California Explorations Project

The Institute’s California Explorations Project explores opportunities to support California grassroots activist leaders in efforts to co-learn and better align around emerging issues related to race, gender, and economic justice in state policymaking. 

The Project engages an impressive group of advisors, including the executives of Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos, the California Budget and Policy Center, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, the Oakland Unity Council, the Center for Cultural Innovation, the Excessive Wealth Disorder Institute, GRACE/End Child Poverty in California, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, and the Women’s Foundation of California, to surface structural (rather than mere issue-by-issue) change campaigns, innovations in issue-framing and public opinion-shaping, and multicultural youth activism and voting with an eye to reshaping public priorities during coming election cycles. 

Key areas of expanded generational investment priority for the Project include: publicly-subsidized child care; improved K-14 public education and free community college for low-income Californians; working and middle class family asset building (including Baby Bonds); guaranteed employment and income; single payer healthcare insurance; expanded benefits and local voting rights for long-standing non-citizens residing in California; safe and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income Californians; and smarter and more affordable public transportation across the state.

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Reports and Publications

Promoting Nonpartisan Multicultural Youth Get-Out-The-Vote Activities: A Guide for California Nonprofit Organizations

By Henry A.J. Ramos and Robb Smith

This nonpartisan voter promotion guide is intended to inspire and support community-based nonprofit and advocacy groups working closely with voting age youth of color to engage them in local and statewide electoral processes as active and informed voters. It is the product of a collaborative effort by many leading California racial, gender, and economic justice leaders who seek to promote more inclusive policy making related to economic security and prosperity-sharing in a broad range of fields.

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Recent News

Opinion: How Anti-Immigrant Bigotry Hugely Misunderstands Our Economy

In this recent Los Angeles Times opinion, members of the California Explorations Project advisory board argue that the current anti-immigrant grandstanding fundamentally misunderstands the important role immigrants play in our communities and economy. Read more >>