Twelve individuals of diverse political convictions met to discuss what (more) might be done to better connect California’s extraordinary and diverse resources to the vast, yet dormant, potential of our state’s full population. The discussion quickly revealed strong agreement that obstacles to economic opportunity and mobility faced by Californians in all regions of the state were probably the most significant hindrance to social, and civic progress statewide. The group also agreed these conditions were morally unacceptable, getting worse, and that each of us who can has a personal responsibility to help change them.
APRIL - DECEMBER 2017
Listening and Learning
This initial group reconvened in April 2017 to discuss how to complement and accelerate the wide range of efforts already underway throughout California. They decided to start with a series of listening sessions around the state, interviews with experts in the field and a broad literature review for the purpose of deepening their understanding of the central issues and of what discussions and work was already underway, and how a group like this could be more useful.
Open Letter to Californians
The group (now using the name Economic Mobility Collaborative) reconvened in early 2018, and decided to craft an 'Open Letter to our fellow Californians' inviting others to join in publicly endorsing the view that truly inclusive economic opportunity statewide is critically important to California's future success and should be a governing priority. The letter also highlighted support for putting problem-solving above partisanship and prioritizing evidence-driven solutions to produce a better economy and culture Californians throughout the state can see and feel, while modeling respect, inclusion, civility, and accountability. The letter was published in Medium, and shared with the Gubernatorial candidates on the 2018 Statewide Ballot.
Expansion and Planning
As people continued to add their names to the May 2018 “Open Letter”, new signatories asked to be included in a larger planning meeting, which took place in November, 2018. Collaborative Signatories/Partners agreed on the value of building and showing the broadest possible support for the Collaborative's identified goals, recognizing and supporting the work of organizations statewide working toward these goals in different ways, the importance of holding government at all levels accountable for progress in service to all Californians, and the need to pursue increasing specificity regarding policy remedies -- all while sustaining the broadest possible support for related action.
Open Letter to Governor Newsom
The Collaborative's Open Letter to newly-elected California Governor Gavin Newsom urged the new Governor to commit to "a future where basic economic security is a birthright and every person has a right to work, to discover their potential, and to share that potential with others". Collaborative Partners underscored their commitment to working alongside the Governor toward this goal, and urged him to task a senior official with developing plans to execute these priorities.
‘CADream4All’ Vision and Goals Statement
In the 'CADream4All' Vision and Goals Statement Collaborative Partners defined the specific conditions that determine Economic Security, which in turn can be used to prioritize action and assess impact. The statement was signed at the time by ~125 individuals with related expertise, from the public and private sectors and across party lines. It continues to attract endorsements, and will inform discussions regarding what specific policies are most likely to hasten positive change.
Building Consensus for A Policy Platform
Next, Collaborative Partners agreed to start work on a detailed policy document describing steps that can produce broad, inclusive economic security and opportunity, thoroughly informed by expert consultation, research and experience in other states, to be endorsed by Collaborative Partners and shared with State Legislators and the Governor.
Deliberation, Vetting, and Covid-19
The “CADream4All Policy Priorities” Draft Discussion Document and a process for review and vetting was finalized in January 2020. As the Steering Committee organized working groups to start the next stage of work, the Covid-19 pandemic descended upon our lives. Since this is an all-volunteer endeavor, caring for kids and reinventing “day jobs” online and so forth took priority for the next several months (Sound familiar?)
"CADream4All Policy Priorities" - Final Version
We currently are working to publish a comprehensive “CADream4All Policy Priorities" document in the Fall of 2021. This Agenda will detail the specific steps that can deliver a California Dream for All, by 2030, in terms that can attract broad, diverse support from groups across the state and galvanize the State Legislature and Governor Newsom's resolve to pursue and secure transformational reforms during the 2022 Legislative Session and beyond.
A California Dream For All
Our Ultimate Goal is a California in which every person has a chance to work, to discover their potential, and to share that potential with others -- in other words, access to economic security, opportunity and mobility: A California Dream For All. This also is the surest way to an inclusive, robust and resilient economy that prepares the next generation to thrive as workers, employers, inventors, parents, and civic stewards. It's the ultimate Win-Win for everyone, and it's a goal that we surely share. Please join us!