Reporting

April 11, 2014 by Justin Ewers

What we’ve all been up to since the 2013 Summit


(photo credit: Violeta Vaqueiro)

It has been more than five months since the 2013 California Economic Summit in Los Angeles, where a group of private, public, and civic leaders came together to craft a shared economic agenda for all of California’s diverse regions—and made nearly 600 commitments to support the Summit’s emerging strategy for rebuilding California’s struggling middle class and restoring upward mobility.

So how has the Summit been doing? A new update of the Summit Progress Tracker released today highlights substantial progress being made across all seven of the Summit action teams. While much of this activity is centered on a set of nine proposals identified by Summit leaders that will advance prosperity this year, Summit participants remain actively engaged on longer-term efforts, as well.

All of this progress can be followed by clicking on an action team’s name below—or by clicking on the main Progress Tracker page.

Some of the highlights from the Summit’s progress on its nine top priorities so far in 2014:

WORKFORCE Training workers for the new economy

Priority: Ensure state funds are spent on career-technical education and workforce development to prepare workers for high-demand fields (including STEM).

  • Progress – Legislation introduced: Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi has introduced several bills to provide incentive funding for CTE (including AB 2216). In March, Sen. Carol Liu also offered to carry a bill on the same issue. The team has submitted testimony to the Assembly education finance budget sub-committee outlining how these proposals align with the Summit’s goals and recently delivered a letter to legislative leadership signed by team members.

Priority: Increase state support for regional sector partnerships to prepare workforce for high-demand fields.

  • Progress – Supporting grant proposals: In April, the Summit co-chairs and Manufacturing team lead submitted a letter to Matt Erskine, acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, expressing support for California regions’ applications for the Economic Development Administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designation for manufacturing communities.

ADVANCING MANUFACTURING – Supporting a source of sustainable, middle-income jobs

Priority: Expand industry-led regional manufacturing partnerships by supporting manufacturing clusters.

  • Progress – Supporting grant proposals: The Manufacturing team lead joined with the Summit co-chairs in signing an April letter to Matt Erskine, acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, expressing support for California regions’ applications for the Economic Development Administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designation for manufacturing communities.

REGULATIONSReducing regulatory uncertainty

Priority: Explore ways to open up government processes and make regulatory implementation more efficient.

  • Progress – SOAR Teams created: The Regulations team has created two new SOAR (Streamline Our Agency Regulations) teams—one working on CEQA and one on water transfers. These small McKinsey-style groups of experts hope to work with state departments to improve agency process. Both teams are connecting with administration officials. The CEQA team submitted a letter to the governor’s Office of Planning and Research in February outlining a set of recommendations for adding certainty and clarity to the CEQA process in OPR’s soon-to-be-completed CEQA Guidelines. In April, the water transfer team began working with GO-Biz to connect to leaders of the governor’s Drought Task Force.
  • Progress – Building “Customer-Satisfaction” website: The Regulations team is reviewing a proposal covering the scope, costs, and other aspects of implementing a website. The second phase of the project will involve identifying funding for at least two years.
  • Progress – Advancing sustainable communities: The co-leads of the Regulations team signed a February 25 letter to the Governor and Legislative leaders outlining 11 Summit recommendations for aiming the state’s expanding drought response at the triple bottom line. In March and April, Summit staff conducted briefings with aides to the authors of four water bonds, along with members of the governor’s Drought Task Force. The Regulations team has developed a specific proposal for streamlining the water transfer process, and its SOAR team is preparing to work with the administration on implementation.

CAPITALEnsuring capital continues to flow to entrepreneurial activity in every region

Priority: Identify ways of using capital intermediaries to close gaps in access to capital across the state. 

  • Progress - Creating regional maps: The team’s leaders are identifying a group of 5-10 team members to map capital intermediaries in every region. Capital team members are also participating in a meeting organized by the Infrastructure team in Los Angeles—hosted on May 16 by the Southwest MegaRegion Alliance—that will bring Southern California infrastructure experts together to begin develop a pipeline of projects that could be candidates for private financing.
  • Progress - Prototyping platforms: Summit participants are working to develop a regional “community capital collaborative” for Northern California, hosted in Yuba City.

INFRASTRUCTUREFinding new ways to meet the infrastructure needs of a growing population

Priority: Build a project pipeline for new kind of financing, working with the state Infrastructure Bank.

  • Progress – Identifying projects: Summit participants have organized a meeting in Los Angeles—hosted on May 16 by the Southwest MegaRegion Alliance—that will bring Southern California infrastructure experts together to develop a pipeline of projects.

Priority: Expand the use of new financing tools to support infrastructure development.

  • Progress – Strengthening financing authority: The team has created a detailed set of recommendations for strengthening the governor’s proposed expansion of IFD authority. The Summit submitted these ideas to the Department of Finance in March, and Summit members have testified on their behalf in committee hearings.
  • Progress – Supporting funding for transportation: The Summit offered its views on an effort early this year by Transportation California to put a measure on the November ballot to develop a more sustainable source of funding for transportation infrastructure. (The transportation coalition has since withdrawn the measure.) The Summit has also supported the governor’s budget proposal to repay loans to transportation special funds and is tracking its progress.  
  • Progress – Expanding drought response: Two co-leads of the Infrastructure team signed a February 25 letter to the Governor and Legislative leaders outlining 11 Summit recommendations for aiming the state’s expanding drought response at the triple bottom line. In March and April, Summit staff conducted briefings with aides to the authors of four water bonds, along with members of the governor’s Drought Task Force. California Forward has also outlined its views on how to craft a winning water bond.

HOUSINGMaking housing available and affordable

Priority: Advocate for state action to increase accessibility of housing by broadening housing availability.

  • Progress – Advocating for permanent funding source: Team members are continuing to advocate for legislation, distributing fact sheets that highlight the urgency of the state’s housing crisis.
  • Progress – Strengthening local financing tools: The Housing team has supported the Infrastructure team’s recommendations for strengthening the governor’s proposed expansion of IFD authority, which would include affordable housing. The Summit submitted these ideas to the Department of Finance in March, with Summit members testifying on their behalf in committee hearings.
  • Progress – Advancing sustainable communities: The co-leads of the Housing team signed a February 25 letter to the Governor and Legislative leaders outlining 11 Summit recommendations for aiming the state’s expanding drought response at the triple bottom line. The proposals include several ideas for integrated land-use planning. In March and April, Summit staff conducted briefings with aides to the authors of four water bonds, along with members of the governor’s Drought Task Force.                                                                                                                                       

WORKING LANDSCAPESLeveraging the economic value of the state’s unparalleled landscapes

Priority: Expand use of data-driven approach to show how managing working lands can improve the economy.

  • Progress – Bringing data to water debate: The co-leads of the Working Landscapes team signed a February 25 letter to the Governor and Legislative leaders outlining 11 Summit recommendations for aiming the state’s expanding drought response at the triple bottom line. The letter describes two steps the state can take this year use technology to support working landscapes—expanding access to water and land-use data and scaling-up resources planning efforts like RUCS. In March and April, Summit staff conducted briefings with aides to the authors of four water bonds, along with members of the governor’s Drought Task Force.

Categories: Summit

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