GQHC was formed on the premise that most government relations firms in California had little resemblance to the younger and increasingly diverse makeup of today’s policymakers.
GQHC is a unique, minority and woman owned bipartisan government relations firm headquartered in Sacramento with over 60 years of collective experience in California’s legislative and regulatory arenas. We are honored to represent a wide array of more than fifty clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies, large and small trade associations, non-profit based organizations and local government interests. GQHC’s diverse and politically active clientele provide our firm broad-based access to almost every policymaker in California – regardless of their party affiliation or policy interests.
Will Gonzalez has over 15 years of legislative and political experience. In 2002 he established his firm, Gonzalez Public Affairs, which specializes in legislative advocacy on transportation, environmental, and energy issues and prides itself on its policy expertise and close bipartisan relationships. The firm has achieved significant legislative victories for its clients including securing millions in state transportation funding, helping pass sweeping renewable energy laws, and spearheading efforts to reform state procurement.
Prior to starting Gonzalez Public Affairs, Will Gonzalez served as legislative director to Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg who was recently elected as the Senate Pro Tem. As Legislative Director, Will helped secure over $180 million in state funding for CNG transit buses and for innovative air quality programs aimed at helping the Sacramento region meet its conformity requirements. Will also served as Consultant to the Assembly Labor Committee and the Native American Repatriation Select Committee.
Upon leaving the legislature, Mr. Gonzalez joined Ford Motor Company where he lobbied on behalf of the company and the Alliance of Automobile Manufactures in California and twelve other western states. Mr. Gonzalez is credited with securing state grants and tax incentives for electric and alternative fuel vehicles worth over $140 million. He provided political communications services to Ford in response to the Explorer-Firestone crises, the costliest vehicle recall in company history.
David Quintana’s professional history spans over 15 years in and around the Capitol. With extensive expertise in a wide range of issue areas, Mr. Quintana provides clients with strategy development, policy analysis, relationship-building, campaign consulting, and unparalleled direct lobbying services. Mr. Quintana's reach extends into numerous sectors, including high-tech/social media, finance, energy, education, and gaming.
With a comprehensive understanding of both politics and policy, Mr. Quintana adopts effective strategies to meet each client’s needs. The focus is not only on immediate results, but also on establishing lasting relationships to achieve the client’s long-term goals. Mr. Quintana is able to use his political knowledge and connections to deliver for each of his diverse clients, who cover a wide range of issues. Whenever there is a big fight brewing in the political arena, David Quintana is brought in to generate results.
In 2016, for the seventh year in a row, Capitol Weekly named Mr. Quintana one of the Capitol’s Top 100 "Major Players" in their annual list. In December of 2016 he was also featured in Sacramento Magazine as one of the key players in state politics. In September of 2015, Mr. Quintana was a featured speaker on the Politics versus Policy Panel for the 2015 Health Care Conference. Mr. Quintana was also a featured speaker in October of 2012, for the Leadership California Institute’s Candidate Forum 2012, where he advised incoming legislative candidates on politics and lobbying as part of the Sacramento Decision Makers panel. In addition, Mr. Quintana was featured on Comcast NewsMakers in November of 2012 to discuss internet gambling in California. Local and national news organizations frequently turn to Mr. Quintana for his opinions and perspectives on politics and policy in California. Quoted and used as a resource by every major news source on the West Coast, David Quintana is a highly sought-after voice on the inner-workings and battles in Sacramento.
A veteran of lobbying and managing the state’s legislative and regulatory landscape, Delaney Hunter’s background includes more than 20 years of experience in political and governmental work in the state. Ms. Hunter is a leading expert in the energy arena with extensive experience working not only in the Legislature but also with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Resources Board (CARB) and in the transit and transportation arena as well.
She began her political career in 1993 in the office of Senator Bill Leonard, staffing the Senator on energy and transportation related issues. She served as the sole Senate Republican staff to the historic conference committee on AB 1890 (Brulte) which restructured California’s energy industry and worked in concert with district staff on the completion of State Route 30 (now 210) and the completion of the Caltran’s District 8 headquarters in San Bernardino.
