Brews & Views: California’s Budget Mess, Thursday

Press release

By on Tue, April 5, 2011

“California’s Budget Mess: What's Next and How Do We Move California Forward?”

Free public forum welcomes Sunne Wright McPeak,
President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund, and
Zabrae Valentine, Deputy Director of California Forward,
with moderator Lenny Mendonca of McKinsey & Company

On Thursday, April 7, the public is invited to participate in a discussion at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company with special guests Sunne Wright McPeak, president and CEO of California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) and Zabrae Valentine, deputy director of California Forward and executive director of the California Forward Action Fund. Led by moderator Lenny Mendonca, co-founder of the Brewing Company and director of McKinsey & Company, the panelists will discuss the roots of California’s fiscal crisis and what Californians can do to address it.

California has a $25 billion deficit and, according to a recent Field Poll, 55% of Californians are not in favor of raising taxes to balance the state’s budget. The poll also showed that 62% of registered voters believe additional cuts to public education would be “very harmful.”

With past experience working for Governor Schwarzenegger’s cabinet as Secretary of California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, McPeak oversaw many of the largest state agencies, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, California Housing Finance, Department of Managed Health Care, and Department of Financial Institutions. Under McPeak’s leadership, performance and productivity in all departments of the agency improved significantly, generating more than $180 million in savings. Now, as president of CETF, she is dedicated to closing the “digital divide.” McPeak also has been a member of the California Forward Leadership Council since the organization launched in 2008.

Thursday, April 7, 2011, 6 to 8 p.m.
The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
390 Capistrano Road, Princeton-by-the-Sea, Calif.

Admission and snacks are complimentary. Beer, wine, and other beverages will be available for sale at the event.

California Forward and the California Forward Action Fund are nonpartisan, nonprofit sister organizations working to identify common sense steps Californians can take to make government work. They accomplish this through broad consultation and analysis of critical problems facing the state, then identify nonpartisan reforms that can make a difference.  According to Valentine, “A key premise of both organizations is that meaningful state government reform can only succeed with genuine and substantive public participation in these discussions, across the political spectrum.” 

How can California close its deficit without increasing taxes or gutting vital state services and also put the state’s budget on a more sustainable course?  What roles do evolving economic opportunities such as California’s position in a global digital market or the green economy play in getting the state back on track? How can Californians around the state support and inform actions that put California on a sustainable path for prosperity in coming years? Join us April 7th to be part of this important and provocative conversation.

Ten percent of proceeds from all dinner sales at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company that evening will be donated to the Cabrillo Education Foundation.

For more information call 650-728-2739 or visit