Equitable Economic Development across California

Report #271, November 2022
Equitable Economic Development across California

Full Report

Executive Summary

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2022
 
For Additional Information Contact:
Ethan Rarick, Executive Director
(916) 445-0926
 

California Must Do More to Facilitate Inclusive Regional Economic Development, the Little Hoover Commission Finds

California has an opportunity to catalyze more inclusive and sustainable regional economic growth. However, in order to have a meaningful impact on regional economies, the state must do more, including providing greater strategic clarity and prioritizing resources for underserved regions, the state’s independent government watchdog finds in a new report.

The report, Equitable Economic Development across California, examines how state government can promote inclusive economic development in California’s less prosperous regions.

This is the Commission’s third publication on equitable economic development and the first to include policy recommendations. It previously released two Issue Briefs on the topic, Major State Programs That Can Support Regional Economic Development and Using Data Tools to Compare Regional Economic Well-Being in California, which offer important resources to state leaders as they seek to address regional economic disparities.

In its report, the Commission highlights the disparities in income, employment, and opportunity that exist between the California’s coastal cities and its rural and inland regions. 

“In recent decades, knowledge-based economies in California’s coastal cities have surged ahead, while less-diversified economies in the state’s rural and inland regions have not shared in this prosperity,” says Commission Chair Pedro Nava. “California must do more to address these regional disparities and support the communities in our state that have been left behind.”

The Governor and Legislature have already taken bold action to support inclusive regional economic growth, including through the $600 million investment in the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF). California is poised to support regional collaboratives as they develop and implement inclusive development strategies.

The Commission outlines several challenges that threaten CERF’s ability to significantly impact regional economies, including balancing among CERF’s different outcome goals, ensuring that regions receive the scale of investment necessary to change their economic trajectories, and coordinating the range of state programs that can support inclusive regional economic development.

“The Commission applauds CERF’s emphasis on inclusive and community-centered economic planning,” says Commissioner Bill Emmerson, who serves on the Commission’s subcommittee on equitable economic development. “Yet with such a broad range of goals and limited funding, CERF risks losing its ability to tackle any of its priorities effectively.”

To provide greater strategic clarity to the program, the Commission calls on the state to focus CERF more clearly on the creation of quality jobs in sustainable industries with high growth potential. The state should also prioritize connecting members of disadvantaged communities with the high quality jobs created.

To better support regions as they seek to execute economic development strategies, the Commission urges the state to help align resources, incentives, stakeholders, and regulatory agencies around regional opportunities. The Commission further recommends that the state create a single, senior point of leadership for regional economic development to provide efficient and coordinated support for regions in the long term.

In addition, the Commission finds that some regions and subregions need substantially more support for inclusive development than others. In recognition of this need, the Commission calls on the state to prioritize historically disadvantaged regions within CERF and relevant programs.

“California’s is a story of two economies,” says Commissioner Gil Garcetti, who also serves on the Commission’s subcommittee. “In order to better address longstanding inequities and close regional disparities, state leaders must direct CERF and related resources to the regions that need them the most.”

The Commission outlines additional recommendations, including investing in regional capacity for inclusive development and institutionalizing the reporting of metrics relating to the health of regional economies and the extent of regional economic disparities.

“CERF offers California a tremendous opportunity to strengthen and expand existing grassroots coalitions and accelerate more inclusive and sustainable regional economic growth,” says Chair Pedro Nava. “By adopting the Commission’s recommendations, the state can sustain and advance this equitable regional economic development in the long term.”

About the Little Hoover Commission

The Little Hoover Commission is America’s only permanent, independent citizens commission working to improve state government. A nonpartisan oversight agency created in 1962, the Commission includes 13 Commissioners appointed by the Governor and legislative leaders. The Commission’s mission is to investigate state operations and promote efficiency, economy, and improved service.

 

Fact Sheet

Study Description

Agenda

Overview

California is a center of innovation and home to world-leading enterprises. By some measures, California possesses the world’s fifth-largest economy. California’s economy is also, however, characterized by significant inequality and sizeable regional disparities.

In recent years, California has begun to take notable steps toward supporting regional approaches to economic development. New initiatives and emerging programs may provide a pathway toward addressing regional disparities and supporting inclusive development within regions. Yet it is important to note that the record for regional economic development efforts is mixed, with previous initiatives in California and elsewhere often failing to achieve their goals or provide inclusive growth.

