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

Volume II, Issue 8 - November/December 2001

CALIFORNIA POLICY FORUM: CONNECTING CALIFORNIA'S REGIONAL CIVIC LEADERS TO STATE POLICY

Dear Friends of CCRL:

Normally we would wish all our friends and colleagues a joyous holiday and a Happy New Year. At a time when we have all been reminded of the importance of family and community, of living every day in fullest appreciation of the gift of life, and of the blessings of giving back, we want especially to wish all of you a warm, loving holiday and a calm, peaceful New Year. And to thank you, who do so much for your communities and regions, for being a part of our extended family and community. We are privileged to be among you.

The Board and staff of CCRL

CONTENTS:

I. The California Policy Forum (CPF)
II. CPF Regional Forums with Collaborative Regional Initiatives (CRIs)
III. Other Regional News & Information

Preface

Scholars, pundits and California's network of regional civic leaders have come to see that:

  • Many of our regions' most pressing challenges cannot be solved through local government and private sector action alone, but must have state policy support.

  • However, many state policies, programs and funding practices are out of alignment with the needs of our communities and regions.

  • There are an exciting array of new policy ideas generated from the "ground up," and through blue ribbon citizens' commissions like the two Speaker's Commissions and the Governor's Commission on Building for the 21st Century. These ideas at last are discussed and debated in state government, but the policy climate hasn't yet reached the "tipping point" of major and sustained state policy reform.

  • Policymakers in state government who want to lead on reform are calling for a better-informed, more engaged "constituency," to bring the message of reform so compellingly to Sacramento that major reform will become the expectation rather than the exception.

  • Regional civic leaders must answer the call if the changes they seek are to happen.

To support this new civics-to-policy movement, The William and Flora Hewlett and The James Irvine foundations have funded the California Policy Forum.

I. The California Policy Forum (CPF)

Just underway, the California Policy Forum (CPF), formerly the California 2000 Project (C2K), will create opportunities for California citizens and leaders to meet, discuss, and find common ground on sensible long-term reforms to the state's land use, fiscal, and governmental policies, and to educate and engage policy-makers in collaborative efforts to implement these reforms. The project was developed and is implemented by eight network partners:

This group of eight California non-profit organizations are working together with Collaborative Regional Initiatives across the state to convene a broad range of citizens and policymakers in seven regional forums and a statewide Summit to address the local and regional need for reform of state policy, and focused on fiscal, governance, infrastructure and land use reforms.

The CPF holds that, to extend and sustain statewide, regional and local dialogue and debate on fiscal, land use and infrastructure policy reform, and to mobilize for agreement and action, certain barriers must be overcome. Good policy ideas are often relegated to narrow, partisan, conflictual debate, rather than the thoughtful consideration that enables differing viewpoints to find common ground. Much of our media (with some very important exceptions) do not cover adequately these more complex yet fundamental policy issues. There are too few settings for authentic dialogue among and between state elected and executive branch officials and their counterparts in government in regions and communities around the state. Wider citizen engagement in discussion and debate is spotty, disconnected and uncoordinated, and some communities of interest haven't been invited to the "table," including leaders from the ethnic communities that will be the dominant electorate in California's future. The eight CPF network organizations have affiliated under the California Policy Forum banner to help fill these gaps.

The CPF Partners comprise eight organizations with proven track records of achievement in addressing fiscal, land use and governance issues in California. They are a diverse group with a variety of approaches to policy and public engagement. They recognize that different approaches to reform, coordinated and aligned through common, agreed-upon strategies for joint action, can extend the power and effectiveness of individual organizations and amplify the impacts of those organizations on reform efforts. But they have joined together because they have a common belief in the power of civic engagement and the need for major and sustained policy reform.

The Policy Forum focuses on three key issues where state and local policies intersect: Fiscal Reform, realigning state and local fiscal systems to support sustainable, equitable and manageable growth; Land Use Reform, preparing for the state's anticipated population growth through improved land use, open space, transportation, housing, and education policies and more effective infrastructure planning and investment; and Governance Reform, creating the opportunity for government and citizens working together to develop, adopt, implement and sustain these reforms.

CPF's collaborating organizations adopted a statement of principles, committing themselves to:

  • Advance dialogue about policies that support sustainable communities and address the "three E's," Environmental quality, Economic prosperity, and social Equity.
  • Encourage better understanding of the interconnectedness among state and local finance systems, infrastructure planning and infrastructure investment.
  • Focus on regional policy reforms that connect state and local governance.
  • Promote the understanding that informed and engaged Californians are essential to achieve sustained policy reforms, and that reconnection of engaged Californians to policymakers is the key to policy success.
  • Recognize that California Policy Forum does not advocate specific policy positions, but does believe that civic dialogue is the key to revitalized democracy.

