Lobbyist, KP Public Affairs
Vanessa Cajina is a lobbyist with KP Public Affairs, one of the largest lobbying and public affairs consulting firms in California. Vanessa has been with KP since 2012 and leads the firm’s health care practice. She has extensive experience in health care, public health, public benefits, natural resources,, and planning and local government, and has carved out a specific niche representing clients with state budget needs. She organizes and leads coalition efforts on some of the most pressing issues every legislative session, and provides in-depth policy expertise using her unique background coming from nonprofit advocacy and direct community service.
Prior to joining KP, Vanessa worked with nonprofit advocacy organizations to protect and promote critical health and human services programs, including the Western Center on Law and Poverty, the California Immigrant Policy Center, and the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. She helped enact legislation to implement the Affordable Care Act to the fullest extent of federal law, defended against cuts to Medi-Cal, and the proposed elimination of the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants and the California Food Assistance Program. Additionally, she safeguarded access to care for people enrolled in Medi-Cal during the state’s transition of seniors and persons with disabilities to managed care.
Vanessa still works closely with the California Health and Human Services Agency, the Department of Health Care Services, the California Department of Public Health, the Department of Health Care Access and Information, the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Managed Health Care on policies affecting the delivery and receipt of health care to millions of Californians and the provider who treat them. Her first job in advocacy was helping families and caregivers in Yolo County connect their children to affordable health coverage, and she is proud that California can now say it provides #Health4All.
In addition to her work at KP, Vanessa serves on the board of directors of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), which is focused on ensuring political and economic parity for Latinas through leadership, advocacy, and education. She previously served on the board of the Chicano-Latino Youth Leadership Project. She grew up in Albany, California and earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Davis, and her father fled political violence in Nicaragua as a child. Outside of work, she loves baseball and trivia, and has a very handsome cat named Malcolm.