As California’s independent oversight agency, the Little Hoover Commission assessed the nature and extent of current regional disparities within the state. It also examined state efforts to foster inclusive and sustainable regional growth, and how state government can best encourage and promote more equitable development.

In its report, the Commission calls on state government to do more to facilitate inclusive regional economic development, including by directing resources to regions that need them the most, investing in regional capacity, aligning funding and state programs to support regional development strategies, and ensuring that regions balance the goals of growth and inclusion.

Written testimony from hearing witnesses can be found below in the corresponding event agenda.

 

Related Reports:
(Report #270, November 2022)
 
(Report #269, August 2022)
 
Related Reports:

 

Print 
			Agenda
  • June 23
    2022
    Hearing on Equitable Economic Development (Part 2)
    10 a.m., Sierra Hearing Room, CalEPA Headquarters Building, 1001 I
    Public Hearing
    Agenda
    AGENDA
    Hearing on Equitable Economic Development across California (Part 2)
    10:00 A.M.
    Thursday, June 23
     
    Join in-person:
    Sierra Hearing Room
    CalEPA Headquarters Building
    1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814
     
    or 

    15 Henry Street, Southampton, New York 11968
     
    or

    38 Poplar Street, Berkeley, California 94708
     
    Join via Zoom:
    Phone: (888) 788-0099
    Webinar ID: 950-3406-4792
    Password: 414804
     
    1. Equitable Economic Development across California (Part 2)
     
    a. Morning Session: State Support for Inclusive Regional Development: The Community Economic Resilience Fund (10:00 A.M. to Noon)
     
    • Egon Terplan, Senior Advisor for Economic Development and Transportation, California Strategic Growth Council (Presentation)
    • Mary Collins, Senior Advisor for Climate and Economy, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
    • Kimberlee Meyer, Chief of Workforce Services Branch, Employment Development Department
    • Derek Kirk, Community-Based Solutions Supervisor, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

     

    b. Afternoon Session: An Inclusive Cluster Strategy in Focus: The Fresno-Merced Future of Food Innovation Initiative (1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
     
    • Dr. Glenda Humiston, Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California Office of the President (Presentation)
    • Dr. Ram Nunna, Dean, Lyles College of Engineering, California State University, Fresno (Presentation)
    • Dr. Chris Vitelli, Superintendent/President, Merced College (Presentation)
    • Yery Olivares, Chief Operating Officer and CDFI Executive Director, Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation
    • Genoveva Islas, Founder and Executive Director, Cultiva La Salud

     

    d. Public Comment (3 minutes per speaker, limited to 30 minutes total)
     
    Registration for this event is not required but if you wish to let us know how you plan on attending the event or you would like to receive additional information regarding the study, please register for the event on Eventbrite.
     
    Public Notice

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    June 13, 2022

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Ethan Rarick, Executive Director
    (916) 445-0926

     

    Notice of Hearing and Business Meeting
     

    On Thursday, June 23, 2022, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing beginning at 10 a.m. on equitable economic development across California and a business meeting beginning at noon. Both the hearing and business meeting will be held in the Sierra Hearing Room at the CalEPA Headquarters Building at 1001 I Street in Sacramento, 15 Henry Street in Southampton, New York, and 38 Poplar Street in Berkeley, California. The hearing will also be accessible via Zoom.

    Members of the public can attend the hearing in person or listen to the hearing by joining online or by phone. Click the URL to join online: https://bit.ly/3Hb0Kwy. To join via phone, call toll free from the U.S. by dialing (888) 788-0099. The webinar ID is 950-3406-4792. The password is 414804. We highly recommend members of the public access the hearing through the Zoom app. Please visit the Zoom website for instructions on how to download the Zoom app onto a computer or smartphone.

    Public comments will be heard at the end of the public hearing and the start of the business meeting and will be limited to three minutes per speaker and to a total of 30 minutes. The events may be cancelled without notice. Witnesses may be taken out of order to accommodate speakers and to maintain a quorum. The hearing or business meeting may be cancelled without notice.

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact the Little Hoover Commission at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, June 16, 2022.