California Policy Forum activities include:

  • Sponsoring regional forums with Collaborative Regional Initiatives (CRIs) to educate and engage citizens, local governments, and others in key reform issues.
  • Providing trainings to underrepresented groups of Californians to more effectively engage in reform.
  • Convening a state Summit to bring together those currently and newly engaged in reform, and publishing a twice-weekly digest of related policy news. California Policy Forum's News Wire includes reports, editorials, articles and book reviews on topics such as fiscal reform, land use, and energy.

II. CPF Regional Forums with Collaborative Regional Initiatives (CRIs)

CPF Partners are hosting regional forums throughout the state that assemble civic leaders, groups and individual leaders who are currently not engaged in these issues, local officials, and state policymakers to examine local- and state-level reforms in our three priority issue areas as they relate to each region. These convenings are designed to explore the mutual interests of groups in individual regions, and to help reform advocates to align the voices of leaders from different regions of California. Convenings emphasize creating regional perspectives on issues crucial to California's future. CPF envisions these forums as both "reaching out," that is, reaching out to a diversity of voices within each region, and "reaching back," that is, providing a forum whereby those involved can reach state and local policymakers as to their preferred local and state solutions to the region's challenges. The result of these engagements will be stronger regional commitments to reform that can be used to help mobilize action in Sacramento and in cities, counties and regional bodies.

Two forums have already taken place. In Greater Los Angeles, a forum hosted by Metropolitan Forum Project focused on schools as centers of communities and high-performance schools, and the leverage value of the new school bonds measures. In Sacramento in September, the first of a two-part forum series hosted by Valley Vision focused on Tax Revenue Sharing and Open Space Funds. The second Valley Vision Forum will be held on January 16th.

The CPF Regional Forum schedule for 2002 is:

Region:

Regional Partner:

Orange County Orange County Business Council (Forum on Infrastructure) Silicon Valley Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network (Forum on Tax Policy and Tax Revenue Sharing) Fresno/Madera Fresno Business Council (Forum on Planning, Fiscal Reform and Governance) Santa Barbara/Ventura Santa Barbara Economic Community Project & Regional Civic Alliance Ventura County (Forum on Land Use Planning) Riverside/San Bernardino U.C. Riverside - Western Riverside Council of Governments (Forum on Infrastructure Investment) San Diego San Diego Dialogue (Forum on Infrastructure Investment)

A website, e-newsletter, enriched emails, Op-Ed pieces and other communications tools will be launched shortly after the beginning of the year. For more information on these Regional Forums, or on the work of the California Policy Forum, contact the CPF Network Facilitator, Sandy Grant at sgrant@calpolicyforum.net, 606 South Olive Street, Suite 2400, Los Angeles, CA 90014, phone 213-439-9640 x 29. Or, contact Seth Miller, California Policy Forum Program Officer, California Center for Regional Leadership, smiller@ccrl.org, 455 Market St., San Francisco, 94105, phone 415-882-7300.

III. Other Regional News & Information

* San Diego Dialogue's latest Forum Fronterizo event took place Thursday, December 13, 2001 on "Solving our Border Crossing Problem in an Era of Terrorism." Governor Eugenio Elorduy of Baja California gave the opening remarks and Doris Meissner, Senior Associate, Global Policy Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former commissioner of the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service, provided the keynote address. The heightened state of security brought on by the recent terrorist attacks poses a daunting challenge for border communities like San Diego/Tijuana where tens of thousands of commuters and commerce valued at many millions of dollars cross the border daily. The forum program brought the community and the border inspection agencies together to identify long term solutions to this challenge, including better use of technology and applied research. To learn more about the event, visit www.sandiegodialogue.org/events/dec13.html.

* The San Diego Dialogue website now includes links to video resources on UCSD-TV. You can access video productions of previous Forum Fronterizo programs, such as "Energy Opportunities in Baja California" and "Preserving Baja California's Natural Wonders," as well as programs related to smart growth issues. Access these programs through the following links on San Diego Dialogue's website: Forum Fronterizo: http://www.sandiegodialogue.org/cross.htm

* The Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley held the second of three rounds of Vision 2020 Stakeholder Roundtables at the Alliance's new "BFG Board Room." The third round will take place between the 14th and 20th of December. All are invited to participate in this landmark visioning process, which is guiding development and quality of life issues for the San Fernando Valley for decades to come. The discussions will be refined into a final written work product and presented at a special forum in February. For a calendar of Roundtables and more information, go to www.valleyofthestars.org or www.economicalliance.org and click on the Vision2020 icon.

