Livable Communities Newsletter
Vol. 12, No. 47
August 2018
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Welcome to Our Summer 2018 Livable Communities Newsletter! 

This Quarter our Livable Communities Newsletter focuses on 3 important topics:

1.  The Ventura County Civic Alliance Future of the Region Conference where the keynote speakers provided rich, forward-thinking information focusing on transportation, public health and technology to a group of over 150 regional leaders from across several business sectors

2.  A real "3E" discussion within the process being used to pull together The Ventura County Economic Vitality Strategic Plan (EVSP)

3.  Questions and factual answers intended to provide a clear idea of what SB1 does and does not provide.

Enjoy the articles and let us know what you think.
by contacting us at
Stacy Roscoe 

Future of the Region Conference
                                                        by Katrina Maksimuk

As a follow up to the biannual State of the Region Report, VCCA held its inaugural Future of the Region Conference on May 23 at the Oxnard Marriott featuring three keynote speakers talking about trends they are seeing as a threat and opportunistic solutions they are applying in their region. The keynotes provided rich, forward-thinking information focusing on transportation, public health and technology to a group of over 150 regional leaders from across several business sectors.

Dr. Joshua L. Schank, Chief Innovation Officer at the Office of Extraordinary Innovation for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, discussed how their department has implemented an open submission of ideas thought their website. Ideas that are chosen are then put out to bid or implemented internally by department staff. Some creative solutions have included using drones to inspect miles of track that was previously done by walking the tracks, Micro-transit, and buses with devices that tell bus drivers exactly the speed to drive to get the most green lights.

Offering statistical details, Dr. Beatriz Solis, Program Director, Healthy Communities, California Endowment noted that 80 percent of what influences your life expectancy happens outside of the health care system: transportation, housing, job opportunities, racism and other social factors. One concerning study indicated that stress is impacting kids in disadvantaged communities more than PTSD impacts vets. Seeing firsthand that investment has enormous impacts, Dr. Solis emphasized that we must increase the opportunities for youth.

Dr. Sundar Sundareswaran, Vice President at Teledyne Scientific, talked about the importance of having a pipeline of graduating students from nearby universities and their management's desire to increase the internship opportunities at the company.

Following Dr. Sundareswaran, the local perspective was presented by a panel of area leaders. Panelists included Dr. Jamshid Damooei, Professor and Chair, Economics, Finance & Accounting at the California Lutheran University; Joseph Briglio, Regional Affairs Officer and Project Manager of Southern California Association of Governments; Erick Went, co-founder Matter Labs, Technology Entrepreneur and Startup Investor; and Dr. Suzanne Fussell, Family Practice Physician and Board Member at St. John's Healthcare Foundation. The conference discussion on planning livable communities in the future was eye-opening as to how many factors go into a truly sustainable community with a high quality of life.


Ventura County Sustainability
Through the Economic Vitality
Strategic Plan (EVSP)

by Stacy Roscoe

The Ventura County Civic Alliance was founded on the principle that a sustainable community needs to have a balance among the "3Es" - Environment, Economy, and (Social) Equity.  This principle has been the basis of the Alliance's work over the last 16 years, but it has often been difficult to find community action where it is fully practiced.  This is why I am excited about dedicating one of this quarter's articles to Ventura County's Economic Vitality Strategic Plan (EVSP).   

I believe that I am finding the makings of a real "3E" discussion within this work, where I least expected it.  I am representing the Alliance on the Steering Committee selected to represent County interests in the subject of economic vitality, and rather than finding just the typical focus on less regulation and faster permitting, I have found an enlightened scope that is trying to build economic vitality within the framework of real "3E" balance.

I want to share why I am so excited by calling out the elements within this process that reach beyond the traditional economic discussion I expected. Below are items pulled from the Steering Committee's last report that go beyond the basic economic principles being discussed:
Subgroups have met to discuss potential EVSP metrics, including a working definition of quality of life. The group would like to define what is considered to be within the quality of life category and which of those elements the group plans to address. Specifically, what does quality of life mean in terms of economic impact and what would be a more strategic focus for it in terms of:
Cultural determinants
Food, housing, and industry
"Ventura County Grows Business" elements of safety, education, climate, open space, and affordability in the region.
The following is an outline of the current status of those Focus Area work elements that step beyond the limited traditional focus points of economic development:

