Elevate CA: California can lead the nation in rebuilding upward mobility

610 200 California Forward

SAN DIEGO–JULY 12, 2017 – California Forward and the California Economic Summit have launched a public conversation on how we can improve upward mobility in California. The ideas and perspectives expressed by a diversity of California leaders will feed into policy discussions at the annual Summit meeting in San Diego on November 2-3.

The discussion–called Elevate CA–is designed to inform a policy strategy to help the 18 million Californians who live in or near poverty achieve the California dream as part of the 2018 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity.

“The educational opportunity offered by the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges uniquely positions our state to improve upward mobility,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “I hope the California Economic Summit, with its emphasis on regional collaboration, can foster increased support of public higher education as it takes on this important issue.”

Californians from different regions and different occupations are adding their voices by writing columns that are published on ElevateCA.org, and distributed to the thousands of regional civic, business and elected officials that are part of the Summit's robust network.

“California was built on the still-revolutionary idea that education leads to socioeconomic prosperity and upward mobility – regardless of background or beliefs. Unfortunately today, the promise of upward mobility is out of reach for far too many families in the Golden State,” said Timothy White, chancellor of the California State University. “We owe it to future generations to build a California that educates, works for and lifts up its people. I’m thankful that the Summit is addressing this crisis head-on.”

Napolitano, White and California Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley will all attend the Summit again this year and have endorsed the Elevate CA effort.

“As we've discussed this idea with leaders from the left, right and center, they all agree, it's time to act and the Summit is the right place to do this,” said Oakley. “We have to increase the number of jobs paying livable wages and train many more Californians with the skills to succeed in those jobs.”

The Summit–which has identified workforce preparation, more affordable housing and updating our aging infrastructure as key economic drivers in California–played a major role in the approval of an additional $200 million in Career Technical Education funding for the Community Colleges.

The stark truth is that the lack of upward mobility is keeping Californians from achieving all they want for themselves, their children and their grandchildren.

“The Summit, with its regional infrastructure and state influence is uniquely positioned to develop and promote a unifying approach to this issue,” said Jim Mayer, CA Fwd CEO and President. “The entire nation is struggling to restore economic security.  By restoring an upward path for Californians, we can lead by example and provide a positive model for others to follow.”

In addition to the leaders of higher education, others concerned about the future of the Golden State–foundations, business leaders, labor leaders–have also expressed interest in supporting Elevate CA.

To see what Californians are already saying about this issue, visit ElevateCA.org.

To support this work through content and/or financial contributions, please contact the California Economic Summit.

 Contact: Jania Palacios, CA Fwd; jania@cafwd.org, 520.404.7643


California Forward

All stories by: California Forward