Volume III, Issue 3 - March 2002
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US...
Yes, Dear Reader, the CCRL website is a year old!
We hope the site and our regular CalRegions newsletter has been as useful to you as it has been fun and interesting for us to produce. We've had a massive visitation over the year, with an average of 100,000 monthly "hits" and 3,500 monthly "visitors." Most important to us, is that the visitors have wandered all over the site and stayed an average of seven minutes with us. For those of you who know about these sorts of things, that's almost moving in! And thank you to those of you who've offered your suggestions for improving the site.
Now on to Year 2: with a Major Website Update!
New Content and New Features
- On the CalRegions splash page you will find a direct link to a "virtual tour" of the 2002 Civic Entrepreneur Summit with highlights of this year's event, a full electronic version of the Summit briefing book, and a link to view the CE Summit Electronic Evaluation Survey results. A list of the workshops and peer-to-peer sessions is included along with contact information to obtain digests from the various sessions.
- Through the CRI Network side of the splash page (renamed from "Civic Navigator") you can find brand new material on the 21 CRIs, and of course links to all those who have websites.
- On the calregions.urbaninsight.com splash page is a link to the final report of the Speaker's Commission on Regionalism (SCOR), and easy access to the SCOR home page at www.regionalism.org.
- A new feature is the "SCOR Card," a regular update on implementation of the Speaker's Commission recommendations and activities. SCOR Card #1 is included fully in this Special Bulletin, below.
- In an effort to keep our site timely and informative, we are also now adding weekly news and report updates to the CCRL home page. Come see us regularly!
- And, we've updated other portions of the CCRL site to make it user-friendly including a new page listing all current CCRL staff members.
Our Philosophy and Next Steps
CCRL views electronic communications as a quick, efficient and effective way to keep the flow of information and channels of communication open with our regional CRI partners and colleagues in the state, regional and local public sector. CCRL plans to take additional steps throughout the course of the next year to take calregions.org to the next level in web-based communications. We hope that you will visit the new changes at calregions.urbaninsight.com, and we welcome your suggestions for news and information you would like to see on the site.
Please email ideas and comments to Renee Hild at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCOR CARD #1
A Report on Implementation of the Recommendations of the
Speaker's Commission on Regionalism
March 12 2002
And now for the hard part...
Report rollout at the Civic Entrepreneur Summit, January 13. A group of Commissioners presented the Final Report, "The New California Dream: Regional Solutions for 21st Century Challenges," to Speaker (now Emeritus) Bob Hertzberg, in front of an audience of nearly 200 civic and business leaders from 20 California regions in attendance at the CCRL Annual Summit. The Commissioners made a compelling presentation of the SCOR work and its recommendations:
"After 14 months of study, Commission outreach meetings in 8 regions across the state, 100 presentations, and 15 newly commissioned research papers, the SCOR Report recommends more than a hundred policy reforms across a wide variety of challenges: the economy, workforce, social equity, state-local finance reform, growth, schools, the environment, regional collaboration, state government reform, and building a new regional civic culture."
In response, the Speaker pledged his support of the recommendations. The Speaker included a four-page letter in the Report itself indicating those recommendations that are especially noteworthy and in his remarks at the Summit pledged to move the Report's recommendations into legislative action. He also announced that the new Speaker, Herb Wesson, has agreed that the Commission will continue as a Speaker's Commission through the end of this year, in order to further educate and inform policymakers and the general public about regional solutions, and that Assemblymember Hertzberg would be liaison to the Commission. It is not intended that the Commission convene during this period, but be available if necessary and communicate primarily through email.
The Final Report. A near-final version of the "The New California Dream" was printed in a Special Edition and distributed at the Summit. With only minor additional edits, the Final Report is available on-line at www.regionalism.org, for those who wish to download it, or to refer others. The Speaker Emeritus' office will distribute multiple printed copies to every Commissioner within a few days. We do not have an official Executive Summary of the Final Report, but fortunately the California Institute for County Government asked Chair Nick Bollman to write an essay for its journal series, and that publication can function as an Executive Summary. Copies of the CICG essay are available on-line at www.cicg.org, www.regionalism.org and calregions.urbaninsight.com.
