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CCRL California Center for Regional Leadership
Connecting California's Regions to the State and Each Other

200 Pine St., Ste. 400
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone (415) 445-8975
Fax (415) 445-8974

CalRegions Email Newsletters Archive

Volume III, Issue 7 - October, 2002



I. California's Collaborative Regional Initiatives-Preface to the Future
"A movement comes of age"-CCRL President Nick Bollman.
II. Collaborative Regional Initiative Executive Leadership Forum-Moving Forward
CCRL convened the first-ever CRI Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) on October 1, 2002 at the LA Economic Development Corporation.
III. Regional News & Information
The latest news and information from California's CRIs and other CCRL strategic regional partners.

I. California's Collaborative Regional Initiatives-Preface to the Future

A little over nine years ago, I was invited to join the staff of The James Irvine Foundation to develop a new grantmaking portfolio in what we then called "sustainable development," and which in 1995 formally became the Sustainable Communities program. Little did I or Dennis Collins and the Irvine Board realize what an extraordinary opportunity lay ahead of us.

Everyone at the time complained that California lacked for leadership. So we went looking for leaders, and found them. We call them, alternatively, civic entrepreneurs or regional stewards. Simply put, these are people who care enough about the future of the places in which they live and work to solve challenges, and to make better places for today's children and for generations to come.

Everyone at the time complained that old organizational styles and ideological divides were preventing resolution of the big issues of the day (the economy, quality of life, poverty). So we went looking for new organizations, and found them. We call them collaborative regional initiatives (CRIs), an arcane term, but one which nevertheless captures a new organizational idea. CRIs share responsibility for their regions' futures--leaving aside hierarchy for performance; favoring vision over status; taking responsibility instead of blaming others; and collaborating across business, community, and government divides. A new permanent civic capacity was emerging across the state.

Everyone at the time complained that the state of California had lost its edge, was too big and too diverse and too cynical to be governed adequately. So we went looking for a new governance model, and we found it. With leadership from Bob Hertzberg and a talented membership of the Speaker's Commission on Regionalism, we discovered that what were thought to be flaws are really advantages: our cultural diversity is a great asset in an increasingly global economy; our diverse regional economies enable the state as a whole to weather adverse economic conditions better than many others; our urbanization and protected natural resources, properly planned for the future, provide the quality of life that other places can only dream of, or visit. Our large number and diverse array of government institutions, if only they collaborated more effectively within the public sector and across the private and nonprofit sectors, provide us with the foundation for an effective, responsive, even visionary governance network, able to tackle our most daunting challenges.

And at the center of all this learning and doing are the Collaborative Regional Initiatives, now operating in twenty-one regions across the state. As you will read in this newsletter, on October 1, the CRIs made an important decision: to organize for mutual advantage across regions, and to bring the collective wisdom and will of their thousands of volunteers and professional leaders to bear on the critical policy choices facing our state government.

Nine years, and but a preface to the future.

Nick Bollman

II. Collaborative Regional Initiative Executive Leadership Forum-Moving Forward

CCRL convened the first CRI Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) on October 1, 2002 in Los Angeles. The Forum will now become a periodic event for the CRI Executives. At these Forums, CRI Executive Leaders will have an opportunity to share information about the challenges facing their regions and strategies to address them, and to develop opportunities for peer-to-peer support and for concerted action by the whole Network.

The CRI leaders identified the following issues that could benefit from Network support, either peer-to-peer support or through concerted action: Economic Strategy (making the regional economy competitive and working with the California Economic Strategy Panel); Sustainable Land Use (agriculture protection and urban edge strategies, collaborative regional planning--with regional Councils of Government and Metropolitan Planning Organizations; urban redevelopment); Education (education reform and schools as centers of communities); Workforce Investment (including state-of-the-art training programs and collaboration with local Workforce Investment Boards); and Community Indicators.

