Politics & Policy

Is California Still a Golden State? A Conversation About What Lies Ahead

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The home of Silicon Valley, top-tier universities, a diverse population and pleasant weather, California is hailed to be the “Golden State.” However, with the onset of the pandemic, many left California for states with lower taxes, tougher crime enforcement, affordable housing and fewer liberal policies. The dichotomy of having the largest homeless population in the U.S. and the most billionaires, California itself represents the large income disparity between communities. Yet, it is still praised to be the state with extraordinary resources and infrastructure.

In this seminar, USC Center for the Political Future (CPF) Co-Directors Bob Shrum and Mike Murphy assess California’s governance amid rising housing costs and tax rates; the factors leading residents to migrate to different states; why California is falling behind in spite of massive revenue; and the future of the so-called “Golden State.”

The panel features John Chiang, former California state treasurer and state controller; David Crane, fall 2020 CPF fellow and president of Govern for California.

Who Will Benefit

– Young policy makers looking to uncover the factors behind people leaving California and how good governance can help
– California residents who want to know what the future holds for the state amid high unemployment rates
– Those seeking a deeper understanding of how businesses in California will thrive amid high taxes

About Our Featured Faculty

Robert “Bob” Shrum is the director of the USC Center for the Political Future and the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at USC Dornsife. A legendary political strategist, he was described as “the most sought-after consultant in the Democratic Party,” by The Atlantic Monthly. He was the strategist in over 25 winning U.S. Senate campaigns, eight successful campaigns for governor, successful campaigns for mayors in major American cities, and numerous campaigns for Congress and other statewide offices. His numerous clients included Edward Kennedy, Joe Biden, John Glenn, and Barbara Mikulski, David Dinkins and Tom Bradley — and John Kerry and Al Gore in their presidential races. Overseas, his clients included Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the British Labour Party, the Prime Minister of Ireland, and the Presidents of Colombia and Bolivia.

Mike Murphy is the co-director of the USC Center for the Political Future. Murphy is one of the Republican Party’s most successful political media consultants, having handled strategy and advertising for more than 26 successful gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns. His record in helping Republicans win Democratic states is unmatched by any other GOP consultant. Murphy has been called a “media master” by Fortune magazine, the GOP’s “hottest media consultant” by Newsweek, and the leader of a “new breed” of campaign consultants by Congressional Quarterly. He is a widely known political pundit, appearing frequently on NBC, CNN and NPR. Previously, he served as a regular on the Meet the Press political roundtable and wrote the “Murphy’s Law” column for TIME Magazine.