Originally from San Diego, California, Sebastian graduated from Stanford University with a degree in public policy. His passion for social justice has led him to examine policy issues through the lens of equity. He has developed an equitable transportation policy recommendation for a Sacramento government agency and analyzed the distributional effects of a carbon tax. Sebastian has worked with his city councilmember in San Diego to address issues of poverty and social justice in his community by organizing improved relations with law enforcement, connecting small-business owners to sources of capital, and developing a research project on immigrant legal defense funds.
Field placement: Welcome Home Coalition
Sebastian completed his field work at the Welcome Home Coalition, a group of organizations in the Portland region dedicated to raising revenue so that every person in the region has a safe and affordable home. His work centered around empowering individuals with lived experiences in houselessness and housing insecurity to advocate for themselves and participate in policy decision-making. In that role he developed a network of advocates with lived experience in permanent supportive housing and working with Bienestar and the Somali Empowerment Circle to create culturally-inclusive housing advocacy trainings.
Policy placement: Center for Law and Social Policy
At CLASP, Sebastian's work traversed a variety of policy issues facing young people with low-incomes including mental health, criminal justice, and labor. He analyzed Census data documenting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the wellbeing and employment status of young people of color. Sebastian also helped conduct two evaluations of CLASP technical assistance projects by collecting interviews and analyzing survey feedback. He has written about Medicaid pathways to increase access to maternal depression treatment, the benefits of text-based mental health telehealth, and the criminal justice consequences of the president's "law & order" rhetoric.