The CRIs also heard about the new California Policy Reform Network, successor to the California Policy Forum. The CPR-N currently involves 4 CRIs (Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Development, Orange County Business Council/Center for the New Orange County, San Diego Dialogue, and Valley Vision), and seven statewide organizations, and will be managed by CCRL. Its purpose is to stimulate broad civic engagement on selected state infrastructure policy reforms over the next year. CRI leaders agreed that the area in which broad interest could be secured is removing state regulatory barriers and creating fiscal incentives for collaborative, integrated regional planning. [Note: The CPR-N has now been fully funded by the Hewlett and Irvine foundations, for which we are very grateful].

CRI leaders also heard briefly about the new ASPIRE program (Aligning State Policies to Implement Regional Equity), a collaboration between CCRL and PolicyLink to develop a community-based set of regional equity policy recommendations to state government.

Look for more about the California Policy Reform Network (CPR-N) in the upcoming November CalRegions Newsletter.

III. Regional News and Information


  • The Alliance for Regional Stewardship will host the annual Leadership Forum, November 14-15, at the Marriott Courtyard in Charlotte, North Carolina. Download the ARS Forum agenda online at The ARS Leadership Forum provides an opportunity for regional leaders to share best practices and participate in an active peer-to-peer learning network. In addition to the program, there will be opportunities to visit and learn about innovative approaches being used in the Charlotte region.

    To learn details about the forum, visit the ARS online at Or, contact Chi Nguyen at 650-623-3082 or at

  • The Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley (EASFV), the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, and the Valley International Trade Association, present the 5th annual Southern California International Trade Conference on Friday, November 15, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Hilton Universal City & Towers. This year's outstanding keynote speakers are Lon Hatamiya, California Secretary of Technology, Trade, and Commerce; Jack Kyser, chief economist with the LAEDC; Ken Ackbarali, senior economist with the LAEDC; and Bob Solomon, chairman and CEO of Applause, a leading international toy maker. Showcasing the global marketplace, the conference is designed to help Valley businesses stay current with worldwide trends and practices.

    Visit EASFV online at

  • Funders' Network For Smart Growth and Livable Communities and Policy Link are sponsoring "Promoting Regional Equity: A National Summit on Equitable Development, Social Justice, and Smart Growth," November 18-19 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, California. The summit will explore diverse initiatives that connect low-income people and communities of color to regional opportunities and resources. Participants will hear about efforts in communities around the country to forge more equitable and inclusive neighborhoods and regions and, together, craft a strategic action agenda for moving forward.

    Visit Policy Link for details on the summit and online registration:


  • The California Center for Regional Leadership convened the first CRI Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) on October 1, 2002 at the LA Economic Development Corporation. CRI Executive Leaders had an opportunity to share information about the challenges facing their regions and strategies to address them. CRI leaders presented individual updates on activities in their regions, and heard about the new California Policy Reform Network, successor to the California Policy Forum, involving 4 CRIs (Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Development, Orange County Business Council/CNOC, San Diego Dialogue, and Valley Vision). CRIs also heard a presentation from Ms. Kim Belshe, Program Director for the Irvine Foundation's Sustainable Communities program, addressing the James Irvine Foundation's Strategic Review process.

  • On Thursday September 26, 2002, Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network co-sponsored a tax and fiscal policy forum with the California Policy Forum. The event, entitled "Taxes and Our Communities - Is Our System Sustainable?" looked at the structure and sustainability of taxes and how our communities are able to address quality of life issues, such as housing and education. Leading tax authorities provided information on California's many jurisdictions, the fundamentals of California taxes, and how tax law and policy are created and shaped. Sessions explored how the fiscal structure affects quality of life issues such as economic development, transportation, education and housing.

  • Sierra Business Council held its Eighth Annual Conference, "Value Investing in the Sierra Nevada," October 4th & 5th in Sutter Creek, California. Speakers included: James Howard Kunstler - author: The Geography of Nowhere; Doug Henton - President & Founder, Collaborative Economics; and Mary Nichols - Secretary for Resources, State of California Resources Agency. Additional speakers and a full agenda are posted on the Sierra Business Council website. Visit the Sierra Business Council online at:

  • The Sacramento Area Council of Governments & Valley Vision hosted the fourth annual Regional Forum on Friday, October 18, 2002. The event, themed "TALL Order: Balancing the Region's Needs" examined four immediate issues facing the six-county Sacramento region: Transportation, Air Quality, Land use and Leadership needed to guide the region to a successful outcome for the future. The Regional Forum featured a look at the region's quality of life and economic future, a presentation of the Region's Transportation/Land Use Study, and much more. A key part of the forum was the technology available to participants as each space had a keypad that allowed participants to answer multiple-choice questions and see the collective answers immediately. Polling on a variety of topics of regional concern was woven throughout the day. Visit the Valley Vision website at SACOG can be found online at The California Policy Reform Network will publish shortly an e-summary of this event, to be sent to all CalRegions recipients.

