The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC) recently held its 31st Annual Convention in Los Angeles. Business leaders from around the state gathered together to discuss the direction of California’s economy and possible reforms needed to solve the state’s budget woes once and for all. California Forward was in attendance to participate in the discussions and document ideas that could lead to reform.
The CHCC represents some of the best and brightest businesses in California, so the organization welcomed the opportunity to engage with a forward-thinking leader in the state. The dialogue centered on the need for California to adopt common-sense practices that protect businesses and citizens from an ineffective government. While there was real concern about the state’s budget, the Chambers’ members offered many productive ideas for fixing state government.
“It’s true; I hear a great deal of concern within the Chamber. The big question on everyone’s mind is the economy and our state budget,” CHCC CEO Julian Canete said. “However, despite the frustration, I see a great deal of optimism from folks when they hear our government is willing to engage and partner with business.”
The Chamber, in partnership with California Forward, engaged in various workshops and panel discussions about ideas that would reshape government to provide room for growth and put California on the road to recovery.
“Because we have this budget crisis and because we have the economic slowdown, it gives us great opportunities to look at our system from the outside in. Let’s make these corrections now,” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in his address to conventioneers.
At our booth on the convention floor we asked interested professionals about their vision for California as part of our Speak Up for California campaign. The questions were simple: What is your dream/vision for California? What obstacles stand in the way of your dream/vision? And what is the role of government in making that dream come true? Economic development ranked as the highest priority for visitors to the booth with education coming in a close second.
One guest highlighted that collective vision in her comments: “California is already a trend-setting state throughout the country if not the world,” she said. “We must continue to support our educational system and small business owners.”
Armando Botello II is a communications associate at California Forward.