By Manuel Pastor & Danny Feingold
Published on January 19, 2017 in Capital & Main
"Why California Must Lead
No state rivals California either in the dimensions of its population or economy. At just under 40 million people, California has more residents than the nation’s 20 least densely populated states put together. Its economy is the sixth-largest in the world, trailing only the U.S., China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.
"California is also home to several of the nation’s most powerful and influential industries, including high tech and entertainment. Both Silicon Valley and Hollywood wield enormous economic clout, and are key shapers of consumer habits and cultural norms.
Why is this significant? Because California has the ability to exert enormous pressure on everything from markets and mores to politics and policy, a position it has ably demonstrated in its leadership role in addressing climate change, despite federal inaction.
Size and economic strength by themselves are not enough. But over the past 20 years, California has acquired another key comparative advantage: It has developed some of the most innovative social movements in the country – and exported them to cities across the U.S. These movements have secured rights for immigrants, boosted worker pay, protected LGBTQ Californians and pushed the state forward on addressing climate change. They will be called upon to use their organizing prowess to hold the line against Trump even as they continue to push the envelope of social and economic justice in California and beyond."
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