Nearly 150 of you shared your thoughts on the Smart Government Framework‘s priorities within hours after we released the poll results on Tuesday, letting us know which of the “Five Outcomes” for our state (better education, increased employment, decreased poverty, improved health, decreased crime) that you would prioritize and why.
We continue to attract Californians from across the political spectrum. There seemed to be as many users expressing support for tax cuts as tax increases.
Users added a lot to the discussion, with concrete suggestions, an understanding of the big picture, and civil, thoughtful discourse on the best ways to truly move our state forward.
Here is a sample of the responses we received:
“As the Virtuous Cycle implies, ‘better education leads to better employment,’ in other words education ought to be first priority, not second,” said Jonathan. “The slightly larger number of responses for employment I think reflects the understandable uneasiness over the current state of the job market. Let’s not overlook the fact that a more robust education system will also create jobs.”
“All of these five issues are important – but they would each be easier to achieve if we would address bloated bureaucracy; duplicative agencies, departments and commissions,” said Disappointed with Government. “In addition, we could save billions if there was appropriate oversight of tax dollar spending – and return on our investment, or spending – by those charged with managing our government operations.”
“Budget reform and fiscal overhaul should be a prerequisite to any meaningful change in California,” said Dave. “For decades we’ve deferred taking any responsibility for making tough decisions and accepting the pain those decisions will surely bring. All the entitlements (including education) need calibrating to balance costs with revenues.
“Education and health are the basis for everything else,” said Tamar Diana Wilson. “With higher educational levels there will be more opportunities for employment and decreased poverty levels. With a decrease in poverty and an upsurge in employment there will be less crime.”
“I think Health is number one,” said Dianea10. “A sick employee isn’t as productive as a healthy one. We are spending billions for insurance – and not much on wellness.”
“My notion is that employment will take care of itself. A better educated work-force will DRAW jobs to the state,” said Plucketeer. “One thing that’s obvious – at least here in the central valley – is that there’s not adequate vocational education to train technical types. Not EVERY youngster is capable of going to and completing a college pursuit. There’s a dire need for folks who can ably handle a wrench. Yet public schools are turning their backs on such endeavors for the impractical supposition that all youngsters should be aiming to attain a degree.”
“I agree that these are the top priorities for what needs to be done. I don’t think that there is much disagreement in the populace. The question is how to get there,” said Whhawks. We should “combine the Senate and Assembly into one house of 120 members (the same number that we have now in both houses). That would allow legislators to sit on fewer committees and thus become better experts in their subject. It would also allow you to be better represented by your legislator since the district would be much smaller than they now are.
Horsedancer said: “We could increase employment by improving our infrastructure and resolving transportation issues with light rail, monorail and other public transportation.”
“We really shouldn’t have to choose between the above options,” said Tipp. “All are reasonable objectives and all should be within reasonable expectations.”
This is a great example of Californians willing to substantively engage in the process, if we give them an opportunity to do so. CA Fwd is listening, and we hope people continue to share their ideas.
Here’s another way to look at what was said:
Victor Abalos is Communications Director at CA Fwd.