What’s in store on Capitol Day: How to make the promise of SB 375 a reality

150 150 By Paul Granillo and Eloy Oakley

(Photo Credit: Dolan Halbrook/Flickr)

We all know California can’t keep growing in the next century the way it has in the past. Our state is projected to have 50 million people in the next three decades—the equivalent of adding another Los Angeles and San Diego on top of, well, today’s L.A. and San Diego.

Much of this growth must happen within our existing urban footprint. We can’t sprawl our way to prosperity. For California to succeed, we have to find new ways to build communities that can grow our economy along with our population—while also protecting our state’s unsurpassed natural resources.

This is the subject of another important conversation at the Economic Summit’s August 12 Capitol Day, where a group of more than 200 civic leaders will join state policymakers in a discussion about how to make the promise of a law aimed at exactly this challenge—SB 375—a reality.

Since 2008, this groundbreaking legislation has aimed to help communities meet state goals for reducing emissions by requiring the development of “sustainable” regional growth plans—strategies that tie together transportation, land-use, and housing.

How to pay for this sustainable vision for California?

As the first regions have finalized their plans, though, the question remains: How can the state effectively finance the infrastructure—from transit stations to water systems and affordable housing—sustainable communities need to thrive?

Four Summit action teams have spent the last year seeking answers to this question:

  • Infrastructure: With the state’s main source of funding for transportation—the gas tax—failing to keep pace with rising demands, the Infrastructure team is pushing for expanding local financing authority.
  • Housing: As housing stock continues to lag behind needs—and home prices and rents keep going up—the Housing team has pushed for a permanent source of funding for affordable housing.
  • Regulations: With even green transit and infill projects slow to break ground due to complex environmental rules, the Regulations team has been looking for ways to streamline the state’s regulatory processes.
  • Working Landscapes: The Working Landscapes team, meanwhile, has pushed for statewide expansion of data platforms that are helping some regions successfully plan their growth.

On August 12, a group of experts will join a conversation about how the state can integrate these efforts and make the promise of sustainable—and sustainably funded—communities a reality.                             

Speakers include:

  • Darrell Steinberg, Senate President pro Tem; author of SB 375
  • Mike McKeever, CEO, Sacramento Area Council of Governments
  • Richard Lyon, senior vice president of public policy, California Building Industry Association
  • Don Perata, Senate President pro Tem Emeritus; principal of Perata Consulting, LLC
  • Lucy Dunn (moderator), president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council

We look forward to seeing you on Capitol Day. You can find the rest of the day’s program here.

Paul Granillo is the president and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and a member of the California Stewardship Network.

Eloy Oakley is the superintendent-president of Long Beach City College and a member of the California Forward Leadership Council. Together, they are co-chairs of the California Economic Summit Steering Committee.


The California Economic Summit is a project of California Forward and the California Stewardship Network. For more information about Capitol Day, please email info@caeconomy.org or call us at 916-382-8799.


By Paul Granillo and Eloy Oakley

All stories by: By Paul Granillo and Eloy Oakley