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As the leadership transition takes shape in Sacramento and a newly divided Congress gets to work in Washington, California has an enormous opportunity and a substantial challenge. The opportunity: building on a level of voter enthusiasm rarely seen in midterm elections to increase long-term civic engagement. The challenge: fostering policy debates that are productive and solution-driven in a polarized political climate.

At PPIC, we are eager to work with our newly elected leaders and other engaged Californians on both fronts.

Founded in 1994, PPIC was born of the need for nonpartisan, fact-based information and productive, respectful dialogue. In 2019, our 25th anniversary year, the need has never been greater.

Late last year, before our new representatives began work in Sacramento, our PPIC Statewide Survey—which has long given Californians a voice on policy and fiscal priorities—asked the state’s residents for their views on California’s leaders and top issues.

We are now working to meet with all newly elected legislators; our aim is to build relationships to ensure that PPIC’s rigorous, nonpartisan research and analysis reaches elected officials when it will be most useful.

We are providing state leaders with a briefing kit that highlights California’s most pressing long-term challenges in several key areas. Like all of our research, this multi-topic publication will be available to all on our website free of charge.

This year we will offer analysis and advice on a number of key topics, including water and higher education. Through the PPIC Statewide Survey, our leaders will regularly have the opportunity to find out what the public thinks of new policies and proposals. Our data-driven approach—at the center of all we do—is guided by our deep commitment to improve public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research.

We are committed to fostering civil and productive public dialogue—especially in a time of strong partisan rancor. Last year, our Speaker Series on California’s Future featured conversations with candidates for governor, US Senate, and state superintendent for public instruction. In addition, our conversations with congressional leaders Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi provided a better understanding of how they address key policy challenges.

This year, we plan to draw on the vast experience of our past leaders by inviting all living former governors to share the stage. They will talk about lessons they have learned and offer their thoughts about the state’s future. You can join the live webcast of these events or watch the video at a time convenient to you.

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

2018: Year in Review

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