California — recognized globally for its diverse regions, an unparalleled innovation economy and stunning natural beauty — is reeling from the impacts of a disturbing and distressing past year.

How can we reimagine a California that is more equitable and resilient, where we redress the racial and economic inequities that have made the California Dream increasingly elusive for far too many?

The Building Equitable Economies Webinar Series will delve into critical issues from criminal justice, housing, climate resiliency to broadband access and youth engagement. Join us as we bring together experts for powerful conversations centered on moving the state forward through community empowerment to build more equitable economies.

The first webinar in the Building Equitable Economies series shared with attendees how to become a part of California Forward’s movement, bringing people together across communities, regions and interests to improve government and create inclusive, sustainable growth for everyone.

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FEATURED SPEAKERS

Micah Weinberg
Micah Weinberg
CEO, CA FWD
Ish Herrera
Director of Regional Stewardship, CA FWD
Jennifer Lovett
Associate Director of Public Policy, CA FWD
Patrick Atwater
Patrick Atwater
Senior Research Analyst, CA FWD

When California enacted the California Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011 (AB 109), in response to overcrowded prisons, it shifted the burden of incarceration from the state to the counties. But county jails were not created or equipped to hold the growing population and overcrowding moved from prisons to jails. This created budget problems and lawsuits surrounding the care and treatment of those in custody. As one former county administrator said, “we can’t build ourselves out of this problem.”

In 2014, CA FWD launched the Justice System Change Initiative to help California counties transform their criminal justice systems by using data-driven practices to improve interventions and wisely use resources. Jail Utilization studies were conducted to identify opportunities for system change.

Learn more about the findings from the jail utilization studies conducted in four counties (Merced, Riverside, San Bernardino and Santa Cruz) as well as best practices and lessons learned.

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The slide deck for this webinar can be found here.

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Scott MacDonald
Retired Probation Chief/Criminal and Juvenile Justice Consultant
Undersheriff Shannon Dicus
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department
Kevin O'Connell
Data and Research Consultant
Jerry Gutierrez
Executive Officer, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department

Organizing communities around building homes for people at all income levels is extraordinarily difficult work, and this effort meets different forms of resistance in different communities.

If California is to achieve its full economic potential and fulfill its promise as a place of opportunity for all, the state and a broad coalition of regional stakeholders must work together to increase housing supply across income levels and support conditions that allow all residents to live affordably in communities near their jobs.

This webinar provides a plan for a “regions up” housing agenda for the state that is built from existing initiatives that have political traction and stakeholder support. Read the full report: Regions Build Together – A Housing Agenda for All California

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The slide deck for this webinar can be found here.

Tom De Simone
President & CEO, Genesis LA
Eileen Fitzgerald
Head of Housing Affordability Philanthropy, Wells Fargo
Kacey Lizon
Deputy Executive Director of Planning and Programs, Sacramento Area Council of Governments
Araceli Palafox
Deputy Director, Lift to Rise
Molly Porter
Senior Vice President – Philanthropy Leader, Wells Fargo
Martin Sanchez
Vice President - Engagement Initiatives & Mortgage Outreach, Wells Fargo
Flor Tolley
AVP, Social Impact and Sustainability – Inland Empire, Wells Fargo
Heather Vaikona
President & CEO, Lift to Rise
Micah Weinberg
Micah Weinberg
CEO, CA FWD
Kären Woodruff
Vice President – Social Impact and Sustainability – Northern California, Wells Fargo

Support Provided By:

FOREST RESILIENCY

California’s wildfire crisis continued its destructive march in 2020, leading to the state’s largest wild fire season on record. Building on the principles of California’s Wildfire Crisis: A Call to Action, we must work to shift the state’s primary focus from reactive fire suppression and recovery to the proactive reduction of risks and restoration of resilient forests, watersheds, working landscapes, and ecosystems.

While the state is considering large investments in wildfire reduction and forest resiliency, on-the-ground projects with potential for landscape-scale restoration and community resilience are moving forward. This webinar is designed to give an overview of some of these efforts.

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The slide deck for this webinar can be found here.

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Patrick Wright
Director, Governor’s Forest Management Task Force
Will Harling
Executive Director, Mid Klamath Watershed Council
Jonathan Kusel
Executive Director, Sierra Institute for Community and Environment
Bill Tripp
Director of Natural Resources & Environmental Policy, Karuk Tribe Dept. of Natural Resources
Jennee Kuang
Environment Program Fellow, Hewlett Foundation

Support Provided By:

While the state is considering large investments in wildfire reduction and forest resiliency, on-the-ground projects with potential for landscape-scale restoration and community resilience are moving forward. This webinar is designed to give an overview of some of these efforts.

Watch the full webinar

The slide deck for this webinar can be found here.

