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This is a consequential year. California is at the forefront of many major national issues, and this year our voters will elect new leaders across the board. They will choose a new governor—replacing one who has served four terms—and fill a US Senate seat. They will vote on their state constitutional officers, the majority of their state legislators, all the members of California’s congressional delegation, and myriad local government officials. They will also weigh in on a host of ballot measures.

Californians are making these critical decisions at a time when policies in Washington can change with bewildering speed and major implications for the nearly 40 million people who call our state home. This is a challenging landscape to navigate—for voters making choices this year and for the leaders they elect to govern in the years ahead.

PPIC is in a unique position to help.

At a time when separating fact from fiction can be difficult, PPIC’s reputation as a trustworthy source of rigorous, independent, objective, and nonpartisan information is more important than ever. Our fact sheets provide clear and concise summaries of key topics. Our authoritative reports—on issues from civic engagement to corrections reform to Medi-Cal’s challenges—help shape policy debates. Our briefing kits focus on the future consequences of policy choices made today. Our blog provides timely commentary and analysis.

PPIC’s research efforts are bolstered by three centers: our PPIC Higher Education Center advances practical ways to enhance educational opportunities for all of California’s students. Our PPIC Water Policy Center spurs innovative water management strategies that support a healthy economy, environment, and society. And our PPIC Statewide Survey gives Californians a voice—whether or not they are registered to vote—on candidates, ballot measures, and broader statewide issues.

While current political debates can be bitter, PPIC provides a neutral forum for civil and productive discussion. As part of our Speaker Series on California’s Future, we are inviting all major candidates for governor to participate in a public event—with the goal of providing Californians a better understanding of the way the candidates intend to address the challenges facing our state. Candidates Travis Allen, John Chiang, John Cox, Gavin Newsom, and Antonio Villaraigosa have each joined in these in-depth conversations so far. We webcast these events live and archive them on video to make them accessible to all.

Although we look ahead to the election, we also maintain our focus on today’s leaders and issues. As the legislative session begins, we will host the leaders of the state senate and assembly in a conversation about their priorities and why these issues are important to California’s future. We hope you can join us—in person or online.

We look forward to a busy and productive year. We invite you to stay up to date with our research and activities—including publications, events, and videos—by signing up for our monthly e-bulletin and subscribing to our blog.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.


Mark Baldassare
President and CEO

2017: Year in Review

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