Improving the health of California's democracy is both an exciting challenge and a formidable task. What's exciting is the possibility of transforming how important public decisions are made, so as to benefit all Californians. Our goal is for California to have a representative electorate, with policymaking bodies incentivized to consider the long term, and public decisions made based on good data about effective solutions.
Also exciting about working in this field is the diverse set of highly capable, committed and strategic organizations here in California that are building alliances across sectors and geographies to change how we make decisions and plan for our future. We are honored to be working in partnership with many of them.
But a challenge we face is that with many aspects of our democracy that could be improved, how do we best approach grantmaking in this arena?
Earlier this year we undertook a process to re-examine our California Democracy program. Our goal was to explore how to best organize our efforts to maximize our impact. We conducted interviews with over two dozen leading Californians involved in these issues across the state, plus national leaders in our field. With this input and through a series of discussions among our staff and board, we developed a revised California Democracy framework.
The new program framework identifies a set of near-term opportunities to improve California’s democracy, encapsulated in these four current initiatives: Elections Policies and Practices, Voter and Civic Engagement , Ballot Initiative Reform and [Immigrant Integration](http//:irvine.org/special-initiatives).
We also articulate a set of criteria for how we plan to identify and prioritize future issues, as we recognize that new opportunities may emerge in this field meriting our attention and potential support.
Throughout these efforts, we are interested in building a strong field of organizations and individuals partnering together to improve our democracy.
We very much welcome your feedback and reflections on our revised framework. Please share your comments here.