PPIC Forum on California - State of Change

After years of economic turmoil, California has entered a period of reform and reinvention. Electoral innovations, major changes to our corrections and health care systems, and renewed leadership in climate and energy policy—these changes will affect the lives of all Californians. Will they result in a better future for the Golden State?

The View from the Governor’s Office

Nancy McFadden, Jerry Brown’s top policy aide, talks about the newly reelected governor’s priorities for his next term. She is interviewed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

California’s New Leadership

California’s diverse population sets it apart from any other state or region in the world. How should the state’s demography change the way California is run? Assemblymembers Rocky Chávez, Lorena Gonzalez, and Chris Holden take up the issue with Gregory Rodriguez, founder of Zócalo Public Square. Demographer Hans Johnson sets the context for the discussion.

Government 2.0

Do state and local governments need an upgrade or an overhaul to manage in the 21st century? State Controller and Treasurer-elect John Chiang, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, and USC policy professor and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa respond to the question. The moderator is John Myers of KQED News. Patrick Murphy, research director at the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), provides the context.

Economic Shifts

Is the California dream dead? In their answers, panelists touch on income inequality, job creation, affordable housing, and the state’s business climate. Panelists are Antonia Hernández of the California Community Foundation, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, and Allan Zaremberg of the California Chamber of Commerce. The moderator is John Diaz, San Francisco Chronicle editorial page editor. Economist Sarah Bohn provides the context for discussion.

Cutting Edges

With the support of voters and elected leaders, California is a trendsetter in three areas: action on climate change, development of high-speed rail, and advancement of stem-cell research. The panelists are leading these three efforts—Jeff Morales of California High-Speed Rail Authority, Mary Nichols of the California Air Resources Board, and Art Torres of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The moderator is Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times columnist and Southern California Public Radio correspondent. Ellen Hanak, senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) provides the context.