    Video
  • May 26
    2022
    Hearing on Equitable Economic Development across California
    10 a.m., Riverside Convention Center, 3637 5th St, Riverside, CA 92
    Public Hearing
    Agenda
    AGENDA:
    Hearing on Equitable Economic Development across California
    10 a.m.
    Thursday, May 26, 2022


    Join us in-person:
    Meeting Room 7 and 8
    Riverside Convention Center
    3637 5th Street, Riverside, CA 92501

    Or join via Zoom:
    URL: https://bit.ly/37wy2IX
    Phone: (888) 788-0099
    Webinar ID: 987 9380 0239
    Password: 730260
     

    1. Equitable Economic Development across California

    Morning Session: 10 A.M. to Noon

    a. Panel 1: A Statewide Perspective: Regions Rise Together

    i. Lenny Mendonca, Former Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Governor Newsom and Director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development

    ii. Ashley Swearengin, President and CEO, Central Valley Community Foundation (Presentation)

    iii. Marek Gootman, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

    Afternoon Session: 1:15 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
    The Inland Empire: A Regional Case Study
     

    b. Panel 2: Regional Economic Development

    i. Paul Granillo, President and CEO, Inland Empire Economic Partnership (Written Testimony)

    ii. Tomás D. Morales, President, California State University, San Bernardino (Written Testimony)

    iii. Suzanne Holland, Director, Riverside County Office of Economic Development

    c. Panel 3: Opportunity and Inclusion

    i. Jackie Melendez, Executive Director, Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity (IEGO)

    ii. Alex Avila, Co-Founder of the Black Brown Economic Empowerment Partnership and the Inland Empire Multicultural Collective

    iii. Karen Suarez, Director, Uplift San Bernardino (Presentation, Written Testimony)

    d. Public Comment (3 minutes per speaker, limited to 30 minutes total)

    Registration for this event is not required but if you wish to let us know how you plan on attending the event or you would like to receive additional information regarding the study, please register for the event on Eventbrite.

    Public Notice

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    May 10, 2022
     

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Ethan Rarick, Executive Director
    (916) 445-0926

    Notice of Hearing

    On Thursday, May 26, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on equitable economic development across California. The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in Meeting Room 7 and 8 at the Riverside Convention Center at 3637 5th Street in Riverside. 

    Public comments will be heard at the end of the hearing and will be limited to three minutes per speaker and to a total of 30 minutes. Witnesses may be taken out of order to accommodate speakers and to maintain a quorum. The hearing may be cancelled without notice.

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact the Little Hoover Commission at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, May 19.


    Please be aware that there may be delays in responding to emails or other communications to the Commission as our staff is now working remotely due to the coronavirus epidemic. We appreciate your patience.

    Video

Print 
		Agenda
  • June 23
    2022
    Hearing on Equitable Economic Development (Part 2)
    10 a.m., Sierra Hearing Room, CalEPA Headquarters Building, 1001 I
    Public Hearing
    Agenda
    AGENDA
    Hearing on Equitable Economic Development across California (Part 2)
    10:00 A.M.
    Thursday, June 23
     
    Join in-person:
    Sierra Hearing Room
    CalEPA Headquarters Building
    1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814
     
    or 

    15 Henry Street, Southampton, New York 11968
     
    or

    38 Poplar Street, Berkeley, California 94708
     
    Join via Zoom:
    Phone: (888) 788-0099
    Webinar ID: 950-3406-4792
    Password: 414804
     
    1. Equitable Economic Development across California (Part 2)
     
    a. Morning Session: State Support for Inclusive Regional Development: The Community Economic Resilience Fund (10:00 A.M. to Noon)
     
    • Egon Terplan, Senior Advisor for Economic Development and Transportation, California Strategic Growth Council (Presentation)
    • Mary Collins, Senior Advisor for Climate and Economy, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
    • Kimberlee Meyer, Chief of Workforce Services Branch, Employment Development Department
    • Derek Kirk, Community-Based Solutions Supervisor, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

     

    b. Afternoon Session: An Inclusive Cluster Strategy in Focus: The Fresno-Merced Future of Food Innovation Initiative (1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
     
    • Dr. Glenda Humiston, Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California Office of the President (Presentation)
    • Dr. Ram Nunna, Dean, Lyles College of Engineering, California State University, Fresno (Presentation)
    • Dr. Chris Vitelli, Superintendent/President, Merced College (Presentation)
    • Yery Olivares, Chief Operating Officer and CDFI Executive Director, Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation
    • Genoveva Islas, Founder and Executive Director, Cultiva La Salud

     

    d. Public Comment (3 minutes per speaker, limited to 30 minutes total)
     
    Registration for this event is not required but if you wish to let us know how you plan on attending the event or you would like to receive additional information regarding the study, please register for the event on Eventbrite.
     
