California jobs and investment are heading for the exits. The consequences will be devastating and enduring, for our economy and our communities. Unless we acknowledge the problems and work on common sense solutions, the exodus will only gather momentum. Large employers aren’t the only ones affected. Thousands of small and medium-size businesses are being hit hardest, along with community organizations and local governments that rely on a vibrant economy for their lifeblood.
Too many political leaders, anti-tech critics and no-growth scolds, however, are content to dismiss, deny or ignore the warning signs and rely instead on short-term indicators that fail to capture troubling longer-term trends which prompted Leon Panetta to declare “the California dream is in deep trouble.” And a powerful commentary in the San Francisco Chronicle by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo highlighted the outright hostility of what he called “applause-seeking and responsibility-evading politicians” in scapegoating the very job creators who have helped make California a global technology and innovation leader.
Enough. We must act now and we must act quickly. Behind the leadership of Clint Reilly, CEO of Clint Reilly Holdings, the Bay Area Council has launched an initiative to raise the alarm bells and set a new course for California. We are organizing a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals concerned about the direction of California’s economy to advance practical solutions and work with willing elected leaders to get them implemented. Already, more than 50 organizations have signed on. And the number is growing.
The state’s high taxes and burdensome regulations are just one part of the problem. A massive housing shortage and affordability crisis that has been years in the making, intractable homelessness and the growing threat of wildfires, drought and extreme weather must also finally be addressed. In the midst of all this, the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified California’s economic vulnerability.
In addition to advancing policy solutions, we also are developing a statewide communications campaign to raise public awareness about the depth and severity of California’s problems, promote the state’s many incredible assets and competitive advantages and call on our elected leaders to prioritize making the changes necessary to restore the Golden State’s luster. To help repair California, please consider a donation of any amount.