How to access the political process and impact California governance was the focus of a workshop at last week’s Black Chamber of Commerce African American Leadership Weekend event.
California Forward’s own Nii-Quartelai Quartey spoke on the March 31 panel at Sacramento’s Sheraton Hotel, outlining the importance of overhauling the structure of state government to make it more effective, transparent, and accountable.
He was joined by Dr. Munashe Furusa, executive director of the California African American Political and Economic Institute, who said the community needs to get involved, both with governance and setting priorities for themselves and young people.
“We idolize musicians and athletes and think it’s all about the bling, and we lose focus on what it’s really about, and that’s education,” Furusa said. “We need programs to nurture them and develop them, so they can figure out what it’s really all about.”
One woman in the audience said people are afraid of a process that seems convoluted, but if they just show up, they’ll make sense of it, and that can have a huge impact. “If they don’t hear from us, then they think we don’t exist.”
Assemblyman Steven Bradford encouraged people to connect with the process. “Be visible. Be engaged in activities we’re involved in early. Don’t be a stranger. Don’t be afraid to walk across the street, visit your district, or write a letter.”
California Forward is speaking at events all over the state and hosting dialogues to discuss ideas for how to fix state government. To see where we’ll be next, go to our events page.