Message From the Chair Emeritus—Richard Johanson
Our members and partners have already heard about the network of regional leaders that emerged from the Collaborative Regional Initiative (CRI) work that began over a decade ago. This movement championed the notion of three interdependent development spheres (economic, infrastructure and human) that must be advanced together to build prosperous and quality communities. While the work of the network has been described in our bulletin, the voices of our partners and information about their local initiatives have not. In today’s bulletin you will hear about the Economic Development Corporation of L.A. County and Valley Vision in Sacramento. Be inspired. Be hopeful. Get engaged. While on the surface CA is clearly struggling, underneath a new approach is well underway. Old ideas created institutions and systems that simply do not work in today’s reality. Sometimes the answer is to simply let go and begin again.
From the LA County Economic Development Corporation
“We are really pushing hard on the implementation of L.A. County’s consensus Strategic Plan for Economic Development. We recently secured the unanimous endorsements of four of our county’s six regional COGs, representing 79 of L.A. County’s 88 cities, and are expecting all five to come on as implementation champions shortly. On July 14th, the City of Los Angeles unanimously voted to support the plan and directed the City’s Chief Administrative Office to see how the plan’s recommendations can be integrated into the activities of (and supported by) the relevant City departments/agencies.
Most important, we continue to leverage and expand the consensus developed during the planning phase by reaching out to the broader public speaking at events, forums, town hall meetings, etc. not just here in Los Angeles, but up-and-down the state. We continue to “pound the table” on the same overarching message that it is time for us to take responsibility for the health and vibrancy of our communities; we cannot rely only on our public officials/electeds to effectuate the transformational change that is required.
It’s been very exciting b/c what started as just a “plan” really has become a developing grassroots movement to serve and transform our communities. (To check out the plan go to http://www.lacountystrategicplan.com)
Valley Vision—“Action Tank” for the Capital Region
Another partner in the regional network is Valley Vision--a vast network of people and organizations dedicated to securing the social, environmental and economic health of the Sacramento Region. The organization serves as a platform to research, plan and problem solve when community challenges require collaborative solutions. As we explore the restoration of the local food system, a continuing focus on agriculture, water and energy, and expand focus into rural communities, Valley Vision’s successful work offers us tools and insights we can build upon. Check out www.valleyvision.org.