After five years with Leonard – spanning his time in the Senate and as Assembly Republican Leader – Ms. Hunter served as Legislative Director for the lobbying firm of Smith & Kempton/Smith, Kempton & Watts/Smith, Watts & Company (now known as Smith, Watts & Martinez, LLC). During her six year tenure with the firm she focused on energy, air quality, local government, transit and transportation related issues, working with over 20 different private sector and public agency clients and she assisted the firm’s clients with countless pieces of legislation ranging from transportation and transit funding to the fallout from California’s energy crisis.
In March 2005, she was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as the Director, Office of Governmental Affairs for the California Public Utilities Commission. In this capacity she was responsible for managing the Commission’s legislative agenda and political negotiations on key policies relative to energy, telecommunications, water, rail safety and other transportation related issues. Here she gained strong knowledge of investor owned utility issues both on energy as well as water. She oversaw the confirmation process for four of the Commissioners and played a key role in budget negotiations for the agency during her tenure.
Prior to co-founding GQHC, Ms. Hunter also served as a Principal with the Dewey Square Group for three years, launching their California lobbying practice and helping to expand the energy practice.
Ms. Hunter currently serves as a member of the advisory board to the Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and also on the board of California Women in Energy, a non-profit organization focused on providing career development, networking and educational opportunities for women professionals in energy.
Steve Cruz joined GQHC and has since helped establish the firm’s growth into one of California’s top lobbying firms. He brings more than 20 years of legislative and political experience having worked on behalf of a multitude of interests, both public and private, before the California State Legislature and various state agencies. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies, national retailers, homebuilders, local governments, renewable energy firms, professional trade associations and non-profits.
Mr. Cruz possesses a broad range of policy experience and is well respected in the Capitol for his advocacy work on behalf of real estate development interests, in the areas of infrastructure, housing, construction, finance, water, environmental resources, and land use. He currently represents one of the largest public water agencies in California and possesses deep understanding of California water law and politics. For nearly a decade, Mr. Cruz has advocated for the homebuilding industry and previously served as an in-house lobbyist for the California Building Industry Association. In this capacity, he successfully represents California homebuilders on array of land use and housing policy. Mr. Cruz also owned and operated a real estate development company where he acquired and sold a significant number of properties, and he successfully managed development projects through the entitlements and construction process. Through these endeavors, Mr. Cruz has developed a keen understanding for how business interacts with government and public policy. Additionally, he continues to represent homebuilders and other industries at the local level across Northern California.
Before his lobbying career, Mr. Cruz worked in the administration of Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr., where he served as the Chief State Legislative Advocate for the City and County of San Francisco. He advanced an ambitious legislative and regulatory agenda and utilized his vast knowledge of policymaking and state budget process to secure state funding for vital programs and services.
Mr. Cruz began his career in the California State Legislature with the Honorable Hilda L. Solis, a former State Senator and U.S. Labor Secretary. In this role, he advised the Senator on critical public policy matters in the areas of labor and employment, education and public safety.
Melanie is a Legislative Advocate at GQHC. She covers a wide breadth of policy arenas for her clients, including cannabis, banking and finance, education, health, technology, tribal issues, and special interest groups. Melanie is a lead advocate for the California Cannabis Manufacturers Association and represents cannabis industry clients at local and state governments in addition to regulatory agencies. She has been involved in numerous high-profile political fights, both sponsoring priority legislation for clients as well as working to defeat problematic proposals.
Prior to joining GQHC, Melanie served as a legislative aide in the California State Legislature. She staffed an array of bills, committees, and policy areas, not limited to the Governor’s Military Council, aerospace and military defense, public safety, aging and long-term care, arts and entertainment, education, and finance. While at the Capitol, Melanie was also instrumental in orchestrating California Aerospace Week for three years and was responsible for implementing a STEM education program in K12 schools throughout the Antelope Valley via the Microsoft Corporation.
Prior to working in the Capitol, Melanie worked in the media industry for six years and served as Editor to Dandelion Magazine, which caters to families living with special needs. During her tenure with the magazine, Dandelion won several prestigious PMA awards, including top place for Overall Writing.
Melanie graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism and marketing. She worked on the local newspaper and news website as a staff writer and multimedia producer, and was a member of the co-ed cheerleading team. For over five years she volunteered as a coach for youth cheerleading squads, and then served as the head coach of teams at the high school and competition levels. Melanie spent four years dancing professionally, including two years with the Oakland Raiderettes, an internationally recognized public relations team, where she had the opportunity to participate in charity events, community workshops, and media appearances on the local, national, and international level.
