BizFed Engages with CA Lt. Gov. Newsom
BizFed leaders are continuing their nearly 2 years of direct engagement with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office to help move California’s economy forward, meeting recently to discuss the status of his office's "Economic Growth & Competitiveness Agenda" as well as insights in his new book.
WHAT DID HE SAY:
We’re “still stuck on stupid” in many regards to how we tax and educate with the old industrial economy ways.
We need to be in the “future business” and the “how business” to address 1) the merger of IT and Globalization 2) our debt and entitlements challenges 3) energy and climate change drivers
We asked about the “Economic Growth & Competitiveness Agenda”:
(Which spurred BizFed’s unanimous support in October 2011 and our “No More Blah, Blah” ad campaign early last year)
- “It’s not good enough for me to give you an update and tell you we haven’t done a lot of things (on implementation of the Economic Growth & Competitiveness Agenda) and point fingers …because who the hell cares? You’re not interested in who’s to blame, you want to focus on what to do. So we’re continuing to put pressure where pressure must be placed to begin aggressive implementation of some of these principles.”
- “I am optimistic…The governor is going to China in a couple of weeks….and will leave behind a new economic development office there – one that had closed in 2003. …There is some CEQA legislation, struggling to gain momentum, but moving forward. There’s a lot more rhetoric in Sacramento on the importance of economic development….. Now, with an operational surplus, it relieves some of the pressure of the budget to focus on greatness and not just solvency. I believe we are in a unique position in the next 2 years to manifest some of these changes.”
- “We need a comprehensive economic development strategy in this state that is bottom up – not top down. Not centralized but decentralized. The plan, if it was named, should be called ‘Regions Rising Together.’ Because each distinct region has unique attributes – so one-size-fits-all, top-down economic development does not work and is not relevant.”
- “Let’s build on the good work already being done at local levels,” such as the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. work. “There’s not a problem that doesn’t exist that hasn’t been solved by someone somewhere. We have build on it and share it” – including through regional conferences.
Check out some of the results of the first-ever California Economic Summit last year in Santa Clara here.
And stay tuned for details about the LA County regional summit set for June 5, 2013 – and the statewide summit set for December 2013!
- “We have to wake up to this reality of our hyper-connected world.”We have to have a “framework of aggressiveness, learn from our competitors, go out and ‘case their joints,’ learn these best practices and adopt them to the values that are unique to California.”
- “We’re never, dare I say, going to be the cheapest place to do business. But we can be the best place to do business. We can address the issue of being perceived as the worst place to do business (CEO magazine, etc.), by addressing our strengths and building on them – and addressing our weaknesses.”
- “We have to recapture the spirit of this state – the pioneering principles ‘Go West, young man.’ …We’ve lost a bit of that. It’s essential to bring people together. …This notion that we’re all in this together – we’ve lost sight of that. Networked intelligence, collective wisdom - elements that are themes in the book.”
Special thanks goes to all our attendees at the discussion, and sponsors Woodbury University, Union Bank, Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles, and Means Knaus Partners.
Stay tuned for more in the months ahead as BizFed continues to work with leaders across our region and state to try to move California’s economy forward.