RCG: California Forums for Reform

I greatly enjoyed seeing Dan Walters speak on California Politics at the
Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce. The key insight he shared is that political
change comes from
civic
institutions
, not politicians. Alas, he is
not aware of any statewide organizations pursuing such change, apart from a few
largely academic efforts.

So, as part
of my effort to Reengineer California Governance, I’ve started
identifying groups that might be interested in supporting such an effort. My
hypothesis is that what is needed is a clear vision of reform, which other
groups can recognize as the optimal route for achieving their particular goals.
The sequence would thus be “
ideas ->
money -> people
” (the three prerequisites
of any organized effort).

Arguably the
linchpin of any reform in California is the Irvine Foundation, which appears to be trying to
catalyze such efforts through their California Perspectives program. They also
have a marvelous definition of governance
as:

the use of governing
authority to promote the will of the governed in a fair, accountable, responsive
and efficient manner

Interestingly,
they’ve partnered with the radical-centrist New America
Foundation
on a California Fellows program in support of these goals.
Perhaps someday I will apply for one, so I can do this full time.
🙂

California Forums
for Reform

Draft 1,
8/31/2004

Powerful

Irvine Foundation
California Perspectives program,
including:

New America
Foundation

$750,000 over 1
year

To establish a California-based Fellows
Program that supports a new generation of public policy writers and thinkers to
help create solutions to California’s most pressing
problems.

Foundation for Education Reform

State Lobbyist
Reform Office

Centrist

California Policy
Reform Network

California
Governance Consensus Project

Commonwealth
Club
Governance Conference and Voices of Reform

California Center for Regional
Leadership

PolicyLink
California Infrastructure

Activist

Reform
Party of California
(plus retired
president
and silicon valley
office)

Californians for Instant
Runoff Voting
(IRV)

Californians for Electoral
Reform
(part of Center for Voting and
Democracy
)

American Reform Party of
California

Hopefully they’ll
support more general (and better) Ranked-Choice Voting
options

California Law Revision Commission (Tort
Reform)

California Tax Reform
Association

California Coalition for
Authentic Reform in Education
(anti-testing)

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