California Strategies, the State’s leading public affairs and government consulting firm, is proud to announce the addition of Steven Cahn as a principal in its Los Angeles office.
A former reporter and editor, Cahn specializes in crafting communications and public affairs strategies that smartly and energetically navigate modern media and political environments while leveraging the strengths and resources of California Strategies' clients. Cahn works closely with clients to help clarify their goals and determine the most efficient and effective paths forward. A determined advocate for his clients and their priorities, he is equally aggressive about implementing those strategies successfully.
Since joining California Strategies in 2007, Cahn has broadened his expertise to include education policy, ranging from early childhood to higher education; coalition building, with a focus on the important role that relationships among public and private organizations play to achieve public affairs goals; and the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors as they navigate ever-changing social and economic challenges. He has worked extensively on developing public-private partnerships that advance the business interests of for-profit companies and secure policy change for non-profit and philanthropic organizations, and he has led systems change efforts to strengthen public institutions and social service providers.
Cahn’s expertise includes persuasive, opinion and speech writing; coalition building; policy analysis; social media; nonprofit management and fund development; and resource mobilization. He regularly provides media relations support and media strategy advice to both for-profit and nonprofit clients.
Cahn has been a Regional Vice President at the firm since 2011. He will continue working closely with California Strategies’ two other Los Angeles-based principals, Michael Bustamante and Joanne Kozberg, as well as partners in the firm’s nine other statewide offices, including Sacramento.
“Elevating Steve as a partner in Los Angeles greatly strengthens California Strategies’ ability to serve our clients in both the public and private sectors,” said California Strategies Founder and Chairman Bob White. “Nonprofits and philanthropies are playing increasingly important roles in public policy development in California and are at the center of important civic discussions, and Steve has helped guide many of them as they successfully engaged in public affairs strategies. His expertise in policy development and strategic communications, combined with his media background, is being called on increasingly by our clients who are seeking timely insights and solutions-oriented advice that ensure they achieve their goals.”
From his more than decade as a journalist, Cahn carries a deep and unique understanding of politics and all levels of government operation, having covered topical matters including growth-control measures; development and environmental reviews; transportation and housing; and federal and state grant programs. He also reported on and oversaw coverage for numerous local, county and statewide elections as well as the daily operations of city government. He served as editor of three award-winning community newspapers owned by The Los Angeles Times and covered the Missouri congressional delegation for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the federal departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services for a group of trade publications. His first full-time reporting job was with the Unterrified Democrat in Linn, Missouri.
Cahn’s years as a journalist provided him the opportunity to see the inner workings of citizen groups, political organizations, business groups and other advocacy organizations as they pressed for coverage of their issues, as well as to interact regularly with diverse Californians. This has given him a specialized insight into how outreach to and campaigns addressing these groups and the general public should be structured, and how the media responds to various types of campaigns. He employs his knowledge and expertise to craft public policy strategies across a range of issues; build public affairs campaigns targeting specific audiences; implement business development plans; and develop and lead coalitions focused on diverse sets of goals in both the public and private sectors.
Since joining California Strategies, Cahn has provided media relations support and strategic communications assistance to a number of important statewide and local efforts and campaigns; participated in developing strategies for high-profile development projects and a varied set of public policy campaigns; and has written direct mail pieces, Op-Eds, social media and briefing materials in support of clients’ projects.
Cahn holds a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame, a master’s degree in English from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. He has taught introduction to journalism courses at both the University of Missouri and Orange Coast College and has taught composition and writing at the college level.
A native of Los Angeles, Cahn and his wife live on the city’s Westside.