Volume IV, Issue 1 - February, 2003
I. A Personal
Reflection by Nick Bollman
How do we continue and increase our commitment and actions to
support economic and social opportunity for all Californians?
- II. Regions
Case studies of how California's regional civic organizations
work to promote regional equity in innovative ways.
III. CCRL Activities: ASPIRE
ASPIRE will advance dialogue on crucial social justice and equitable development issues and develop the state's first regional equity agenda.
IV. Regional News and Information
The latest news and information from California's CRIs and other CCRL strategic regional partners.
A PERSONAL REFLECTION, by Nick Bollman, President, CCRL
has always had a special place in the imagination of Americans and
people across the world as the land of opportunity.
From the pioneer days to the present, people have come here to take
advantage of what seemed unlimited economic opportunity and an unequalled
quality of life. Though our population growth in years to come will
be driven more by births to Californians than immigration, the 21st
Century challenge that now haunts us is: How do we continue
and increase our commitment and actions to support economic and
social opportunity for all Californians?
spite of the current economic stagnation and state fiscal crisis,
over the long term California's economy will continue to create
family-wage jobs and career opportunities. But in the past decade
and more, structural changes in the economy, inequitable educational
opportunity, land use patterns, and other factors have resulted
in a deep and widening disparity in family income and assets. Increasingly,
California's social and economic disparities are played out geographically,
as jobs and the tax base migrate away from older cities and suburbs,
leaving poor communities and their residents isolated from economic
opportunities and with inferior public services and infrastructure.
The California dream of economically integrated communities is increasingly
new civic regionalism movement, as evidenced by our twenty-one regional
collaborative partners (see http://calregions.urbaninsight.com),
has committed itself to the "three E's:" a competitive
Economy, a quality Environment and social and economic Equity. None
is a trade-off for the other, but because of our growing equity
"deficit," the third E requires special attention. Is
this a moral commitment? Definitely. But it also is essential to
sustaining strong, competitive regional economies. As UC-Santa Cruz
Professor Manuel Pastor, Jr., and his colleagues have taught us,
regions grow healthier economically when all the communities in
the region are strong, and when regions have effective, targeted
policies and programs to reduce poverty and create economic opportunity.
It's the "Double Bottom Line."
of particular promise include education reform, workforce investment,
urban revitalization and community economic development, environmental
justice, and inclusive civic participation. In this issue
of CalRegions, we highlight programs and policy initiatives that
can help all of us to create sustained economic opportunity for
all Californians in the years to come.
CCRL is especially grateful for the national (and California) leadership
on regional equity provided by PolicyLink and for the opportunity
to participate this past November in Los Angeles in a national summit
on "Promoting Regional Equity," sponsored by PolicyLink
and the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.
For more information on this event and useful resources to meet
this challenge, please visit http://www.policylink.org
REGIONS IN ACTION
regional civic organizations have pioneered some very effective
strategies and programs to promote regional equity. Here is but
a brief sample:
1 -- Workforce Investment in Silicon Valley
Venture Silicon Valley Network, in collaboration with A.T. Kearney,
authored two workforce studies that detail the workforce trends
shaping Silicon Valley's business, educational, and social environments
and reveal vital information about regional inequities. The 1999
Workforce Study: An Analysis of the Workforce Gap in the Silicon
Valley provides an overview of just how vast the workforce
gap is in Silicon Valley and how critical it is to rally regional
resources to ensure the development and full utilization of its
regional "homegrown" talent.
2002 Workforce Study: Connecting Today's Youth with Tomorrow's
Technology Careers updates the workforce gap information.
The 2002 Workforce Study focuses on a population that is critical
to the region's economic future: youth in Silicon Valley today.
Drawing on a survey of more than 2,500 8th and 11th-graders across
the region, the study finds that, to prepare youth for technology
jobs, the region must work both to increase young people's understanding
of and interest in technology professions and to connect them
with career opportunities, information, and guidance. By enabling
more students to learn about -- and prepare for -- technology
fields, we increase the opportunities for these students to share
in the region's future growth and prosperity. Additionally, an
effort to prepare a broader population of students for tomorrow's
technology-related careers helps to prevent future shortages of
high-tech workers in Silicon Valley. The report asserts that if
Silicon Valley is to remain a major economic force in the years
ahead, the region must find ways to more fully develop its local
pool of technical talent -- at all levels and in a variety of
more information please visit http://www.jointventure.org/workforce/index.html.
Case 2 -- Effective Pluralism and Inclusive Civic Participation
in the Bay Area
Bay Area, like many of California's regions, is blessed with an
extraordinary cultural and ethnic diversity, well suited to an
economy whose economic future is dependent on global interaction
and whose workforce can spark innovation through the creative
engagement of many different cultural heritages. It is widely
accepted in business and social organizations that the Bay Area's
multicultural leadership and the potential for effective pluralism
is a key strategy for achieving a sustainable region.
Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Communities is structured to
ensure that the "three E's" have equal participation
in Alliance decisionmaking, through three Caucuses representing
the Business, Environmental and Social Equity sectors. The Social
Equity Caucus (SEC) provides community-based social and environmental
justice organizations with a forum to discuss Bay Area region-wide
issues of sustainable development, and an autonomous platform
to develop and project a vision for a socially just region. Through
the Caucus, the diverse membership conducts dialogue among a varied
group of social equity interests and perspectives, and considers
issues that significantly impact low-income communities and communities
of color throughout the Bay Area. The SEC also creates a functioning
bridge between neighborhood and community-level strategies and
activities and region-level opportunities. Most importantly, it
creates capacity for an authentic dialogue with mainstream business
and environmental interests, based on mutual respect. This does
not always result in consensus or agreement but it is a breakthrough
idea for effective pluralism and civic inclusion.
more information, please visit http://www.bayareaalliance.org.
Case 3 -- Grassroots Planning for Sustainability in the
Gateway Cities Partnership, Inc. (GCPI) is committed to a sustainable region from the grassroots up. Some observers of the "sustainability movement" suggest that it is largely the preserve of those with advanced degrees, high incomes and ample leisure time. Don't tell that to GCPI and its grassroots partners!
has begun on a city-by-city basis to develop sustainable plans
throughout its region. The plans are focused on environmental
and public safety, housing and land use issues, community design,
quality of life, economic development, and education. GCPI organizes
community meetings (at night, often at schools, to ensure that
working parents can participate), provides residents with information,
helps them to write a plan, and then commits to help them find
private funding to implement the programs or projects called for
in the plan. Thus far GCPI has worked with residents in Huntington
Park (96% Latino and an average annual income of $27,000), Maywood
(96% Latino and with 15% of the adult population registered to
vote), and Bell (91% Latino and 65% of the adult population lack
a high school diploma). GCPI is helping vision and stewardship
to blossom in communities that deserve no less.
more information, please visit: http://www.gateway-partnership.org.
Case 4 -- Farmworker Housing in the Pajaro Valley
The cost of living in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties is one of the highest in the United States, yet the rich agricultural lands draw farmworkers who, though vital to the region's economy, cannot afford to live there. In August 2001, Action Pajaro Valley brought more than 150 farmworkers, government officials, developers, and interested community members together for a Farmworker Housing Summit. Reflecting the regional and inter-agency nature of the problem, the meeting was cosponsored by a broad array of local and federal public agencies and local nonprofit organizations.
at the Summit could listen to the presentations from local officials
in both English and Spanish through headsets. Not only did the
participants discuss policy issues around developing affordable
housing, but they were also able to express their opinions on
the general location, layout, design, and amenities of their housing.
Officials promised that the information would be used to guide
future planning efforts. Action Pajaro Valley used the information
from this Summit to inform its Growth Management Strategy, and
subsequently to craft a General Plan amendment which was adopted
by vote of the electorate (60% majority) in November 2002. Land-use
planning expert Bill Fulton calls Action Pajaro Valley"s
process and product "the best example of integrative regional
planning in the state, if not the entire country."
more information, please visit: http://www.actionpajarovalley.org.
Case 5 -- Education Reform in San Diego County
Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (SDREDC) is not
your typical EDC, but it certainly is showing how the 21st Century
regional economic strategy should be practiced. Certainly, it
provides business assistance services to companies and markets
the region. But, it also puts a high priority on improving the
educational system in the region to improve educational and career
opportunity for all.
doesn't just pontificate. While many people just say, "Why
don't those educators do a better job," SDREDC would rather
get involved in education issues that impact regional equity,
Policy advocacy, by actively supporting education legislation
Business-education partnerships, such as helping to close the
digital divide by bringing more technology into San Diego County
Career awareness -- bringing business leaders into schools to
give students the facts, the feeling, and good practical advice
to help them understand that they, too, could reach a little
higher to capture their share of the new "California Dream."
more information, please visit: http://www.sandiegobusiness.org.
