Commentary

12/20/2018  by John Guenther

VIDEO: CA Economic Summit aiming to renew the promise of a CA Dream for all

One of most striking moments of this year's California Economic Summit in Santa Rosa was when attendees pulled out their phones to take a picture of and share information on helping victims of recent wildfires, the smoke from which still filled the air outside.

It's moments like that, and the concerted work of CA Fwd and its regional partners in the Summit, that marked a full year of efforts to build resilience across every region of California and create a more equitable and prosperous state.

"There is no stronger relationship than ones that come out of tragedy," said Reno Keoni Franklin, chairman emeritus of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians, as he helped open the 2018 Summit in November. "Our governments come together. Our private sectors come together."

In our latest video above, we've captured the energy of the hundreds of elected, civic, and private sector leaders filling the rooms in Santa Rosa at this year's statewide gathering who continued work on initiatives aimed at renewing the California Dream and promoting resiliency as communities continue to face disasters, both natural and manmade.

Looking back on 2018 and forward to 2019, there's plenty to get excited about:

California Forward and its partners in the California Economic Summit, will continue working together on new, innovative strategies to reduce poverty, increase upward mobility, and revive economic opportunity for people across California.

California Forward this year also completed a three-year project with Riverside County to develop a data-driven approach to improve results for individuals in the criminal justice system.

“A big thank you to California Forward,” said County CEO George Johnson. “Our partnership has really propelled us to look at new ways of doing business across the county as a whole. We began focusing on the criminal justice system, but it’s become much broader and it’s become a part of the way we think, the way we do business, part of our county culture.”

Another new initiative revolves around prioritizing investment in early childhood care and learning, which has been identified as not only good for the well-being of individual children and families, but for the state’s economy as a whole. Recommendations will be aimed at forging new cross-sector partnerships to advocate for greater early childhood investment in California.

The new Governor-Elect, Gavin Newsom, has been integral to the California Economic Summit since it began seven years ago. In a letter to the 2018 Summit, Newsom welcomed ideas and strategies to "measure our progress and focus our resources and ingenuity to restore the CA Dream."

Also in 2018, CA Fwd, the Summit and the California Community Colleges hosted the Future of Work MeetUp series to discuss preparing a skilled workforce for automation and the gig economy with policymakers, educators, and workforce development practitioners across the state.

Next year, the work of CA Fwd and the Summit keep the momentum going with more progress, events, and announcements.

The 2019 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity will sharpen the good ideas and strategies people brought to the 2018 Summit in Santa Rosa and will guide the work in the year ahead.

The 2019 California Economic Summit is set to come to Fresno for the first time and will mark the eight annual statewide gathering of the Summit network.

A highlight of the 2019 Summit will be the release of the “California Dream Index,” which will give Summit attendees an opportunity to help map pathways for restoration of upward mobility for all Californians.

Check out more stories on the Summit this year:

Read our summary of Day One:
View from the Summit: Resiliency in the wake of fires and more brings focus, urgency to work

Read our summary of Day Two:
View from the Summit: Helping regions stay resilient and rise together

Read the Santa Rosa Press Democrat's story:
California Economic Summit convenes in Santa Rosa, outlines path to achieve California dream

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom on the Summit:
Statement from Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom to 2018 Summit attendees

Sign up for CA Fwd updates on our Twitter, Facebook and our Elevate CA Newsletter.

And have a safe and happy New Year!

Categories: California Economic Summit, Elevate CA

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