Latest Field Poll another reason to support ‘Smart Government’

California voters remain fed up with their legislature, as seen in the latest Field Poll, which finds that people have little confidence in the body charged with passing laws and budgeting taxpayer dollars. Their support for the governor, however, remains steady. Read More

Categories: Jerry Brown, Selected Blog Posts, Accountability, Transparency, Restructuring

Common sense helps move California forward

Mention of the dysfunctions and malfunctions of California state government prompted chuckles from the audience at The Commonwealth Club on Thursday, at a panel discussion on government openness and accountability. Read More

Categories: Selected Blog Posts, Accountability, Transparency

Calls intensify for lawmakers to open their calendars

It’s become a hot button issue the last few months—Will California lawmakers buckle down and reveal their daily calendars? Read More

Categories: Governance Reform, Transparency

Forward thinking superintendent’s quiet sacrifice greeted with loud cheers

When Fresno County Schools Superintendent Larry Powell quietly decided to take a pay cut that saves government more than $800,000, he didn't foresee that the idea would be greeted nationwide with accolades and applause. Read More

Categories: Selected Blog Posts, Forward Thinkers, Transparency

What works and what doesn’t? Keeping offenders from committing more crimes

You’ve heard the statistics. California spends more on prisons than higher education. About 11% of the state budget - roughly $8 billion - goes to the penal system yet seven in ten offenders return to prison - the highest level in the nation. Read More

Categories: Civic Engagement, Accountability, Transparency, Restructuring

Californians put money-talk on hold until waste goes down and trust goes up

It is hard to talk about dysfunction in California government without talking about money. And it is hard everywhere these days to talk about taxes. Read More

Categories: Governance Reform, Selected Blog Posts, Budget Reform, Accountability, Transparency, Restructuring

Stanford-based group highlights lack of transparency in CA legislature

California Common Sense (CACS)—a Stanford-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing government transparency—highlights discrepancies with reported lawmaker spending and unreported spending. Read More

Categories: Transparency, CA Common Sense, CA Common Sense, Transparency

Viewpoints: For government and the people, the time is now

Two cheers to the Legislature and Governor for agreeing on an on-time budget that moved the state’s fiscal crisis off center stage for at least six months. So what are the logical next steps for structural budget or governance reform that can achieve a more responsive, transparent and effective state government? In short – none. That’s right – the time for major structural reform has passed. The time for rolling-up-the-sleeves and delivering-for-the-people is now. Read More

Categories: Governance Reform, Accountability, Transparency

Removing the blindfold: Why California needs transparency

A recent dispute between Assembly members John Perez and Anthony Portantino highlights a problem that sits at the foundation of California's broken government: a disturbing lack of transparency and accountability. Read More

Categories: Selected Blog Posts, Budget Reform, State Budget, Accountability, Transparency

Education opens doors for Millennials to succeed and give back

College students from all over Northern California brought their passion, energy, and ideas to’s Target 2020 California Leadership Seminar, with the hope of making access to higher education more of a reality for all young people. Read More

Categories: Californians, Millennials, Civic Engagement, Transparency

CA voters favor early release of nonviolent offenders and part-time legislature

A new poll finds that most California voters would rather see some prisoners receive shorter sentences than raise taxes or cut education to pay prison-related costs. Read More

Categories: Selected Blog Posts, Budget Reform, Transparency

Stanford students launch transparency website as state denies request for financial transparency

In an effort to increase transparency and accountability, a group of students from Stanford University has launched a website to reveal how California state government spends taxpayer money. Read More

Categories: Transparency, CA Common Sense, CA Common Sense, Transparency

Budget making back to the future…..

In an era when more and more Californians are demanding accountability and transparency in government, our budgeting process has slid back into the cloaked era of the past. Read More

Categories: State Budget, Accountability, Transparency

A peek behind the scenes: CA Fwd at the SF Chronicle editorial board

One of the ways newspapers learn more about major issues and complex subjects - in an effort to better serve readers - is by engaging in an in-depth informal conversation with people who are working hard on that subject or issue. This is the editorial board.  Read More

Categories: Selected Blog Posts, Civic Engagement, Transparency

50-state project to measure corruption risks

The State Accountability Project is an unprecedented effort to create a 50-state ranking of government transparency and accountability. Read More

Categories: Accountability, Transparency

CA gets D+ for transparency

California has received a near failing grade for transparency of government, ranking 31 out of all 50 states... Read More

Categories: Selected Blog Posts, Transparency, Transparency

Budget reform that brings accountability and openness to state government

As California confronts another year of wrenching financial challenges, it is time for state legislators to make good on their pledge to make bold changes to the way our state operates... Read More

Categories: Selected Blog Posts, Budget Reform, State Budget, Accountability, Transparency, Accountability, Budget Reform, State Budget, Transparency

Drawing the lines For California

On November 30th, I was sworn in to a 10-year term of service on California’s first-ever Citizens Redistricting Commission. This 8-member body is charged with redrawing ...  Read More

Categories: Citizens Redistricting Commission, Proposition 11, Accountability, Transparency, Accountability, Citizens Redistricting Commission, Proposition 11, Transparency

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