CCRL ACTIVITIES: ASPIRE
In fall 2002, CCRL launched ASPIRE (Aligning State Policy to Implement Regional Equity). We are pleased to be collaborating in this effort with PolicyLink and several regional and statewide social equity and civic organizations. ASPIRE will advance dialogue on crucial social justice and equitable development issues and develop the state's first regional equity agenda.
core activity is a series of four Regional Equity Dialogues: the
Bay Area, which took place on December 17, 2003; Sacramento in March;
Los Angeles in late spring; and San Diego in May. These dialogues
bring together members of the social equity community, select business
leaders, and state policymakers. The goals of the dialogues are
relationships for concurrence and action;
Discuss and engage each other on key state policy issues that
can promote regional equity, such as affordable housing, transportation
mobility, access to jobs, school facilities, and regional planning;
concrete strategic steps for potential collaboration on state
dialogues will culminate in a statewide gathering in Sacramento
at the 2003 Civic Entrepreneur Summit, scheduled for June 1-3 in
Sacramento. At the Summit, the ASPIRE Report will be presented to
Speaker of the Assembly Herb Wesson, Jr. The Report will include
policy recommendations from the Regional Equity Dialogues and will
highlight examples of policy champions throughout the state. This
will be California's (and the nation's) first regional equity state
Dialogues and the ASPIRE Report will emphasize policy themes and
will cite examples of specific policies, calling for action by policymakers,
with strong and broad-based civic support. The project draws directly
from three recent statewide Reports: the Report of the Speaker's
Commission on Regionalism, the Report of the Governor's Commission
on Building for the 21st Century, and the 21st Century Initiative
Report of CCRL and the State Treasurer. The national summit "Promoting
Regional Equity" that took place in November 2002 in Los Angeles,
where more than 650 advocates of regional equity from across the
nation gathered together, provides a great spark of momentum for
ASPIRE. Sponsored by Policy Link and the Funders Network for Smart
Growth and Livable Communities, the Summit spawned ideas and enthusiasm
for a new generation of regional equity advocacy, and we believe
that the ASPIRE project is a natural and fitting follow-up to the
Summit, carrying those ideas and that enthusiasm into the real world
of California policy decision-making.
REGIONAL NEWS AND INFORMATION
San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership (SGVEP), based in Irwindale,
California, is seeking applicants for the position of President.
Under the general direction of the SGVEP Executive Committee, the
President is responsible for the overall management and administration
of the Partnership. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A. Save the Date!
in California's Future," the first Sacramento Roundtable
of the new California Policy Reform Network, will be held Thursday, February 27, 2003, 1:15 - 4:45 p.m., in Assembly Hearing Room 4202 of the State Capitol. California faces an enormous infrastructure deficit that will be compounded as our population grows. This seminar provides a dialogue about infrastructure financing options with regional leaders and state policymakers to discuss current and proposed legislation. Find the flyer and registration form (PDF) at http://www.calpolicyreform.net/events/
Housing Element Law is considered one of the state's most important
levers in influencing residential housing growth. But Paul Lewis
of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) says that
cities that met the law's planning requirements in the 1990s did
not add new housing units at a faster rate than their counterparts
who fell short. PPIC and the Bay Area Economic Forum
invite you to a forum with Lewis and other distinguished panelists
to discuss the restrictions and local realities that shape housing
development and examine possible changes to the law or other mechanisms
that the state could use to encourage a substantial increase in
housing production for all income groups.
California's Housing Element Law" will take place,
Monday, February 24, 2003, from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. at the MetroCenter
Auditorium in Oakland. Contact (415) 981-6408 or email@example.com.
Regional Civic Alliance for Ventura County will unveil their new report, The State of the Region: Ventura
County 2002, and launch the implementation of its
recommendations on March 20, 2003, from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. at the
Clarion Hotel in Newbury Park. A fee of $20 will cover breakfast
and a copy of the report; payment will be accepted at the door.
Contact Susan Klipp at (805) 988-0196 x16 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
California Budget Project's second annual conference
will use the 25th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 13,
which dramatically changed the state's budget and policy landscape,
to explore the current budget crisis within the context of this
historic ballot measure. Workshop sessions will feature state
and national experts addressing the budget crisis; the structure
of the state's tax system; the impact of the recession on California's
working families; the latest developments in welfare reform; and
up-to-date information on budget-related policy proposals affecting
child care, and health care. The conference will be held March
12, 2003, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., at the Sacramento Convention
Center. Find the flyer and registration form (PDF) at http://www.cbp.org/2002/conf_broch03.pdf.
the Region with Vision," sponsored by the Tri-Valley
Business Council, the Hacienda Office Park, and State Sen. Tom
Torlakson, provided an opportunity for Tri-Valley communities
(Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon, and Danville) to discuss
the critical balance between jobs, housing, and transportation.
During the morning symposium on January 31, 2003, in Pleasanton,
150 business leaders, government officials, and community organizers
heard from four speakers: UC-Berkeley Professor John Landis, Torlakson,
Sunne Wright McPeak, and Laura Stuchinsky of Silicon Valley Manufacturing
Group. An eSummary of the event with notes on the speakers' remarks
is available from the California Policy Reform Network at http://www.calpolicyreform.net/
Infrastructure Summits were held in two regions
recently to present and discuss the findings of two Infrastructure
Report Cards, which grade the regions on the capacity and condition
of their vital infrastructure systems:
Orange County Infrastructure Summit, sponsored
by the Orange County Business Council, Center for a New Orange
County, California Rebuild America Coalition and California
Policy Reform Network, focused on school facilities, transportation,
and urban runoff/flood control, the areas identified in the
Report Card as most in need of attention. It was held February
11, 2003, at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, and was attended
by about 250 participants.
