California Forward (CA Fwd) announced today that Chris Gates has been named a Senior Fellow.
Gates is the former President of the Sunlight Foundation, the first Executive Director of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, and served as President of the National Civic League for over a decade. Over his career he has worked to strengthen democratic processes and structures and develop new approaches to political and civic engagement.
“We are very excited to be working with Chris,” said Lenny Mendonca, Co-Chair of CA Fwd. “He has been a leader in the good government and political reform community for over two decades and brings a wealth of experience and perspective to our work.”
Gates is working with CA Fwd to catalyze a bipartisan conversation with reform-minded municipal, state and national leaders across the country. This effort will help connect activists and advocates who are working to reform and reimagine our political processes. The goal is to develop a better understanding of promising reforms and political strategies, and identify ways that shared knowledge and collective action can improve overall impact.
“We live in a political moment when the emotions of frustration and anger dominate the political debate on both sides of the aisle, and when voters regularly voice their distaste for politics as usual. At the same time, civic tech and social media are reinventing the basic processes of how campaigns are run and how our government manages the election process. As a result of these parallel but distinct currents of reform, there is a growing and diverse set of actors working to reimagine almost every aspect of our political process,” Gates said, “Based on its successful track record, CA Fwd is well positioned to help catalyze this national conversation in the reform community.”
CA Fwd was created in 2008 to link good ideas, sound analysis, visionary proposals, enactment and implementation. It has been a strong champion for bipartisan reforms that are credited with reducing gridlock in California’s capitol, including citizens redistricting, open primaries and term limit reform.
CA Fwd is now working on ways to increase both transparency on campaign finance issues and the efficacy of ethic laws.