California Forward (CA FWD) today announced the launch of the 2023 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity, which details a plan of action for the year across a range of priority issues that are key to economic mobility and equity in every region.
The priorities shared in the Roadmap every year are shaped and moved forward by the efforts of our California Economic Summit, California Stewardship Network, the CA FWD Action Fund, Young Leaders Advisory Council and partners across the state.
The policy areas covered in this year’s Roadmap include Housing For All, Ecosystems & Climate Resiliency, Thriving Economies, Education Cradle to Career and Connecting California.
You can read the full 2023 Roadmap here.
Some of the priorities outlined in the Roadmap encompass the following major areas of concern that have seen some promising investments and developments recently, but will require the continued efforts by CA FWD and the Work Groups mentioned below.
The California Economic Summit’s Broadband for All Work Group has advanced solutions to address inequities in broadband access. In recent years, encouraging steps to end the digital crisis emerged at the state and federal levels, including legislation signed by Governor Newsom to invest $6 billion in broadband infrastructure and new federal funding streams for infrastructure and adoption programs. California is also in the process of developing a statewide digital equity plan.
The Broadband for All Work Group in 2023 will continue its work to close the digital divide by:
- Advocating for the state and federal governments’ historic broadband investments to be implemented swiftly, efficiently and equitably across the state
- Ensuring that the needs and priorities of California’s regions, as advanced by the Regional Broadband Consortia and other partners, are fully reflected in state digital equity planning processes
Wildfires and Forest Resilience
CA FWD and its partners in the California Economic Summit network, as well as other coalitions statewide, have been urging state leaders to get in front of the growing wildfire crisis by proactively investing in forest resilience strategies to prevent fires, rather than fighting them when they arise. In 2019, CA FWD and the Summit’s 2019 California’s Wildfire Crisis: A Call to Action pegged the needed investment at least $1 billion a year over a 10-year period.
The inclusion of nearly $1.5 billion in wildfire funding in recent state budgets to accelerate forest health and wildfire resilience projects represented an important step forward in dealing with the crisis. 2023 will see a continued push for resources and also more efforts by the Summit’s Resilient and Productive Landscapes Work Group:
- Establishing an evidence-driven basis for ensuring California invests in wildfire and forest resilience solutions that match the size and scale of the crisis
- Supporting the establishment and implementation of a statewide biomass utilization strategy to advance forest health and scale up a bio-economy
- Broadening outreach and coalition building across diverse communities, sectors and lands to advance solutions, including viable bio-based and wood products industries
Inclusive Economic Development
Through the implementation of California’s $600 million Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF), the state has incentivized regions to think and work collectively to pursue inclusive economic development outcomes. The momentum from the CERF process needs to be leveraged to develop additional pathways for furthering inclusive prosperity in each of California’s regions. The Advancing Inclusive Regional Economies (Going Beyond CERF) Work Group’s goal is to elevate the work happening at the regional level by:
- Strengthening and support a regions-based Community of Practice to share learnings and generate promising practices
- Encouraging state alignment of other resources and programs towards CERF regions to support regional inclusive economic strategy implementation
As the state continues to chart a path toward carbon neutrality, CA FWD’s energy call to action, released in 2022, provides context on California’s energy landscape and issues a set of recommendations to align state policy around a sustainable energy system that works for all Californians.
During 2023 and beyond, CA FWD and the Building a Sustainable Energy Future Work Group are committed to supporting regions-up collaboration on energy transition policies focused on the priorities that arose from the energy call to action and input from stakeholders who attended the 2022 California Economic Summit. Read the call to action here.