Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Michael Flad, Former Member of the California Strategic Growth Council
Meeting In-Person and via ZOOM
Present: Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Bill Blankenship, Rebecca Boydston, Greg Bradbard, Mike Burrows, Mark Cloud, Josh Cox, Kevin Dyerly, Dr. Sam Gibbs, Louis Goodwin, Fran Inman, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Steve Lambert, Mike Layne, Bill Lemann, Michael Lewin, Darcy McNaboe, Jacquelyn Mercado, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, Robert Nava, Bansree Parikh, Cid Pinedo, Catherine Pritchett, Michael Rivera, Dan Roberts, Dan Schenkel, Kristine Scott, Eric Ustation, Lupe Valdez, Michael Wells, Ray Wolfe and Frank Zabaleta.
Guests: Daniel Enz and Amy Sells.
Announcements: 1) Members were reminded that issue papers for state advocacy are due March 31, 2023. A briefing for the advocacy group is being scheduled in Sacramento. 2) The formal signing ceremony for the approved FHA grant to the SBCTA for rail service was well attended and a successful event. 3) Participants who would like airfare reimbursement (up to $450.00) for the Washington, D.C. trip were asked to send their receipt to staff as soon as possible but no later than March 31, 2023.
Kevin Dyerly, Chair presiding
Motion by L. King/Second/Passed: Minutes from March 14, 2023.
Membership Chair, Kristine Scott, announced the first reading of prospective new member San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools. Their primary representative would be Ted Alejandre and Norm Nunez would serve as their Alternate representative. To learn more about them go to https://www.sbcss.k12.ca.us/index.php/en/ A second reading will be made next week.
Steve Lambert introduced Michael Flad, Assistant City Manager for the City of Jurupa Valley, California’s newest city, who joined us in person. He spent five years as a member of the Strategic Growth Council (SGC), which is part of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. Michael spoke about the evolving Strategic Growth Council, created in 2008, that is made up of ten distinguished quality professionals as members and a highly talented staff. The Council is a cabinet level committee that is tasked with coordinating the activities of state agencies to:
- Improve air and water quality.
- Protect natural resources and agriculture lands.
- Increase the availability of affordable housing.
- Promote public health and equity.
- Improve transportation.
- Encourage greater infill and compact development.
- Strengthen the economy.
- Promote water conservation.
- Revitalize community and urban centers.
- Assist state and local entities in the planning of sustainable communities and meeting AB 32 goals.
- Advance the priorities developed in Safeguarding California, the State’s climate adaptation strategy.
The Council has already distributed just over $2B in grants, most of which have been in the housing sector (creating 9,400 housing units) and support services to housing. Critical to the Council is race equity and inclusion with an overlay of reduction in greenhouse gasses and reduced vehicle miles traveled (VMT). As part of their strategic growth plan the Council wants to increase communication, accessibility, and an understanding of what the Council is and how they can assist to be a resource and information hub. The SGC listens and they recognize many areas need assistance. Growth is now seen in planning and technical assistance grants that will assist communities that are not as strong as San Francisco or Fresno to better position themselves for grant funding in the future. Additionally, geographic equity is now regularly being discussed by the council. Their web site is https://sgc.ca.gov/
Fresno has done a great job of highlighting their needs and problems. They are open, honest, and comfortable with their issues unlike many areas that want to focus on their successes. The IE needs to be honest about where we are disadvantaged and under resourced. Fresno’s biggest advantage is their decades long coordinated efforts. Everyone there, including the city and county are all on the same page. They also have the benefit of the planned high-speed rail as much SGC funding is focused on proximity to transit hubs.
ASM Lori Freedman requested the CA Transportation assessment report that takes a critical look at the State’s policies and their failures. It is appreciated when the state takes a critical look at their own policies and practices. This report indicates that the practices of the SGC have not moved the needle in reducing greenhouse gases as they had thought, planned or promised the legislature. The report has given the SGC a different perspective, but they will maintain emphasis on emission reduction goals.
Michael Flad also serves on a audit of the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP). The CJP is the independent state agency responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct and judicial incapacity and for disciplining judges. Their recent audit reflects some reforms are needed but overall, the CJP is functioning very well within their scope.
Major points to increase effectiveness for IE advocacy included:
- Successful grant approval which requires diverse partnerships with people from transportation, healthcare, and housing.
- Inland Action’s federal legislative advocacy paper, albeit lengthy, is very good and resonates with Jurupa Valley and would with many others. Inland Action should share as much as possible with local cities, council members, Mayor’s and City Managers to create overlap and consensus. The platform should be known to as many as possible.
- Civic engagement in local and state appointments will help Sacramento better understand that the IE population consists of hardworking, common-sense people, that care deeply about air quality and the environment.
- Inland Action can work to make the SGC better understand the needs of the Inland Region. Examples given were increased participation on state committees and appointments to represent the Inland Empire. This engagement can correct many misconceptions of the IE. Inland Action should plan to meet with members of the SGC or their staff. Getting Sacramento folks to the IE for tours can also make a big difference in false perceptions. He also discussed how businesses can be a leading voice to communicate the needs of a region as they are the economic drivers.
A Q & A period followed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:30a.m.