California Forward

For The 50 State Solution Project Benchmarking Electoral Reforms

  • Amount
  • Program
  • Date Awarded
  • Term
    12 Months
  • Type of Support
Across sectors, ideology, and geography, reformers are working to advance policies to improve the overall health of democracy. Many of these actors remain unconnected, and few have a big-picture view of reform efforts across the 50 states. With this grant, California Forward and its partners will benchmark the status of reforms and reform efforts at the state and local levels in a "State of the Field" document. The partners will then convene an initial session of key champions on January 26, 2017, in San Francisco to explore the dynamics of reform efforts in campaign finance, redistricting, voting, and primary processes, and to explore options for developing a support network for reform leaders and organizations moving forward.
About the Grantee
Grantee Website 
127 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA, 94710, United States
Grants to this Grantee
for creating solutions to California’s wildfire crisis  
California Forward advocates for shared prosperity across all of California’s regions and for improved government performance and accountability. California Forward hosts the California Economic Summit, a robust network that concentrates on ensuring all Californians have access to economic opportunity, stable housing, quality jobs, and a healthy environment. This grant supports California Forward’s ongoing efforts to generate solutions to the state’s wildfire crisis. (Substrategy: Wildfire)
for the "What's Next California?" statewide deliberative poll  
California Forward is a current GOS grantee that intends to carry out over the next three years a statewide conversation and engagement effort designed to support a fiscal realignment plan that shifts significant decisionmaking authority and revenue-raising responsibility from the state to local governments. This project grant is a related but distinct part of this larger effort; linked with California Forward’s other activities, this project has the potential to build significant momentum for reforms. California Forward is part of a consortium of organizations that is organizing and managing a statewide deliberative poll in order to engage and test various reform ideas with ordinary Californians during a weekend of intensive dialogue. Jim Fishkin at Stanford University's Center for Deliberative Democracy developed the deliberative poll concept and model, and he will produce and conduct the poll. It will be conducted with approximately 300-350 Californians randomly drawn from statewide lists of likely voters, offering both a scientifically proven and visible media opportunity to engage state citizens. The consortium has identified state-local restructuring, taxation, initiative process, and representation as the four issue areas best suited for discussion. Jim Lehrer Productions at PBS will work with Mr. Fishkin to manage major media and logistics, and a communications working group will be formed to develop key objectives, messages, and strategies.
for the What's Next California? statewide deliberative poll  
This spring, the Foundation awarded a modest grant for "What’s Next, California?," a statewide deliberative poll designed to engage and test various reform ideas with average Californians during a weekend of intensive dialogue. Conducted by Jim Fishkin at Stanford University's Center for Deliberative Democracy, the poll provided a media opportunity to engage state citizens who had been randomly drawn from lists of likely voters. The event was intended to draw approximately 350 Californians; impressively, more than 400 registered—an unprecedented showing for a deliberative poll. The additional numbers are a testament to the event’s success and to Californians’ genuine interest in engaging on important reform issues, but California Forward needs additional funds to cover the unanticipated cost generated by the extra attendees. This supplemental grant would assist in that effort.

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