CA Fwd’s Mayer to become Senior Fellow; Weinberg to be CEO

610 200 John Guenther

Jim Mayer and Micah Weinberg
Jim Mayer (left) and Micah Weinberg (Photo: CAFwd)

SACRAMENTO, CA—April 16, 2019—Jim Mayer, who has guided California Forward since its inception in 2007, has announced he will step down. Mayer will be succeeded by Micah Weinberg, President of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. 

Mayer informed the Leadership Council last year that he intended to step down from the CEO position in 2019 and will remain involved with California Forward as a Senior Fellow to lead on special initiatives and near-term coordination with state partners.  

“Words cannot adequately express the massive contributions Jim made to the organization and to the state of California in the last 12 years,” said Pete Weber, CA Fwd Leadership Council Co-Chair. “The reforms achieved in part because of CA Fwd’s help have moved government closer to the people, created accountability for results in state government, promoted cost effective public services, and impressed upon policymakers the critical importance of making the California dream accessible and affordable for all Californians. That simply wouldn’t have happened without Jim’s leadership. We are fortunate to have found a highly qualified and able successor.”

Weinberg will take over as CEO May 7. He brings with him extensive public policy experience and a stewardship orientation that aligns well with the values of California Forward.

“California is a land of superlatives, both good and bad. It has both the strongest economy in the nation and its highest rate of poverty. We need to come together, across political parties, geographic regions and economic interests to build a better state for everyone here,” said Weinberg. “I am honored to have been chosen to serve this effort.”

CA Fwd has been closely associated with government reforms that were passed by the people of California including the creation of The Citizen Redistricting Commission, term limit reform, Top Two Primaries and the establishment of the Rainy Day Fund which has allowed California to accrue more than $16 billion in reserves to mitigate the impact of the inevitable next economic downturn on state revenues.

In addition, CA Fwd, along with its partners at the California Stewardship Network, established the California Economic Summit in 2011 which has emerged as the only statewide venue with a comprehensive agenda for taking on the challenges of our time: reducing income inequality, increasing economic security and community resiliency in a time of climate change, bolstering wealth generation, and restoring upward mobility for all Californians.

The Summit network of public, private, and civic-sector leaders has championed initiatives aimed at the triple bottom line: seeking to simultaneously advance economic growth, ensure environmental quality, and provide opportunity for all. This year’s Summit will be held in Fresno November 7-8.

“The work of CA Fwd and the Economic Summit has never been more important,” said John Chiang, CA Fwd Leadership Council Co-Chair. “We are very grateful that Jim has guided the organization to what it is today and are confident that with Micah leading the way in the future we can continue and even expand the work.”


Ed Coghlan, CA Fwd



California Forward (CA Fwd) is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization, devoted to improving the performance of government in California. It believes that increased emphasis on accountability and transparency will create government that Californians deserve and expect. CA Fwd strongly advocates for confidence and trust in elected officials as being an essential ingredient to good government. 


John Guenther

All stories by: John Guenther