Commentary

05/11/2017  by Ed Coghlan

Prominent Californians Join CA Fwd Leadership Council

Sacramento, CA – California Forward’s (CA Fwd) Leadership Council elected four new members, and re-elected a founding member of the Council, to help advance the bipartisan organization’s strategy to improve economic resiliency, community sustainability and upward mobility. 

The new Council members are former Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, labor leader Dave Regan, entrepreneur and social investor Joseph Sanberg and tech and civic entrepreneur Jim Heerwagen. Former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, who joined the organization in 2008, was re-elected to the Council.

CA Fwd’s Leadership Council is a diverse group of Californians who select and guide the organization’s projects. Here’s a brief summary of the five members who were elected this month:

  • Ashley Swearengin, who just completed two successful terms as Mayor of Fresno, is president/CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation, a local nonprofit clearinghouse for charitable contributions, grants and bequests from philanthropists.  Mayor Swearengin also serves as a co-chair of the California Economic Summit.
  • Dave Regan is President of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West in Oakland.  Regan, who also serves as an International Vice President of the Service Employees International Union representing two million members, is a strong voice urging action to address income inequality that is holding back working families. Regan also serves as a co-chair of the California Economic Summit.
  • Joseph Sanberg is a public and private sector entrepreneur, investor, and Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of Advisors for Aspiration, a digital financial services platform. Sanberg has emerged as an important voice in California to benefit the working poor. Sanberg has worked to increase the minimum income levels to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and to expand the use of the credit.
  • Jim Heerwagen is the co-founder and CEO of IQVine, a crowd-sourced market research company. Heerwagen is the lead proponent of Voters Right to Know, an effort exploring ways to leverage technology and other changes in law to advance campaign finance reform.
  • Cruz Reynoso is Professor of Law Emeritus at UC Davis. He was the first Latino to serve on the California Supreme Court and is recognized for his leadership in civil rights, immigration and refugee policy, government reform, the administration of justice, legal services for the indigent, and education.

"We are very pleased to add this talented bipartisan California quartet to our Leadership Council," said Lenny Mendonca, CA Fwd co-chair. "They will help us accelerate the considerable progress our organization has achieved as a link between good ideas and the actual enactment and implementation needed to grow jobs, promote cost-effective public services and create accountability for results."

CA Fwd was founded in 2007 and is a catalyst for a better California. To restore the California dream we must grow more middle-income jobs, promote cost-effective public services and create accountability for results. Since 2012, CA Fwd, with its partners in the California Stewardship Network, has managed the California Economic Summit, a project that advances policies and supports public, private and civic sector champions working to strengthen California's triple-bottom-line -- a prosperous economy, healthy environment and opportunity for all. The 2017 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity sharpens the focus on upward mobility in a new era and advances an action plan to expand sustainable economic growth in California.

Contact: Ed Coghlan
California Forward
(818) 489-4774

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