Our Team

Our Team

Catherine Barankin



Catherine has been the Executive Director of the California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health (CCCSH) since 1993. In that capacity she has been directly involved in the development of California’s bicycle helmet safety law, Pool Safety Act, safety seat and booster seat laws, crib safety, Kids Plates funding program, and many other childhood safety policies. As CCCSH’s Executive Director and as a professional legislative advocate for more than 40 years, she has also supported a wide range of well known organizations with their state policy and organizational structure issues including the California Collaboration for Youth, College Living Experience, California YMCAs, and many other children, youth and family organizations. 

Not only is Catherine the lead administrator overseeing the California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health, she has a long history of supporting local and statewide coalition development programs focused on protecting children from child abuse, supporting children’s safety, youth education opportunities and women’s health and education programs. 

Catherine is the founder of the advocacy and lobbying firm, Sacramento Advocacy, in business since 1977.  She has received numerous awards and Governors’ appointments to advisory councils and commissions due to her advocacy work. She is a frequent guest speaker at health and safety conferences and public policy workshops. She has also been a columnist for the Sacramento Bee.

In addition to representing the interests of the CCCSH before the Legislature and state agencies, Catherine conducts advocacy trainings, and along with her husband, Dr. Joseph Barankin, is the author of "The Advocacy Handbook".

Ms. Barankin's background prior to lobbying included serving as the Director of Public Relations for Southern California College, Assistant Editor of Forum 50 magazine and television news reporting for Channel 50 in Southern California. While attending Orange Coast College Catherine majored in speech and communications and was awarded the Bell Scroggins Award as the "Most Outstanding Woman Debater in the Nation". She was selected as the college’s commencement speaker and was the recipient of the Alumni Hall of Fame award from her outstanding legislative accomplishments.

Catherine’s volunteer activities include membership on the Board of Directors of the YMCA Youth and Government program, and on the Wing Institute Board. She also was a founding board member of the Sacramento Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a program which represents dependent children in the juvenile court system.

Steve Barrow


Steve Barrow is the Program Director of the California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health (CCCSH), and Advocates for Health Economics and Development (AHEAD), a Policy Program of CCCSH. He also serves as the Project Director and is one of the Co-Chairs of the California Unintentional Injury Prevention Strategic Plan Project, which is housed under CCCSH. The primary focus of CCCSH is to advance best practice policies, programs and resources, to help improve children’s health and safety in California. The CA Unintentional Injury Prevention Strategic Plan Project’s primary focus is to end unintentional injury’s reign as the leading cause of death and hospitalization of California’s children and youth.

The AHEAD program’s primary focus is the health and economic conditions of people living in rural and urban underserved communities of California. Focusing on Steve’s knowledge of rural health in California, Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to serve as a state Commissioner on California’s Emergency Medical Services Commission.

Steve has worked for over 34 years in the health and human service arena in California, primarily with a focus on policy development, systems change, and building state and local policy and issue-based coalitions and collaboratives. During this time Steve has served on the Board of Directors and as the director of governmental affairs for a variety of organizations, including: California State Rural Health Association, California Common Cause, University of San Diego’s Children’s Advocacy Institute and Center for Public Interest Law, CA Budget Project, California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health, California Immunization Coalition, California Children’s Advocates Roundtable, California Adolescent Health, California Dental Health Foundation’s Advisory Committee, California Telehealth Network, and Prevent Child Abuse California.

Over the last 30+ years Steve has been involved in a number of landmark and successful policy and legislative efforts involving many of California’s laws focused on preventing unintentional injury, expanding telehealth in California, advancing infectious disease prevention and vaccine policies, reforming the Medical Board of California, reforming California’s child care health and safety licensing system, improving California’s child abuse prevention investigative laws. He has served on a number of other state agency advisory boards, most recently the California Workforce Investment Board’s Healthcare Workforce Development Council, OSHPD’s on-line Clearing House on healthcare workforce Advisory Board, OSHPD’s Career Pathway Mental Health Occupation Subcommittee. He is also experienced working with organizations utilizing California’s legal system to advance health and safety for children, and was the plaintiff in the Children’s Advocacy Institute’s two successful cases -- Barrow vs. CDHS in 1996, requiring all playgrounds in California to be based on new safety regulations, and recently Barrow vs. Chapman/CDPH in 2014, reforming the Kids Plate funding program for unintentional injury prevention.

As one of the state Commissioners on the California EMS Commission, he supports California’s Emergency Medical Services Authority agency in carrying out its responsibilities to oversee California’s emergency medical services involving California’s trauma centers, paramedic and EMT training, licensure and discipline, EMS for children, pre-hospital emergency transportation, EMS disaster planning, poison control system, and school bus and child care health and safety training and CPR training..