    Public Notice

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    June 13, 2022

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Ethan Rarick, Executive Director
    (916) 445-0926

     

    Notice of Hearing and Business Meeting
     

    On Thursday, June 23, 2022, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing beginning at 10 a.m. on equitable economic development across California and a business meeting beginning at noon. Both the hearing and business meeting will be held in the Sierra Hearing Room at the CalEPA Headquarters Building at 1001 I Street in Sacramento, 15 Henry Street in Southampton, New York, and 38 Poplar Street in Berkeley, California. The hearing will also be accessible via Zoom.

    Members of the public can attend the hearing in person or listen to the hearing by joining online or by phone. Click the URL to join online: https://bit.ly/3Hb0Kwy. To join via phone, call toll free from the U.S. by dialing (888) 788-0099. The webinar ID is 950-3406-4792. The password is 414804. We highly recommend members of the public access the hearing through the Zoom app. Please visit the Zoom website for instructions on how to download the Zoom app onto a computer or smartphone.

    Public comments will be heard at the end of the public hearing and the start of the business meeting and will be limited to three minutes per speaker and to a total of 30 minutes. The events may be cancelled without notice. Witnesses may be taken out of order to accommodate speakers and to maintain a quorum. The hearing or business meeting may be cancelled without notice.

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact the Little Hoover Commission at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, June 16, 2022.

    Video
  • May 26
    2022
    Hearing on Equitable Economic Development across California
    10 a.m., Riverside Convention Center, 3637 5th St, Riverside, CA 92
    Public Hearing
    Agenda
    AGENDA:
    Hearing on Equitable Economic Development across California
    10 a.m.
    Thursday, May 26, 2022


    Join us in-person:
    Meeting Room 7 and 8
    Riverside Convention Center
    3637 5th Street, Riverside, CA 92501

    Or join via Zoom:
    URL: https://bit.ly/37wy2IX
    Phone: (888) 788-0099
    Webinar ID: 987 9380 0239
    Password: 730260
     

    1. Equitable Economic Development across California

    Morning Session: 10 A.M. to Noon

    a. Panel 1: A Statewide Perspective: Regions Rise Together

    i. Lenny Mendonca, Former Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Governor Newsom and Director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development

    ii. Ashley Swearengin, President and CEO, Central Valley Community Foundation (Presentation)

    iii. Marek Gootman, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

    Afternoon Session: 1:15 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
    The Inland Empire: A Regional Case Study
     

    b. Panel 2: Regional Economic Development

    i. Paul Granillo, President and CEO, Inland Empire Economic Partnership (Written Testimony)

    ii. Tomás D. Morales, President, California State University, San Bernardino (Written Testimony)

    iii. Suzanne Holland, Director, Riverside County Office of Economic Development

    c. Panel 3: Opportunity and Inclusion

    i. Jackie Melendez, Executive Director, Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity (IEGO)

    ii. Alex Avila, Co-Founder of the Black Brown Economic Empowerment Partnership and the Inland Empire Multicultural Collective

    iii. Karen Suarez, Director, Uplift San Bernardino (Presentation, Written Testimony)

    d. Public Comment (3 minutes per speaker, limited to 30 minutes total)

    Registration for this event is not required but if you wish to let us know how you plan on attending the event or you would like to receive additional information regarding the study, please register for the event on Eventbrite.

    Public Notice

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    May 10, 2022
     

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Ethan Rarick, Executive Director
    (916) 445-0926

    Notice of Hearing

    On Thursday, May 26, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on equitable economic development across California. The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in Meeting Room 7 and 8 at the Riverside Convention Center at 3637 5th Street in Riverside. 

    Public comments will be heard at the end of the hearing and will be limited to three minutes per speaker and to a total of 30 minutes. Witnesses may be taken out of order to accommodate speakers and to maintain a quorum. The hearing may be cancelled without notice.

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact the Little Hoover Commission at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, May 19.


    Please be aware that there may be delays in responding to emails or other communications to the Commission as our staff is now working remotely due to the coronavirus epidemic. We appreciate your patience.

    Video