* The Economic Alliance also held its 2001 International Trade Conference, "Going Global," on November 8, at the Hilton Universal City & Towers. The event drew more than 200 people from around the region. Distinguished keynote speaker John Wu, chief technical officer (CTO) for Alibaba.com, spoke on how changes in technology are impacting international trade, and LAEDC economists Jack Kyser and Ken Ackbarali spoke on California's current economy and its impact on the Valley's economy. Panels of trade experts discussed how to engage in international trade and where.

* The Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Development continues to seek input on the Draft Compact for a Sustainable Bay Area. The comments received will be used to enhance and refine the Draft Compact. Through the outreach process BAASD hopes to enlarge the circle of organizations and individuals participating in the Bay Area Alliance. BAASD will complete the process of compiling and analyzing the feedback, and present it at the quarterly meeting in January 2002. The revised Compact should be available for review in early Spring 2002. The Draft Compact feedback form may be completed online. Visit the BAASD to provide your input. www.bayareaalliance.org/feedback.html.

* For the past year, the Growth Alternatives Alliance partners in Fresno - the Fresno Business Council, American Farmland Trust, the Building Industry Association of the San Joaquin Valley, the Fresno County Farm Bureau and the Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce - have worked closely with the Local Government Commission, planning consultant Bruce O'Neal and planning staff from Reedley and Fresno to create zoning and design standards. The resulting document, "Livable Neighborhood Development: Implementation Guideline to A Landscape of Choice" was presented at a forum in Fresno. The focus of the LND model ordinance is the neighborhood, a place where quality of life issues come into focus and provide the structure for community input and participation. "Livable Neighborhood Development: Implementation Guideline to A Landscape of Choice" is now available on the Fresno Business Council website. To access, go to www.fresnobc.org then click on Regional Issues and Land Use.

* Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network is hosting its 2002 Annual Celebration on Friday, January 18, 2002, at the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel. The Presentation of 2002 Index of Silicon Valley with Panel Discussion on "Silicon Valley in a Perfect Storm: Thoughts on How to Ride the Wave" will be moderated by Magda Escobar, Executive Director of Plugged In. The Registration fee is $35 and includes breakfast, presentation, panel discussion and complimentary copy of the 2002 Index of Silicon Valley report. Register by January 11, 2002 through the Internet form at http://www.acteva.com//booking.cfm?bevaID=18377, or by calling 408-938-1524. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Linda Holroyd, Director of Marketing and Business Development 408-938-1511 or l_holroyd@jointventure.org. For questions, email info@jointventure.org. Visit the Joint Venture website at www.jointventure.org.

* On December 7, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network released its "White Paper" to address the future of Silicon Valley's economy, entitled "The Next Silicon Valley: Riding the Waves of Innovation." Joint Venture's Next Silicon Valley initiative began in the fall of 2001. The initiative is working to shape a framework for understanding and communicating what is happening in the Valley economy and a process for engaging leaders in a regional discussion on what may happen next in specific areas of opportunity. The working paper, written by Collaborative Economics with input from the leadership team, is the first product of the initiative. Access the paper on the Joint Venture website at www.jointventure.org/nsv/nsvpaper.pdf.

* On November 12, 2001, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network announced the release of its new book, Smart Permit: A Blueprint for Success at a reception on Wednesday, November 14, 2001, at the Hyatt Saint Claire in San Jose. The reception featured presentations by the pilot cities for the Smart Permit program and displays by participating vendors who had made the Smart Permit program successful. The Smart Permit project started in 1994 as one of the first initiatives tackled by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, working in conjunction with cities and high tech firms in the Silicon Valley. The goal was to use the technology of Silicon Valley to improve the development review and permit process in cities and counties in the region by streamlining, automating and then Internet-enabling the building permit process for property owners and businesses. A PDF file with a select portion of the book will be available online through the Joint Venture web site http://www.jointventure.org. Hard copies of the book and a downloadable Acrobat PDF version of the entire book can also be ordered for $25 through December 31, ($5 off the regular selling price of $30) through Public Technologies Inc. (PTI) on their web site at http://www.pti.org/publications/index.html or call 1-800-PTI-8976.