Workforce Development

Working to decide priorities. One of the biggest issues is the need for greater alignment between businesses and education, providing a viable workforce pipeline. The group identified a need to integrate entrepreneurship, internships, and apprenticeships into the conversations, complete an inventory of what already exists, and establish a common language for all.
Safety Net, County Services
Census Count discussions have focused on achieving high-reach funding opportunities. This will help Ventura County learn how to bring in philanthropic dollars to fund outreach to the high-risk populations. The key census topics for this are:
The potential of 153 million dollars from the state to help prepare California for the census.
The likelihood of finding 14.7 million hard-to-count California      residents
Latino immigrants
Pacific Islanders
Identifying community hubs (CBOs - Community Based Organizations) and defining an allocated share of the work based on the number of hard-to-count populations.
Ventura County is in the top 10 counties in California for risk of undercounting vulnerable populations in the census, so we must fight to get our share of those funds.
An initiative needs to be worked.
Philanthropic Funding in Times of Disaster
Ventura County needs to create a cohesive strategy for how to approach philanthropic funding in the times of disaster, and how to better use 2-1-1 during the next disaster.
There is also significant and creative work being done directly in the name of economic vitality. However, since the other "Es" get less attention, I just had to pull out and highlight some of the broader enlightened work that will help build a truly sustainable community.

SB1 - Road Repair and Accountability Act and Proposition 6

by Dave Fleisch

Proposition 6, which will be on the November ballot, proposes that any tax on the sale, storage, use or consumption of motor vehicle gasoline or diesel fuel, or on the privilege of operating a vehicle on public highways, must be submitted to the electorate for approval, even if approved by the legislature.

This proposition specifically targets Senate Bill 1 (SB1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 passed by a two-thirds majority of the legislature and signed into law on April 28, 2017. Prior to the passage of SB1, the fixed portion of the gasoline tax in the state of California had remained at 18 cents per gallon since the early 1990's.

With the passage of proposition 69 in June 2018, one hundred percent of these funds are constitutionally protected, which guarantees that these funds will only be used for transportation purposes.

SB1 i nvests $54 billion over 10 years to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and puts more dollars toward transit and road safety. These funds will be split equally between state and local investments.

SB1 emphasizes accountability and transparency by holding Caltrans and local governments accountable for the efficient investment of public funds to maintain the public highways, streets, and roads. This is done through the California Transportation Commission which annually receives plans from all local agencies and Caltrans for the coming year's funds, and also a report of where the funds from the previous year were spent. SB1 also created an Independent Office of Audits and Investigations to maintain a full scope, independent, and objective audit and investigation program. This includes an annual report to the Governor, the Legislature, and the California Transportation Commission with a summary of investigation and audit findings, recommendations, and implementation status of previous recommendations.

In order to provide a clear idea of what SB1 does and does not provide, here are some questions and factual answers:

  • How will the tax funds be spent?
  • Will any of the SB 1 funding go into the State's General Fund?
  • Will SB 1 fund High-Speed Rail?
  • How much will SB 1 cost California families each year?
  • Will SB1 have any other impact on the California economy? 
  • Will any of the SB 1 Funds go to parks and agriculture infrastructure?

A Special Thank You Goes to Our State of the Region Report Sponsors:

Research Sponsor - 
Ventura County Community Foundation

Presenting Sponsor - 
Ventura County Community College District

Domain Sponsors - 

Aera Energy
California Lutheran University
California State University Channel Islands
County of Ventura
Gene Haas Foundation
Montecito Bank & Trust
Southern California Edison
United Staffing Associates
VCDSA - Ventura County Deputy Sheriff's Association

Supporting Sponsors -

The Port of Hueneme
Ventura County Coastal Association of Realtors
Ventura County Office of Education

Contributing Sponsors -

City of Ventura Community Development Department
Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP
Gold Coast Transit
Maron Computer Services
Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company
Stacy and Kerry Roscoe
Ventura County Transportation Commission

Friend Sponsors -

California Lutheran University Center for Nonprofit Leadership
Dyer Sheehan Group, Inc.
Friends of the Santa Clara River
Kate McLean
Sherie and Joe Gibson
Slover Memorial Fund
United Way of Ventura County
Ventura College Foundation

Media Sponsor -

Pacific Coast Business Times