Melanie’s well-rounded work history has allowed her not only to seamlessly adapt to a diverse and evolving political landscape, but also to quickly establish herself as a respected and effective lobbyist in California.
Matt Klopfenstein is the Legislative and Legal Advisor at Gonzalez, Quintana, Hunter & Cruz, LLC. As a registered lobbyist, he assists the GQHC team on issues regarding energy, water, transportation, high-tech, and local government. He actively tracks legislation and regulatory proceedings and advocates on behalf of GQHC's clients.
Before joining GQHC, Mr. Klopfenstein worked as a law clerk representing local government agencies. He also managed the successful campaign of a candidate running for a position on the El Dorado Union High School District Board. He formerly interned for a Superior Court Judge in Solano County and is active in Sacramento’s legal community. He obtained a J.D. degree and the Capitol Certificate in Public Law & Policy from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, where he graduated Order of the Coif with great distinction. He received a B.A. degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara where he majored in English and was President of his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega.
Stacey Brenner brings more than 15 years of political, land use, and campaign experience. Stacey is the Director of the Southern California office. With her experience, Stacey learned that the development process, the environment and the political angle are delicately intertwined.
She began her career working for private engineering and architecture firms on CEQA documents for government clients. During this time, she was hired to serve as the San Fernando Valley CEQA project manager of new construction for LAUSD schools; performed water and soil sampling; traveled the country to "showcase" CEQA to states with similar policies; and earned her 40 hour Hazwopper certificate in order to have clearance on Super Fund sites. She has authored more than 15 environmental and CEQA related documents, ranging from Desalination EIRs, Caltrans PSAs, and Phase I reports. Stacey has also served as Project Manager for developers, where she assembled project specifics and worked closely with the development team. Under her direction, Stacey successfully built 10 shopping centers and managed 18 at various construction, entitlement and design stages.
At the time Stacey desired a return to politics, she had a fortuitous encounter, where she was able to jump back into politics, assuming the position of Campaign Manager for Assemblyman Mike Gatto. Stacey assumed the position of District Director for the Assemblyman, until recently, when she returned back to her land use roots.
Stacey offers her land use and development expertise, political and campaign know-how, and government understanding to our clients.
Jacob Moss is a Legislative Advocate at Gonzalez, Quintana, Hunter & Cruz, LLC. As a registered lobbyist, Jacob assists the firm’s clientele with a special focus on energy, environmental issues, and regulatory policy matters at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Resources Board (CARB).
Prior to joining the firm, Jacob worked for Senators Mark Leno and Tony Mendoza staffing Senate Labor and Industrial Relations, Senate Judiciary, and Senate Business & Professions committees. Always seeking to expanded his knowledge base, Jacob has managed the policy areas of Energy, Utilities and Communications; Education; Business, Professions and Economic Development; Governmental Organization; Indian Gaming; Insurance; Animal Welfare; Public Safety and Crime; Banking and Financial Institutions; Governmental Organizations; Civil Rights; Aging and Seniors; Environmental Quality; and International Relations.
While working for Senator Leno, the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Jacob developed an expertise in the budget process. He was instrumental in the development, negotiation, and passage of numerous items in both budget and trailer bills. Most notable among these items was the designation of funding to study the impacts of harmful pesticides on bees and other pollinators, increased funding to ease the enrollment crisis facing City College of San Francisco, and the creation of a program at both CARB and CEC to model the out-of-state infrastructure and measure the leakage of natural gas imported into California.
In addition to his time in the Capitol, Jacob has owned and operated for the past 14 years an electrical and general contracting company with a partially-seasonal staff of up to 50 full-time and part-time employees and subcontractors. Jacob has designed and installed residential and commercial photovoltaic solar systems, consulted for a Silicon Valley startup on the development of a dimmable high intensity discharge lighting ballast with on-board intelligent control, coordinated and implemented projects with various local utilities including SMUD, PG&E, and Roseville Electric, commissioned electrical and lighting systems designed by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited architects and engineers, is a certified Lutron building automation systems designer, and is an LED lighting specialist.
