Governor Newsom to spotlight inland regional economic plan at 2019 California Economic Summit

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The 2019 California Economic Summit will be held in Fresno November 7-8. (Photo: jmaro24/flickr)

Governor Newsom’s office announced a new initiative this week that is designed to develop a comprehensive economic plan that will benefit all parts of California.

In an op-ed running in the Press-Enterprise, Lenny Mendonca, the Administration’s chief economic and business advisor and director of the California Office of Business and Economic Development and Kate Gordon, senior advisor to the Governor on climate and director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, announced the initiative dubbed Regions Rise Together.

California has over a dozen distinct economic regions and it’s no secret that the inland parts of the state have not participated in the economic recovery to the extent the coastal areas have.

California Forward is proud to announce that we will partner in this important effort. The California Economic Summit, a project of CA Fwd and the California Stewardship Network, has been working on sustainable regional economic development for nearly a decade.

Governor Newsom expects to present the state’s initial commitments to California’s inland areas at the 2019 Economic Summit on November 7-8 in Fresno.

“We are pleased that the Governor has chosen the Summit, and its network of regional leaders from across California, as a venue for bolstering the economies of inland California,” said Micah Weinberg, CA Fwd CEO. “The Summit is committed to helping create a California that works everywhere for everyone.”

Mendonca and Gordon were clear in their intentions:

“We believe in a California for all. The state’s extraordinary prosperity and opportunity must be available to everyone. For workers, geography should not limit your opportunity to secure a living wage job with predictable hours and pathways to acquire the necessary skills to advance in a well-paid career in a growing industry. Businesses should have access to a high-quality infrastructure, such as a fast and reliable broadband network.”

“We believe in helping our communities to become more resilient in the face of a climate that is already clearly changing, and in assisting them in the transition to a low-carbon future. Our infrastructure investments, particularly in a statewide rail network and the recommitment to building out high-speed rail, provide both a clean way to travel and a great tool for revitalizing our downtowns by attracting more investment, jobs and residents. Locating new businesses and homes in a more concentrated pattern within our existing communities and near transit also helps protect critical agricultural land and open space.”

The initiative, according to Mendonca and Gordon, is designed “to bring together diverse leaders in every region over the course of the next year, so that we can hear your ideas and build a comprehensive plan that lifts every part of California. This effort builds on existing locally-driven initiatives in our state’s diverse regions while also leveraging the investments and policy priorities of the state.”

Mendonca and Gordon will team with senior advisor on Economic Development and Transportation, Egon Terplan, and senior advisor on Strategy and External Affairs, Aneesh Raman, to lead the Regions Rise Together initiative.

Read the full op-ed here.


Ed Coghlan

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