250 civic leaders attended the Los Angeles Infrastructure
Summit, held February 12, 2003, at the University of
Southern California's Davidson Center, while many more listened
on public radio station KPCC. The event was sponsored by the
California Rebuild America Coalition; American Society of Civil
Engineers (ASCE), Los Angeles Section; Los Angeles County Economic
Development Corporation; California Policy Reform Network; and
California Compass, a project tasked to craft a comprehensive,
far-sighted "vision" for growth in the region by the
Southern California Association of Governments,
held its first Citizen Advisory Committee meeting
for civic leaders on February 13, 2003, in Fontana. At the meeting,
John Fregonese of Fregonese Calthorpe Associates provided an overview
of the project and described some of the trends that Southern
California has seen in growth and public opinion. For more information
about Southern California Compass and its Citizen Advisory Committee,
Senator John Vasconcellos has always been known as an outspoken
advocate for his views on policy. Now, as he approaches the end
of his final term after 37 years in Sacramento, the "Dean
of the California Legislature" is writing a series
of "Critical Observations" about vital
issues facing the state, and advocating a new "Politics
of Trust." His first three essays deal with the
budget crisis, the restrictions on easy fixes, and Sen. Vasconcellos'
challenge to address the problems from their roots.
The papers are posted after their release on Sen. Vasconcellos'
official website at democrats.sen.ca.gov/senator/Vasconcellos/,
via the "Press Room" link on the left side.
California Economic Strategy Panel, created to
develop a statewide vision and strategy to guide public policy
decisions for economic growth and competitiveness, has issued
an initial report. Creating a Shared California Economic Strategy:
A Call to Action includes the findings of the panel over its first
year of work and both immediate and long-term recommendations
for state government action.
Find the report online by visiting the Technology, Trade, and
Commerce website at www.commerce.ca.gov
and clicking the "California's Economy" link on the
left side, then the "Economic Strategy Panel" link on
the right side.
Policy Approaches to Promote Metropolitan Economic Strategy,
by Dr. Marc A. Weiss, was published by the National Governors'
Association Center for Best Practices in October 2002. It is intended
to provide Governors and state policymakers with an overview of
what can make regional metropolitan economies grow. In addition,
this report discusses specific policy recommendations for linking
inner cities to the region's growth.
report is available at www.nga.org/center/
regions across the nation have found it extremely valuable to
track key indicators of economic, social and environmental well-being
over time. This data can reveal unnoticed trends in populations
or businesses, identify persistent problems, guide policymakers
to improve planning and services, and provide a tool to evaluate
existing public resources. Four California regions recently released
reports detailing dozens of indicators:
Orange County Community Indicators Project
published its fourth annual index of regional trends in February
2003. This year's report includes special sections focusing
on workforce, an Infrastructure Report Card (see above), and
pediatric asthma. Find the series of reports at http://www.oc.ca.gov/CEO/
Venture: Silicon Valley Network found that fundamental
shifts in Silicon Valley's economic structure and population
profile have created new job opportunities but underscore the
need for a new, regional economic strategy in their Index
of Silicon Valley 2003, released in January 2003.
The report, which can be downloaded at www.jointventure.org/2003index/index.html,
analyzes indicators of business shifts, population changes,
economic vitality, and quality of life.
Area Indicators: Measuring Progress Toward Sustainability
is the inaugural indicators report by a collaboration of the
Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Development and the Northern
California Council for the Community. It includes data and indicators
for nine of the ten regional commitments set forth in the Compact
for a Sustainable Bay Area, which has already been adopted by
two-thirds of the cities and seven of nine counties in the region.
The report can be found at www.bayareaalliance.org/
Santa Barbara South Coast Community Indicators Project
recently issued their fifth annual report. Involving a wealth
of information on social, environmental, and economic indicators,
the 2002 report focuses on public health and healthy lifestyles.
The report, the raw data, and prior reports are on the Internet
Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and the
California Institute for Federal Policy Research have released
the first three reports in an ongoing series entitled "Federal
Formula Grants and California." The project's first
components include two overview pieces: one examining California's
share of formula funding, and the other reviewing factors used
in the formulas. The two groups also finished an in-depth formula
grant study on TANF and welfare programs. Upcoming projects include
an analysis of the formulas that distribute federal highway transportation
funds in anticipation of next year's renewal of TEA-21, additional
reports, briefings, fact sheets, a web database, and other products.
in this series are posted as they are published at http://www.calinst.org/formulas.htm.
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