A structure that delivers results and accountability
State and local agencies must work together to achieve improved education, increased employment, decreased poverty, decreased crime, and improved health.
To address challenges, local and regional governments must share strategies and resources. Without substantial performance improvements in the public sector, California will not be able to simultaneously grow the economy, create equal opportunity and protect our environment.
To improve our state, California must do the following:
1. Empower local governments to better deal with crime, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, public health and poverty by giving greater discretion to local government regarding how to best achieve statewide outcome goals. The state needs to help communities improve outcomes, by providing stable and dedicated funding streams, while enabling local voters to hold locally elected leaders accountable for results.
2. Create incentives for local governments to cooperate on regional challenges – preparing the workforce, developing infrastructure and growing jobs, while finding more efficient ways to protect air and water quality, wildlife habitat and open spaces. These incentives can be financial and regulatory, encouraging governments to coordinate activities, share resources, and find better regional solutions for transportation, housing and environmental protection. Developing solid proposals with broad support is a high priority for CA Fwd in 2011 and 2012.
3. Revitalize educational systems to ensure California is a place where children can get a world-class education that prepares them to excel in a global economy and support families of their own. The method for financing schools is a critical element of the state and local fiscal relationship. A significant body of research shows California should invest more in schools – but more in a system designed to improve results, particularly in low-performing schools. The most promising models strengthen relationships between K-12 and higher education institutions, as well as the role of schools in their communities. CA Fwd will partner with other groups dedicated to educational reforms to advance school finance and governance reforms.
4. Encourage elected leaders to negotiate pension solutions. “Pension reform” is not a governance issue. But if pension liabilities are not resolved, the positive impact of governance reforms will be muted. CA Fwd will partner with other nonpartisan efforts to develop a factual understanding of the challenges and the options for resolution.