CA Fwd: Decade of Progress


For a decade, CA Fwd has been driven to make the promise of the California Dream attainable for all. Its mission is to inspire better decision-making by governments at all levels in order to:

  • Grow Middle-Class Jobs
  • Promote Cost-effective Public Services
  • Restore Trust & Create Accountability for Results 

This special Forward Thinking page shares many examples of our accomplishments during California's "Era of Reform." But our name commits us to always be looking forward to the next opportunities to bolster governance so that California can advance opportunity for everyone and sustainability for our communities.

CA Fwd is the only organization in the state that works in an explicitly bipartisan way to strengthen the overall foundation of government. That has always been a core value – making sure that the system works for everyone no matter which party is in charge.

And in the past year, CA Fwd showed it is more committed than ever to work as it has for the last 10 years – with all sides to find common ground that can improve governance in California.

Read more about CA Fwd's Decade of Progress, featured in the The Business Journals


Timeline of Reform Achieved

Citizens Redistricting: Prop 11 helped reduce partisan gerrymandering by giving the job of drawing political boundaries to citizens.
Top-Two Primary: Prop 14 gave every voter the right to vote for all candidates in primary elections, giving politicians an incentive to appeal to all voters in their districts.

Simple Majority Vote for the State Budget: Prop 25 made it harder for partisan stalemates to hold up funding for essential state and community services.
Term-Limit Reform: Prop 28 allowed state lawmakers to serve up to 12 years in either house of the Legislature, giving them a chance to build expertise and relationships.
Public Records Reform: Prop 42 affirmed in the constitution the public’s right to local government records.

Ballot Initiative Reform: SB 1253 increased public review of proposed ballot measures, increased transparency and encouraged legislative solutions.

Rainy Day Fund: Prop 2 provided a mechanism for managing volatile revenue and saving money to provide essential services during economic recessions.
Legislator Suspension Reform: Prop 50 in 2016 gave the California Legislature clear authority to suspend members of the Senate or the Assembly without pay.

72-hours in print: Prop 54 requires all legislation to be public for 72 hours before a final vote in the Assembly and Senate.




"You're there demonstrating every single year a capacity to deliver on the things we promote and promise up in Sacramento."

- Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor, State of California

"I think the Summit's work is critical."

- California State Senator Toni Atkins

"The work of CA Fwd is indicative of the fact that you can do it. You can find that common ground..."

- Ben Metcalf, Director, CA Department of Housing & Community Development

"There's been no other entity that's been able or willing to take on that challenge but CA Fwd & the Economic Summit has done just that."

- Ashley Swearengin, CEO, Central Valley Community Foundation


VIDEO: Panetta urges reforms in California to continue

Former Defense Secretary gives rousing speech on the state of national politics and the need for California to be a model of reform. Read more

Categories: 50 State, CA Fwd Legacy, Democracy

CA Fwd: Moving CA From Red Ink to a Reserve

How CA took a leap forward in creating a more stable state budget picture Read more

Categories: CA Fwd Legacy, Fiscal Reform, Budget Reform, Rainy Day Fund, State Budget, State Budget

CA Fwd: Rebuilding Trust Between The People and Government

How organization has encouraged and promoted more responsive government for a decade Read more

Categories: CA Fwd Legacy, Democracy, Cal-Access, Citizens Redistricting Commission, Elections

California and CA Fwd should double-down on Smart Government

In divisive era, government reform needs to start with framework based on goals, metrics, and accountability for outcomes Read more

Categories: CA Fwd Legacy, Community Services, Restructuring, Governance Reform, Leadership Council

CA Fwd and Riverside County: Using Data to Solve Problems

A model for system change sprang from a need to make criminal justice more cost-effective and lower jail populations Read more

Categories: CA Fwd Legacy, Community Services, Community Corrections, Justice System Change Initiative, Realignment, Crime