Two Indian Americans Named to ‘California 100 Commission’ to Craft Strategy for Next Century
Common Cause executive director Jonathan Mehta Stein was chosen among the Governance, Media and Civil Society commissioners. (commoncause.org photo)
India-West Staff Reporter
The California 100 executive team recently announced the selection of a 26-member expert and intergenerational California 100 Commission, with a number of Indian American and South Asian Americans among those selected.
The commission will draw on an extraordinary group of leaders who reflect diversity by region and industry, and the perspectives of communities who have been historically marginalized or excluded, a news release said.
Valuing the input of young Californians and the role they will play in shaping the future, half of the commission will be next generation leaders who have already demonstrated significant impact in their areas of expertise, it adds.
Nidhi Kalra, senior information scientist at RAND Corporation, was named among the commissioners in Advanced Technology and Basic Research; Sri Lankan American Ahilan Arulanantham, the UCLA School of Law Center for Immigration Law and Policy faculty co-director, was chosen in Federalism and Foreign Policy; and Common Cause executive director Jonathan Mehta Stein was chosen among the Governance, Media and Civil Society commissioners.
The California 100 commissioners will be engaged in all aspects of California 100’s work and be heavily involved in crafting a vision and strategy that prepares us for the challenges and opportunities the next century will bring.
In particular, commissioners will review and provide feedback on California 100’s 13 research reports and meet with each research team for a “deep dive” review of their findings. Part of the research work is examining potential scenarios for California’s future, the release said.
Commissioners will work with the research teams to assist in revising and refining their future scenarios’ work to make them more useful for stakeholders and residents alike through deliberation and listening sessions in 2022. Throughout their two-year term, commissioners will also ensure that the work of California 100 remains true to the interconnectedness of its 13 issue areas and through lines that inform its core values, it said.
“We are thrilled to draw on the expertise of these transformative leaders who are making a difference in their respective fields and already leaving a mark on California,” Karthick Ramakrishnan, Indian American executive director of California 100, said in a statement.
“Their unique perspectives will inform our work to create a vision and strategy for California’s future — one that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable. California 100 belongs to Californians and we are excited to begin our partnership with these dynamic leaders who represent the best of our state — and the best of what’s to come,” Ramakrishnan added.
Each of the 26 commissioners were selected because of their vast expertise in the 13 issue areas of focus for California 100. The open nomination process welcomed elected officials, academics, community organizers, as well as advocacy and youth organizations to submit candidates for consideration.
After months of interviews, these leaders emerged as the most forward-thinking and disruptive in their fields with a shared vision for exploring big ideas that can transform California for the better into the next century. Commissioners will be paired, with two serving in each of the 13 focus areas and many intergenerational pairings to encourage mentorship and collaboration, according to the commission.
The goal of California 100 is to lift up and support transformative ideas, people and projects that accelerate progress with a focus on inspiring a vision and strategy for California’s next century that is innovative, sustainable, and equitable.
In addition to sponsoring original work, the California 100 Platform will promote the best of what is happening in California. Through these various projects and activities, California 100 seeks to move California towards an aspirational vision—changing policies and practices, attitudes and mindsets, for a more vibrant future, it said.
California 100 is organized among interrelated streams of work: research, policy innovation, advanced technology and engagement. Each stream is led by a director and strengthened through a growing list of partners in the public and private sector, the commission website notes.