Steve has served in the foundation world as a senior Program Officer for Sierra Health Foundation from 1996-1999 overseeing the Foundation’s “Community Partnership for Healthy Children” initiative, with community collaborations in 26 northern California inland counties.

He is also a grant writer, strategic planner and facilitator consultant.

Steve is married to Guillermina (Alexis) Esparza, has six children. Alexis and Steve live in Antelope California with their three young boys. His other adult children live nearby in northern California. Over his life Steve has had a wide range of other work experiences ranging from logging to being an EMT II paramedic, and in the 1970s as an advocate and support staff for University of California at Davis’ program for accessibility rights and services for persons with disabilities. He has been a soccer coach for more than 20 years, coaching more than 45 teams and more than 600 children and youth, and is a Regional Referee and Intermediate Referee Candidate.

For more background information on Steve Barrow send an email to scbarrow88@gmail.com

Gerry Root


Mr. Gerald Edward Root (Gerry) is currently Assistant Program Director for the  California Coalition For Children’s Safety and Health (CCCSH), a 501(c)3 non-profit, public-benefit agency since 1993. The purpose of this organization is to identify and mitigate the leading causes of unintentional injury for children and youth through age 19 years of age, helping to coordinate this goal with various public and private agencies and individuals across the State of California. Prevention initiatives addressing such issues as drownings, poisonings, bicycle and automobile safety, infant safe sleep as identified in an annual strategic planning process by all stakeholders. Partially funded through the voluntary purchase of license plates by the California Department of Motor Vehicles - Kids Plates, with support of participating sponsors including Children's Hospitals, private foundations, county level departments of Public Health, and in partnership with the California Department of Public Health - Injury and Violence Prevention Branch. Gerry has provided administrative and technical support for CCCSH over the last four years.

Gerry brings strategic planning, resource development, project evaluation, and communications experience to the project. Mr. Root received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (CSU, Sonoma) and a Master of Arts in Social Science (CSU, Chico). Post-graduate studies include Primary Prevention

(University of Oregon - Wallace School of Human Services), Multi-Cultural Communication Studies

(Sac State), and the Organization and Leadership Program (School of Education USF).

Grants development experience came as part of an administrative internship with the Northeastern CA Higher Education Council, a consortium of community colleges, California State University, Chico and the University of California, Davis. Gerry conducted the evaluation of The Rural Adult Education Outreach Project. Mr. Root provided grant proposal writing assistance to faculty through the Graduate Office.

Gerry was founding Manager of Do-It Leisure Cooperative, a 501(c)3 that provides therapeutic recreation, normalization and socialization programs for the disabled of all ages in Butte County, California. Services are provided through partnerships between the agency, university and community.

Mr. Root served as Executive Director of the Voluntary Action Center of South Lake Tahoe. Programs included Meals-on-Wheels, Free Legal Clinic, Lawyer Referral Service and Court Alternative Sentencing, Emergency Food, and Information & Referral Service under contract with the City of South Lake Tahoe. Staff, Board and volunteers team up to serve the community’s neediest.

Gerry taught classes for the Butte Community College District at community-based programs for developmentally disabled and traumatic brain injured adults. Mr. Root was hired as Development Director for the Work Training Center for the Handicapped, a 501(c)3 non-profit. Responsibilities included fundraising and planning. Gerry was project manager for construction of a 12,000 sq. ft. day-training facility in Paradise, CA. Gerry was founding Executive Director of the North Valley Rehabilitation Foundation, a nonprofit resource development corporation in support of the Work Training Center.

The Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento hired Gerry as the Community Liaison/Grants Developer for the Juvenile Court. He led outreach and resource development assistance to community-based organizations, and participated in collaboratives for the prevention of delinquency and family violence. Mr. Root was lead staff on the planning and implementation of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. Gerry facilitated the Disproportionate Minority Confinement Research Committee for Sacramento County’s Criminal Justice Cabinet. Gerry served Sacramento Superior Court as Director of Planning & Operational Support and as Public Information Officer. Gerry was lead staff on the Community-Focused Court Strategic Planning Project, Self-Represented Litigants Planning Project, Drug Court Planning Grant, and other community collaborative efforts to improve access to justice for all.  Gerry is a recipient of The Ralph N. Kelps Award from California’s Chief Justice for leadership in the community collaborative: Annual Multi-Cultural Family Violence Prevention Conference.

Mr. Root has volunteered in service to our country in the U.S. Army - stationed in South Korea as an Administrative Specialist, the local community on the Community Action Agency of Butte County, Advisory Board of Directors for the Sunrise Parks and Recreation District of Sacramento County, and the Natural Resources Volunteer Program of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Gerry lives in Antelope California, is father and grandfather for two children and two grandchildren.

For further information please email: rootge@gmail.com