08/15/2019 by Ed Coghlan
New CAFwd Leadership Council Members expand the CA Dream Team
The new CA Fwd Leadership Council members are Dr. Sunita Cooke, Oscar Chavez, Bruce Stenslie, and Kish Rajan.
California Forward (CA Fwd) has announced the election of four influential Californians to its Leadership Council. CA Fwd, which recently announced a merger with the California Stewardship Network (CSN), is a bipartisan good government public policy organization and operates the California Economic Summit.
The four new members are Dr. Sunita Cooke, Superintendent and President of MiraCosta Community College District; Kish Rajan, Chief Administrative Officer of Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery; Oscar Chavez of the Sonoma County Human Services Department; Bruce Stenslie, President and Executive Director of the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County. Chavez and Stenslie are also co-chairs of CSN.
"Adding these four California leaders and their influential voices to our Leadership Council will help us move with certainty on the issues that must be addressed in order to maintain California's global economic and social leadership. We are honored they have chosen CA Fwd as a vehicle to promote and make change that will benefit all Californians," said Micah Weinberg, CEO of CA Fwd.
Dr. Cooke is one of California’s most respected community college leaders and believes that the goals of CA Fwd meld perfectly with her vision for the future.
"I'm pleased to join the CA Fwd Leadership Council to represent both our San Diego region and bring an active community college voice to the organization," she said. "CA Fwd's relentless focus on how to make the California dream achievable to all state residents is vital and one in which community colleges are proud to play a role."
Mr. Rajan has served in local and state government and has been active with the Economic Summit since its inception in 2012.
"During and since my time as Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, I've worked with CA Fwd on a number of issues and admire the organization's bi-partisan approach to problem solving," he said. "The influence of its California Economic Summit is growing every year and creating progress on issues essential to California’s future particularly workforce development, housing and infrastructure. I'm anxious to help accelerate progress on these issues."
For Mr. Chavez and Mr. Stenslie the chance to join the Leadership Council and represent the California Stewardship Network is an opportunity to strengthen regional voices necessary to make sure that all Californians, no matter where they live, can achieve the California Dream.
"CA Fwd's expanded footprint in the regions of California provides a real opportunity to make progress on social and economic issues that can make a real difference in people's lives," said Chavez. "In addition, I'm excited about the opportunity to identify and recruit more young regional leaders who can help us in our work in the years to come."
"I'm honored to join the CA Fwd Leadership Council," said Stenslie. "Our newly fortified and dynamic work in the regions of the state helps make certain that every local economy and all Californians are considered as we promote policies that can lift more Californians into the middle class."
The California Economic Summit will be held in Fresno November 7-8. The theme will be "Regions Rise Together," promoting the reality that there are distinct economic regions in California and many more micro-economic regions and the importance that all Californians have a chance to achieve the California Dream.
Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to lay out plans for economic development in much of inland California, which has not participated in the economic recovery to the extent many coastal regions have.
To register for the Summit, click here.