On May 26, 2022, the Little Hoover Commission began the first of several hearings on Equitable Economic Recovery in the Inland Empire. Local leaders, including Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity (IEGO) Executive Director Jackie Melendez, Alex Avila, Co-Founder of the Black Brown Economic Empowerment Partnership and the Inland Empire Multicultural Collective and Karen Suarez, Director, Uplift San Bernardino and IEGO Co-Chair (Presentation, Written Testimony) offered testimony on efforts to build opportunity and inclusion and what is needed from the State to support regional, inclusive Economic Development .
The day-long hearing also featured a morning panel focused on California’s Regions Rise Together initiative and featured testimony from Marek Gootman, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, Ashley Swearengin, President and CEO, Central Valley Community Foundation (Presentation) and Lenny Mendonca, Former Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Governor Newsom and Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The afternoon session featured testimony from Inland Empire leaders in regional economic development including Paul Granillo, President and CEO, Inland Empire Economic Partnership (Written Testimony), Tomás D. Morales, President, California State University, San Bernardino (Written Testimony) and Suzanne Holland, Director, Riverside County Office of Economic Development and IEGO Co-Chair.
The Little Hoover Commission, formally known as the Milton Marks “Little Hoover” Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, is an independent state oversight agency created in 1962. The Commission’s mission is to investigate state government operations and policy, and – through reports and legislative proposals – make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature to promote economy, efficiency and improved service in state operations. In addition, the Commission has a statutory obligation to review and make recommendations on all proposed government reorganization plans. Review the Inland Empire Hearing materials or watch the testimony to learn more about how local leaders are centering equity, innovation and sustainability to create a more inclusive economy in the Inland Empire.