Are you a Forward Thinker?

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As the state of California continues to grapple with its fiscal and governance crisis, it has had trouble working for the people of California.

Many people across the state have stepped in where the government has left off – California Forward’s Forward Thinkers – people just like you and me who saw a need in their community and decided to do something about it.

People like Richard Atlas, Kerry Doi, Mica Guillen-Campos, Nyeisha DeWitt, and Karen Hill Scott are helping to improve their community, region, or state and inspiring others to do the same.

“You miss out on so many opportunities if you believe it’s going to be taken care of without your input,” DeWitt said.

“My hope is that sharing my story with others about my evolution from business professional to community worker might inspire someone to get involved in improving the lives of all Californians,” said Richard Atlas.

Forward Thinker - KarenThe Forward Thinkers work hard to improve the world around them, but want to see California’s government become a partner in their efforts, rather than an obstacle.

“I have seen firsthand the financial burdens associated with entrepreneurship,” said 19-year old Forward Thinker Diane Keng. “Many have chosen not to follow through with revolutionary ideas because of all the strings attached to creating a business.”

“Our biggest obstacle is government itself,” Guillen-Campos said. “There is only so much we can do and in the end, many people are paying the price for choices the government is making.”

“Everything seems to be understood by people who understand, not by those who really need to know,” added Jackie Johnson. “Improved communication and legislation is imperative to getting people the help they need.”

Many Forward Thinkers from agriculture to urban outreach, and from business to education say the state’s diversity is both its biggest challenge and its biggest asset. But, they all believe California is still the best state in the nation with the promise to move us forward.

“This is the only state I know where all of these people would be here, from such a diverse range of industries and occupations, from the CEO to the visionary to Charlie Unemployed, all working together on something,” said Scott. “It couldn’t happen anywhere else but California.”

“There are 38 million of us,” said Bill Mahoney. “That’s a lot of effort we can put together to try to make a difference.”

To check out California Forward’s Forward Thinkers and to share a Forward Thinker in your own community, go to


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