My 2020 Vision for California
I envision a California where more people love. Love is the unselfish interest in the well-being of another. It can exist within families, among friends, and between strangers. It is the fundamental ethical value; it is the foundation of prosperity. With love, "the general welfare" is prioritized. With love, the justice system seeks to rehabilitate, not punish. With love, voters think carefully about for whom they will vote and reflect about their choices, and with love, the voters' elected representatives serve ethically, focusing on the climate and challenges of the era and not merely on the day-to-day political winds.
Knowledge is the raw material for critical thought, creative ideas, innovative approaches, and informed decision-making. A first-rate education must be available for all Californians from preschool to college. Those who teach and mentor our youth must be honored, respected, and compensated commensurate with the contribution they make to the goal of California being the number one place to learn. Completion of school in California must signify that a student is ready to be a contributing member of society through higher education, employment, business, civil or military service, or whatever other path she or he chooses.
The beauty of our state stems from the treasures of nature—vast blue skies, radiantly warm sunshine, and cooling winds; lakes, rivers, and the ocean; mountains, valleys, and deserts; flora and fauna. We should always be responsible stewards of the natural world, and we should always treat natural resources as though they are on loan; when we borrow from nature for the present, we must replenish nature for the future. Business profits and private wealth must never take priority over nature’s preservation. We can appreciate and enjoy California’s natural beauty and make sure Californians living a century later can do the same.
The economy is an important engine that can support the betterment of California. We should strive to be a global economic leader in market stability, ethics, and innovation, and we should encourage and promote business development and growth. Our jobs must offer a place for workers to both earn a comfortable living and lead a meaningful life. Both greed and poverty limit economic advancement and are ills to cure. A societal foundation of welfare-guarantees makes competition truly possible; because if a society does not ensure the basic needs of a comfortable life for its members, a truly competitive and creative economy is unachievable, and oligarchy ensues.
No one California resident is superior or inferior to another. While we differ in our place of origin; in physical, mental, and emotional attributes; in the talents and skills we offer; in the positions we hold; in the wealth we amass, we are equal in our right to have our California dream and in the opportunity to pursue that dream. We should treat every resident as though they have something of value to contribute to society and will make that contribution when given the opportunity to do so. By the same token, those who demonstrate by their actions that they wish to do harm to society must be treated fairly, justly, and equally.
Efficiency in Government
Those who are entrusted with the management of California’s resources—among them both elected and appointed officials—must do so with efficiency. California's governmental leaders should not waste time, money, or natural resources. Actions to preserve California's natural beauty and wealth of opportunities must be taken wisely and expeditiously.
Excellence in Society
To excel is to do better today than we did yesterday. We must periodically and habitually reflect on where we are, in what direction we are headed, and how close we have come to the California we envision. Through that process of reflection we will find opportunities for improvement, which we must seize once we observe them. We should always foster a willingness to change for our betterment; and to that end we can be motivated by the serious challenges before us. The commitment to excel as a society is a commitment to the possibilities of what we can achieve together—and a recognition that the government alone cannot solve the challenges we face as a society but must work in partnership with the people, who endow the government with its legitimacy.