for the Staples Center, adaptive reuse ordinance – facilitating the conversion of dozens of historic and under-utilized structures.
Tanya Gilbert has two decades of experience in government affairs, coalition building, grassroots outreach, lobbying, campaign development, strategic planning, management and implementation. She is highly skilled at identifying key stakeholders, establishing relationships and building broad based support for and in opposition of federal, state and local legislative issues. Tanya’s ability to successfully mobilize support and leverage it within the complex governmental political process has helped her numerous clients secure community and political support for a wide variety of challenging issues and projects. In 2011, Tanya and her business partner, Sandra Yamane, launched Morris & Swanson, a strategic public affairs firm.
In addition to coalition building and grassroots outreach, Tanya has a broad background in local and statewide elections and California’s initiative process. She manages advocacy campaigns on state and local legislative issues, local elections and land use entitlement projects in California and western states.
Tanya served on the board of directors of the National Latina Business Women Association. She has traveled the world extensively. She met her husband while living in the French Alps and has dual American and French citizenships. Tanya graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.