Assembly Hearings Focused on Raising More Californians into Middle Class

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

What can we do to lift people out of poverty or near poverty and into California’s middle class? The California Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy (JEDE) held its second informational hearing this week in Sacramento to address this important issue. “While many areas of California have recovered and are thriving since […]

Read more

Top Two Reform Speaks to the Political Middle

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

On NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, host Chuck Todd made a comment in the guise of a question that talked about the “hollowed-out middle” of American politics, namely how hyper-partisanship will endure because voter behavior in the primaries only results in very conservative Republicans and very liberal Democrats. The story of growing division is […]

Read more

Can this Presidential Election Actually Energize Political Reform?

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

How did it come to this? The two most unpopular candidates in the history of presidential polling — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — wind up being the two main candidates for President. While early voting numbers crossed 40 million nationally before Tuesday, an overwhelming majority of voters are simply “disgusted” by the state of […]

Read more

California Treasurer Chiang Calls Out Pay To Play In School Bond Elections

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

California State Treasurer John Chiang and a coalition of county treasurers and tax collectors today moved to stop questionable bankrolling of campaign activities in local bond election campaigns. “There are unscrupulous Wall Street firms offering to fund local bond campaigns in exchange for lucrative contracts,” said Chiang. “Not only are these pay-to-play arrangements unlawful, they […]

Read more

Modernization of California’s landmark Political Reform Act announced  

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), in partnership with the University of California and California Forward, has announced a project to updateCalifornia’s venerable Political Reform Act (PRA). The Political Reform Act was passed in 1974 as a response to the Watergate scandal and was hailed as a landmark law that cemented California’s reputation as a national leader in regulating […]

Read more

California Workforce Training Gets $200 Million Boost From Budget

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

The California Legislature passed a budget that includes an additional $200 million for a workforce training program that takes aim at the looming skills gap across the state’s regions. “This is a victory for both California employers and community college students. In our travels around California, we heard loud and clear about the need for […]

Read more

More California Employers Urging Legislative Action on Workforce Funding

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

California employers are urging the Legislature to fully fund two promising programs this year with $250 million to bolster the state’s workforce. A letter to key legislators from the Regional Economic Association Leaders of California (REAL Coalition), which represents more than 15,000 employers, makes the case succinctly to approve $200 million for the Strong Workforce […]

Read more

SB 1349 Cal-Access Bill Is Another Step Forward In California’s Political Reform Era

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

When key state leaders gathered Monday for a press conference to promote a bill (SB 1349) authorizing the Secretary of State to create a modern online campaign finance reporting and disclosure system, it represented another step forward in California’s era of reform. Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Senator Bob Hertzberg, Los Gatos software entrepreneur Jim Heerwagen, California Common Cause Executive […]

Read more

California’s New Assembly Speaker Sees Benefit Of Recent Democracy Reforms

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

When Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) is sworn in as Assembly Speaker next Monday, he will become what some Californians are describing as the “reform speaker.” The Speaker’s chair has been a bit of revolving door in recent years thanks in large part to the term limits that allowed an Assembly member to only serve a […]

Read more

California’s Prop 50—Another Step Toward Restoring Public Trust

Ed Coghlan
Contributing Editor & Special Correspondent, California Forward

When state Sen. Leland Yee was arrested in 2014 on charges he engaged in racketeering and gun-trafficking activities, Californians were outraged. A state senator who was campaigning for Secretary of State on a transparency platform was found to be a phony and ultimately a convicted criminal. Yee became the third sitting State Senator charged with […]

Read more