From its earliest days, CA Fwd articulated four imperatives: 1) Improve government performance; 2) move government closer to the people; 3) invest in the future, and: 4) promote a viable, inclusive and responsive democracy.
Those four imperatives were distilled from scores of recommendations made by bipartisan and blue ribbon commissions. In one way or another, most of the recommendations sought to improve the political process, the fiscal system and the relationship among the State and thousands of local governments in California.
The challenge is so complex that most people don’t know where to start and some analysts pine for the impossibility of starting from scratch. CA Fwd’s Leadership Council knew the only pragmatic path was to advance strategic, incremental, persistent and opportunistic improvements.
At times, CA Fwd has pursued reforms specifically focused on elements of the fiscal or political systems. An example of "system change" success was the voter endorsement of California's Rainy Day Fund proposition.
At other times, CA Fwd realized the most progress by embedding governance reforms in the priorities of Californians:
Create more middle-class jobs.Since 2011, CA Fwd has been a leader – with its partners at the California Stewardship Network – in the CA Economic Summit. This network of champions is identifying how the State can better support job creation in California’s diverse regions. Through this project, CA Fwd is promoting performance in workforce development programs and regulatory agencies. We are working with partners to develop tools for financing and investing in infrastructure. We call this our Partnership for Economic Prosperity.
Promote cost-effective public services.
Also since 2011, CA Fwd has worked with governments agencies closest to the people to use new authority, resources and discretion to improve performance in public safety and related services, and more recently in K-12 schools. This is our Partnership for Community Excellence.
Create accountability for results.
Democracy requires citizen involvement, so CA Fwd has persistently worked to improve the elections process and the initiative process. We have been strong advocates for increasing transparency to enable public accountability and to restore public trust. The front line of future efforts is to increase the involvement of millennial Californians, who will inherit the decisions made today. This is our Partnership for Public Accountability.
Advanced technologies are dynamically changing every aspect of our lives, and are changing our government, as well. In all of our projects, CA Fwd is identifying and championing innovators who are using data to improve policy and management decisions, inform and engage the public, and enable accountability for results.
CA Fwd's passion to make California a better place fuels our work every day. We invite you to learn more about us and our work.