Jacob’s small business experience gives him a unique appreciation for the challenges facing the firm’s clientele as they attempt to navigate the myriad issues facing businesses small and large in California’s tough regulatory environment.
Caity Maple is a Legislative Advocate for Gonzalez, Quintana, Hunter & Cruz, LLC. Prior to joining GQHC, she served as a Project Manager for California Forward, working primarily on elections and political reform issues. In addition to managing projects, she was also responsible for writing media content, conducting research, and tracking legislation. Before her time at California Forward, Caity worked for the California State Legislature.
In her spare time, she is a gubernatorial appointee to the 52nd District Agricultural Association, County Board of Directors, steering committee member for the University of California Center, Sacramento and member of several clubs and community organizations. She holds a degree in Psychology from the University of California, Davis.
Anna Alvarado joined Gonzalez, Quintana, Hunter & Cruz, LLC in 2017 as a Legislative Advocate and brings with her 5 years of legislative experience.
Before leaving the Capitol, Anna served as a policy analyst for Senator Jim Beall. She staffed numerous bills, committees, and policy areas; including women’s rights, K-12 and higher education, animals, Latino community issues, immigration, veterans, transportation, environment, and human services. Anna also worked diligently to ensure the passage of a state audit request relating to mental health services in schools, spearheaded a coalition of district leaders and state departments to secure over $30 million dollars in Career Technical Education funding, and successfully negotiated the passage and Governor’s signature on many diverse bills.
Prior to working for the Legislature, Anna worked for a robust congressional campaign in the central valley. She served as the Latino outreach coordinator and assisted in managing fundraising operations. Anna was able to organize events for 100+ Latino community members and also provide Spanish translation for all campaign materials.
Anna graduated from the California State University of Fresno with two bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Chicano studies. There, she volunteered her time advocating against domestic violence as a member of Sigma Alpha Zeta Multicultural Sorority Inc., a non-profit student organization. Upon graduating, she returned to her hometown of San Jose where she became a 5th grade after-school teacher at her former elementary school. Anna continues to support her alma mater and her community in San Jose.
GQHC utilizes a distinctive, team-driven philosophy in which every team member understands the needs of each client and can utilize their own unique relationships to achieve our clients’ goals. This approach allows the GQHC team to draw on their diverse policy and bipartisan backgrounds to achieve success for those we represent in and around California. Our clients can attest GQHC is strategic and innovative in our approach – and we tell our clients what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear.
LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACYUtilizing experience, relationships, and knowledge of the process, we advocate on behalf our clientele directly with members of the Legislature and the Administration. We actively monitor and research legislation in the context of existing laws and regulations in order to identify and track issues that impact our clients. In addition, we provide clients with comprehensive legislative drafting services including writing of new legislation or amending pending bills. In order to effectively educate legislators and key decision-makers, we draft well-crafted campaign communications, including position papers summarizing the client’s position as well as any testimony to be presented before legislative bodies. Lastly, we advise clients on any occurrences or trends that are likely to result in legislative activity in order to develop long-term strategies.
POLITICAL CONSULTINGGQHC is highly skilled at advising clients on how best to engage in the political realm. Our partners have a wide network of consultants – campaign consultants, fundraisers, direct mail houses, media specialists – and the knowledge to assemble the right team and the right strategy for any type of political activity our clients need.
STRATEGIC COUNSELDeveloping a strategy – whether legislative, administrative or regulatory – is job one in policymaking and in politics. Sometimes a strategy might be as simple as who to talk to first, when to engage or who might be the best to convey a message but it also involves developing the tenor of outreach, determining the appropriateness of coalitions and analyzing every angle of a situation to determine a clear path forward. Bottom line – strategy matters. And there is no firm better to develop that strategy than GQHC.
REGULATORY ADVOCACYAT GQHC we are keenly aware that policy making doesn’t end with the signing of a bill and that how policy is implemented by state agencies is just as critical to the success of our clients. Tapping into our deep knowledge of specific policy areas – energy, water, land use, financial services to name a few – we work within a wide range of state regulatory processes to advocate on behalf of our clients. We directly monitor and track proceedings of interest and engage as necessary and appropriate within those proceedings to ensure our client’s the maximum level of success.
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Sacramento, CA 95814