2007 Rural Economic and Health Vitality Policy Agenda - Policy Brief
View full report (PDF, 1.5 MB, 20 pages)
This report is about the future of California. It is a policy agenda for improving
the prosperity, quality of life and health of Rural California through strategic,
equitable investments in people and place, as an integral partner for the
long-term vitality of the State overall. This investment agenda has been developed
by the California Center for Regional Leadership (CCRL) for the Rural
Economic Vitality Project, in collaboration with the Governor's Cabinet and
legislative and regional leaders and stakeholders. The project is sponsored by
The California Endowment and the Humboldt Area Foundation, through
its partnership with Redwood Coast Rural Action, in recognition of the
fundamental relationship between a strong economy and improved health
outcomes for people and communities throughout California.
The purpose of the Rural Economic Vitality Project is to increase the visibility of rural
regions in the state policy process, integrate rural issues into overall state economic policy,
and promote and facilitate rural/urban linkages to address mutual challenges and opportunities.
A major goal is to reduce disparities in community health and wellbeing, especially as reflected in the
long-standing disparities in infrastructure equity in Rural California. Compounding these disparities are dramatic
challenges presented by rapid growth and urbanization occurring throughout much of the State, especially in the
inland and foothill areas. These challenges cannot be overstated, and how they are addressed will affect the future
of all of California.
The timing of the 2007 Rural Economic and Health Vitality Policy Agenda is fortuitous. As the State's
population approaches 38 million, California stands poised to address the challenges of long-term sustainability.
In November of 2006, the people of California approved a $42.7 billion bond package as the "down payment"
for an historic twenty-year investment in the California Strategic Growth Plan. This Agenda seeks to leverage the
impacts of these broad-based infrastructure investments and other new and important policy and legislative
initiatives for Rural California, thus addressing the goal of one of The California Endowment's key program areas:
"To build healthy communities by improving the social and physical environments that shape health behaviors
This policy brief summarizes the key highlights and recommendations contained in the Policy Agenda, carrying
forth the voices of more than 60 state and rural leaders. The recommendations address investment priorities in
four core opportunity areas: ubiquitous broadband access; housing, land use and infrastructure; education and
workforce development; and the "innovation economy." They also address
capacity and resource issues. They are geared to state, legislative and other
policy leaders such as foundations, the university systems and public
policy research organizations that have a critical role in planning for and
investing in California's future. The full report from which this policy brief
is drawn contains detailed findings and recommendations as well as information
on policy initiatives and resources – please see www.calregions. org/statepolicy/vitality.html.