SACRAMENTO, CA. JUNE 11, 2019—California Forward (CA Fwd) announced today its integration with the California Stewardship Network (CSN), forming a single organization with the power to advocate for shared prosperity across all regions and improve government performance and accountability. This integration will be supported by two philanthropic organizations – the Morgan Family Foundation and The James Irvine Foundation – which have been bastions of California’s civic life and were instrumental in the creation and flourishing of CA Fwd and CSN.
“This dramatically strengthens the organization as the private sector voice in the state to support, promote and energize a regions-up economic policy that makes the California Dream accessible and affordable to Californians in every region of the state,” said CA Fwd Co-chair Pete Weber.
California’s high cost of living and dynamic economy are exacerbating economic hardship for many of our residents. Nearly half of California residents live in or near the poverty level.
“We believe in a California for all. The state’s extraordinary prosperity and opportunity must be available to everyone,” said Lenny Mendonca, chief economic and business advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom and director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). “This newly strengthened organization and its work on sustainable regional economic development can accelerate adoption of needed state policy and increase funding for projects that are working to increase economic mobility in our state.”
Making California work for everyone means having every part of the state thrive, from the coast to the inland areas. For over a decade, CSN has brought together regional steward leaders from organizations across the state. Through this integration and the combined effort of these partner organizations, the newly strengthened organization will have a deeper footprint in every corner of California.
“As regional leaders committed to the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of our regions and our state we are very excited about this integration,” said Oscar Chavez, CSN co-chair. “This enhances our ability to recruit new steward leaders across California.”
CA Fwd and CSN have worked closely together since 2011, when CSN founder, former Senator Becky Morgan, proposed the two organizations co-host an annual California Economic Summit. The California Economic Summit is now the state’s largest bipartisan network of public, private and civic sector organizations. Since its launch in 2012, the Summit has attracted thousands of Californians interested in building an economy that can compete in the 21st century for the benefit all of state residents.
The Summit champions solutions that meet the triple bottom line—simultaneously growing the economy, improving environmental quality and increasing opportunity for all.
“Representing western Riverside County, I know well how many of the state’s economic regions have not fully participated in the economic recovery,” said Sabrina Cervantes, chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy. “To have a robust statewide organization fueled by regional thinking and making the case for what state policy needs to be adopted can only be a plus for the Governor and legislators committed to lifting more Californians into the middle class.”
Governor Newsom has chosen the 2019 Summit as the venue where he’ll announce plans for revitalizing inland California’s economy. In partnership with CA Fwd, his Regions Rise Together initiative will bring together diverse leaders in every region over the next year and present a progress report at the Summit in Fresno held on November 7-8, 2019.
“We look forward to Governor Newsom – and many of his senior staff – attending the economic summit in Fresno,” said Mendonca.
The newly strengthened CA Fwd will work on many issues including attracting more quality jobs; improving Californians’ workforce preparation; building more housing; and, addressing the state’s infrastructure needs.
“We view this new organization as civic infrastructure that will carry forward our policy activity to ensure the California Dream for everyone in all of the state's regions, and to improve our state government’s performance and accountability to its people,” said Micah Weinberg, CA Fwd CEO.
To learn more about the California Economic Summit, please visit: www.caeconomy.org.
ABOUT CA FWD
California Forward (CA Fwd) is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization devoted to championing policies that will result in shared prosperity for all Californians and improving the performance of government at all levels. CA Fwd believes that every region in the state must have a voice to ensure their economic prosperity. In addition, we believe that increased emphasis on accountability and transparency will create a government that Californians deserve and expect.
ABOUT CA STEWARDSHIP NETWORK
The California Stewardship Network is an alliance of regional leaders committed to the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of our regions and our state. Our ongoing commitment is to grow our circle of steward leaders across California by documenting and sharing Promising Practices and by supporting the development of new regional stewardship teams. Currently, fifteen diverse regions across California have come together to make up the body of the Network, developing innovative regional solutions to the state’s most challenges. These solutions require “breakthrough innovation” driven by a “new generation” of civic entrepreneurs— composed of both established and emerging leaders.
Contact: Ed Coghlan