Little Hoover Commission: 2021 Year in Review

December 16, 2021

2021 has been a year of challenges and changes as we continue to navigate the pandemic’s impacts. The Little Hoover Commission took these obstacles in stride. We met remotely to save time and money. We produced more reports and more recommendations for policy reform. We reached out to policymakers and the public more – spreading the word about the work we do to make government better.
 
We welcomed four new Commissioners. Governor Newsom appointed former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti to the Commission, and legislative leaders appointed three new legislative members: Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, Assemblymember Phillip Chen, and Senator Dave Min. We now have a full Commission for the first time since 2017 and are excited to benefit from our new Commissioners’ experiences and commitment. Last year we made three new staff hires to fill vacancies, and the combination of a full Commission and a full staff means we are ready to tackle new challenges in the coming year.
 
I am incredibly proud of the work that the Commission has done this year, and we have highlighted some of these accomplishments below.
 
We look forward to serving you in 2022 as we continue to work toward a better government for all Californians.
 
Pedro Nava
Chair, Little Hoover Commission

 
Rigorous Fact-Based Research and Recommendations
The Commission released 10 reports and Issue Briefs this year—the most we have issued in a single year since 1995—focusing on a number of timely topics affecting our state:

Within our reports, Commissioners offered 46 recommendations to the Governor and Legislature to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our government, the largest number of recommendations the Commission has made in a single year since 1994.
 
The Commission met over 20 times, including 12 public hearings – the most hearings the Commission has held in a single year since at least 2002. We heard testimony from 44 witnesses, including Secretary of State Shirley Weber and former Secretary of State Bill Jones on California’s recall system; Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Health & Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly on the pandemic’s impact on children’s mental health; and California Business, Consumer Services & Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez on creating more affordable housing.
 
Legislative Impact:
The Commission supported 13 bills, seven of which were signed into law by Governor Newsom. These implemented the Commission’s recommendations to—among other things—work to ensure that child victims of all types of human trafficking are protected under California law and reform the state’s key anti-domestic violence program to better support survivors and service providers.
 
Implementation and Outreach Efforts:
We are continuously working to increase awareness of our work and turn our well-researched recommendations into reality.

We began holding webinars to promote our reports. We’ll hold three webinars this year -- on batterer intervention programsthe pandemic’s impact on Children’s mental health, and police training.
 
To help showcase unenacted recommendations, we created a new Ideas for Change page on our website which features our recommendations from reports over the past several years, and includes suggestions to streamline government programs, strengthen strategies to address critical issues facing the state, and provide crucial support to the most vulnerable among us.
 
We also published blog posts on a wide variety of topics, from addressing the Salton Sea crisis to strengthening enforcement of our gun laws and improving the state’s GIS policies. Our blog posts published this year have been read over 7,000 times.
 
Social Media:
The Commission is expanding its digital engagement efforts through social media. In 2021, the Commission created over 250 social graphics—a 93 percent increase from last year—to underscore our research and recommendations, share upcoming events, and highlight Commission news. This increased output has helped our social presence grow:

  • Our Twitter impressions are up 51 percent from last year. We have seen an 88 percent increase in the number of times that others mentioned our Twitter handle. The number of visits to our profile was 12 times higher this year compared to last year.
  • Our Facebook followers more than doubled since the start of the year.
  • We are continuing to post recordings of all Commission hearings on our YouTube channel. This year we saw a 20 percent increase in our YouTube video views.

 

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