There’s a popular saying we are all familiar with, and it rings truer each time I hear it:
“As California goes, so goes the nation.”
If you want to know the policy battles America and the other states will soon be fighting, look no further than Sacramento. From the push for single-payer health care to excessive environmental regulation that harm our ability to be energy leaders to an uncompetitive tax-code that hurts entrepreneurs and small business, Californians have seen the future and it isn’t pretty.
In my travels throughout California and around the country, I’m often met by people who share PRI’s principles but think that the Golden State has forever lost its luster. And when you look at the legislation coming out of Sacramento, I admit it’s easy to share this frustration. But at PRI, we are not part of this chorus of nay-sayers. We have a vision for California, one that sees the state as a leader in innovation and reform. In the coming year, we will be working on timely projects that address the state’s homelessness crisis, crime and public safety issues, and worker freedom. We will be expanding our presence in Sacramento in the coming year, starting with a major California policy conference at the State Capitol in February.
We recognize that California’s problems won’t be solved overnight. But PRI is in this for the long haul. We are committed to winning over legislators, stakeholders, and voters to advance meaningful bipartisan reforms that would allow the state to become an engine for prosperity.
Today, I’d like to tell you a bit more about what made 2018 such a strong year for PRI and why I’m excited about what we have planned for the year ahead.
In 2018, PRI advanced reforms in key public policy areas, including health care and education. We’ve been working on health care for years at PRI. In March, Encounter Books released PRI President and CEO Sally Pipes’ latest book, The False Promise of Single-Payer Health Care, which makes the case against single-payer by offering evidence of its devastating effects on patients in Canada, the United Kingdom, and even the U.S. PRI launched a major marketing campaign to promote the book resulting in dozens of op-eds and media appearances.
On the education front, PRI earlier this year released An American Education Agenda: Top 15 Recommendations for Improving K-12 Education – a book by Senior Education Fellow Lance Izumi that offers workable guidelines to reconstruct America’s current education system and expand school choice options nationwide. The book has been praised by top education officials and education reformers. Frank Baxter, founding chair of Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, called the Agenda “very inspiring and also pragmatic.”
As the year comes to a close, we’ve launched an online campaign to raise additional funds from now through December 31st to set us on a strong footing as we enter the New Year. PRI’s mission of championing freedom, opportunity, and personal responsibility by advancing free-market policy ideas has never been more relevant…and your support more important. We are very grateful for those who have generously given already. If you haven’t made a donation yet, please consider making a gift today. We are deeply grateful for your support of our work and hope that you will continue to partner with us.
Thank you… and Happy New Year!
Ben Smithwick is vice president of development at the Pacific Research Institute.