From the New Publishers of the California Progress Report

by Richard Holober, Consumer Federation of California, California Progress Report

Nearly three years after he launched the California Progress Report, Frank Russo is moving on to serve as newly elected Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner’s Chief of Staff. Frank’s many years of experience in the state capitol make him a superb choice for the job he has started today.

Frank’s statement, long posted on the site, best describes why we need the California Progress Report: ‘While there are plenty of organizations and websites that focus on either national issues and politics or narrow California policy issues, there is no one site that provides across the board information to California progressives and the means to get information from them and the public to the media’California’s progressive organizations and individuals often work on their specific policy areas in isolation from each other and do not have the infrastructure for a coordinated message that resonates from shared principles’ In a time when more and more Californians are getting their state news through blogs and the internet, having a progressive website is essential.’

The California Progress Report is that site. Its unique value is that it provides an open on-line forum for dozens of advocacy groups that post news and opinion pieces about statewide issues. It is not intended to supplant existing organizations and their websites, but to further the dissemination of news and information in this era of changes in the mainstream media that often leave less room for communication to the public. Unfortunately, there are even fewer reporters and voices covering Sacramento and the entirety of California, the largest state in the United States, and one which would be the seventh or eighth largest economy in the world if we were a separate nation.

The Consumer Federation of California Education Foundation, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, is providing a temporary home for the California Progress Report.

We are reaching out to partner with organizations and individuals that agree that the website plays in indispensable role in our state’s policy debates. Our goals over the next few months are to find donors to keep the site funded over the long term and to establish an oversight structure that is representative of the many progressive policy voices in our state.

We don’t intend to alter the content of the site ‘ on the contrary, we welcome submissions from organizations that are in the trenches, advocating for real change in state or regional laws and regulations, and that are working to build a movement to win the fights for economic and social justice, equality, civil liberties and a sustainable world. We’ll do our best to follow Frank’s example in setting wide – and wise – boundaries for acceptable content.

In the coming days we hope to announce the selection of a new editor of the California Progress Report.
For now, we have three requests of readers:

‘ If you are working on state-level issues, or major regional issues, send us articles to post. This is the perfect time to start a discussion about legislative priorities for the 2009 session. Submissions from individuals are also welcome.

‘ Let us know if you want to be involved in planning the future of the California Progress Report. We are wide open for suggestions on creating a new oversight structure for the website. Please contact me at

‘ Help us keep the California Progress Report alive. Send your tax-deductible donation to ‘CFC Education Foundation – CPR Fund’. Our mailing address is 520 S. El Camino Real, Suite 340, San Mateo, CA 94402.

Let’s work together for progress in 2009.