Creston Whiting-Casey
Principal Clerk, Assembly Daily File, California State Assembly

Profile
  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you work? What do you do for fun? 
    I grew up in the City of Pacific Grove in the Monterey Bay area and went to Sacramento State for college in 2006. I graduated in 2011 with two bachelor’s degrees, one in government and one in psychology. In 2015, I attained a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration. I currently work for the California State Assembly in the Chief Clerk’s Office as a Principal Manager at the Assembly Desk. My main responsibility is to produce the Assembly Daily File publication, which is the master agenda for the entire Assembly. For fun, I love intramural sports, participating in community service events, watching movies, and playing video games.
     
  2. What motivated you to join United Way’s Young Leaders Society?
    My main motivation for joining YLS was to get more involved in United Way’s spectacular philanthropies and volunteer events. From their Christmas gift-wrapping event for foster youth to breaking ground at Bell Avenue Elementary for a school garden, I always feel like I am making a very positive impact on my community.
     
  3. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received.
    The greatest gift we have is our ability to choose how we think. Since our thoughts define our reality, you can decide which type of reality you want to have. By choosing a positive thought over a negative one, you will improve not only your life, but also the lives around you.
     
  4. What would you say to other young professionals looking to get involved in the community?
    You have to actively seek volunteer opportunities and step out of your comfort zone.
     
  5. If you could change one thing about our community, what would it be and why?
    I believe that in some respects, the Sacramento community is divided. This division can be apparent across social, religious, cultural, ethnic, political, and income bounds. Most neighborhoods I have lived in are very diverse, which I think is amazing and one of the best strengths of Sacramento. However, I am not sure that these communities are experiencing enough outreach between one another to share commonality as a “Sacramentan”. I have unfortunately seen that different groups of people tend to become more siloed within communities they identify as. I believe that having cross-cultural events that bring neighbors together for common goals, philanthropic causes, and for family fun will make Sacramento a happier place to live and for the lines of division to be broken down. I hope one day, Sacramento can be the best example for the world that people who are completely different in every imaginable way can come together to live happily, peacefully, and prosperously.
     
  6. Favorite Book and TV Show:
    Lost Stars from Claudia Gray and The Walking Dead (love and hate relationship for that one!)
     
  7. Little known fact:
    I have a deeply rooted, absolutely insatiable, kinda-sorta crazy mouthwatering love for pickles.
My proudest moment in YLS was the time I was able to spend volunteering during the 2017 Day of Caring event. If anyone knows me, they know I LOVE volunteering at philanthropic or charity events. When I saw that United Way was helping organize and promote over 15 individual volunteer events, I tried to do as many as I could. On the first day, I helped United Way set up in the morning, then went to a project at WEAVE, and then came back to Cal Expo to help United Way staff with the Stuff the Bus event. The next day however on Saturday, I participated in a volunteer event I will never forget. We were helping HCI hand-deliver food, water, hygiene products, and other useful items for homeless people in the North C Street area by Loaves and Fishes. I will admit I was nervous at first because we were supposed to travel in groups or with a partner. Still, I was sort of the odd man out as everyone knew each other, and I also was a little tired as it was an early morning project, so I didn’t feel like being extra sociable with people. Thus, walking by myself in this area, I found the courage to go outside of my comfort zone and approached homeless individuals to speak with them and give them items. You never really know how tough or bad an issue is until you see it with your own eyes. Although I have seen homeless individuals all the time in downtown Sacramento, seeing hundreds upon hundreds of homeless people all in the same area not only shocked me but made me instantly realize that is a crisis facing Sacramento. There were many moments that made me feel heartbroken, such as a mother walking around with her 2-3-year-old son or a man camping near an area completely surrounded by feces, there were uplifting moments, such as homeless people getting a water bottle from me, but would walk over to give it to someone who needed it more. Overall, when the experience was over, I felt like the work we did didn’t make a huge impact in the grander scheme of things. This was the first time I have left a volunteer event without a sense of completion, solvency, and fulfillment.  It would feel like if you were tasked to collect all of the sand at the beach… no matter how much work you did you wouldn’t even make a dent in getting all the sand. However, when I thought of it in terms of the impact we made that day in the little fleeting moments, that being, the quick conversations, and the human interactions, I knew for at least those moments, someone experienced some relief, good, and love; which reminded us all what life and humanity is truly all about.