Paul Granillo
Paul Granillo
President & CEO, Inland Empire Economic Partnership
Barbara Hayes
Chief Economic Development Officer, Rural County Representatives of California
Glenda Humiston
VP, UC Agriculture & Natural Resources
Jason Kuiken
Stanislaus National Forest & SERAL Project Lead
Cole Przybyla
Director of Innovation and Business Assistance, Tuolumne County

Support Provided By:

California is home to one of the nation’s most diverse populations. However, too many Californians are not engaged in any of the state’s policymaking processes. Currently, Millennials are underrepresented and Gen Zers are unrepresented in the Legislature. The state’s representation does not mirror the population and lacks valuable input from the communities it is responsible for serving. In this webinar, our Young Leaders Advisory Council lead a discussion centered through a racial-equity lens on three topics: mental health, climate change and education.

This talented group of students and early professionals comes from all around the state, bringing their valuable diversity in experiences, perspectives and backgrounds. Although these young leaders have many individual differences, they share the same goal — to help move California forward.

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The slide deck for this webinar can be found here.

Isaac Alferos
Orange County YLAC member, Exec. Director, Black + Brown Project
Ashley Anderson
Los Angeles YLAC member, Higher Ed, Racial & Digital Equity
Ellinor Arzbaecher
Sacramento YLAC member, Climate Change & Environmental Justice
Lawson Hardrick III
Imperial Valley YLAC member - Mental Health & Resource Equity
Radha Solanki Carollo
San Diego YLAC member, Mental Health & Resource Equity
Simran Jain
Sustainability Commissioner, San Diego State University
Maxwell Johnson
Sacramento YLAC member, Higher Ed & Workforce Development
Mehek Kandru
YLAC member, Mental Health & Ed
Michael Wiafe
Inland Empire YLAC Member, Higher Ed, Racial & Digital Equity

BROADBAND FOR ALL

California is facing a digital crisis, with far too many residents left without adequate and affordable broadband service. The crisis has been exacerbated by the pandemic, as witnessed by the vast, unmet broadband needs of people of all ages seeking to engage in online learning, work at home, tele-healthcare, and remote access to employment, economic and human services. With one in eight families in California disconnected and nearly one million school-aged children with no internet connection, the lack of access is creating additional hardships during a time when connectivity is more essential than ever.

This webinar shares information on innovative on-the-ground projects that leverage public and private investments to ensure broadband for all Californians.

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The slide deck for this webinar can be found here.

Sunne Wright McPeak
President and CEO, California Emerging Technology Fund
John Chiang
Former California State Treasurer, CA FWD Leadership Council Co-Chair
Marc Powell
Senior Managing Director and Strategy Leader, Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors, LLC.
Michael Henry Misrahi
Partner/Principal, M&A and Strategy Consulting, Ernst & Young Parthenon
Jehan Thind
CFA Senior, Vice President, Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors, LLC

Support Provided By:

This webinar shares information innovative on-the-ground projects where local governments are forging new solutions to improve access for residents.

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The slide deck for this webinar can be found here.

Cole Przybyla
Director of Innovation and Business Assistance, Tuolumne County
Jacki Bacharach
Executive Director, South Bay Cities Council of Governments
Eduardo Gonzalez
Interim Executive Director, Office of Community and Economic Development, California State University, Fresno

Support Provided By:

This webinar shares stories about innovative solutions spearheaded by internet service providers to expand the digital highway and bring broadband access to all Californians.

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The slide deck for this webinar can be found here.

John Paul
Chief Business Development Officer, Spiral Fiber
Kome Ajise
Executive Director, Southern California Council of Governments
Trish Kelly
Managing Director, Valley Vision
Doug Patterson
Regional Director, Crown Castle

Support Provided By:

California’s commitment to racial justice and economic inclusion are meaningless without dramatic changes that make homeownership a possibility for marginalized racial and economic communities.

The primary mechanism for achieving this will be building more homes that are affordable by design. Currently, new homes built in California cost more than double the national average. Complex regulations create uncertainty and delays that dramatically increase the price of new housing projects. Further cities and other municipalities have become more reliant on local impact fees, pushing prices up further.

A policy brief released by CA FWD with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, “Building Racial and Economic Equity Through Home Ownership,” outlines how communities of color have historically been left behind in home ownership, how it affects their everyday lives, and what can be done to make home ownership more equitable.

This webinar provides an overview of the dramatic racial wealth gap, the consequences of that gap for home ownership and current policies that might be reformed to build more homes that are affordable by design.

Ruby Bolaria Shifrin
Director of Housing Affordability, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Patrick Atwater
Patrick Atwater
Senior Research Analyst, CA FWD
John Gamboa
President, California Community Builders
Ashley Garner
Community Outreach Coordinator, California Housing Finance Agency
Timothy Hsu
Director of Homeownership, California Housing Finance Agency

Support Provided By:

California is a world leader in responding to climate change by setting goals to curb emissions and transition to less carbon-intensive energy sources. Most recently, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035.

Join this webinar to learn how regional and state leaders are integrating efforts to develop a powerful strategy for collective action to address climate change and the state’s energy needs from a triple-bottom-line perspective.