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Building Our Inclusive and Prosperous Economy

Our region has a tremendous opportunity in front of us with the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) to build an inclusive and prosperous economy for our region. Valley Vision, as the CERF Regional Convener, is leading a $5M planning process over the next year to grow a regional coalition that will identify, build, and advance equity-centered economic development opportunities in our eight-county region including Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Yolo, and Yuba counties. 

In late June, we kicked off our summer-of-learning together for the coalition featuring Professor Manuel Pastor as our guest speaker for our first coalition-wide meeting. Professor Pastor encouraged us to follow three main guiding principles:

  1. Stop talking about “the economy” and start talking about “our economy”: We have ownership over many aspects of our regional economy and this is expressed in how we invest in people, education, communities, and more. Our economic conditions are built by us and we have the ability to build a human-centered economy. 
  1. Treat people fairly and our economy will prosper – economies that reduce income, racial, and geographic divide disparities are able to sustain more economic growth and prosperity over time. Creating equitable opportunities for diverse people is not just morally right, it captures more talent and creates more prosperity and a better quality of life for all.
  1. To effectively disrupt the existing systems of power, we must expand the circle of belonging and invite those in who have been excluded. Doing this will surface tension and potential conflict – we can’t be afraid to face challenging conversations and social dynamics and need to build effective skills and systems within our coalition that will enable us to navigate these challenges. 

The lessons that he imparted to us, as well as his walk-through of our region’s demographic and economic data that reflect opportunity and challenge areas for us, sets the stage for our regional coalition to understand and advance principles and approaches to inclusive economic development in the scope of the CERF process. You can find the recording and Professor Pastor’s slides here

This webinar was the first in a monthly series that will bring in people and examples of inclusive and sustainable economy-building that can help inform and support our coalition as we get deeper into planning and working together as a coalition. Our next learning session is July 27th from 3-5 pm; stay tuned! 

Sacramento Region Awarded $5 Million for Inclusive Economic Planning

Sacramento, CA – October 21, 2022: The Sacramento Region scored a significant win via an award of $5 million dollars in planning money from the Community Economic Resilience Fund (“CERF”) program. 

The program – developed and led by the Employment Development Department (EDD), the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz), and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) – advances regional economic recovery and resilience strategies that prioritize the creation of accessible, high-quality jobs in sustainable industries.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance our region’s economic recovery and resilience, and will demonstrate the collective value and impact our region has when we work together,” said Valley Vision CEO Evan Schmidt in a statement. 

Planning dollars will be used to stand up a High Road Transition Collaborative (“Collaborative”) – a planning group that consists of balanced and meaningful representation from throughout the region – and a regional economic development plan.

In a months-long grant application process, Valley Vision convened multiple open-to-all webinars, workshops, subregional roundtables, and activity-based committees to inform our region’s application. In particular, the Prosperity Partnership, the Tahoe Prosperity Center, the Sierra Business Council, Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation, the Nevada County Economic Resource Council, and the counties of Colusa and Yuba were instrumental in bringing regional stakeholders and community partners to the table. 

As the designated Regional Convenor and Fiscal Agent for the Sacramento Region – which includes Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties – Valley Vision is charged with standing up a planning process that engages meaningfully across subregions, sectors, and communities, to advance the goals of the CERF program.  

“This announcement signifies a major step forward in economic development, as regional coalitions have come together across California ready to roll up their sleeves and build regional economic development strategies that will create more inclusive and vibrant economies built on a foundation of equity,” said Dee Dee Myers, Senior Advisor to Governor Newsom and Director of the Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development. You can read the state’s CERF press release here.

A Sacramento Region virtual kick-off event will be held in early 2023. To stay up to date, subscribe to Valley Vision’s Sacramento Region CERF newsletter

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About Valley Vision

For 27 years, Valley Vision has served as a trusted nonprofit civic leadership organization in the region, bringing communities together to tackle our region’s challenges and ensure a more livable future and creating common ground built on facts through trusted research and meaningful coalition-building. 

Driven by a “triple bottom line” approach of co-equally advancing social equity, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability, Valley Vision has a proven record in bringing diverse groups together to develop long-term solutions to the region’s greatest problems. This history of civic leadership and engagement runs across local, regional, and statewide platforms, and across sectors and disciplines. To learn more about Valley Vision’s CERF work, visit www.valleyvision.org/projects/community-economic-resilience-fund.

Media Contact:

Priya Kumar

(707) 386-8501

priya.kumar@valleyvision.org