Transparency & accountability for a stronger economic future

150 150 Cheryl Getuiza

How do you sustain your business and keep the money rolling while gaining new customers if the state’s economy is still in a slump?

This hot topic was on the minds of hundreds of Latino business leaders who gathered in San Jose for the 32nd annual meeting of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

At California Forward’s town hall on strengthening the economy through increased government accountability and transparency, the focus was on restructuring some of the government’s regulatory structure—which will lead to better results and a more stable, secure business atmosphere.

Five panelists weighed in.

Cruz Bustamante, former Speaker of the California Assembly, believes government cannot work without the private sector.

“We will get tremendous ideas from the private sector that could help government,” Bustamante says.  “We’ll be able to make a better state together.”

He also believes folks need to get involved in their municipalities.

“If you want to do something, get engaged.  If we’re expecting politicians to solve our problems, alone, it won’t happen, it doesn’t work that way—you have to solve our problems.”

Sunne Wright McPeak, California Forward Leadership Council member, seconds that notion. “As an organization, we want to get government back closer to the people, but we must start without our government.”

McPeak stressed that citizens need to go to their city council meetings and hold elected officials accountable for their actions—while telling those officials what they want done.

Former assembly member Hector De La Torre knows all too well the importance of holding governments accountable.  He also knows the importance of transparency.  He was a major advocate for transparency and accountability while on the city council in South Gate, when it teetered on bankruptcy because of political corruption and deep political divisions.

De La Torre was lauded for his work to clean up the corruption, and he says it is vital that folks truly understand what’s going on in their cities, question city leaders, and hold them accountable.
“It’s the only way our government can work,” says De La Torre.

An engaged crowd seemed to agree. If you take action, you can ensure a stronger future for our Golden State, despite the struggles we currently face.


Cheryl Getuiza

All stories by: Cheryl Getuiza