  • The South Bay 2002 Economic Forecast Conference, hosted by the South Bay Economic Development Partnership (SBEDP), took place Wednesday, October 23, 2002. The South Bay event is one of California's premier economic conferences. The conference was sponsored by SBEDP, Southern California Edison, Port of LA, The Carson Companies, CSUDH, SBWIB, Watson Land, UBOC, The Burke Group, Anastasi Development, C/L/T WiN, Mar Ventures, and Alpine Village Southern. Visit SBEDP online at


  • San Diego Dialogue has released the Forum Fronterizo series briefing paper, Air Quality and Economic Development Along the California/Baja California Border: Can We Have Both?, October 2002, by Julio Lampell, Acting Cross-Border Program Director. A forum on the subject was held Tuesday, October 22, 2002, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Diego. The program included remarks by the Honorable Eugenio Elorduy Walther, Governor, State of Baja California; a presentation by Charles Charles E. Nathanson, Ph.D., Executive Director of San Diego Dialogue on "Sources of Air Pollution Along the Border;" remarks by Ing. Sergio Sánchez Martinez spoke on "Improving Air Quality South of the Border;" and Amy Zimpfer, P.E. Deputy Director, Air Division for Region 9, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency remarked on "Improving Air Quality North of the Border."

    Information on this Forum Fronterizo program and a copy of Air Quality and Economic Development Along the California/Baja California Border: Can We Have Both?, is available online at

  • Also available now from San Diego Dialogue is Achievement in San Diego City Schools: A Progress Report. In the spring of 2002 the San Diego Achievement Forum a network of researchers and higher education leaders with a strong interest in K-12 student performance, set out to document the progress of student achievement in San Diego City Schools. This report is a first step in trying to provide a nonpartisan summary of the status and direction of student achievement in San Diego City Schools. The report can be downloaded at

  • For information on how this November's election could affect education, get a copy of the newest EdSource report, Update: California's Education Reforms. This summary of recent education reforms and upcoming issues in California helps identify important questions to ask candidates running for office. To order the report, go to

    EdSource, an independent, not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to clarify complex education issues and promote thoughtful decisions about public school improvement, has also put together a page of election-related resources to help voters understand the issues, evaluate the propositions and candidates, and make informed decisions. Visit the EdSource website at


  • The California Voter Foundation (CVF) published a new online Directory of Local Measures to help voters learn about the 455 local measures appearing on California ballots this November. The directory provides a county-by-county summary of local measures, and provides links to resources identified through a statewide survey, such as the text of measures, analyses, and pro/con arguments. In addition to the Directory of Local Measures, CVF's California Online Voter Guide also features information about statewide propositions and candidates for state and federal offices. Additionally, the California Voter Foundation will soon debut political district maps to help familiarize voters with their new districts.

    The new directory can be accessed through CVF's California Online Voter Guide, at


Welcome to Leticia Miranda, California Policy Reform Network Program Officer, and Jason Weiner, CCRL's new Administrative and Program Assistant.

Leticia has an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and over 12 years of experience in public policy, corporate community affairs and business. Most recently, she served as Program Director of the Foundation Incubator, providing services to new philanthropists and early-stage foundations. Learn more about CPR-N in the upcoming November issue of the CalRegions newsletter.

Jason has a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University and experience with public policy, community service and volunteerism. Jason worked as Special Assistant to the Treasurer of San Francisco, helping to improve public service and strategic planning. Most recently, Jason lived and worked in Israel through a volunteer fellowship, serving as a teacher, journalist and community volunteer.