Hey, Coastal California: It’s Time to Change up Your View of Inland California

Published by Inland Rising on

Hey, Coastal California: It’s Time to Change up Your View of Inland California

Karthick Ramakrishnan

Despite inland California’s importance to the state and its future, words like innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership do not predominate. Instead, when you hear about places like Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, Bakersfield, Riverside, and San Bernardino, you are much more likely to hear a litany of problems like poverty and corruption than about transformational investments and innovative leadership.

This view of inland California is not only one-sided – coastal California cities have their problems, too – it is also hopelessly outdated. If all you knew about Stockton was its reputation for crime and corruption, you wouldn’t know about leaders like Mayor Michael Tubbs, who won city council at the age of 24 and is testing out bold, innovative solutions like universal basic income and is attracting massive investments to reinvent the city. Nor would you know about the multi-sector projects and partnerships that have emerged out of a network of new generation leaders in Fresno and Modesto. Nor would you know about the innovative ways that the Inland Empire is building a new kind of Census outreach plan, working with industry stalwarts and stitching together expertise from city and county governments, nonprofits, businesses, and academic institutions alike.

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