Tessa Charnofsky currently works as Government Affairs Manager for First 5 LA, where she speaks on behalf of the agency with elected officials, their representatives, and community leaders about the importance of high quality health and educational programs for children 0-5 and their families.
Prior to joining First 5 LA in 2010, Tessa Charnofsky served as Special Assistant to Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, for whom she worked on issues involving the nonprofit, business, and environmental communities of Los Angeles. A trained social worker, Tessa began her career in the adoptions field in the early 1990’s and later focused on child abuse prevention. She ran the youth development and gang prevention programs at a non-profit in Northeast Los Angeles from 2002 through 2006. In 2007 Tessa joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s staff as West Valley Area Director. For part of that time, she concentrated on the Gang Reduction and Youth Development program, helping to implement the city’s new gang intervention/prevention program in the San Fernando Valley.
Tessa was born and raised in Los Angeles. She received a B.A. in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master’s in Social Work, with an emphasis in community organizing, from San Francisco State University. She received a second master’s degree, in Public Administration, from California State University, Northridge. Outside of work, Tessa is a board member of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters where she supports efforts to elect pro-environment candidates to elected offices in L.A. County. She studied Spanish in Mexico and Spain, and is fluent in the language.
Tessa has a 21 year old son, and lives in Glassell Park.