What is the Economic Mobility Collaborative?

A handful of friends, of varied political persuasions, came together in the fall of 2016 in Half Moon Bay CA, to do some brainstorming on what was working and what was not in CA, what needed more attention, and what (more) might be done. It started as a pretty broad discussion, but we were (and still are) all policy nerds, so had no problem diving into a wide range of topics. Most importantly however, we were drawn to the opportunity to share in a positive, constructive conversation, among a multi-partisan group of friends at a moment (the 2016 primary season) when much political talk, irrespective of political party, was not particularly sunny.

We talked, we laughed, we cried. (Maybe no actual tears, but it was a full day and we covered a lot of ground.) The group wanted to keep talking, so we did. The next time we gathered, in L.A., the discussion quickly revealed strong agreement that obstacles to economic opportunity and mobility in California faced by people in all regions of the state were probably the most significant hindrance to economic, social and civic progress statewide.

We chose initially to focus on actions that could bring people together, identify new allies, and be reasonably easy to manage, which led to the Open Letter to “the Next Governor of CA,” self-published on Medium in May, 2018. That letter argued that delivering truly inclusive economic opportunity and mobility statewide is the way to ensure every Californian has access to the California Dream. It also enabled us to share with our fellow Californians that there is significant support for putting problem-solving above partisanship and prioritizing evidence-driven solutions, to produce a new and better economy and culture that Californians throughout the state can see and feel, while modeling respect, inclusion, civility, and accountability. We have just published a second open letter, to reiterate the message, post election.

This is an informal group, acting as private citizens who want to do more. We are thrilled but not at all surprised at how many Californians are joining this effort, and are currently in the process of considering what we can do to amplify and accelerate the very significant work already underway in this area. If you want to join this conversation, sign the current letter if it appeals to you, and get in touch — we’d love to talk about how you can join and add to this effort; there’s plenty to do!

Thanks very much,

The Economic Mobility Collaborative



  • Issues that impact CA, and for which solutions will come from State, regional or local action
  • Actions that can materially improve the quality of people’s lives in CA, with an emphasis on individuals and families facing the greatest economic challenges and restoring meaningful opportunity for upward mobility to all Californians


  • Good public policy can help make people’s lives better
  • Bipartisan collaboration is possible, desirable and beneficial/ is more likely to lead to policies that endure
  • Policy should be well-informed by verifiable data as well as substantial input from the people it will impact
  • Listening and discussion among people with different views in pursuit of common understanding and common ground is an essential step in crafting good public policy
  • Individuals have significant power to make their communities better, and a responsibility to try to do so. This belief is what compels us as Californians to come together to share, hear, think and act