Press outreach. There has not been a press outreach effort for the Report from the Assemblymember Hertzberg's office, whose press staff has turned over in the transition out of the Speaker's office. Nevertheless, there have been references to the Report by a few journalists (posted at the website when we learn of them, and we hope folks will let us know if they come across others).
Report Presentations. Chair Nick Bollman has made nine presentations at forums and retreats across the state, with several more in the offing. Commission members have also presented the Report to conferences and in other settings. Invitations to present the Report are welcome.
Legislation. The Speaker Emeritus' staff has compiled a preliminary list of more than a dozen pieces of legislation that are consistent with the Commission's recommendations, including a number of bills that Bob Hertzberg himself has introduced. These bills cover regional governance, state-local finance, schools and communities, jobs-housing balance and other smart growth measures, workforce investment, regional economic development and state agency regional re-alignment of its sub-state structures. If you would like further information on any or all of these, please be in touch with Christopher Carlisle at email@example.com.
We are aware of progress on the Commission's recommendations in the following areas (the Commission ought not to claim credit for any of them, because there are many proud parents of these advances--but let's say we think we helped):
- California Economic Strategy Panel. The Governor has made sufficient appointments for the Panel to have a quorum, and it will meet for the first time in three years on April 11. See also SB1792 and SB1810 (both Vasconcellos bills) that would strengthen the Panel and hold it more accountable.
- Cabinet level workforce agency. The Governor has proposed such an agency and his proposal is under review by the Little Hoover Commission.
- Role of the Workforce Investment Board. At its February Retreat the Board committed to developing a strategic plan that will enable it to advance a comprehensive, integrated regionally sensitive workforce investment policy. See also AB2927 (Wiggins) that brings the Board's governing statute up to date.
- Fiscal reform: protection of local revenues. AB1865 (Canciamilla) and AB2100 (Simitian) limit the ERAF shift. SB1509 (Dunn) ties such protection to housing element compliance.
- Fiscal reform: regional tax sharing. AB 680 was debated and amended in a manner that made it more comprehensive, and it passed out of the State Assembly, by one vote. Among other amendments: protection of localities against a property tax shift and creation of a regional lands conservancy. See also AB 1939 (Daucher).
- Fiscal reform: sales tax-property tax swap. Assemblymember Wiggins has introduced FARE (AB2878), which would swap county property taxes for local sales taxes, intended to change the fiscal signals to produce more housing and reduce competition for big-box retail.
- Schools and communities. The Conference Committee on the school bond measure (AB16, Hertzberg)) appears to have agreed to a $100 million "carve-out" that would incentivize joint use and other collaborations for siting and operating "schools as centers of communities." AB2588 (Hertzberg) would define the intended use of these leverage funds.
- Collaborative regional planning. SB1521 (Kuehl) requires comprehensive regional plans and provides state grant incentives for adoption and implementation of model zoning ordinances based on smart growth principles.
- Jobs-housing balance. See SB1634 (Figueroa) proposes to improve the process for achieving jobs-housing balance within a region.
- Regional governance. Assemblymember Kehoe and Senator Peace have introduced AB2095/SB1703, which would create a voluntary collaborative regional planning agency for San Diego county. Though the debate is far from finished, the differences among the parties has narrowed considerably in this historic effort to create a "regional compact."
Finally, and not insubstantially, the Report of the Governor's Commission on Building for the 21st Century has now been released, and is available at www.bth.ca.gov/invest4ca/. The principles and recommendations of the SCOR Report and the Infrastructure Commission Report are in substantial alignment.
To all the friends of SCOR: thank you very much for your feedback and encouragement on the Final Report, and for your help in moving these ideas forward.
And to The James Irvine Foundation, thank you for your special grant support for the Speaker's Commission. We couldn't have done it without you!
Chair, Speaker's Commission on Regionalism
President, California Center for Regional Leadership