We’re in the middle of a radical change to our work force. Californians have been asking honest, tough questions, because changes in the economy have left many people behind, or wondering if their kids will be able to do better than they have.

 

Truck drivers, retail clerks, and many others all see what we see—new technologies are coming that will take away their current livelihoods. I'm prepared to roll up my sleeves and offer a new set of plans to make sure that this new economy brings everyone forward, and that we don't accept leaving anyone behind.

None of these issues will be easy. We’re going to have to educate our kids differently, empower and train workers for new opportunities, and stop doing things that we know don’t work. This is no time to fall back on wedge issues and poll-tested ideas that will bring out one group or another. It’s a time to solve new problems—taking risks, working across groups, challenging assumptions, testing out ideas, and letting others take the credit. We can’t count on politics as usual to help working families navigate the new economy, protect our shores from climate change, safeguard our homes from cyber-crime, to give communities the tools to fight the epidemic of addiction and depression, or to heal political divisions.

Every time we’ve been at a point like this, Californians have forged a way forward. That is our State's ethic. Californians settled here because, as a people, we've never been afraid to reach the furthest frontier. We pioneered public higher education, we pioneered space travel and satellites, we developed the world wide web, and the music and films and vision that have inspired and shaped the world. Californians won't settle for less in facing today’s challenges. It's time to do some good things together.
Jeff_Signature_1.png

 

 

  -Jeff Bleich

 

 

  • From the blog

    How a highly educated college lecturer became homeless, and why it matters

    Ellen Tara James Penny is a full-time college professor in San Jose, and she’s homeless. She and her husband Jim and their two dogs sleep in their car in a protected spot not far from the home where she was born. We sat together on a noisy street in Morgan Hill, and — over several hours — they shared their journey to homelessness with me. It’s an important story.

     

    Read more

    …Then The Conversation Gets Real

    Opinion by Jeff Bleich

    In people’s living rooms, I focus on kitchen table issues — changing job markets, the cost of education, housing shortages, on-line threats, mental health and addiction epidemics. Afterward, there are thoughtful questions about these topics; except rarely about mental health and addiction. That is, until the Q&A ends. People then approach me one on one. A few will wait, deliberately letting others speak with me, until the crowd has thinned. And that is when the conversation gets very real.

    ben-white-194220.jpg

    Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

    Read more