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Welcome to our rolling repository of updates on reform in California. For press inquiries, please contact Jania Palacios (520-404-7643,

CAFWD In The News

Long Beach city councilman asks residents how they would spend $250,000

Less than three months into his first term, Long Beach City Councilmember Rex Richardson is already proving he’s not afraid to shake up City Hall. In an effort to empower residents and foster greater transparency, Richardson is putting some budgetary decision directly into the hands of his constituents through an innovative form of direct democracy known as participatory budgeting (PB). Read more

Proposition 2 — ensuring California’s future: Guest commentary

Things have been looking better in California. More people are working. The housing market is stabilizing. Tax revenues are increasing. What once were double-digit deficits in the state budget when the economy was struggling now are budget surpluses that the governor and Legislature are wisely using to pay down the wall of debt created during the Great Recession that ended five years ago. Read more

What can you do for California

In the good times, it is important to remember the bad times. One of California’s most serious governance challenges is the volatility of General Fund tax revenue. No other state has a revenue system that produces higher booms and bigger busts. As a result, everything from schools to services for the elderly are subjected to fiscal hardships, and Californians to the heartache. Read more

Initiative reform is only the first step for the Think Long Committee

As important as the passage of the legislation was the model of civic engagement that produced it. While the proposal originated in the Think Long Committee Final Report and was authored by Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, it was developed over the last year and a half through regular meetings of a broad coalition that included the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, NAACP, California Church IMPACT, California Business Roundtable, California Chamber of Commerce, California School Employees Association, and California Forward as well as the Think Long Committee. Read more

Opinion: What you can do for California

In the good times, it is important to remember the bad times. One of California’s most serious governance challenges is the volatility of general fund tax revenue. No other state has a revenue system that produces higher booms and bigger busts. Read more

More CAFwd in the News

News Clips

Something new: Cross party appeal

Have we ever had a more dismal election? For the first time in 60 years there is no serious race for governor, nor any other partisan statewide office. Read more

Prop 2’s new reserve for K-14 education is unlikely to have impact, though local school district

As we have blogged about recently, setting aside funds in good economic times to help meet the challenges that arise during economic downturns is a sound budgeting practice — and one California voters supported when they approved Proposition 58 in 2004. Proposition 2, a constitutional amendment placed on the November 4, 2014 ballot by the Legislature, would rewrite the rules governing deposits into and withdrawals from the state’s existing Budget Stabilization Account (BSA) — and, as we explained last week, would require the state to pay down “budgetary debt” for the next 15 years. Read more

Local governments seeking voter approval of huge number of tax increases in November

When voters go to the polls November 4, they will decide the fate of a large number of school bonds, parcel taxes, sales taxes, utility users’ taxes and other measures that will impact their family budgets. Read more

Democrats’ hope of Senate supermajority could rest with 2 districts

The Democrats' quest to regain their supermajority in the state Senate could be decided next month in an ethnically diverse section of Orange County and a large swath of farmland and rural towns about 300 miles away in the Central Valley. Read more

Jerry Brown’s team releases a slew of upbeat new Prop. 1 & 2 ads

While he still hasn’t done a single ad for his own 2014 re-election campaign, California Gov. Jerry Brown will hit the airwaves again Monday to push two state ballot measures — this time with a new TV spot that gives a subtle nod to the legacy of his father, the late Gov. Pat Brown. Read more

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Press Releases

Smart Voter and Voter’s Edge Launch Comprehensive Nonpartisan Online Voter Guide for California Vote

Personalized Ballot Look-Up Feature Allows Voters to Mark Selections and Share Ballot Choices Via Social Media Read more

CA Fwd Calls on Legislators to Take Immediate Action on Implementing Reforms to Restore Public Trust

“Path Toward Trust” Urges Specific Actions to Increase Transparency on Financial Data and Public Decisions Read more

California Forward and California Special Districts Association launch new transparency portal

Today California Forward (CA Fwd) and the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) have launched a first-of-its-kind portal providing data and information on more than 1,100 California special districts. Read more

CA Fwd Issues the State of Transparency in California As Part of National Sunshine Week

The Update Reinforces CA Fwd's Efforts to Encourage Transparency to Strengthen Good Government Practices in California Read more

New CA Fwd Report Shows Pretrial Programs Could be Cost-Effective Alternatives to Crowded Jails

Report Features Best Practices from Pretrial Programs in Five California Counties Read more

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