The Courage to get involved, to stay involved, and to be relevant

150 150 Nii-Quartelai Quartey

“We must immediately elevate the urgency around solving our state’s issues of educational access, community development, affordable health care and housing, and economic development, and we must also, at long last, hold our leaders accountable at all levels.  We applaud the early moves of California Forward to deliberately yet thoughtfully ignite a 21st Century vision of California in an effort to help solidify the future of our great state.” 

-Blair Taylor, President of the Los Angeles Urban League

In 1992 then Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas founded the Empowerment Congress, a dynamic partnership among local residents, neighborhood groups, nonprofits, businesses, religious institutions, and community leaders. 

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas understood then what he has mastered now as the Los Angeles County Supervisor serving the 2nd District: if you engage residents to organize their peers around shared challenges, then they can directly impact the policies and decisions that matter most to their community. 

Founded on the principal that decision makers are most effective when the constituents they serve are actively involved in the decision-making process, the Empowerment Congress has served as the model and precursor to the City of Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils. 

California Forward believes that the best days ahead for California ultimately lie in the hands of community residents that make the decision to get engaged and get involved in issues that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact – public safety, health and human services, and K-12 public education. 

Whereas the need for fiscal and governance reform has been complicated by declining public confidence in governments ability to be more accountable, transparent, and efficient with taxpayer dollars – over the course of the past 20-years, the Empowerment Congress has built a legacy that has reliably turned these challenges into a call to action for local residents. 

California Forward is proud to partner with the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and the local leaders the comprise the Empowerment Congress, because we believe that Californians acting locally to build a constituency for change is what will fundamentally change the way California is governed and how well its residents are served. 


Nii-Quartelai Quartey

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