Press Release: Coalition of Valley and Inland Empire leaders delivers a unified message in Sacramento

Published by Inland Rising on

Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon addresses the Inland California Rising coalition. Photo credit Bryan Patrick.

Coalition of Valley and Inland Empire leaders delivers a unified message in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, Inland California Rising, a new coalition of higher education, civic, philanthropic and community leaders from across the Central Valley and Inland Empire regions, launched a new initiative to unify the voices of Inland California.

More than 30 civic and community leaders participated in Tuesday’s summit with Gov. Newsom’s administration, Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and other legislators from Inland California.

“California represents big ideas to the rest of the country, and I think Inland California can do the same for the state,” said Rendon. “Inland leaders coming together can use those ideas so that the region makes the state better, and the state helps the region be better. I look forward to working together.”

“The Governor understands the importance of Inland California and is looking forward to partnering with Inland California Rising to meet immediate and long-term goals for the region,” said Daniel Zingale, director of the Governor’s Office of Strategic Communications and Public Engagement.

The meeting was the coalition’s first in a series of four convenings in 2019, continuing in Riverside, Stockton and Fresno. The 2019 summits will help clarify priorities and identify strategies to address common issues, including higher education, health care, housing and transit, economic development and transportation infrastructure.

“It is more important than ever that Inland California come together to present state leaders with a strong, united voice,” said Central Valley Community Foundation President and CEO Ashley Swearengin. “It is no understatement to say that our region has the power to shape California’s economic future.”Spanning from Sacramento and Stockton through Fresno, Merced, Bakersfield, and the Inland Empire, the region’s 11 million residents account for nearly 30 percent of our state’s population. Investments and policies made in Inland California today will have enormous impacts for the success of the Golden State as a whole.

“The future of California will be determined by what happens in the ‘backbone of California.’ Inland California is a dynamic region, with bold and innovative leadership from the public, business, and nonprofit sectors,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, professor and director of the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside. “Together we will forge a new path forward.”

The James Irvine Foundation has provided early support to the initiative.

“The Central Valley and Inland Southern California have long been priority regions for our foundation, and we are happy to support innovative leadership and collective efforts that push for even greater impact,” said Don Howard, president and CEO of the James Irvine Foundation.


Inland California Rising draws on leaders from the philanthropic, business, non-profit, and public sectors who are united in their desire to turbo-charge progress for Inland California, in ways that also benefit the state overall. Initial backers of this effort include the mayors from the major Inland California cities, foundation CEOs from each community, higher education leaders, and a rapidly growing coalition of civic and community leaders. The Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside is providing initial data and staff support for Inland California Rising. Learn more at

Categories: Uncategorized