The Power is Now

Highlights of the 2021 California Economic Summit


The tenth annual 2021 California Economic Summit saw the California Governor, Gavin Newsom, participate in what was termed as a fireside chat in Monterey. The governor mainly discussed his California Comeback Plan, a series of bold steps, investments, and initiatives to equitably grow California’s economy while also making the state more environmentally sustainable.

The highlight of the 2021 California Economic Summit was perhaps the discussion that formed around the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF). The Director of the California Office of Planning and Research, Samuel Assefa, gave a public comment regarding the proposed 13 regions that will receive the grants.

The 13 regions will receive up to $5 million in planning grants under the community fund. The regions include the Inland Empire, Los Angeles County, Central San Joaquin Valley, and others.

The fund was created to promote sustainable and equitable recovery from the economic distress brought about by covid-19. Mainly, the fund will support new plans and strategies to diversify local economies and develop sustainable industries that create high-quality and accessible jobs for Californians. Specifically, CERF would help communities and regional groups produce regional roadmaps for the recovery of the California economy and a transition that prioritizes the creation of accessible, high-quality jobs in sustainable industries.

The 13 regions set to benefit directly from the CERF program were chosen mainly based on an analysis by California’s Labor market Information Division and other macro factors, including the region’s population, geographical scale, its size, among many others.

Termed as the SB 162, the Governor for California signed the $600 million bill in September, and it is aimed at helping the local economies recover from losses due to the pandemic. Additionally, the bill will promote equitable recovery from the pandemic, support the local groups in recovery and increase investments.

“What defines this conference is this bottom-up notion to regionalization, collaboration, and partnerships. This CERF investment will support your efforts at the local level to make sure that our economic recovery is felt by everybody. And to make sure that we’re focusing on the divide, particularly that urban-rural divide.”

Last year’s economic summit was hosted by the California Forward (CA Fwd). This nonprofit organization uses collective action to develop equitable solutions to the state’s problems. Last year’s summit was mainly centered around conversations, and informational sessions focused on equity, environmental sustainability, and economic growth pertaining to local governments.

The conference concluded with the leaders committing to assist and build back regional economies in the state. As a result, the 2022 California Economic Summit will take place in Bakersfield, California, on October 27 and 28.





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